Pindari Glacier

Ask any mountaineer, amateur or seasoned about trekking to Himalayas and he or she would swear by Pindari Glacier trek! It has been luring mountaineers all across the globe for time immemorial. Rather, it would not be inappropriate to say that any location in Himalayas is a potential lure and bait for mountaineering enthusiasts! All the same, to talk about Pindari glacier, this is one place where nature is in its incredible glory. This glacier has a rugged beauty which is simply breathtaking. It is also one of the most loved glacier treks, as it is easily accessible, as compared to other treks in Himalayas. So what is it that makes this glacier irresistible? We find out, through these vital stats –

Where is Pindari Glacier?

Pindari lies in Bageshwar district, in Uttarakhand and is a part of the Kumaon Himalayas. The glacier is located between Nandadevi and Nandakot peaks and rises upto a height of approximately 3600 mtrs. The glacier is located in the Pindar valley. The glacier is about 5 km long and its snout is 6 m high and 2.5 metre wide. The glacier spans across 3 km in length and 300-400metre in width, above the snout. The glacier, on the whole, is a result of precipitation of large amount of snow from Nanda Devi and nearby summits of the Greater Himalayan range.

All about the Valley

The valley containing the glacier is drained by the Pindar River emerging from the glacier. The crafty work of this river has led to cutting of a gorge in thick glacial deposits. This has resulted into a formation of unique glacial terraces, which are spread on both sides of the gorge. Pindar river meets Alaknanda, at the confluence of Karnaprayag in Garhwal.

While trekking to Pindari glacier, it is normal to see hues of light blue and brown and white when seeing the glacier.

How To Get there?

There are two aspects when you talk about reaching Pindari Glacier – by road and a trekking route. Here is a bit about both. The best part about this trek is that it is manageable even for amateurs!

When you are involved in trekking to Pindari Glacier, the general route is –

Base camp at Saung,

Saung to Loharkhet- 3 km trek

Loharkhet to Dhakuri – 11 km

Dhakuri to Khati - 8 km

Khati to Dwali - 11 km

Dwali to Phurkia - 7 km

Phurkia - Pindari Glacier 5 km. – this is where the zero point of the Glacier is located.

The trekking route is an absolute delight for the nature lovers as the route meanders along the southern wilderness of Nanda Devi Sanctuary. Enchanting and absolutely breathtaking views of Panwali Dwar and Maiktoli can be seen on this route. Don’t they say that the journey is always better than destination?! The total trekking involved is around a 100 km. Kafti Glacier is another major point on trekking route to Pindari Glacier. Khati is the last inhabited village on the trail. Most of the trek is along the banks of Pindar. However, the river is mostly hidden until after Khati.

By road, the route is slightly different –

Saung, reach Bageshwar, which is 36 km. or you can travel from Saung to Almora, which is 109 km.
The last option is to travel from Saung to Kathgodam, which is a distance of 199 km. Generally, if you go by road, this is how the route will look like –

Delhi - Kathgodam - Saung - Loharkhet - Dhakuri - Khati - Phurkia - Dwali

Best Time to Go?

Barring monsoons and proper winter, post November, generally anytime is good. Let us say from April to October-November. But whatever the season, it is advisable to carry adequate woollens and other expedition equipment.

Villages and Culture Nearby

Almora and Bageshwar have to be explored while on trek to Pindari. These villages are rooted in culture and truly depict what our countryside is. Dense forests, cascading streams dot the route to the glacier. Feast your eyes on the incredible scenic beauty here! Also, the ecology of Himalayas is well preserved here. Plus, it is also our responsibility as trekkers and mountaineers to preserve and protect it by not littering and polluting the beautiful environs. Pindari glacier is referred to as the ‘Soul of Kumaon’ by the locals who are warm and extremely hospitable.

Pindari glacier trekking is an extremely exhilarating and riveting experience, in all aspects – adventure, scenic beauty and the villages en route. Once you do a single trek, Pindari glacier will beckon you - again and again!

By Medha Godbole

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