Dodital-Darwa Pass trek takes us into the interior forestscapes of Assi Ganga Valley. This trek offers an amazing escapade into the deep jungles of Uttarkashi. The idyllic 40 km trek starts from Agoda village to a crystal green Dodital Lake at 3,024M and further up to Darwa Pass soaring high at 4,151M. The Dodital Lake or 'Dhundi-tal', synonymous amongst the locals as Ganesha-katal, is considered the sacred birthplace of Lord Ganesha. It is a freshwater lake that serves as the primary source for the Assi Ganga river that merges downstream with Bhagirathi. The beautiful lake turns semi frozen in winters with a white sheet of powdered snow covering its surrounding trees and thick foliage. A Ganpati temple sits on the right side of this pristine lake nestled in the lap of the Barahat range. The trail leading to the lake is blessed with astounding sceneries of mountain villages, impenetrable vegetation and lush green surroundings with numerous bubbling streams of water and tan brown rock-faces. As we reach higher up, we find ourselves encompassed in the entrancing company of pine trees, deodar trees, and golden and silver oaks all the way up till Dodital. Darwa Pass, which requires an elevation gain of over 1,100M from Dodital offers captivating views of Mt. Bandarpoonch, Mt. Srikanth, DraupadikaDanda, Mt. Jaunli, Deoli and Black Peak. The pass is a gateway to Yamunotri via Hanuman Chatti that has been journeyed by pilgrims since ancient times. The steep pass gets covered with knee deep snow early on in winters. The stretch to Darwa Pass could prove to be a bit challenging in terms of acclimatisation given the elevation gain in a short span of time along with the snow climb in the winter months making this an adventure packed undertaking. The best time to do this trek is from April-June for a summer landscape and October-December to experience the winter landscape. Stay on this page for more information on the trek.
Arrival at Agoda Village (2,251M)
Distance: 164 kms
Time: 7 hours drive
Day 01 is reserved for the participants to make their way from Dehradun to a picturesque village in the Bhatwari Tehsil of Uttarkashi which goes by the name of Agoda and doubles up as the base camp for this trek. If you have signed up with Bikat for transportation from Dehradun to Agoda, we assemble at the designated meeting point in the early morning hours.
In case you plan to reach Agoda village on your own, this article can come handy to plan your journey.
The route to Agoda offers rustic mountain views through and through. The divergence towards Dhanaulti on the Mussoorie road takes you towards the Garhwal interiors. A jade-shaded Bhagirathi river becomes prominently visible from Chinyalisaur all the way up to a small town of Maneri. The way is bordered with conical pine trees. A smaller route from here diverges towards Sangamchetti on the left, parallel to streams of Assi Ganga River. An uphill dirt track from Sangamchetti, the confluence point of Assi Ganga and Varna river, leads us up towards our basecamp village.
Once settled and well rested in the homestay, we conduct our formal briefing about our trek schedule, know-how, basic do’s and don’ts and environmental conservation practices.
Agoda (2,251M) to Dodital Lake (3,024M) via Manjhi (2,880M)
Time: 8 hours
We start early in the morning today. Post a healthy breakfast, we follow a small passageway upwards to move away from Agoda and towards Dodital campsite. The route opens up into an oak forest which is followed by a few thousand steps on the side of a huge rock face. A small patch of silver oak jungle follows, taking us into the deeper pockets of Uttarkashi. The pleasant fragrance from the oak trees gives out a soothing vibe all the way up to Bhebra village.
Gurgling streams collect into a translucent green pond which makes for a fascinating sight. On crossing a bunch of streams and a boulder zone, the trail gets a bit steeper in ascent for the next 4 km. A longer parallel trail also exists but the steeper one is preferable to reach the campsite at a reasonable hour. We pause for lunch at the Manjhi settlement before pushing off again towards Dodital. From Manjhi, the curvy pathway is comparatively levelled in gradient. Small streams amidst dense forests add to the charm of this trail today. For the last one hour, the path descends smoothly towards Annapurna temple that finally leads to the ground surrounding Dodital via the Lord Ganesha temple.
The campsite for today overlooks the Dodital Lake; the setting is gorgeous to say the least. We reach here before sunset. Snacks and dinner follow in the dining tent. Since it has been a long day, we tuck ourselves in right after dinner to get the much deserved rest. Night temperatures at this campsite can go as low as -15°C in mid-December.
Dodital Lake (3,024M) to Darwa Pass (4,151M) to Dodital Lake (4,151M)
Distance: 10 kms
Time: 6 hours
We start early today to make our way to Darwa Pass. It is quite an undertaking since it requires us to gain approximately 1,127M of vertical elevation from our current campsite. After a good breakfast, and double checking if we are properly layered, we leave for the pass which is covered with snow for most of the year.
Since we have to come back to the same campsite, we only carry essentials for this journey in a day pack and leave the backpack behind in the campsite.
The trail from Dodital to Darwa Pass is heavily guarded with golden oak trees and a thick coat of vegetation. Multiple streams formed from the melting of the snow over the pass are encountered on the way early on. As we move higher up, the views shift from a backdrop of lakes to accommodate large mountains of the Garhwal range into our field of vision. Availability of water starts to get scarce as we go up.
The last stretch of Darwa Pass is a steep ascent. Darwa Pass offers mesmerizing views of Mt. Srikanth Peak, Deoli, Bandarpoonch, DraupadikaDanda and Hanuman Ganga Valley.
After spending some time on the pass, we start our descent to make it to camp in time before the light starts to fade out. At some point on the descent, we take some time to rest and to eat our packed lunch before we head on down all the way to our campsite.
We usually reach the campsite by late afternoon. Snacks and games follow all through the evening till an early dinner and rest. The next day is going to be long as well.
Dodital Lake (3,024M) to Agoda (2,251M) via Manjhi and Bhebra
Distance: 17 km
Time: 5 hours
Today, we leave from Dodital Lake towards our homestay at Agoda village which was the basecamp of our trek. We take the same trail we took the first day to get here.
Post a warm-up session and much delicious breakfast, we pay a visit to the Ganesha temple and then start our descent.
Once again, we pass through the dazzling trail via forests and little streams of Assi Ganga river reminiscing about our mountain experiences and sharing our personal adventure stories from the trek in the company of woods.
On reaching Agoda, evening snacks and debriefing precede dinner. Post dinner, we spend time with our fellow trekkers and rest.
Agoda (2,251M) to Uttarkashi (1,158M) to Dehradun (640M)
Distance: 169 kms
Time: 7 hours drive
Post breakfast we get into our cab which is to drive us to Dehradun. Since it is a 9 hour long drive, we might stop on the way for lunch.
If you have booked your trip back to Dehradun with Bikat Adventures, we leave around 10AM in the morning. Expect to reach Dehradun by late evening. You may make arrangements for your journey onward accordingly. Given that journeys on mountain roads are rife with unpredictability, we would recommend you make your bookings out of Dehradun for the next day.
Mobile network is available within an hour into our drive from Agoda, as soon as we reach Uttarkashi.
Our community is an integral part of us and we take pride in our trekkers and climbers. When you complete at least three days on any trek or expedition with us, you become eligible for our membership and referral programs.
For us, a successful summit is not about reaching the highest point of a mountain but about making it safely back to base.
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