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Uttarakhand: Uttarkashi's 150-year-old Gartang Gali Wooden Bridge Open For Tourists Now

Gartang Gali wooden bridge in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district, which offers a stunning view of the Nelong valley is said to be an ancient trade route to Tibet

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Its good news for adventure lovers as the Pushkar Singh Dhami-led Uttarakhand government on Wednesday reinstated the 'Gartang Gali', a 150-year-old old wooden skywalk bridge located at an altitude of 11,000 feet, in the Nelong valley in the Uttarkashi district for visitors following restoration.

Shut since 1962 Indo-Sino war, opened for tourists now

Snuggled in the scenic Nelong valley, in the Garhwal Himalayas, the tourist attraction is both strategically and historically important for India. The historic bridge was marred over the years following the 1962 Indo-Sino war when the site was declared off-limits by the government.

Gartang Gali bridge, which offers a stunning view of the Nelong valley, is said to be an ancient trade route to Tibet. The remarkable 105-metre wooden bridge in the region is deemed to have been constructed by the Peshawar Pathans. The nomads (Bhotiya tribe) ferried their goods on yaks from this bridge for barter with their other country part. Gartang Gali bridge is set at a distance of 90 km from Uttarkashi. 

The District Magistrate of Uttarkashi Mayur Dixit said, “The Gartang Gali bridge has been refurbished by the department of public works at a cost of ₹ 65 lakh. People who are interested in visiting Gartang Gali bridge will have to register themselves at Bhairav Ghati outpost while following all the COVID guidelines.”

The DM added that from the security point of view, only ten visitors will be allowed at a time and that they will have to maintain a distance of one metre from each other. "Movement of groups or any other activity, such as jumping, dancing, drinking liquor or carrying inflammable substances are prohibited on the bridge,” the Uttarkashi DM stated.

Nelong valley - A replica of Ladakh, Tibet, home to endangered species

Notably, Nelong Valley was opened for visitors in 2015 after it was shut following the 1962 Indo-Sino war and since then it has become one of the most preferred destinations for adventure lovers. The region provides startling similarity to Ladakh and features high peaks having a similar climate and landscape to that of Lahaul, Spiti Valley, and Ladakh. The cold deserted mountain area offers a panoramic view of the Tibetan plateau. Nelong valley itself looks like a model of Tibet in terms of its topography. Travellers are not allowed to hold an overnight stay in the valley since it comes under the Gangotri National Park, within the 25 km area between Bhairavghati and Nelong. It is home to rare animals such as the snow leopard, blue sheep, musk deer, etc.

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