Is Roorkee Ganges Canal Mountain view for real?

lead pic

Facebook picture post of the Garhwali Ranges from Ganges Canal around Roorkee outskirts took many people by surprise. How can these peaks (150 ‘as the crow flies’ kilometers away) be visible? Can this be real?

A few experienced netizens versed with the Himalayas got committed to solving this Himalayan Puzzle. The first thing that came to the mind was to confirm the location of the picture.

Roorkee Ganges Canal

The Ganges Canal runs along a road that leads from Roorkee to Haridwar. One needs to reach the Nagar Nigam, Roorkee Bridge to get this mountain facing view. “It leads to Ziarat E Dargah Piran Kaliyar Sharif away from the populated area of Roorkee suburb,” says Amitava Chakraborty.

The Ganges Canal, Roorkee, Watermark 1863, Reference; Wikipedia

The Canal built in 1854 was a solution to the water crisis by Sir Proby Caultey. A beautiful Lion statue remains well preserved till this date. The watermark painting titled ‘The Ganges Canal, Roorkee’, depicts the snowy Himalayan Ranges.

Read more about The Ganges Canal here

The Mountain View, a myth or reality?

Many people who have visited Roorkee have rarely seen this view. “Impossible,” says one of the netizens who claimed to have lived in Roorkee. “Fake, Photoshopped” concludes another cybernaut. Many people questioned the authenticity of the picture.

Prakhar Dhruv Todaria was first to give an explanation in defense. “You need an absolute clear weather to have this kind of view. This is a rare and exceptional picture” explains Prakhar. He further stated, “You can not have this view from Dehradun, Haridwar, or Rishikesh since the Shivalik hills will block the sight and Himadari will be out of the line of sight.”

The line of Sight is better understood with the following graphical depiction.


Rohit Bhat was quick to crosscheck the Peaks falling in the line of sight with Roorkee on PeakFinder. An online reference for spotting Himalayan Peaks is as accurate as it can get. The results are encouraging.

peaks visible from Roorkee
Average distance of the peaks from Roorkee – 150 km as crow flies, N.E

Ramesh Tahlan annotated the peaks alignment with the Ganges Canal. Using Google Earth and Peakfinder data, he shared a useful illustration below.


Raj Kumar Khosla shared a ridge map of the major peaks (marked in yellow) as seen from Ganges Canal.  “All the peaks of Gangotri group and part of Kedar group are visible. Aerial distance from Roorkee to the nearest peak Jaonli in the center frame is approx 135 Kms. Left to Right are Srikanta, Gangotri I, II, III, Jaonli, unnamed peaks , Jogin, Thalay Sagar, part of Meru, and part of Bharte Khunta” he states.

We would also like to mention Swaragrohini, Bandarpoonch and Kalanag Peaks are visible. From extreme left to right as you connect with Srikanta.


Major Peaks visible from Roorkee are marked in Yellow

The final affirmation of the view came from Arvind Bahuguna. Arvind a local resident of Roorkee shared a picture taken by him in 2014.  “I have been staying in Roorkee since 9 years and I could only see it one time in my life,” states Arvind.

The location of the picture is from The Ganges Canal. This wide angle frame depicts all the peaks, including Swaragrohini and Bandarpoonch Range.


One of the reasons why this view is rare is due to the atmospheric dust and solar glare. With rising level of atmospheric pollution and global warming, such views are hard to get.

We rest our case.

Lead Picture credit: Md Shahnawaz | Last Picture credit: Arvind Bahuguna
Reference: Facebook Group Post discussion thread. Contributor’s: Amitava Chakraborty, Prakhar Dhruv Todaria, Rohit Bhat, Raj Kumar Khosla, Ramesh Tahlan.

13 thoughts on “Is Roorkee Ganges Canal Mountain view for real?

  1. Really cant believe this picture. I am from hardwar and numerous times i have visited this area but never saw such view from anywhere. Great. By the way any othher viewpoint from plains like this??


  2. i am a resident of roorkee since 1986 ..many of the snow peaks mentioned here & shivalik range is visible from many places including ganga canal near main market as well, even i have seen some of them from my roof top may times in clear weather during winter & mansoon.


  3. I Belong to a village in Roorkee.
    According to my knowledge this view is real. only when there is rainfall in all of Roorkee, Haridwar & Rishikesh.

    Many times when i was little boy. We used to see these kind of scenes even from our courtyard.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I can vouch for this view. I have lived in Roorkee from 1980 till 2001. This view used to be a daily thing when i was a kid (till early 90s) i would say. After that the increased construction and settlements led to an increase in the pollution levels but you could still see the mountains on a really clear day in the early morning.


  5. I am from Roorkee and I have seen the snow mountains multiple time from middle of IRI foot bridge when I was young (in 1980-90s).


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