Nelong Valley - The Ladakh of Uttarakhand

The much talked about Nelong Valley was finally opened for the tourist in 2015 and since then it has become one of the hot spots for the adventure buffs. It bears a striking resemblance to Ladakh and features high peaks having a similar climate and landscape to that of Lahaul, Spiti Valley, and Ladakh. 

The cold deserted mountain area of Nelong valley looks like a replica of Tibet in term of its geography. Since this valley falls under the Gangotri National Park, the travellers are not allowed to have an overnight stay, within the 25 km area between Bhairavghati and Nelong.

Why to choose Nelong Valley as your next travel destination?

The tempting cold desert of Nelong Valley is a treat to the wanderers as you can admire a 360-degree view the Tibetan Plateau along with the surreal unmatched landscape of the valley. Since Nelang valley was a former Indo-China trade route, you can find the relics of the old infrastructure such as the Gartang Galion wooden bridge and the Lal Devta temple. If lucky, you can also spot some of the endangered wildlife species such as the musk deer, snow leopard, Bharal or the Himalayan blue sheep. 

Some Important Guidelines for Tourists

To visit the amicable Nelong Valley you need to take the permit from the sub-divisional magistrate and produce a fitness certificate proving that you are physically sound for the trip. As per the guidelines of the State Forest Department, personal vehicles are prohibited here and only 6 Forest Department vehicles, carrying four people each are allowed to enter inside the valley. As for now, only Indian tourists are allowed here.

Best  Time to Visit Nelong Valley: The Nelong Valley remains open from May to November so you can plan your travel accordingly.

History of Nelong Valley

The arduous Nelong Valley cradled near the India-China border was closed for the civilians after the 1962 Sino-Indian war. However, it was opened in 2015 for the civilians. This route was once a part of the ancient Indo-Tibetan trade but after the 1962 war, the inhabitants of the Nelong Valley namely Rongpas also known as 'Bhotiyas' were forced to migrate to Bagori village, nestled in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. 

When the locals evacuated the place, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police checkpoints were set up in the villages. One can still see the remnants of the ancient trade route, including the vital narrow wooden bridge erected along the gorge.

Location of Nelong Valley

Nelong Valley is perched at an average elevation of 11,009 feet above sea level and is located 45 km before the Indo-Tibetan border. It falls within the Gangotri National Park in Uttarkashi district and can be easily accessed from Dehradun. The Nelong Valley can be approached from Bhairon Ghati or Bhairav Ghati which is only 24 km from here and about 100 km from Uttarkashi town. 

How to Reach Nelong Valley

By Road: Nelong valley is the best-kept secret of Uttarkashi district. This irresistible valley is situated near Harsil and is well connected by motorable roads to like Dehradun, Rishikesh and Haridwar. On reaching Bhairav Ghati, the Forest Department jeep will take you to Nelong Valley. 

You can hire cab or take a shared vehicle in early morning from here and reach Bhairo Ghati that is few kilometres away from the Gangotri shrine. Then, hire forest department provided gypsies from Bhairo Ghati to Nelong Valley.

By Rail: The nearest railheads are in Rishikesh and Haridwar. Early morning, you can hire a taxi from Rishikesh railway station to Bhairav Ghati, located a few km away from Gangotri shrine. 

By Air: Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun is the closest airport to Nelong Valley. Dehradun is roughly 315 km away from this valley. Taxis and bus services are available from this airport.

Note: Nelong valley is also known as Nelang Valley.

  • Since Nelong Valley was opened to tourists in 2015 after almost 60 years, the foreigners are still restricted to visit this sensitive region due to security concerns.
  • As of now, camping and staying at Nelang Valley for overnight is not allowed in Nelong Valley. The maximum of 6 vehicles with 4 occupants each is allowed inside the Nelang Valley daily. 
  • The majestic Nelong Valley remains open for tourists and adventure seekers from month of May to November. 
  • As of now, a permit letter is required to visit the valley from a sub-divisional magistrate. However, these regulations are soon expected to ease over time.

Nelong Valley is famous for?

Nelong Valley is famous among tourist as Roadtrip, Sightseeing.

Nelong Valley is recommended destination for Foreigners, Groups, Solo.

Nelong Valley is popular destination for following activities/ interests - Adventure, Biking, Emerging Destinations.

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