Gartang Gali: All About The 150-Year-Old Architectural Marvel

Gartang Gali: All About The 150-Year-Old Architectural Marvel
Gartang Gali was built over a century ago by skilled Peshawari Pathans. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Hidden in Uttarkashi, Gartang Gali is an ancient pathway that transports you on a journey through untouched forests

Kartikeya Shankar
May 24 , 2023
03 Min Read

Uttarakhand, a land of enchanting beauty in the majestic Himalayas, offers visitors a truly captivating experience. With its snow-capped peaks, lush green valleys, crystal-clear rivers and lakes, this destination beckons adventurers, nature lovers, and spiritual seekers alike.

Amidst the state's myriad treasures, a hidden gem truly charms the sensesGartang Gali. Tucked away in the heart of district Uttarkashi, Gartang Gali is a pathway that takes you on a journey through age-old forests untouched by time. As you tread upon its trails, the air becomes filled with whispers of folklore and the fragrance of wildflowers. If reading this has left you craving to visit the unique architectural marvel, here's a quick guide.


Gartang Gali is a remarkable testament to architectural ingenuity. Photo Credit: Uttarakhand Tourism/Official Website

About Gartang Gali
Nestled in Nelong Valley near the Indo-China border, Gartang Gali is a remarkable testament to architectural ingenuity. This 136-meter-long wooden stairway, built over a century ago by skilled Peshawari Pathans, cuts through a vertical rock face and will leave you in awe of its craftsmanship. Once a bustling trade route between India and Tibet, the bridge fell into disrepair after the Indo-China War in 1962. However, this historic marvel was revived at the cost of INR 65 lakhs through meticulous reconstruction to its former glory, and opened to tourists in August 2021. 

Perched at a breathtaking altitude of approximately 3,352 meters (11,000 feet), Gartang Gali offers a thrilling adventure for intrepid travellers. The narrow 1.8-meter-wide bridge dangles precariously from the rocky ledge, providing a mesmerizing view of the picturesque Nelong Valley below. As you traverse the bridge, the lush flora, vibrant fauna, and the rushing Jadh Ganga river create a captivating backdrop, immersing you in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Offering Visitors The Trek Of A Lifetime
Embarking on the approximately 2.5-kilometre trek through dense forests to reach Gartang Gali is challenging, demanding physical endurance. Yet, as you ascend the steps of this historical masterpiece, the weariness dissipates, replaced by a sense of accomplishment and awe. Each step taken along the reconstructed Gartang Gali carries echoes of the past, intertwining history, nature, and the indomitable human spirit of those who constructed it.

Entrance to the Gartang Gali

Adding to its allure, Gartang Gali holds a connection to Heinrich Harrer, the renowned Austrian climber and author of "Seven Years in Tibet." It is believed that Harrer used this very bridge as his escape route from India to Tibet during World War II, a daring feat that inspired his extraordinary journey chronicled in his renowned memoir. This connection to a tale of resilience and adventure adds an extra layer of intrigue to Gartang Gali's already captivating narrative. His story later inspired the Hollywood film of the same name starring Brad Pitt.

A shot of Gartang Gali from the other side of the mountain

Things To Remember
To visit the Gartang Gali bridge, ensure that you register at the Bhairav Ghati outpost. Due to security measures, only a maximum of ten visitors are allowed at a time, and it is important to maintain a one-meter distance from each other. Additionally, engaging in group activities, jumping, dancing, consuming alcohol, or carrying flammable substances are strictly prohibited on the bridge to ensure safety and maintain its integrity.

Best Time To Visit
You can explore the Nelong Valley, including the Gartang Gali, from April 15 to November 15.

How To Reach
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, approximately 200 km away, with taxi and bus services available to Uttarkashi. Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun are the nearest railway stations, allowing travellers to take buses or taxis to reach Uttarkashi. State transport buses operate regularly between Uttarkashi, Rishikesh, and Dehradun, while local transport union buses connect Uttarkashi with Dehradun and Haridwar.

RELATED: Stargazing In Uttarakhand

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