At the Vishnuprayag Hydroelectric Project on the Alaknanda River, At top: States where Circle of Blue reported Choke Point: India project. Meeting the prime minister's vision would be technically challenging and on June 16 on the Himalayan ridges that fed the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi river basins. Devprayag (Deva prayāga) is a town and a nagar panchayat (municipality) in Tehri Garhwal district in the state of Uttarakhand, India, and is one of the Panch Prayag (five confluences) of Alaknanda River where Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers meet and take the Devprayag is the place where river Alaknanda & Bhagirathi confluence, but. After having several research on it, I finalized these places and and some local persons of the earmarked places helped me a lot to plan the itinerary. Devprayag is famous for the sangam where Bhagirathi river and Alaknanda join hills and Mandakini river to reach the hill peak ' kedarnath'.wow!!!!.
The road condition was not very good after Rudraprayag. Most of the stretches were affected by landslide, but the width was good enough to allow the small vehicles. Landslide was a new experience for most of us, hence the excitement turned to be scary for sometime J …hehe. The weather was nice and we had to unpack our warm clothes. Visited the Guptkashi temple and Ardhnariswar temple. Very nice and ancient.
Had dinner very early and signed off the day-2 by taking complete rest. Day-3 Day 3 was more exciting as we were getting ready for the Kedarnath journey. Started exactly at 6. After that one has to trek and go up 14 kms. Gaurikund is around 35 kms from Gupkashi and we reached well in time. Gaurikund was full of pilgrims, horses and ponies. The pony riding was something new for everyone and we enjoyed it.
Though sometimes the movement of the pony was unusual. Anyway, we reached Rambhara at 10 am which was just the halfway. Refreshed ourselves with tea and maggie. I just cant describe it. It was like god himself sketched the place in leisure. Reached our govt guest house at 1 pm and contacted a priest to make our Puja easily.
The temperature was chilling and we reached the temple complex at 2 pm. The darshan was excellent. Everybody was satisfied to witness Lord kedarnathji. Came back to the guesthouse and relaxed the whole evening by enjoying the awesome weather. The green backdrop and the velvet touch grass!!!! Enjoyed the snow clad mountain view and treasured in the mind. GMVN food was very good and not very oily and spicy. Day-4 Early morning…clear sky but rain rain and rain….
Started trekking down the hill, as the mind and health supported us a lot. Our energy level was high after the darshan.
We trekked down till rambhara and arranged ponies for the rest of the journey. Trekking up with ponies is fine, but trekking down with ponies would be bit tiring as you have to adjust with the slope all the time. Hence if possible trek down on foot only. Finally covering the 14 kms distance, we reached Gaurikund where our vehicle was parked.
Ganga's birthplace - merging of... - Ganga-Sacred confluence of river Alaknanda & Bhagirathi RIvers
Gradually we felt pain in our muscles of the legs. Hence we rushed into the vehicle and started for Gupkashi GH where we have kept our luggage in the cloak room.
Faced a half an hour duration landslide just before Rudraprayag. Hats off to the Border road organization which regularly maintain and take care of the road. Karnaprayag is another sangam of Alaknanda and Pindhari river. Day-5 Started at 6. Chamoli is a very scenic place and full of streams.
Had our breakfast at roadside dhabba and started for Joshimath to take the 2nd entry for the Badrinath route. Again luck was with us, the gate was scheduled to open at While waiting, you can find a lot of people want to sell their stuff.
The gate opened at Badrinath is almost 45 kms from Joshimath. The road was exciting but scary sometimes. After twisting here and there, we finally reached Badrinath at 2 pm. Thanks a lot to the weather which helped us a lot by not pouring showers.
Checked in at the GMVN guest house and called our priest. The temple was just m from the guesthouse, hence we thought of a normal walk. There is a very good tapt kund natural hotwater tank in the temple complex, and it was great to freshen up with the hot water.
Booked the Karpur aarti and witnessed the Bishnu darshan perfectly. The flow of Alaknanda river was awesome. After doing the arti session, we came back to the main market and started our shopping.
Rudrakhsa, rings, bangles, chains were the main items. Finally we were back to the guesthouse at 9 pm and had a good dinner. Day-6 As per the plan we got up early to witness the sunrise at the Neelkanth peak. We started for Mana village which is the last Indian village in that sector. Mana is 3 kms from badrinath and full of landscape.
Visited ganesh cave, vyasa cave and origin of Saraswati river. Saraswati river joins with Alaknanda river at Keshav prayag in Mana. Reached Joshimath well in time. Left Joshimath at 1 pm and gradually reached Chamoli. After a good lunch near Nandprayag, we finally reached Srikot for night halt. Though Srikot was not an earmarked destination, still it was a nice place for break journey. Day-7 Decided to go for a Ganga snan holy bath at Ganga again in Haridwar.
Hence started at 7 am and reached Haridwar at 12 noon. There was a good crowd in Har ki pauri-hardwar. Ganga snan was successful and we could enjoy every part of it. Twenty rescuers died when one of the choppers crashed. The torrent produced consequences that no engineer anticipated and no Uttarakhand resident had ever seen.
