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Blogs on Mountains and Glaciers

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Mountains and Glaciers (Overview)

Mountains & Glaciers Nestled in the grandeur of the Himalayas. Uttarakhand is known as Dev Bhumi' or The Abode of the Gods. This explains why a good amount of Hindu and Buddhist lore finds its roots in the soil and soul of this region of breath-taking beauty, in the midst of lush forests, myriad wildlife and carpets of snow. These mountains aren't alone and find companionship with glaciers, which are like moving rivers of ice. Uttarakhand consists of several temperate valley glaciers that find their home in these mountains and are the source of many holy and life giving rivers of India. According to the glacial formations, two of the five traditional divisions of the Himalayan range are found in Uttarakhand, namely Garhwal and Kumaon. The major glacial formations of Garhwal include Bandarpunch,Doonagiri, Khatling. Gangotri and the Nanda Devi cluster of glaciers, while Kumaon consists of the Kaphni, Milam, Pindari and Ralam Glaciers. Mountaineering as an activity has been known to mankind since the first tryst with the mountains was made. Since time immemorial, seers have heen drawn to these mountains because they provide not only serene sheds of solitude, but their very sight uplifts the spirit and makes it soar, fulfilling the longing for the Infinite that is both beyond and yet within the human soul. The Himalayan mountains are no exception to this longing. It is with profound reason that Kalidas immortalized these mountains in the very first shloka of Kumarsambhava. He said, "astutryasyam dishi devatatma himalayo nama nagadhiraja, purva parau toya nidhi va gahya sthithiprithivyam eva man danda, Behold to the north lies the land of gods, and the lord of these mountains is called Himalaya, from the east to the west this reservoir of water stands like a measuring rod on the face of the earth. Holiday-makers can make the most of these mountains which are a playground for many an enjoyable holiday activity. Trekking, high altitude camping, mountain biking, rock climbing and skiing in the winter months are some of the many holiday activities offered, and the State Tourism Board is doing all it can to make Uttarakhand the adventure capital of the country, Nature- lovers and photographers can invigorate their passion with the plush flora and fauna of this kingdom of nature that boasts of thousands of species, some of which can only be found in this lap of the world. The importance of eco-friendly diversity has been noted and this is why forest institutes in the region promote the learning and discovery of new species with an emphasis on the preservation of existing ones. The snow-capped peaks of the mountains that surround this region make a profound impression, connecting the spirit of man and the spirit of the mountain. The beauty of Garwhal is said by many to be unsurpassed where mountains and valleys, birds and animals all come together to mingle in delightful synchronicity. Courtesy : UTDB

15-Mar-2018
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Nanda Devi East

Nanda Devi East Resting majestically in the Garhwal Himalayas is a two-peaked massif that forms a long high ridge leaning east to west, known as Nanda Devi. The Nanda Devi East Peak is part of this, and together with the West Peak, they form the twin peaks of the Goddess Nanda. A barrier ring guards the main summit, within which can be found some of the highest mountains in the Indian Himalayas, and Nanda Devi East is one of them. Twelve peaks surpass 6,400 metres in height, further enriching its sanctified standing as the daughter of the Himalayas, according to local legend and myth. The heart of the insurmountable ring is the Nanda Devi Sanctuary which is protected as the Nanda Devi National Park. Nanda Devi East lies on the eastern edge of the ring and of the Park; at the border of Chamois, Pithoragarh and Bageshwar districts. The Nanda Devi West Peak towers at 7,817 metres and is the second highest in the country. Expedition-style climbs are best made in the months of May, June, September and October. Courtesy : UTDB

16-Mar-2018
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Panchachuli Peaks

