Kalindi Khal Trek is an extremely challenging expedition-style traverse of the Kalindi Khal Pass in spectacular Garhwal Himalayas connecting Gangotri and Badrinath. The route involves a trek over rough glaciers, rocky screens, and crevassed snowfields. At times we need to rope up and require the use of ice axes and crampons. Kalindi Khal trek takes you halfway round Garhwal from the Bhagirathi Valley to the Alaknanda Valley. The journey en route Kalindi Khal unfolds views of some of the highest and most majestic peaks of the Indian Himalayan range - Shivling at 6,543 m, Meru at 6,630 m, Kedar Dome at 6,808 m, Bhagirathi group at 6,856 m, Nilkantha at 6,506 m, Chandra Parvat at 6,728 m, Avalanche Peak at 6,413 m, Kamet at 7,756 m Mana at 7,272 m and Abi Gamin at 7,355 m. Although prior climbing experience is not required, this trip is one of our most demanding treks suited to only those who want to join a reconnaissance style expedition. Additional note for Foreign Nationals - Due to ILP (Inner Line Permit) requirements, we need a minimum of 4 foreign nationals in the group. In case you are booking for yourself as an individual or in a group smaller than 4 and you are not Indian nationals, please consider the risk of batch cancellation in the event of less than 4 foreign nationals in the batch. We will wait till 2 months prior to departure and if we do not have a minimum of 4 foreign nationals’ booking in the group, we will cancel and issue refunds for all foreign nationals’ bookings. This does not apply to any Indian nationals.
Arrive in Gangotri
The only way to reach Gangotri is by road. You should reach by 3 PM. One can start the road journey either from Dehradun or Rishikesh but with a new route open now, reaching Gangotri via Dehradun is the faster option (around 242 Kms). You will receive the detail of accommodation in Gangotri through an email from us. After reaching here, check into the Guest House/Hotel. Have some rest. The evening can be utilized to explore the local market, temples, etc.
Rest & Acclimatisation in Gangotri
Rest and Acclimatization in Gangotri.
Gangotri to Bhojwasa (12,467 ft) - 14 km
We start in the morning, after breakfast to trek towards Chirbasa (3600 m). From Gangotri, you may move along the beaten track towards Chirbasa, which is on the tree line. The entire trek till Chirbasa is along the roaring Bhagirathi River. We can have our pack lunch in Chirbasa. From Chirbasa, we trek further to Bhojwasa today. The trek is going to be moderate for the day. The terrain, after Chirbasa, becomes really desolate and barren. In fact, it has been referred to as Arctic Tundra by many trekkers. The entire trail passes through the dense forest till Bhojwasa. There is a small temple and a potential campsite near the river. Good place to camp for the day. Excellent sunset on Bhagirathi group of peaks to delight you in the evening.
Bhojwasa to Tapovan (14,632 ft) via - Gomukh (12,795 ft) - 13 km
Early in the Morning enjoy the panoramic view of the Bhagirathi group of peaks. After breakfast trek to Gomukh (3890mt), the source of the Ganges. Gomukh is where the water of Ganga trickles down from the glaciers. The sages called it 'Gomukh' because, in the distant past, it probably appeared like a cow's mouth. Explore the area and trek to Tapovan, one of the finest high altitude alpine meadows in the area. The trek from Gomukh to Tapovan is ascent steep, and as we climb, the view of the surrounding peaks becomes clearer. Tapovan known for its beautiful meadows that encircle the base camp of the Shivling peak, Tapovan is a very pleasant surprised spot with a large meadow complete with bubbling streams, wildflowers, and campsites. Herds of Bharal (blue mountain goats) are a common sight from here on mountain ridges. On the far side of the glacier the Bhagirathi I, II, III (6454mt), provide an equally impressive backdrop. It is also the little wonder where Sadhus and saints choose this spot for extended meditation during the long summer month. Arrive Tapovan and camp. Dinner and overnight stay in camp.
Tapovan to Nandanvan (14,271 ft) via Meru Glacier - 8 km
On this day we start early & head to the great Meru Glacier. After a brief halt to explore Meru Glacier, we trace back to Nandanvan via Gomukh glacier. The route from Tapovan leads from the upper section of the meadow till down and onto the glacier. From Gomukh turn towards Nandanvan (4340m) and steering on right one will be on top of the Gangotri glacier. The glacier runs between two ranges and the landslides make a layer of rocky moraine on the ice which makes the walking easier. The glacier walk is very slippery and a slight lack of concentration would be dangerous. Huge crevasses gaped here and there. After walking for about a kilometer there is a vertical ascent. Big rocks en route offer grips and footholds but many of them are deceptive too. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Nandanvan to Vasuki Tal (16,010 ft) - 6 km
Morning trek along with Chaturangi Glacier to reach Vasuki Tal, a beautiful base for Mt Satopanth and Mt Vasuki Parbat with a small lake. The trek is steady upward.
