Photos of a motorcycle trip on the road from Tehri up to to Gangotri (India)
The Gangotri road goes up the Bhagirathi river valley. The Bhagirathi is one of the headstreams of the Ganges.
A good portion of the Bhagirathi is flooded by the Tehri reservoir (artificial lake).
The road ends at Gangotri, an important Hindu pilgrimage destination on the Bhagirathi river, high in the Himalaya mountains.
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.
Gangotri has no full-time inhabitants, and it is just guarded by a few soldiers during the winter time. Early in the season, before thousands of Hindu Yatri (pilgrims) arrive in Gangotri, all the shops are closed. The town comes to life only later, in late spring and summer, when the pilgrims arrive.
When I arrived in Gangotri in early spring, by motorbike, the place was really like a ghost town!
Only a few locals were there, mostly to repair the accommodations and get them ready for the pilgrims that would come in mass later in the season. Luckily I managed to find a room (very cold, with no heat and with no water) and a place to eat dinner.
For more info, go to:
Photos of the Tehri Dam and Reservoir (India)
The Tehri Dam created a huge artificial lake in the Bhilangna valley and Bhagirathi valley, two headstreams of the Ganges.
The Tehri Dam was (and still is) a very controversial project, as the flooding of the upstream valleys resulted in the destruction of numerous villages and a town (Tehri) that are now submerged, and forced the relocation of about 100,000 people.
The Tehri Dam is the tallest dam in India and one of the tallest in the world. The dam is a 260.5 metres (855 ft) high rock and earth-fill embankment dam. Its length is 575 metres (1,886 ft), crest width 20 metres (66 ft), and base width 1,128 metres (3,701 ft). The dam creates a reservoir of 4.0 cubic kilometres (3,200,000 acre·ft) with a surface area of 52 square kilometres (20 sq mi).
It generates 1,000 megawatts of hydroelectricity.
Since 2005, filling of the reservoir has led to the reduced flow of Bhagirathi water from the normal 1,000 cubic feet per second (28 m3/s) to a mere 200 cubic feet per second (5.7 m3/s). This reduction has been central to local protest against the dam, since the Bhagirathi is considered part of the sacred Ganges whose waters are crucial to Hindu beliefs.
For more info about the Tehri Dam, read en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehri_Dam .
Photos taken in India in 2013
The highlight if this trip was the Maha Kumba Mela Hindu Festival, the largest human gathering on earth, which happens once every 12 years.
Other regions visited include the springs of the Ganges river, Varanasi, the Konark sun temple.
See also my photos of Nepal that I took the same year.