Kalindi Pass or Kalindi Khal is a high-altitude mountain pass connecting Gangotri and Ghastoli. It is situated at 5,942 meters (19,495 ft) elevation and is arguably the most famous trekking pass of the Garhwal Himalaya. The pass is heavily glaciated. The glacier west of the pass flows into the Gangotri Glacier which forms the source of the Ganges.
John Bicknell Auden mentioned this col in a report of his survey of the Garwhal Himal in 1936.
“An easy col of 19,500 feet at the east end of the south-east branch of the Mana glacier, 4 miles to the east of which is the Saraswati valley”
but never climbed it as he needed to return the same way to Gangotri. Swami Probodhanandawas, inspired by John Bicknell Auden’s account, organized the first Indian expedition to cross this pass. The expedition was undertaken in 1945 under the leadership of Swami Probodhananda and the guidance of Dileep Singh who ascended the pass on 22 July 1945.
Even though the Kalindi khal is the most famous trekking pass in the Garhwal Himalaya, it is nevertheless a challenging high-altitude glacial trek.
Even though the Kalindi Khal is the most famous trekking pass in the Garhwal Himalayas, it is nevertheless a challenging high-altitude glacial trek.
The trek takes 6 days if already acclimatized. The trek is usually done in summer from mid-June to mid-September. An inner line permit is required.
Gomuk (4023 m): A long-distance] over a broad and easy path along the Ganges to the start of the Gangotri Glacier. It is a gradual climb.
Vasuki Parvat (4800 m): Hike up the moraines of the Gangotri Glacier after which a climb up to the Ghaumk glacier to the east begins. South of this glacier lie a few meadows named Vasuki Parvat.
Glacier camp (5200 m): A strenuous climb over the moraine-filled glacier. Camping is in between the moraines
Kalindi base camp (5560 m): The glacier splits up. The route goes north to follow the Kalindi glacier.
River camp (4770 m): The route stops following the main glacier and goes steeply up toward Kalindi pass. On the other side, the route goes down over a white glacier. Once off the glacier, the route continues downstream to the first western side valley. The valley gets very broad here and camping spots are plenty. From this point onwards a trail should be visible.
Gastoli (3980): The trail leads down the valley along the southern bank of the stream. The valley terminates at the military outpost of Gastoli located alongside the Manna Pass road.
Kalindi Khal passes a trek that takes you halfway around Garhwal from the Bhagirathi Valley to the Alaknanda Valley. A trip only for those who have done high-altitude treks before; its very mention gives a thrill to even the most seasoned of climbers. Kalindi Khal Pass Trekking is 5942mtrs, 19495feet above sea level, dividing the watersheds of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda river systems, discovered by Shipton and Tilman in 1934 (though legend exists of folk knowing the route from ages).
This 86 km long trail connects two holy shrines of Gangotri and Badrinath over a glaciated pass of almost 6000 m. The walk is mostly over the moraines and the snow fields with deep crevasses and gives great opportunities to view the high-altitude wildlife and camp by some small glacial lakes. Trekking Route