Panchachuli At the end of the eastern Kumaon region, in the Pithoragarh district near Munsiyari, lies a group of five snow-capped Himalayan peaks known as Panchachuli. The name for this fantastic cluster of mountains I derived from the legendary Pandavas. "Five Chilis, cooking hearths), where they prepared their lastmealbefore proceeding toward their heavenly abode. These mountains are elevated at incredible heights, ranging from 6,334 metres to 6,904 metres, and form the watershed between the Gori and the Darmaganga valleys. Panchachuli is also located on the Gori Ganga-Lassar Yankti divide. The highest peak in this group is Panchachuli II, which was first scaled by an Indo-Tibetan Border Police expedition in 1972. These snowy peaks make for excellent mountain expeditions and the best months to scale these summits are April, May, September and October. The Panchachuli peaks are an important element of many a trekker'sitineraries as well. There are two routes one can take to get to Panchachuli. One is the eastern approach via the Meola and Sona Glaciers, and the other is the western approach which trails the route through the Uttar Balati Glacier via the Balati Plateau. The five peaks of Panchachuli produce a haunting vision of the Him Khand and Yuli Rivers that are wonderfully rimmed with deodar forests and luxuriant alpine meadows. Nestled in the lap of Panchachuli's snow-capped peaks lies the Darma Valley, which is blessed with picturesque splendour. Courtesy : UTDB

17-Mar-2018
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Trishul Parvat

Trishul Parvat Named after the trident of Lord Shiva, Trishul is the name given to the three imposing peaks of western Kumaon near the Bageshwar district. The main peak, Trshulis notable for being the is ver 7.122 metres to have ever been climbed way back in 1907. Trishul Il and Trishul IlI were first climbed in 1960 by a Yugoslav team from the Bidalgwar Glacier, scaling the supreme heights of Trishul I1 from the southern ridge and Trishul IIl from the northern ridge. Before ski tourism gained popularity as a winter sport in Auli, Trishul was amongst the few peaks that were used as training spots for ski-equipped patrolling officers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force. to scale the peak in 1958 took the Mountaineers for whole days to climb and a mere 90 minutes to ski down to their base camp. The gorgeous Roopkund Lake It is reported that an expedition rests at the bottom of these slopes, which is also known as the Mystery Lake since around 600-odd skeletal remains of horses and humans were once found here The best views of Trshul are to be seen from Kausani and Bedini Bugyal. Courtesy : UTDB

01-Mar-2018
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Chaukhamba

Chaukhamba One of the chief mountain massifs in the Gangotri cluster of mountains in the Garhwal Himalayas is the magnificentChaukhamba peak. Chaukhambaliterally means four pillarsand its four impressive peaks hover at an elevation of 7,138 metres, 7,088 metres, 6,995 metres and 6,854 metres respectively. The highest peak in the group is Chaukhamba I that lies precisely on top of the Gangotri Glacier and forms the eastern connection of the group. Excellent views of the Chaukhamba can be seen from a place called Guptakashi and the Vasuki Tal Lake that is situated at an altitude of 4,150 metres above sea level. The Gangotri Glacier begins on its western slopes and is one of the largest in the Himalayas. The slopes of Chaukhamba are ideal for major mountaineering expeditions and the best months for climbing are June, July, August and September. The Shivling Peak is also an important part of this group. Courtesy : UTDB

07-Feb-2018
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Shivling Peak

Shivling The lofty Shivling Peak is perhaps one of the most imposing peaks in the Garhwal Himalayas, positioned at an altitude of 6,543 metres. The Shivling is also known as the 'Mahadev ka Linga . This mountain is an important one in the Himalayan mountain range and can be accessed through the Chaturangi Vamak route The mountain actually has two summits and rises like a pyramid above the snout of the Gangotri Glacier. Its impressive appearance has often been compared to the Matterhorn in the Alps. Between Gaumukh and Shivling, is the mesmerizing Tapovan meadow which is also a well-known pilgrimage site. The Shivling Peak is surrounded by rocky terrain on three sides. The west side of the peak slopes moderately and this is where snow accumulates. It forms the western gateway for the lower Gangotri Glacier and is a popular climbing peak today, owing to its easy accessibility. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport and the nearest railway station is Rishikesh. Courtesy : UTDB

