21 Treks Around Char Dhams for Adventure Lovers

Char Dham Yatra is one of the most exhilarating and fulfilling pilgrimage treks of India. The Char Dhams, namely, Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath hold a special significance not just for religious and spiritual people but for adventure seekers too. 

Keeping the importance of Char Dhams in mind, we have compiled a list of treks that you can undertake around the four pilgrimage sites of the Char Dhams so that you get the best of not just the Char Dhams but its neighboring scenic spots.

List of Treks near Char Dhams - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri

Treks around Kedarnath

1. Vasuki Tal

Photo source: Ankit Gairola/Facebook
Close view of Vasuki Tal, Uttarakhand.

Trekking route: Gaurikund – Rambara – Garud ChattiKedarnathVasuki Tal

Situated 8kms ahead of Kedarnath, Vasuki Tal is a short trek which people visiting Kedarnath can easily take. The clear glacial lake gleams magically at an elevation of 4,135mts with beautiful Brahma Kapal and other Himalayan flowers blooming around it. 

If you start the trek from Kedarnath itself, then you’ll have to cover a distance of 8kms. You can also start the trek from Gaurikund which is a 24kms trek.

2. Painya Tal

Photo source Ankit Gairola/Facebook
View of Kedarnath valley from the trek route of Vasuki tal and Painya Tal.

Trekking route: Gaurikund – Rambara – Garur Chatti – Kedarnath – Vasuki Tal - Painya Tal

Trek 3 kms ahead of Vasuki Tal, you’ll come across Painya Tal, an undiscovered lake lying peacefully at an altitude of 4,400 mts. Painya Tal lies close to Mayali Pass. Reaching here requires you to traverse through steep cliffs which are quite exhausting. The lake, however, takes away all your exhaustion with its serene raw beauty.

3. Gandhi Sarovar

Photo: Debghosh 
This picture was clicked from the mesmerizing lake called Chorabarital or Gandhi Sarovar. You can the rugged mountains, moraines, and the concrete road. The place itself is a Himalayan Wonder

Trekking route: Gaurikund – Kedarnath – Gandhi Sarovar

Situated at the mouth of Chorabari Bamak glacier, Gandhi Sarovar is a small crystal clear lake, also known as Chorabari Tal. Gandhi Sarovar lies at the foot of Kedarnath and Kirthi Stambh peak at an elevation of 3,900mts.

Gandhi Sarovar trek is just a 4 kms trek from Kedarnath and a total of 18kms trek from Gaurikund.

4. Panwali Kantha

Village around Panwalikantha

Trekking route: Guttu – Gaurmanda – Panwali Kantha

Panwali Kantha trek is one of those treks that you wouldn’t want to miss out on. Situated at an elevation of 3,500mts, the meadows of Panwali Kantha offers you the rare view of the complete range of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath mountain peaks and a wide variety of flowering herbs and animals. 

The trek takes you through the seven bugyals/meadows of Panwali Kantha. The lush green meadows are a treat to the eyes in the summers while the same meadows covered in snow during winters look breathtaking.

Panwali Kantha is just 27kms from Kedarnath. The trekking begins from Guttu and after a trek of 18kms amidst a captivating landscape, you reach Panwali Kantha.

Treks around Badrinath

1. Vasudhara Falls

Vasudhara waterfalls near Badrinath.

Trekking route: Mana village – Saraswati temple – Vasudhara Falls

Situated just 6kms from Badrinath, Vasudhara Falls is a ravishing waterfall plunging from a height of 122mts and set at an elevation of 3,658mts. The 5kms trek starts from Mana village and goes through Saraswati temple. From Vasudhara Falls, you’ll be able to see the stunning views of Chaukhamba, Neelkantha, and Balakun's peak, also known as Alakapuri.

2. Satopanth Lake trek

Satopanth Lake

Trekking route: Mana – Chakratirtha – Satopanth Lake

Satopanth Lake is a crystal clear glacial green lake worshipped as a holy and a mystical lake. The triangular lake is situated at an elevation of 4,600mts amidst mountain peaks decorated with snow. Located 14kms from the town of Badrinath, the Satopanth Lake trek is moderately difficult which challenges you at times. 

However, the trails and the views of Chaukhamba, Neelkanth, and Satopanth among other peaks make the journey worthwhile.

3. Alkapuri glacier

Alkapuri Glacier, near Badrinath Uttarakhand.

