Gangotri Road runs along vertical cliffs with no guardrails
Gangotri is a small town situated on the foot of Himalayas in the northern part of the state of Uttarakhand, India, at an elevation of 3.415m (11,204ft) above the sea level. The road to the town runs along vertical cliffs with no guardrails.
The road to reach the town is terrible. It’s called NH 108. Starting from Gangnani, the first section is paved. The last part is a 4x4 gravel road, extremely narrow, with stones and holes. The road is winding, in some places only wide enough for one vehicle, and in many places bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet) unprotected by guardrails. Words can’t describe the road and pictures don’t do it justice.
The town is located in the Gangotri national park going upthe Bhagirathi river valley. The Bhagirathi is one of the headstreams of the Ganges. Starting from Sunagar, the drive on this terrible and narrow high altitude route is 28.9 km long.
This road tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides. Along the way, there are a few villages and an abandoned Hydro Power Project (Loharinag-Pala), with some tunnels that can be explored if you have a flash-light and do not mind jumping over the gates. Some of the tunnels are flooded.
Pic: Sukanta Gupta