Uttarakhand is the land of glaciers and ice. This state is home to some of the most remarkable collection of Glaciers which is the source of most of the river waters in India. There are around 1,439 glaciers in all and some of these are even open for visit by tourists and adventure seekers. Overall this glacier collection pans over an area of 14060 sq. km. and is divided into a number of glaciers and ranges. Apart from this these glaciers are also a significant source of the fresh water for the local population here who form their lives around these water bodies. Some of these ice boulders are not only an important place for thrill seeking adventurers but they also hold immense religious and spiritual significance and is frequented by devotees as a part of their pilgrimage. Here are some of the glaciers in Uttarakhand:
Bandar Poonch Glacier
Literally the name of this glacier translates into ‘monkey’s tail’, this glacier has found its mention in a number of Hindu mythologies. This magnificently snow-covered glacier is one of the most fascinating treks that anybody could undertake in a lifetime. This glacier can be seen majestically atop the height of 6,316 metres above sea level. Nestled in incredible grandeur amidst the jagged peaks of Bandarpoonch 1, 2 and also the Kalanag or black peak. The snow melting from here feeds the rivers of ganga and Yamuna. One can visit this place during the months of March to October.
Deemed for being one of the holiest glaciers in India for being the source of Ganga River, which is also referred to as the Gaumukh glacier due to its shape like a distinct cow’s snout. This place is very well protected with strict regulations for visitors due to its relevance in the lives of devout Hindus. This place is reachable to avid trekkers and camping professionals which requires covering the entire route on a very rocky and challenging terrain, however the end result is completely worth every ounce of effort. The glacier in itself is 30 kms in length and 4 km in width and the visitors take away the fresh water from here which never goes bad even if you store it for years.
Visiting this glacier is on every traveler’s bucket list and lures adventure enthusiasts seeking to conquer the snow bound peaks. This glacier truly and very majestically stands out from the rest of the ice bodies in Uttarakhand and has also been lovingly given the reverence of the soul of Uttarakhand. Sitting atop the lap the of the scenic and panoramic valley of Pindar on an altitude of 3,660 metres above sea level this glacier is 3.2 km long and 1.5 km wide. The glacier is named after the river it feed i.e. the Pindar River. This river goes on to merge with river alaknanda in the Garhwal Himalayas. One can witness the amazing views of the Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot and Panwali Peaks.
Situated in close proximity to Joshimath on the lap of the Garhwal Himalayas visiting this delightful place is sure a treat for trekkers. Around 5.5 km in length this glacier is imperative and very vital for the Dhauli Ganga circuit of glaciers. This glacier is relatively easily accessible from the Juma village. The trek to the glacier starts from the gateway to Doonagiri village and the 12 km of walking expedition takes you all along the beautiful and scenic streams of Doonagiri. The beauty of the Bagni Glacier is also presented in a more exhilarating manner along this trekking route. Here one can set up camps which serve as the base for the entire trekking expedition. This place is best explored during the months of mid-May to mid-October months.
This has to be one of the most remarkable glaciers in india and especially the perfect destination for avid trekkers, adventure and even nature lovers. This amazing glacier is placed by the holy Gangotri glacier and is just as significant. This glacier is also the source for the river Bhilangana and represents a number of Hindu mythological and historical accounts. The entire Khatling glacier is naturally blessed with a very dramatic natural setting where you will be surrounded by snow on all sides and every step of the way. One will also be able to check out the peaks of Jogin Group, Barte Kauter and Sphetic Pristwar.
This glacier has also been termed as Chorabari Bamak Glacier and has found its name in the Garhwal Himalayan region. The dimensions of this glacier pans over 15 sq. km. in length and 7 kms in width. This glacier is located very close to the iconic and ancient shiva temple of Kedarnath which is also a vital part of the char dham yatra circuit of Uttarakhand. This glacier forms the source of not only river Mandakini but also for the high-altitude lake of Chorabari Tal. This is also another relatively easily covered treks in India and its journey’s gateway is served through son prayag.
Situated within the glorious district of Uttarkashi this particular glacier has also been referred to as the Dokriani Bamak by the locals of devbhoomi. Perched on top of an elevation of around 3,800 metres above sea level and originating on the northern slopes of the famous snow bound peaks of Draupadi ka Danda and Jaonli Peaks this glacier is a naturally occurring work of art. The stream of Dingad which is fed by the melting ice of the glacier whose area pans over an area of 5 kms in length is the major source for it. The ridges, valleys and gorges here are very lush and filled with impeccable thriving beauty which makes your visit here completely worth it.
This glacier is one of the most stunning and enchanting glaciers in the entire region of Uttarakhand and within the district of Chamoli. This glacier has found its home amidst the eastern slopes of the Chaukhamba Peaks and is a well-loved adventure tourist destination for nature lovers and travel enthusiasts. Satopanth glacier which feeds into the triangular holy lake of Satopanth Tal pans over a sprawling area of 13 kms and the entire trail is extremely enticing and beautiful. Alaknanda River’s source can be traced back to this glacier which goes on to merge with the upper Ganga stream.