places to visit
Sat Tal: 02 Km
Sat Tal literally meaning seven lakes, is a group of mountain lakes uphill from Dharali village. This is the most accessible trek from Prakriti and can be undertaken by people of all ages. The enchanting natural lakes surrounded by foliage of Pine trees makes for a beautiful place to feel one with nature. This can be done as a half or full day activity depending on how much and at what pace you would like to trek.
Mukhwa Village: 02 Km
Mukhwa is the winter home of the idol of Goddess Ganga of the Gangotri temple. It is a beautiful village across the river from Prakriti. You can cover the distance on foot, crossing the river on the wooden bridge to reach this tiny hamlet. During the transfer of the idol to and from Gangotri, the procession is a must see event that includes large number of devotees, local musicians and the army band of the Garhwal Rifles.
Harsil: 05 Km
Harsil is one of the most well known towns in this region. It is also a cantonment (army) area and therefore, parts of Harsil have restricted access. The busy Harsil market has everything from banks, tea stalls and hotels. Wilson cottage in Harsil is one of the major attractions which was made in honour of Fredrick E Wilson or Pahadi Wilson, as he was locally known. The legendary merchant, an ex British army officer has had a major role in developing much of the regions apple and wood trade.
Bagori Village: 5.5 Km
Further beyond Harsil at less than a kilometer is the picturesque sheep herders’ village of Bagori. The concrete path and a few small bridges across the mountains take you to this settlement that is mostly Tibetan and Garhwalis. Though a lot have changed in past decade in terms of construction of houses, you can still come across few traditional houses that are made of wood and stone.
Gartang Gali: 10 Km
Gartang Gali is a 150 year old wooden bridge that connected Garhwal to Tibet and was once a flourishing trade route between these regions. It is believed to have been constructed by the Pathans of Peshawar and it considered an architectural gem. The bridge was closed for civilian use since the Indo-China war of 1962, however it was recently restored and opened for tourists in August 2021. You drive till Lanka bridge and then take a walking trail of 2.5 km to reach Gartang Gali into Gangotri National Park.
Nelong Valley: 22 Km
Nelong Valley is a must visit destination for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts. The valley is often referred to as the Ladakh of Uttarakhand because of similar topography. Since it is a part of the Gangotri National park, you could also spot some rare wildlife species. Visitors are allowed only on prior permission and fulfillment of basic paperwork. A short 30-45 minute drive from Prakriti Retreat takes you to the valley’s entry point and you can easily spend a couple of hours driving through the valley enjoying the surreal natural beauty of the region.
Gangotri Temple: 19 Km
Gangotri is one of the four “Dhaams”; others being Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath. It is where Bhagirathi river descends from the glaciers. The river is renamed Ganga after it merges with Alakhnanda at Devprayag. The temple here has visitors from different parts of the world, once it opens in summer every year. It is usually during the last week of April or early May on Akshay Tritiya. It then closes a day after Diwali in October/ November. When at Gangotri, one cannot miss the spiritual vibes, surrounded with so much faith and natural beauty. It takes about 30-40 mins to reach Gangotri by car from the Prakriti.
Gaumukh Glacier: 42 Km
Gaumukh is the second largest glacier in India, after Siachen and one of the most sought after Himalayan treks in India. The trail is open to trekkers from May to October each year and is 20 Kms long from Gangotri Temple. It is one of the most accessible Himalayan Glaciers and on the route you will pass through the hamlets of Chirbasa and Bhojbasa (preferred overnight stopovers). 4 Kms from Bhojbasa and you can see the majestic Shivling Peak and a view of the vast Glacier which is 23 Kms long and 4 Kms wide.
Tapovan: 48 Km
While most return to Gangotri via Bhojbasa from Gaumukh, more adventurous and seasoned trekkers proceed to Tapovan which is 6 Km further beyond the glacier. Tapovan means “a place for sages to meditate” and as per Hindu mythology, this is the place where King Bhagirath meditated to Lord Shiva for Ganga’s descent to earth. Located at the base of Shivling Peak, Tapovan is a high altitude alpine meadow on the west bank of the Gaumukh Glacier. It is a much loved destination of trekkers for its pure and mystical natural beauty and thrilling hiking experience.
Gangnani: 33 Km
Uttarkashi is home to quite a few natural hot water springs. the most famous one being at Gangnani village enroute Gangotri. It is located half way between Uttarkashi town and Gangotri and serves as a quick stopover for almost all religious tourists. It is also known as Rishikund and has a religious significance. Devotees ideally cleanse themselves in the warm waters of the spring here before proceeding to the Gangotri temple.
Kyarkoti: 20 Km
The Kyarkoti trek is another beautiful trail that starts from Harsil. On the way you pass the Kyarkoti lake and also come across local sheep herds, mostly from the nearby Bagori village. The picture postcard views will leave you spellbound. You would ideally stay overnight at Kyarkoti, so expect a full blown camping experience.
Dayara Bugyal: 51 Km
A meadow is called Bugyal in Garhwali. At an altitude of 3048m, Dayara Bugyal is one of the most beautiful alpine meadows in the country. The panoramic views of the upper Himalayas and the lush green expanse stretching across 28 sq km are enchanting and unforgettable. On the way you would come across the Barnala Tal, a natural high altitude lake.