Rest & Acclimatization at Vasuki Tal
Rest and Acclimatization Day at Vasuki Taal
Vasuki Tal to Khara Patthar (17,060 ft) - 6 km
Today's trek is of 6 hrs duration. View of Mount Sathopanth makes the whole experience worthwhile. It is one of the only two 7000+ meter peaks in India.
Khara Patthar to Sweta Glacier (17,880 ft) - 8 km
Today's trek is of relatively short duration. The campsite is a moraine area filled with rocks and boulders, not an ideal campsite but is a must for acclimatization purpose.
Sweta Glacier to Kalindi Base Camp (18,569 ft) - 6 km
We will start our day early today. It's a short walk but since most of the trek will be in moraine area it's always good to have time in hand. On the way is Chatrungi Glacier which got its name because of 4 colors (pink, yellow, brown, green) as are visible at this place. This glacial flow from this glacier forms major tributary for Gangotri Glacier. Camping site for today is Kalindi Bhamak which is close to the snout of Kalindi Glacier. Kalindi Khal/Pass is just up ahead an opening between Avalanche and Kalindi Peak.
Kalindi Base Camp to Rajaparav (16,076 ft) via Kalindi Khal (19,488 ft) - 13 km
Today's the D Day and everybody should be up and ready early in the morning. Climb to the pass is not easy by any standard and hence a continuous pace is required till we reach the pass. Once you reach the pass you will realize that all the toil and hard work was worth every second. You will get spectacular views of Mt Kamet, Mt. Mana, Chandra Parbat, Vasuki Parbat and on a clear day a view of Tibetan Plateau as well. We will camp at Raj Parav today after crossing the glacial terrain.
Rajaparav to Arwa Tal (14,763 ft) - 13 km
A long walk on glacier terrain leads to Arwa Tal.
Arwa Tal to Badrinath (9,842 ft) via roadhead at Ghastoli (12,467 ft) - 12 km
After a long walk through the moraines we will reach Ghastoli today. On the way you will see terrain changing dramatically from grey to green a you get closet to Ghastoli. Ghastoli is a beautiful meadow and a treat for the eyes. Drive down the Mana Pass road to Badrinath.
Badrinath to Dehradun - 295 km drive
We will board a vehicle for Dehradun. The drive to Dehradun is along the Alaknanda till Devprayag where it meets the Ganges. Board overnight Bus for Delhi from Dehradun.
This day will only be used if the need arises during the trek due to bad weather or unforeseen circumstances. You are advised to keep a buffer day in your travel plan. If the buffer day is used, you have to pay us Rs. 4500 per day (INR) +5% GST / per person. The amount will be collected by the Trek Leader.
Click here for packing list.
September or October
Kalindi Khal is made only for experienced trekkers who want to test their limits. The challenges faced in the trek should not be underestimated. You should attempt this trek only If you have already done a trek that climbs to 4700-5000 metres. It is recommended not to opt this trek if you cannot get acclimatized in high altitudes. Besides you need to have a strong physical endurance to complete this trek. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale
A basic mountaineering course is recommended though not mandatory in case of highly experienced & skilled trekkers. At least 2-3 challenging treks along with 20 – 25 total trekking days in the Himalayas. Medical fitness certificate from CMO of a recognized hospital.
Jog/Run for 5 Kms in 25-30 mins Or Walk continuously for 10 kms (with 3-4 small breaks) on plain terrain (slight incline is better) and
Hold your breath for 40 seconds and
3 sets of Climbing 30 – 40 steps in one stretch and
Push Ups – 10 and
Lunges & Squats – 15 X 2 sets
If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.
The starting point for Kalindi Khal expedition is Gangotri, around 500 km from Delhi.
Reach Gangotri By Air: At a distance of around 226 km from Gangotri is located the closest airport named Jolly Grant Airport. Situated in Dehradun, the airport has regular flights from India's capital city of Delhi. So, you can catch a flight to the airport and then you can hire a cab from there to reach the sacred town of Gangotri. Taxi or cab charges will cost you around Rs 4,000.
Reach Gangotri By Train: If you like travelling by train, you'll need to reach the Rishikesh railway station which is also the closest at 250 km from Gangotri. After arriving at the railway station, you'll see plenty of cabs ready to take you to your destination. You'll need to pay anywhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000 as cab charges.
Reach Gangotri By Road: The holy town of Gangotri is also well connected by road with all the popular tourist places in the state of Uttarakhand and outside the state. From places like Yamunotri, Mussoorie and Tehri, you can easily catch tourist buses to reach Gangotri. There are both private deluxe buses and state buses to reach the town.
The expedition ends at Badrinath. From Badrinath, Delhi is a 537 km road journey. Alternately, you can drive to Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun (311 km from Badrinath), which has flights connecting to Delhi, Lucknow and Mumbai.
Gangotri and Badrinath have coverage for all major networks.
Gangotri Temple: Gangotri, the origin of the River Ganges and seat of the goddess Ganga, is one of the four sites in the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. The original Gangotri Temple was built by the Nepalese general Amar Singh Thapa. The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga (the Ganges) from Devprayag onwards where it meets the Alaknanda.