The most turbulent stretches of many Himalayan rivers are scheduled to support five or six new dams, one every 10 kilometers or so. Late last spring, at the start of the heaviest monsoon season in memory, the Himalayas answered that question. On June 16 and June 17, the mountains unleashed two days of monstrous floods that killed about 6, people, according to estimates from the Uttarakhand government.
Survivors and researchers at the Wadia Institute for Himalayan Geology put the death toll at 30, Some battered bodies were recovered and 5, others were declared missing. India defends the estimated death toll of 6, based on the applications it reviewed and approved for compensation to families that lost loved ones.
Incredible Kedarnath & Badrinath – Soumyajit's Blog
Residents of the Mandakini River Valley interviewed by Circle of Blue said the number of people who died was much higher, perhaps 30, The flooding wiped away at least six villages, buried dozens of others in mud, wrecked over 1, kilometers of highways, and dumped hundreds of buildings into the furious waters. Pandit heard the grind and crash of boulders knocking against each other in the boiling water.
It was a new sound, an alarm signaling urgent danger. He gathered his team, terminated the trip, and descended as quickly as he dared out of the mountains where bridges were washing away and roads were vanishing in landslides.
Circle of Blue was able to document that the flood seriously damaged at least 10 big projects in operation and under construction in Uttarakhand.
Another 19 small hydropower projects that generate under 25 megawatts were destroyed.
We were assisted by the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and Peoplea non-profit advocacy group, and reports posted on Down to Earthan online New Delhi-based environmental news site affiliated with the Centre for Science and Environment.
The Central and state government authorities, and private dam developers, have said next to nothing about the extent of the damage in news releases, on their Web sites, or in public statements. Repeated efforts by Circle of Blue to reach business executives and government regulators by email and phone calls were ignored. It took five months to dig this much of the dam out of the pile of boulders. The most heavily damaged projects, according to our findings, include: The megawatt Vishnuprayag Hydroelectric Project, upriver from Srinagar along the Alaknanda River, was buried beneath 20 meters of rubble that also filled its water storage lake and likely wrecked the mouth of the penstock, the pipe that transports water to the powerhouse downstream.
A second dam under construction on the Mandakini River, the megawatt Phata-Byung Hydroelectric Project, washed away. The megawatt Singoli-Bhatwari Hydroelectric Project downstream on the Mandakini, a major tributary of the Alaknanda, was so aggressively pummeled by boulders that big chunks of concrete were gouged out of its base and the patches of steel reinforcing rods of two support towers were bent like broken fingers.
- Incredible Kedarnath & Badrinath
The powerhouse and turbines of the megawatt Alaknanda Hydro Power Project in Srinagar were inundated with mud and silt just weeks before it was scheduled to begin operating. A landslide blocked the end of the water discharge tunnel at the megawatt Dhauliganga project near the border with Nepal. See sidebar for more damaged hydropower projects. The Uttarakhand flood surprised India with its fury. In the history of energy disasters, the Uttarakhand flood struck the global hydropower industry with the same force that the reactor meltdowns at Three Mile Island U.
Upriver, at elevations that are snow-covered and frozen most of the year, are the 1,year-old Badrinath and Kedarnath temples. They are situated in the headwater floodplains of the Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers. Tens of thousands of people were in the Mandakini flood plain at the height of the annual pilgrimage to Kedarnath temple. The hotels and shops in the villages leading up to the shrine were filled with Hindu pilgrims. Pilgrims also jammed Rambara, and the long footpath from that Mandakini River town to Kedarnath.
In addition, some 7, to 10, workers were in the area carrying pilgrims to the shrine on their mules, serving in the restaurants and hotels, working in the hundreds of religious stalls along the way. Many of those workers were from Nepal or neighboring countries, said residents, and had no documentation. They were in the direct path of the floodwaters. The destruction unfolded quickly, and was catastrophic. The Uttarakhand government counts almost bodies recovered after the flood and more than 5, missing.
Residents of the region and a researcher at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology assert that 30, people perished in the June flood. Sonprayag, a tourist village just downstream from the Kedarnath shrine, was swept nearly clean away by floodwaters and boulders. Vicky Bhatt, the year-old owner and manager of a guesthouse, said cars were carried into the Mandakini River. At least 25 people who were hiking down from Kedarnath and crossing a hillside just upriver were buried when it slipped into the river.
The riverbed is a new geography of immense boulders. The tourist trade that supports Sonprayag has essentially dissolved to nothing. All these stones around us.
The river is right there. The Hindu gods, they said, were angry with the tourist trade, intense and growing, in a region of such splendid spiritualism. The case for the religious connection also is strengthened, they said, by two events involving sacred shrines.
North of Srinagar, the lake filling up behind the new Alaknanda hydropower dam required the owners to build a concrete platform high enough to keep Dhari, the goddess of power, dry. Dhari is named for an Alaknanda River village and is a noted Hindu shrine. On the day that Dhari was placed on the new platform, June 16, the cloudburst opened on the Himalayan ridges above the Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers, setting off the calamitous flood.
The same day, the torrent of water pushed a huge boulder down the Mandakini valley toward Kedarnath. The rock, as big as a truck trailer, slipped sideways and stopped mere feet from the rear of the Kedarnath shrine.