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Dodital Lake

Dodital, a high altitude lake (3024 meters), is situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. It is a fresh water lake fed by the stream flowing through the thick forest consisting of various high altitude tree species. The Asi Ganga stream, which is one of the tributaries of the holy Ganga, originates from this lake. Uttarakashi can be reached from Dehradun via Rishikesh-Chamba route or through the Mussoorie-Chamba highway which goes through a beautiful landscape with a constant view of the mighty Himalayas. The famous Surkanda Devi temple and the picturesque deodar jungle of Dhanaulty lie on the highway. Chamba bazaar is a small junction of roads coming from Mussoorie, Tehri and Rishikesh. Numerous Garhwali folk songs essay the beauty of this small town. The Tehri Lake is another important place of tourist interest en route. A 4km drive from the town of Uttarkashi takes to Kalyani which is the starting point for the trek to Dodital.

It is a 5 km climb from Kalyani till the picturesque village of Agoda (2280 meters) which is the night halt point with a log shelter beside a stream, a kilometer ahead the village. The route to Dodital Lake is a paradise for birdwatchers and the sight of the beautiful Monaal Pheasant and rare mammals like musk deer Himalayan fox and pine marten is common. The first two hours climb from Agoda till Manjhi is steep after which it is a three hours walk on an almost leveled route through huge alpine trees and deep gorges. Manjhi provides a good view of the Asi Ganga waterfall and a few snow clad mountains. The sound of the flow of the Asi Ganga stream is so relaxing that the exertion of trekking vanishes away while the very sight of the shallow stream flowing gently on a thick carpet of grass is heavenly. Either bank of the stream is adorned with tiny trees with bended branches due to the weight of the flowers on them.

Dodital is a live lake with thousands of Himalayan trout fish in it. The lake is overhung by dense trees on the other side where the mysterious silence is repeatedly broken by the bubbling sounds made by the trout underneath. There is a Forest Rest House and an ancient temple beside the lake. However, there is ample space for camping. A further climb till Dharwaa Dhaar above the lake provides a spectacular view of the Bandarpoonch peak (6387 meters). Uttarkashi can be returned the same route or via the Dharwaa Dhaar which leads to the road head of Yamunotri. A trained guide is recommended.