Trekking route: Mana villageAlkapuri Glacier

Alkapuri glacier is an enormous glacier situated at the base of Balakun peak at an elevation of 4,600mts. The glacier is the source of the Alaknanda River and spreads into two valleys leading to Satopanth and Gaumukh. Alkapuri Glacier trek is suitable for anyone who loves mountains and traversing through a Himalayan crevasse. 

The glacier lies out 15kms from Badrinath and a 12kms trek from Mana village takes you to this magnificent place.

4. Valley of Flowers

 Anirudh Biroria via euttaranchal facebook
Valley of flowers on a sunny day.

Trekking route: GovindghatGhangariaValley of Flowers

The Valley of Flowers is one of the most sought after trekking destinations of Uttarakhand. With its wide variety of exquisite Himalayan flora and diverse fauna, the Valley of Flowers is a bouquet of nature. Valley of Flowers is a national park and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Covering an expanse of 87.50 km2, Valley of Flowers is a trek that you must take at least once. 

It is situated 25 kms from Badrinath and the trek starts from Govindghat. From Govindghat, you’ll trek for 17kms to Valley of Flowers. You can easily hire taxis till Govindghat from Badrinath.

5. Hemkund Sahib

Sacred Hemkunt Sahib Ji Gurudwara and Lake, Chamoli Garhwal, Uttarakhand

Trekking route: Govindghat – Ghangaria – Hemkund Sahib

Hemkund Sahib is a gurudwara dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh located at an elevation of 4,632mts located by the crystal clear lake. Hemkund means ‘lake of snow’ and the pristine water of this lake is as cold as snow. The enchanting view of Hemkund Sahib surrounded by seven mountain peaks, each peak with the Sikh triangular flag, Nishan Sahib in its cliff is bound to make you spellbound.

Hemkund Sahib lies 13kms from Badrinath and the trek starts from Govindghat. From Govindghat, you’ll have to trek for 21kms to reach Hemkund Sahib.

Treks on the route of Kedarnath and Badrinath

1. Chopta- Tunganath- Chandrashila Trek

Tungnath temple in Chopta after fresh snowfall of 2018 winters

Trekking route: ChoptaTunganath Chandrashila

Tunganath temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the sacred Panch Kedars. Situated at an elevation of 3,680mts, Tunganath Temple is the highest temple of Lord Shiva. The temple stands tall at Chandranath Parvat.

Ahead of Tungnath, at a short gradient of 1.5 kms lies Chandrashila peak, standing tall at an elevation of 4,000mts.

The Chandrashila Tunganath Trek is one of the most popular treks of Uttarakhand. The picturesque trail of the trek and the exhilarating view of the snow-capped mountains with peaks like Kedarnath Dome, Chaukhamba, Trishul, and Nanda Devi surrounding you, all lead to an extraordinary experience.

The base camp for Chandrashila Tunganath Trek is Chopta, a beautiful scenic hamlet with its own charm.

2.Deoria Tal

Trekking route: Sari villageDeoria Tal

The emerald lake situated at an elevation 2,438mts provides you an experience of two worlds- one being the pristine beauty of the flora, fauna, and the surrounding mountain peaks, and the other being the mesmerizing reflections of the surrounding in the crystal clear water of the lake, the most prominent one being of the Chaukhamba peak

Since Deoria Tal falls under the Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary, you will get to see animals strolling around the lake early in the morning.

Treks around Gangotri

1. Bhojbasa Trek

Bhojbasa view - it is situated on the way to Gangotri.

Trekking route: GangotriBhojbasa

Bhojbasa is a picturesque location lying 14kms from Gangotri. The rugged terrains and the rough barren land alongside the Bhagirathi River give Bhojbasa a raw feel to it. Since Bhojpbasa is located on the way to Gaumukh Glacier, which lies 4 kms ahead of it, temporary accommodation facilities are plenty in Bhojbasa.

If you are feeling adventurous after visiting Gangotri and want to advance further, then Bhojbasa is the spot trek for you.

2. Gaumukh

Gaumukh Glacier, Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand)

Trekking route: Gangotri – Bhojbasa – Gaumukh

Gaumukh is the snout of Gangotri Glacier and the source of the Bhagirathi River. The snout resembles the shape of a cow’s head and hence the name ‘Gaumukh’. Gaumukh is just 4kms from Bhojbasa and goes through rocky terrains. Mount Shivling looks exhilarating from Gaumukh.

3. Tapovan

Summit of Bhagirathi as seen from Tapovan

Trekking route: Gangotri – Bhojbasa – Gaumukh – Tapovan

Located at an elevation of 4,463mts, Tapovan is a famous trekking destination at the foot of the Shivling peak. Tapovan serves as the base camp for treks to Shivling peak, Bhagirathi peak, etc. The large meadows, gushing streams, and wild floras set amidst the majestic Himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi, Bhagirathi peak, etc. 