Places to visit near the Gangotri Temple
Bhagirath Shila is believed to be the holy rock where King Bhagirath prayed to Lord Shiva.
Pandava Gufa, located 1.5 km from Gangotri, is the place where the Pandavas are believed to have meditated and rested en route Kailash. Pilgrims will have to trek up to the Pandava Gufa.
Badrinath: The Badrinath temple is the main attraction in the town. According to legend Shankar discovered a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda River. He originally enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs. In the sixteenth century, the King of Garhwal moved the murti to the present temple. The temple is approximately 50 ft (15 m) tall with a small cupola on top, covered with a gold gilt roof. The facade is built of stone, with arched windows. A broad stairway leads up to a tall arched gateway, which is the main entrance. The architecture resembles a Buddhist vihara (temple), with the brightly painted facade also more typical of Buddhist temples. Just inside is the mandapa, a large pillared hall that leads to the garbha grha, or main shrine area. The walls and pillars of the mandapa are covered with intricate carvings.
How to use an Ice Axe
How to use Climbing boots & Crampons
How to rope up & follow queued climbing/descending
How to self-arrest using an ice axe
Knowledge of Basic First aid
The minimum age limit is 13 years. However, minors aged between 13 to 17 should be accompanied with their parents or guardians. If you are above the age of 60, kindly carry a medical certificate from your doctor that deem you fit for adventure activities like trekking.
ID Proof (Soft Copy to be sent to us in Advance & original to be carried) and Medical Certificate (Soft Copy to be sent to us & original to be carried) are the mandatory documents required for this trek.
The pick up will be from Dehradun ISBT by 7am. The drop off location remains the same.
Expect to reach Dehradun by evening.
If you want to offload your rucksack, you will have to make a request for offloading a few days prior the trek through an email so that arrangement can be made in advance. You will be charged per day for offloading your rucksack. In case you decide to offload on the spot, you may have to pay a higher price than usual. However offloading your rucksack is not recommended since it is not a safe practice.
A team of participant will be led by a course certified trek leader and a local guide. All participants are requested to abide by what their leader says. There will also be a team of kitchen staff and porters on the trek. We maintain 1:8 ratio of trek leader and participants. All our trek leaders and staff have a certified training in first-aid and rescue operation.
It is not mandatory but it is more convenient with the pole. If you don’t want to buy one, you can rent it from us on minimal daily basis charges. You can request the renting link from us.
Gangotri has a reasonable size market but please do not leave anything for last minute buying.
Yes, it is absolutely safe for solo woman to travel in fix departures. Women on the trek will be sharing tent with each other. In case you are the only woman on the trek, you will be given a separate tent.
Yes, e-certificates will be given at the end of each trek provided that you completed it. It will bear your name, the trek, and the maximum altitude you achieved on the trek.
May and June: 15-10 deg celsius during the day and at night temperatures may drop to 5 deg celsius. Day temperatures in September will be around 7 deg celsius and at night temperatures will vary from 0-2 deg celsius.
Yes, there will be snow on the trek.
We provide 4 seasons tents by Gipfel for higher altitudes which can easily withstand heavy snowfall and storms. They are spacious enough to accomodate 3 people at once with a vestibule to place the backpacks. Our sleeping bags are made up of Heatseeker Pro synthetic insulation that can provide you comfort in -10 degrees celsius. We also use additional fleece liners to have thermal efficiency even in the extreme temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius. If you carry your own sleeping bag, you will get a cashback reward provided that you inform us as soon as you have booked your trek.
Toilet tents will be provided to you on the trek. These are portable toilets tents where a deep pit will be dug. A shovel will be provided inside the tent to cover the waste after you have made your business. You can take a toilet roll inside. Make sure you dig used toilet paper along with the waste. Though water is recommended in place of toilet paper. Please refrain from using wet wipes as they are non-biodegradable. There will be no facility for bathing on the trek. Go through our blog section for tips on how to maintain personal hygiene on treks.
You will be provided with good quality of gaiters and microspikes from us depending upon the situation of the snow. Our trek leaders will also be carrying ropes and ice axe.
Vegetarian food will be served throughout the trek. The only non-vegetarian item served on our treks are eggs. Our kitchen staff follows a proper menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner which has been designed in order to fulfil the nutritional requirements of the participants. There will be milk, poha, eggs, muesli/corn flakes, bread and butter served for breakfast. Rice or simple roti sabzi will be packed for lunch. In dinner, you will have dal, egg curry or any other vegetarian dish along with rice, roti, and a dessert item. Packed lunch will be provided to you on the days you are trekking. You are requested to carry your own tiffin box and a mug to consume food. The meals consumed on journey and arrival day are not included in our cost.
You can rent following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket, Rucksack.
On trekking days, all the trekkers will be accommodated in twin or triple sharing tents. Along with this, there will be also be a toilet tent and a dining tent installed at every campsite as we roll.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
Between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure
Less than 15 days of departure
No Cash Refund
Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
Cancellations less than 5 days prior to departure