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On seeing the magnanimity of the Himalayas and the crystal clear water of the Bhagirathi on the way to Devaprayag, the mountains in Rishikesh and Haridwar suddenly seemed like small hills. The further you go into this range, the more you realise its divine grandeur. The Ganga in this part of India is pure, unadulterated and portrays so much power, just like our tough and rugged Toyota Fortuner, which took us to Devaprayag in just 2 hours amidst the disturbing mining and construction activities on the banks of the Ganga, a little ahead of Rishikesh.
There are bridges being built and road-widening construction being done over a long stretch on the Rishikesh-Chamba NH 38. As a result there were innumerable broken roads, and our Fortuner, indifferent to any undulation was surging past the routine traffic. The 2.8-litre diesel engine that makes 174.5bhp and 420Nm of torque was a boon in the terrain. Also contributing to the flawless drive was the 225mm ground clearance and the 275/60 R18 off-roading tyres from Yokohama. We reached Devaprayag in no time, to witness the confluence of the Ganga’s two main headstreams, the Bhagirathi and the Alaknanda. It was a breathtaking sight, as the currents of the two rivers merged to form the starting point of India’s longest, holiest and most important river.
We hesitantly left the beautiful sight, in order to reach our next stop in time, the Tehri Dam. It’s a huge reservoir south of New Tehri city, spanning over a surface area of a massive 52 square kilometres. Drawing water from Bhagirathi and Bhilangana rivers, the Tehri Hydroelectric Complex produces 1000 megawatts of electricity, and is one of the largest hydroelectric projects in the world. It’s also the highest dam in India, second highest in Asia and the eight highest in the world. Just to get past the Tehri Dam is a two hour long drive around the Gharwal range of mountains, along narrow roads.
Stay tuned to our channel as we head to Gangotri next!