Gartang Gali Trek in Harsil

Gokeys Haridwar
3 min readApr 13, 2024
Gartang Gali Trek in Harsil

Gartang Gali Trek in Harsil is a captivating trek that combines natural beauty, historical significance, and thrilling adventure. Situated in the picturesque region of Uttarakhand, India, this trek is a hidden gem that offers a unique experience for trekkers seeking an off-the-beaten-path journey. Here’s an in-depth look at the Gartang Gali Trek in Harsil:

Location and Accessibility:
Gartang Gali is a historic wooden bridge situated in the Harsil region, which lies in the upper reaches of the Bhagirathi River in Uttarakhand. Harsil is approximately 26 kilometers from the famous pilgrimage site of Gangotri. The trek starts from the village of Nelong, which can be reached via road from Harsil.

History and Cultural Significance:
The Gartang Gali bridge holds great historical significance. It was an ancient trade route between India and Tibet, used for centuries by traders to transport goods across the challenging terrain. The wooden bridge, built by the Peshwa in the 17th century, is a remarkable feat of engineering, hanging precariously over the Nelong Valley.

During the 1962 Indo-China war, the route was closed, and the bridge fell into disrepair. In recent years, the government has restored the bridge, making it accessible to trekkers who wish to experience a piece of history and stunning landscapes.

The Trek:
The Gartang Gali Trek is a moderate to challenging trek that takes you through lush forests, across streams, and up rocky inclines. The trail is approximately 2 kilometers long and can be completed in a few hours. However, the trek’s appeal is not just its length but the breathtaking views and historical elements along the way.

As you begin the trek, you’ll be surrounded by dense forests of pine and deodar trees. The trail gradually ascends and becomes steeper as you approach the bridge. Along the way, keep an eye out for the local flora and fauna, including various bird species and wild animals.

The Highlight — Gartang Gali Bridge:
The Gartang Gali bridge is undoubtedly the highlight of the trek. The wooden bridge is around 135 meters long and 1.8 meters wide, suspended over a deep gorge. Walking across the bridge offers panoramic views of the Nelong Valley and the surrounding mountains. The bridge itself is an architectural marvel, showcasing the ingenuity of the people who built it centuries ago.

Crossing the bridge can be an exhilarating experience due to its height and the views it offers. The bridge connects two cliffs and allows you to appreciate the rugged beauty of the region. It’s an excellent spot for photography, and you’ll likely want to spend some time soaking in the surroundings.

Safety Considerations:
While the Gartang Gali Trek is a rewarding experience, it is important to prioritize safety. The trail can be steep and rocky in some sections, so proper trekking footwear is essential. Additionally, the bridge’s narrow width requires careful crossing, especially if there are other trekkers on the bridge.

Since the bridge and trail are located at a high altitude, be aware of the potential effects of altitude sickness. Stay hydrated and take breaks if necessary. It’s also advisable to check the weather conditions before embarking on the trek, as sudden changes can impact the trail’s safety.

Planning Your Visit:
To undertake the Gartang Gali Trek, you’ll need to obtain a permit from the forest department due to its proximity to the India-Tibet border. The permit ensures that trekkers adhere to safety regulations and respect the local environment. It is advisable to book your permit in advance and follow the guidelines provided by the authorities.

The best time to visit the Gartang Gali Trek is during the summer and autumn months (April to October) when the weather is pleasant, and the trail is accessible. Avoid visiting during the winter months, as the area experiences heavy snowfall, making the trek risky.

In conclusion, the Gartang Gali Trek in Harsil is a remarkable experience that offers a blend of adventure, history, and natural beauty. Whether you’re an experienced trekker or a history enthusiast, this trek is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories of Uttarakhand’s stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage.



Gokeys Haridwar

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