The largest town in the interior of Garhwal, picturesque Uttarkashi makes a convenient stopover to break up the road from Rishikesh (148km south) to Gangotri (100km northeast). Pilgrims often stop at the ancient Kashi Vishwanath temple in the heart of town, and discerning travellers are beginning to linger longer to hike the unspoiled trails of Garhwal’s interior or to gear up for longer treks such as to Dodi Tal.

Occupying the flat and fertile valley floor of the Bhagirathi, Uttarkashi is no stranger to natural disasters; the town was hit by severe floods in 1978, an earthquake in 1991, a massive landslide in 2003, and further floods in 2013. Efforts have since been made to secure the hillside against landslides, but the bridge to Gangotri had to be rebuilt after the 2013 floods.

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