01-Feb-2018
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Swargarohini Peak

In the Bandarpunch Range of the Garhwal Himalayas i mountain massif. Located in the Uttarkashi District, it is situated on the west side of the Gangotri group of peaks. Comprising three individual peaks, Swargarohini I don’t boast of a great height in the Himalayan range and is definitely not the highest in the Bandarpunch Range. However, it is known for its incredible local relief that makes for a very steep and challenging climb. The best months to climb are May, June and September. The north side of the peak drops 2,000 metres in less than 2 kilometres of horizontal distance. The southern face accomplishes the same astounding drop in less than 3 kilometres. The east summit is elevated at 6,247 1 metres slightly lower than the west summit. This snow-capped peak is the source of the Tons River and along with the Bandarpunch massif, acts as a barrier between the Yamuna and the Bhagirathi Rivers. It is accessible from Badrinath and after a challenging 32 kilometre trek, one can reach the base camp of this peak. According to local folklore and myth, it is believed that this peak apparently served as the stairway to heaven (Indralok) when the Pandavas went directly to heaven from Har Ki Dun. Courtesy : UTDB

17-Mar-2018
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Bhagirathi Peak

In the Garhwal Himalayas e the magnificent Bhagirathi group of three soaring peaks Bhagirathi 1, Bhagirathi Il and Bhagirathi III, reaching heights of 6,856 metres, 6,512 metres, and 6,454 metres respectively. The highest peak of the imposing Bhagirathi cluster forms an elaborate and topographically complex massif. It stands awe inspiring and dominates the end of the valley leading up to Gaumukh, which marks the end of the Gangotri Glacier and the source of the holy River Ganga Bhagirathi is also the name given to the upper part of the Ganga. Both the mountain and the river are said to be named after King Bhagirath, who supposedly coerced Goddess Ganga to descend from the heavens in the form of a raging torrent as an answer to his severe and unwavering austerities. The Bhagirathi Glacier in the upper Alaknanda basin, along with other glaciers like the Satopanth Glacier, is the source of the River Alaknanda. These glaciers are located at a distance of 17 kilometres from the renowned temple of Badrinath, in the district of Chamoli. They begin in the Chaukhamba and Badrinath cluster of peaks, which separate them from the Gangotri group of glaciers Bhagirathi can be reached from Joshimath in the sub-division of Chamoli, by following the Badrinath and Mana motorable road. From the village of Mana, the route trails thepath of the River Alaknanda. A 145-metre waterfall known as Vasundhara lies on the right bank of the Alaknanda and is perched at a height of 3,250 metres. Major mountain expeditions can be enjoyed in the months of May, June and September. Courtesy : UTDB

17-Mar-2018
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Gaumukh Glacier

The Gaumukh Glacier is the source of the Holy Ganga and is therefore held in special regard by devout pilgrims. It is an 18-kilometre walk from the Gangotri Glacier. Measuring 8 kilometres by 24 kilometres, it is the source of the River Bhagirathi, which joins the Alaknanda River to form the Ganga at Devprayag, from where the river flows 2,480 kilometres into the Bay of Bengal, nourishing the life and culture of the Indo-Gangetic plain. The place at which the Gangotri Glacier terminates is said to d Gaumukh (gau meaning cow, and mukh meaning face). About 18 kilometres from Gangotri lies Gaumukh, which is said to be the exact source of the River Bhagirathi. Courtesy : UTDB

