Gartangali, located in the Jad Ganga valley on the Indo-China border, is very special for tourists. It is situated in Uttarkashi district at an altitude of 11 thousand feet above sea level. This stairway is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. It is quite thrilling to pass through this stairway made by cutting a big rock. While passing through here, a deep gorge of about 150 to 200 meters is visible.
In the 17th century, the Pathans from Peshawar had made this step by cutting the rock. This 140-metre-long route was the only route for trade from Indo-Tibet before 1962. Nelong valley was buzzing from both the sides due to commercial activities being conducted. Tibetan merchants used to take wool, cloth, salt etc. from Nelang to Uttarkashi via Gartangali. After selling his goods, he used to take oil, spices, jaggery etc. from here and go back through the same route. Uttarkashi was also called Bada Bazar due to the presence of big haat. But after the Indo-China war in 1975, the army stopped using this route.
This was the only road connecting Tibet that was closed. But on the occasion of World Tourism Day in 2017, the Uttarakhand government reopened this route. But due to being closed for so many days, the stairs had become dilapidated, so the government got it repaired first. The government and the tourism department together renovated this gartangali.
Route For Gartangali
To reach Gartangali, one has to first reach Lanka, which is 12 km before from Gangotri dham on Gangotri National Highway. Half a kilometer away from Lanka is the famous motor bridge of Bhairav Valley. On the left side of this bridge is the traditional walking track connecting Bhairav Ghati to Nelang. Gartgali is present in the Jad Ganga valley, two kilometers from the Bhairav Ghati bridge.