Known as the Soul of Kumaon by locals, Pindari Glacier is one of the most easily accessible glaciers in the Himalayan region. The glacier has attracted mountaineers from all over the world with its rugged beauty and panoramic views. Located in the upper reaches of Kumaon Himalayas, Pindari Glacier is the source of the Pindari River that meets the Alakananda River at Karnaprayag. The glacier, located in Bageshwar district of Uttarakhand, can only be reached by trekking. A round trip of Pindari Glacier takes six to ten days to cover the 90 km. It can be reached either from Saung village or Loharket; however, Saung village trail is the most popular.
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At an elevation of 12,664 ft, the trek to the Pindari Glacier is of moderate difficulty. The glacier is about five km long and about 300 m to 400 m wide. Pindari Glacier goes through Bageshwar, Loharket, Dhakuri pass and Khati village. Khati is the last inhabited village on the trail. The trek stretches along the Pindari River but the river is barely visible until you reach Khati village. Both trails pass through scenic landscapes. These trails are very popular with photographers as they can capture the mesmerizing natural beauty. The streams flow southwards and form several waterfalls. Majority of the waterfalls are seen near Dwali. Streams from the glacier flows over granite rocks and eventually forms the Pindari River. Gradual erosion by the Pindari River has resulted in the formation of a gorge.
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The maximum temperature at Pindari Glacier reaches just 20 degree Celsius and drops down to 1 degree Celsius. Camps and tents are the only accommodation options near Pindari Glacier. You will have to carry food and water when trekking to Pindari Glacier. Tinned food items are the best during the trek. The best time to visit Pindari Glacier is between the months of April and October.
Photograph courtesy: Justin White/Creative Commons