The largest town in the interior of Garhwal, UTTARKASHI makes a convenient stopover to break up the road from Rishikesh (148km south) to Gangotri (100km northeast). Discerning travellers, however, are beginning to linger longer in this picturesque town 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 made the news when it was hit by severe floods in 1978, an earthquake in 1991, and a massive landslide in 2003 that wiped out several hotels along the main road as well as the bus stand and tourist office. No one was hurt in the last, but the large gap in the centre of town remains today. Efforts have since been made to secure the hillside against landslides, but in 2012 another flood wiped out the bridge to Gangotri.