In my previous post I have detailed on my bike trip yatra from the holy city of Rishikesh to the Gangotri Dham. On my way to Gangotri I chanced on visiting the wooden architectural marvel of Gartang galli bridge. This wooden bridge is said to be over 150 years old and was built by Peshawari Pathans. They made it happen by cutting through a vertical rock face to construct a 136m long wooden stairway.
Starting point for the Gartang Galli , After you cross the entrance gate
It joins the Nelong Valley at the Indo-China border to the Highway roadways leading to Gangotri Dham in Uttarakhand, India. The bridge was left in a dilapidated state for many decades, until recently. The reason was due to blind eyes of conservators and public apathy towards our cultural heritage. But the recent initiative led by many locals and the administration have made to possible to again revive this bridge to its heydays glorious days. After many years of conservation and renovations it has recently been reopened for tourists to visit and admire the craftsmanship of the bridge.
An Iron Truss Bridge near to Gartang Galli Entrance Gate
The wooden bridge has few more to its interesting history. It is widely believed that an Austrian mountaineer named Heinrich Harrer, during the second World War, used this Gartang galli wooden bridge as an escape route from India to Tibet. A daring feat to do during those days which has inspired his extraordinary journey chronicled in his renowned book “Seven Years in Tibet.
The entry fee to the Gartang galli bridge is Rs 150 for Indian visitors and Rs 600 for foreign visitors. Once you enter the arched gateways, you will be thrilled of enjoying the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You will have to undertake a short hike of around 1-2 hours, depending on your pace to reach the bridge. The entire route is none the less a challenging walk. There are some region where there are steep climb and steep downhill paths. So its better for people who are in their good physical fitness. Else you can also go on crawling pace, enjoying the soothing view of tall poplar trees and deep valleys to your right. There are no porter services available on this route to take you to the Gartang galli bridge.
Gartang Galli Wooden Bridge View
Another View of Gartang Galli Bridge, Uttarakhand
You will reach the bridge after having a small hiking of around 1-2 hours. The bridge is currently well maintained and is in good shape. The heavy wood-lined skywalk bridge is made of Sheesham wood and it has small iron made structures as support at it’s base. Since this bridge is on a narrow pathways with perched on a vertical rock face, it is advisable to not go with a huge crowd. A minimum distance has to be maintained to safely explore this bridge. The bridge would be around 300 fts and has been closed at the end after 300 fts. Thereafter there is no bridge left to further explore.
Best Time To Visit Gartang galli Bridge
The bridge is accessible for tourists each year between 2nd week of April till the end of November. Nelong Valley and further the Indo China border is just 45 kms from the Gartang galli bridge.
How to Reach Gartang Galli
You can easily reach Gartang galli bridge while on route to the Holy temple of Gangotri Dham. And the best and easy way to reach there and further to the Dham is by private bus/ cab.
There are many government run buses run by Uttrakhand transport that ply on this route. But since these are local buses that mostly cater for the locals, any tourist would have to make an compromise on their time, comfort and personal space.
Distance of Gartang galli from Dehradun : 282 kms