The Satopanth and Bhagirath Kharak glaciers are located at the head of Alaknanda Valley in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Both Satopanth glacier (13 m) and Bhagirath Kharak glacier (18.5 m) have an average width of 750-850 metres. These glaciers sprawl over an area of 21.17 and 31.17 square km respectively. The eastern slopes of Chaukhamba group of peaks feed the ice to these glaciers. The towering peaks raging from 5,288 to 7,068 metres are snow-clad during winters. These two glaciers are separated by a linear ridge. Both the glaciers have a sinuous course as their paths are obstructed by a number of spurs. The ablation zones of both the glaciers are covered by a thick layer of debris and their snouts are located at 3858 m and 3796 m above sea level. The Alaknanda River originates from Satopanth glacier and meets Uttar Ganga upstream to Alkapuri. At Mana, Alaknanda meets Saraswati River and there onwards it drains in the Badrinath basin. The enchanting Vasudhara Fall is located on the route of these glaciers.
How to Reach:
These glaciers can be accessible from Joshimath in the Chamoli sub-division, by following the Badrinath and Mana (3,128 m) motorable road. The route follows the course of Alaknanda River from Mana village. One can savour the views of the cascading Vashudhara waterfall (145 km) which lies on the right bank of Alaknanda River at an elevation of 3,250 metres. The snout of the glaciers opens at about 5 km upwards Vasudhara. About 2 km down the valley, the left bank of the river is suitable for pitching tents. One can reach the Satopanth Glacier and Bhagirathi-Kharak Glacier in summers only.