Nelang, Naga and Jadung are teh 3 hidden valleys of Uttarakhand which fall in the Harshil Sub-division. Nelang valley was the old trade route between India and Tibet. The wooden bridge through which supplies were transported using Yaks stills exists. The bridge clinging to the mountain is an awe-inspiring scene.
Around 4 kilometers ahead of Nelang post towards North-East direction there is a famous temple of Shiv and Parvati. Locals here will forbid you to go ahead of this temple. It is said that people who had gone ahead simply went missing. Some ITBP Jawans have known to vanish. Mystical powers or simply folk lore- it is hard to say unless you try it for yourself. Are you up for the challenge then?
Jadung is the last village, the border village of India. This village served as a pitstop for trade route between India and China on this axis. It was known for its vibrant art and architecture. The village was deserted during Chinese aggression of 1962 when the people of Jadung were moved to Dunda, a small place near Uttarkashi.
Dunda is now famous for some lip-smacking mutton momos and woollens like shawls, sweater, coats, socks, caps etc made out of special wool and knitted by women folk of Dunda.
Shopping Tip: When you pass by Dunda, do buy a few woollens. They are really warm. And you get to do your small bit to encourage local livelihood and become a responsible tourists.
There were around 70-80 houses in Jadung at that time. Each house had beautiful wooden carvings, even the stones had carving. The intricate work makes you think about the creativity and genius that resides in such far-off and small places. Here simple people reside in harsh weather conditions away from the luxury of modern amenities but their life is full of joy and contentment.
Only once a year indigenous people of Jadung are allowed to enter their village and perform diety worship; Someshwar Devta. It is a colourful event and an emotional one too for the pain of a displaced community is not an easy one to heal.
How To Reach?
These beautiful valleys of Uttarakhand are on Gangotri axis. The route towards Gangotri has some excellent sightseeing spots and a famous (charsi) baba, read all about it: 10 Beautiful And 1 Bonus (Charsi baba) Pitstops On Your Way To Gangotri
Once you reach Bhairoghati, take a left one route is towards Gangotri while the other less travelled path goes towards Nelang, Naga and Jadung.
Bhairoghati To Nelang —23 Kilometers
Nelang To Naga —– 9 Kilometers
Naga To Jadung ——-5 Kilometers
From Nelang valley you can also trek to Sangla valley in Himachal. If you are into hardcore adventure trekking then you can go to Badrinath from here taking the NilaPaani route which is approximately 80 kilometres. Only experienced trekkers can undertake this journey.
The Lake Beyond Jadung
This is an extremely difficult but rewarding trek, only advised for pro-trekkers to undertake. Around 8 – 9 kilometers from Jadung there is a beautiful, almost heavenly lake called the Janak Taal. Open valley merging with sky at the horizon and shimmering lake reflecting the clear sky, that’s the breathtaking beauty of this quaint place. Due to complications of permit and risky roads, only a few could witness this magic of Nature.
Permit Required To Pass The Hidden Valleys
Tourists are allowed till Nelang valley. Only self driven cars and preferably SUV is allowed. No, the idea behind is not elitist J The road is bumpy, landslide prone and marred with falling rocks so an SUV can handle such pressures in a better way and can keep you safe too.
As of now conservators haven’t allowed bike ride into this area as it can get risky. There are a few stretches of falling rocks and shooting stone zones on this way.
Really Intrigued And Want To Go?
If my story on the hidden valleys of Uttarakhand has woken up the adventurist inside you and you really want to explore them but are thwarted by the ‘No Entry” and “Restricted Area “signboard then there are two ways I can suggest to quench the traveller’s thirst.
Make Friendship With A Fauji
Hell Ya! That’s what I did. ITBP, Army, Border Roads, or any such uniformed personnel can help you get the permit. So, check your phone book, find a fauji friend or make one J
Connect With Where Eagles Dare
As far as I know there is only one person, Tilak Soni, who can help you get through this really offbeat location. He runs a small travel group, Where eagles Dare which is based out of Uttarkashi. He knows the place inside –out. He takes biking expeditions and is the only one to take all women bikers group across Mana Pass, the old silk route. There are many such commendable applauds up his sleeves. Check out his Facebook Group and you will know what I am talking about: Where Eagles Dare
He is trying his best to get the first ever biking expedition in these hidden valleys.