Nelong Valley: Most thrilling mountaineering treks

Nelong Valley lies 45km away from the Indo-Tibetan border, around 256km from Dehradun, Uttarakhand. It is considered to be one of the most thrilling mountaineering treks in India. At a height of 11,000ft, the view from here is breathtaking. The valley offers a clear and surreal view of the Tibetan Plateau. Gartang Gali, a wooden walkway, is a main attraction of the valley said to have been built in the 17th Century. It was known as one of the main routes for trade between India & China in 1962.

About Nelong Valley

The valley, situated at an altitude of around 11,000 feet above the sea level, falls under the Gangotri National Park in Uttarkashi district, is around 315 km from Dehradun. It is also only 23 kms away from Bhaironghati, a place just eight kms ahead of the famous Gangotri shrine.

This rocky region looks exactly like Ladakh, Spiti, and Tibet and features high altitude peaks having similar weather and landscape. Hence, it is becoming one of the most popular places to explore in Uttarakhand. Since the valley is situated under the Gangotri National Park, it is not allowed to spend the night within 25 kilometers of the region but still, it is no less than a treasure trove for the explorers.

History Of Nelong Valley

The grueling Nelong Valley is located near the Indo-China border, which was closed to tourists after the Indo-China war in 1962. The valley was reopened in 2015 to promote travel and tourism in Uttarakhand. Once a part of the ancient trade route between India and Tibet, Nelong Valley got affected by the 1962 war. The indigenous population living in the valley, known as Rongpas or Bhotiyas, was forced to migrate to Bagori village in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand.

After the valley was vacated, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police took charge of the region and set up their checkpoints. Visitors can still see the ruins of the ancient trade route and the narrow wooden bridge erected along the gorge.

Places To Visit In Nelong Valley

Nelong Valley is one of the best places to visit in Uttarakhand. Here’s the list of the tourist places you can explore in Nelong Valley.

Nelong Valley

Famously deemed as Spiti of Uttarakhand, the valley is an attraction in itself. The view of the Tibetan Plateau will leave you speechless. Built in the 17th century, Gartang Gali, a wooden walkway, that was used for trade between countries is one of the main attractions of the valley.

Gartang Gali

Gartang Gali is a wooden bridge said to be built by the Pathans of Peshawar in the 17th century. The 105-meter bridge is famous amongst adventure seekers. The bridge got damaged over the year after it fell into disuse during the Indo-China war in 1962 after it was declared off-limits for civilians. After being reopened by Uttarakhand Tourism in 2015, travelers require special permission to visit Gartan Gali.

How To Reach Nelong Valley

Best kept secret of Dev Bhoomi, Nelong Valley is nestled in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand and is well-connected by motorable roads. However, you would require to book a gipsy provided by the forest department as they are the only vehicles allowed to go further towards the valley.

Nearest Metropolitan City – New Delhi

  • Distance From Dehradun – 258 kilometers
  • Distance From Uttarkashi – 100 kilometers
  • Distance From Jolly Grant Airport – 271 kilometers
  • Distance From New Delhi – 534 kilometers

By Road

The roads leading to the Nelong Valley are quite dangerous and aren’t for the faint-hearted, however, they offer the gobsmackingly beautiful views. The best route is via Delhi-Dehradun-Bhairav Ghati.

Bus Service – Delhi To Dehradun. It takes six hours to reach Dehradun via bus from Delhi and then, you can board local buses to reach Bharav Ghati. You can’t go further towards Nelong Valley via bus.

Cab Service – There are plenty of cab services available that can take you to Bhairav Ghati but only registered providers and forest department’s vehicles are allowed to go all the way to Nelong.

By Train

Several trains are available that will take you to the nearest railheads to Nelong Valley. Spend the night in Rishikesh or Haridwar or Dehradun and then get a cab till Bhairav Ghati which is located a few kilometers away from the Gangotri shrine.

Nearest Railway Station – Harrawala railway station in Dehradun is the nearest railhead which is about 256 kilometers away from the valley.

By Air

Frequent flights are available from Indira Gandhi International in Delhi to Jolly Grant in Dehradun.

Nearest Airport – Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport to Nelong Valley and 258 kilometers away from the destination. Buses and private cabs are easily available from the Airport.

Second Nearest Airport – Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi.

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