20-Mar-2018
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Pindari Glacier

The best known trekking route in the Kumaon Himalayas has to be the Pindari Glacier in Bageshwar district. This glacier is located in the lovely Pindar Valley and the trek to Pindari Glacier has a plethora to offer in terms of the grandeur of the Himalayas, with its unimaginable flora and fauna, pure cascading waterfalls and snowy mountain ranges. At an altitude of 3,627 metres, the Pindari Glacier is flanked by the Nanda Devi and Nandakot peaks. Pindari's rugged splendour offers a spectacular sight, especially for the trekker in love with nature in all its immaculate brilliance. The Pindari Glacier is an exhilarating experience with its magnificence spanning 5 kilometres in length, its snout 6 metres high and 2.5 metres wide. Above the snout, the glacier extends for about 3 kilometres in length and 300 400 metres in width between marvellous altitudes that range between 3,600 metres to 5,000 metres. All in all, it occupies an area of 339.39 square kilometres. To get there one has to take the road up to Saung that is accessible from Almora, Bageshwar and Kathgodam. From then on begins the 45-kilometre trek to the glacier. It follows the Pindar River to its source on the glacier. Other famous peaks that can be seen from here are Baljuri, Panwalidwar, Nanda Khat, Changuch and Nandakot. While enjoying the trek, one can visit the Kafni Glacier as well. The trekking route to the glacier navigates along the southern backwoods of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary offering some stunning views of peaks like Panwali Dwar and Maiktoli. On the trek to the Pindari Glacier, one will find a variety of waterfalls, hanging valleys and undulating hills. Courtesy : UTDB

21-Mar-2018
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Neelkanth Peak

Popularly known as the Queen of Garhwal, Neelkanth is a beautiful snowy peak towering above the holy town of Badrinath. The history of Central Garhwal would remain unfinished without mentioning this peak of supreme splendour and exquisiteness. The elegant Neelkanth borders the Nar-Narayan range of mountains and is abundant in all the beautiful gifts Nature has to offer. This snowy mountain lies at an altitude of 6,597 metres and looks upon the Badrinath shrine. Neelkanth is a sought-after destination for devout pilgrims. Courtesy : UTDB

24-Mar-2018
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Dayara Bugyal

One of the most beautiful places in Uttarakhand has to be Dayara Bugyal. In the local language, bugyal means "high altitude meadow". At an elevation that ranges between 10,000-12,000 feet, this vast meadow is second to none in natural beauty in Uttarakhand. Spread over an area of 28 square kilometres, Dayara Bugyal offers some of the best ski slopes in India during winter. Camping by Lake Barnala Tal makes for a memorable experience. The road to Dayara Bugyal branches off near Bhatwari, a place on the Uttarkashi-Gangotri road, about 28 kilometres from Uttarkashi. Vehicles can go up to the village of Barsu. Dayara can be reached via an 8-kilometre trek or via village Raithal, 10 kilometres from Bhatwari.

01-Mar-2018
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Khalia Top

At 11,500 feet, overlooking Munsiyari, Khalia Top is the divine address of a gorgeous alpine meadow engulfed by snow-laden peaks. Breathtaking views of the Himalayas can be seen from this hilltop with the nearby peaks of Panchachuli, Rajrambha, Hardeval, Nandakot and Nanda Devi dotting the view. Surrounded by dense forests, it gives one an enchanting view of snow-clad peaks, Khalia Top located 7 kilometres from Munsiyari in the Pithoragarh district. Besides trekking skiing is also a popular activity here. Betulidhar, Ralam, Milam and Namik Glaciers are some attractions close by. Khalia Top and Betulidhar are now well-known high altitude skiing zones. Trekkers can take pleasure in the experience of the snow line on a trek to Khalia. Regular treks are conducted from March to June, and September until mid-November.

19-Mar-2018
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Om Parvat

As if stamped by the Gods who live in this extravagant Himalayan abode, the Om Parvat stands divinely majestic with the 'Om' symbol snowed beautifully into its crevices to create the sacred symbol. Located in the Kumaon Himalayas, Om Parvat is also known as Adi Kailash, Little Kailash, Baba Kailash, Chhota Kailash and Jonglingkong Peak. It is said to be slightly similar to Mount Kailash in Tibet. Located near the Sinla Pass, the gorgeous Parvati Lake and Jongling kong Lake are also in close proximity to the Om Parvat.

22-Mar-2018
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