Tapovan is located just 5kms from Gaumukh glacier.

4. Gangotri Glacier Trek

Bharals on a dry river bed overlooking the snow peaks.

Trekking route: Gangotri – Bhojbasa – Gaumukh – Gangotri Glacier  

The 30kms long and 4kms wide Gangotri glacier is one of the largest glaciers in the Himalayas and one of the primary sources of Ganges. Goumukh is the terminus of the Gangotri Glacier and the Goumukh-Gangotri trek is undertaken by many pilgrims who visit Gangotri temple and by adventure seekers who wish to trek to this magnificent glacier.

5. Kedartal

Kedar Tal Lake close view.

Trekking route: Gangotri – Bhojkharak – Kedar Kharak – Kedartal

Kedartal, which is also known as Shiva’s Lake is a glacial lake situated at an elevation of 4,750mts. The 18kms trek from Gangotri is an adventurous and a difficult one. From Kedartal, you’ll be able to see Mt. Gangotri, Mt. Thalaysagar, Mt. Bhrigupanth, and Mt. Jogin right in front of you. 

The views from Kedartal and the view while trekking towards Kedartal is one of the best with mountain peaks, high altitude pastures, and magnificent pine forests accompanying you as you move further.

 6. Dodital with Darwa Top/Pass Trek

Dodital Lake and Snow

Trekking route: Sangam ChattiAgoda – Bebra – Manjhi – DoditalDarwa Top

Situated at an elevation of 3,010mts, Dodital is an emerald lake lying amidst dense oak, pine, and deodar forests. Unlike other treks mentioned above, for Dodital trek doesn’t start off from Gangotri. It’s an interesting trek near Gangotri, which starts from Sangam Chatti. Sangam Chatti to Dodital is a 22kms trek traversing through dense oak, deodar, and rhododendron trees.

A 10 kms trek from Dodital will take you to Darwa Pass, situated at an elevation of 4,150mts. Darwa Pass offers you mesmerizing views of the Himalayan horizon with peaks like Banderpoonch Massif distinctively visible from the top.

7. Shivling Base Camp Trek

Lord Shiva shivling in the foreground and Mount Shivling in the backdrop. It is a place in Gangotri valley Where man meets God and God meets Earth.

Trekking route: Gangotri – Bhojwassa – Gaumukh – Tapovan – Meru Glacier – Nandanvan – Vasuki Tal – Bhojwassa

Mount Shivling is one of the most sacred peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas soaring at an elevation of 6,543mts. It is a difficult trek which starts from Gangotri and goes through Gaumukh, Tapovan, Meru Glacier, Nandanvan, and Vasuki Tal, all of which offer spectacular views and a terrain worth exploring.

8. Sat Tal Harsil Trek

Beautuful Harsil valley.

Trekking route: HarsilDharali villageSat Tal

Sat Tal is a cluster of seven beautiful high altitude natural lakes located near the town of Harsil. Harsil is located just 25kms from Gangotri and the trek begins from Dharali village which is located about 2kms from Harsil. The 3 kms trek towards Sat Tal is an easy one which goes through a picturesque landscape. 

All the lakes are close to each other and the view is refreshing to the soul.

Treks around Yamunotri

1. Ruinsara Tal

Distant View of Dev Thatch and Ruinsara Valley

Trekking route: Sankri TalukaOslaHar Ki Doon – Debshu Bugyal – Ruinsara TalBali PassYamunotri

Located at an elevation of 3,500mts at the foot of Mt.Kalanag, Ruinsara Tal is a clear water lake surrounded by wildflowers and alpine pastures. The trek to Ruinsara Tal passes through Har ki Dun Valley, famous for its scenic landscape, and Bali Pass, which is also known as Yamunotri pass. To the south-west of Ruinsara Tal, lies Yamuna Kanta, which is the pass leading to Yamunotri.


Khatling Shahasratal Trek

Trekking route: Guttu – Reeh – Gangi – Kharsali – Bhedikharag – Khatling glacier

Khatling glacier is a lateral glacier perched at an elevation of about 4,000mts. The glacier is the source of Bhilangna River which is one of the major tributaries of Bhagirathi River. To the west of the glacier lies Sahastratal and to the east of the glacier lies Masartal and Vasuki Tal. The trek to Khatling glacier is a hard one suitable for adventure seekers with good fitness level.

Khatling glacier is 20kms from Kedarnath and 19kms from Gangotri.

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