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Gaumukh Tapovan Trek 

Trek Guide – Summer 2018 

 Trek Itinerary 

 Day 1  Reaching Gangotri 

Gangotri serves as a starting point for the Gaumukh Tapovan trek. Gangotri is a sacred town located on the banks of the Bhagirathi river. It is also known as the source of the river Ganges but the actual source is Gaumukh. Gangotri is one of the Char Dhams which also has a temple dedicated to the holy river Ganga.

Gangotri is 275 km by road from Dehradun so it requires almost 7-8 hours of road trip to reach there. But there are no direct buses or trains available between Dehradun to Gangotri.

There are two options to travel from Dehradun to Gangotri :

Option 1 : Hire A Taxi

The most convenient & fastest way to travel from Dehradun to Gangotri is to hire a taxi from Dehradun which will roughly cost around INR 5500-6000 one way.

Option 2 : By Bus

As there is no direct bus service from Dehradun to Gangotri, take a bus to Uttarkashi first and then change another bus from Uttarkashi to Gangotri. It is the cheapest way to reach Gangotri from Dehradun – approximate travel fare is INR 525 per person.

Where To Stay :

There are lots of options for staying at Gangotri which include some good small hotels & lodges which charge around INR 700 to INR 2000 for a room according to the amenities & facilities provided.

 Day 2  Gangotri to Chirbasa 

Take a heavy breakfast early morning to start the Gaumukh trek from Gangotri through the mighty mountains, pine forests and alongside the thundering Bhagirathi river. As you start the trek from Gangotri to Chirbasa, you will see the surreal views of Sudarshan Parbat which will accompany you all the way. This stretch of the trail has many waterfalls and small streams which are an opportunity to fill the purest Himalayan water into your water bottle.

Despite of a few moderate ascents, it is enjoyable 4-5 hours trek through the Gangotri National Park. As you reach the end of this trail, you will see gigantic boulders at the base of Sudarshan peak. Make a last effort to cross them to reach the most scenic campsite with the river Bhagirathi flowing on one side and the breathtaking views of Bhagirathi peaks I, II & III (6856 m, 6512 m & 6454 m respectively) on the other.

Just relax at the campsite while having lunch. In the evening, explore the riverside or take short acclimatisation walk towards the nearby mountain slopes. Savour the ultimate adventure of camping overnight beside a gushing river and between the mighty Himalayan peaks.

 Day 3  Chirbasa to Bhojbasa 

Rise early morning to see the sun rays brighten the lofty mountain peaks and treat yourself to a healthy breakfast to start the trail. The trail from Chirbasa to Bhojbasa is an easy 2-3 hours trek with gradual ascent. After about 15-20 mins, the trail gets wider and gives closer views of the Bhagirathi peaks. There are some landslide portions on the trail that you have to cross to reach a large plain area called Bhojbasa, which will be your campsite for Day 3.

The name ‘Bhojbasa’ came from the ‘Bhojpatra’ or the birch trees, the leaves of which were used for writing in the ancient times. Birch trees are found in abundance in this region. Bhojbasa provides you the first glimpse of Mount Shivling. This place has an ashram & rest house which requires prior permission to stay.

Explore and photograph the scenic campsite after a hot lunch. Enjoy evening meals around a bonfire & sneek into your sleeping bags after an early dinner to gear up for the next day’s trail.

 Day 4  Bhojbasa – Gaumukh – Tapovan 

Get prepared for a long & most demanding part of the trail which will test your fitness & endurance levels. Eat a heavy breakfast, carry a packed lunch & water bottles and get going with an adventurous spirit.

Gaumukh which is also called ‘Gomukh’ locally, which means cows mouth. According to local people the Gomukh snout looked like cows mouth and the religious people take it as a blessing to visit Gomukh, the source of the river Ganga.

The trail beyond Gaumukh is steep and has big rocky boulders. The rocky face of the glacier makes the ascent tougher which can be eased with the use of trekking poles. After crossing last patch of the Tapovan trek on a rocky terrain, you will reach a campsite with mindboggling view of Mount Shivling. It will take you a while to believe that you are seeing Mount Shivling in its entirety, from base to the peak right in front of you.

Take photographs of a lifetime of Mount Shivling which is one of the most sacred & beautiful mountain peak. You will also see Mt. Meru in the background along with the Bhagirathi peaks.

Tapovan serves as a perfect place for meditation for many Sadhus who come to Himalayas in their religious pursuit. Relax at the campsite watching the blue mountain goats called ‘Bharal’ grazing on the mountain slopes.

 Day 5  Tapovan to Chirbasa 

Wake up early morning to witness Mount Shivling shining with all its glory in the early morning sun. Capture the amazing views of early morning sun rays falling on the majestic peaks on your camera. Grab a full breakfast, carry packed lunch & reload your water bottles to start the trail back to Gomukh and Chirbasa.

You will have to cross the rocky terrain & boulders again on the glacier but it will be much tougher as you are descending this time. Be careful with every step and support your fellow trekkers who need a hand on rocky edges.

After descending steeply to Gaumukh, you will again trail beside the river Bhagirathi. About 6-7 hours of this trek will bring you to the same campsite at Chirbasa which is beside the gushing river & between the mountain peaks.

 Day 6  Chirbasa to Gangotri 

Get ready in the morning for the last day of Gaumukh Tapovan trek. The trail from Chirbasa to Gangotri covers 9 km in about 4-5 hours while walking again in the Gangotri National Park. Bid a farewell to the slowing fading mountain peaks behind you.

Reach your hotel or lodge at Gangotri. Take a shower followed by hot lunch and prepare your bags for departure to Dehradun the next day.

 Day 7  Drive from Gangotri to Dehradun 

Say goodbye to your fellow trekkers and the holy place Gangotri. Board the taxi which will take you on an 8 hour ride to Dehradun through the mountains & valleys.

Reach Dehradun by 5 pm and from here you can continue your journey to reach your final destinations.

 Short Itinerary 

 Day 1  Dehradun to Gangotri 

Altitude 3,100 m

Pick up time 6:00 am at the parking of Dehradun Railway Station

Stay in guest house / lodge

Drive 241 km (8 hrs)

Local shops and network is available

Route : Dehradun – Mussoorie – Dhanaulti – Chamba – Uttarkashi – Harsil – Gangotri

 Day 2  Gangotri (10171 ft) to Chirbasa (11680 ft)

Altitude 11680 ft 4-5 hrs trek

Complete trail in Gangotri National Park

Accommodation in camping tent

Hot lunch served at campsite

Campsite beneath the pine forest

Moderate gradient ascent

Natural water springs and man made water points are available

Acclimatisation walk in the evening

 Day 3  Chirbasa (11680 ft) to Bhojbasa (12435 ft) 

Altitude 12435 ft 2-3 hrs trek

Accommodation in camping tent

Hot lunch served on campsite

Easiest day of the trek

Moderate gradient ascent

Birch trees in the region

Ashram and forest rest house available

Bhagirathi peaks view from campsite

After lunch acclimatisation walk up to Gaumukh, the source of the holy Ganga

 Day 4  Bhojwasa (12435 ft) Gaumukh (13452 ft) Tapovan (14600 ft) 

Altitude 14600 ft 5-6 hrs trek

Accommodation in camping tent

Hot lunch / packed lunch

No water sources on trail, it’s advisable to carry at least 2 liters of water

Challenging day of the trek

Carry energy bars, cookies, ORS and water

Trek begins over rocky boulders and becomes noticeably steep gradually over the rocky terrain

Glacier covered with moraine so no need technical equipment

You might be see Mountain goat ‘Bharal’ near your campsite

Tapoan camp surrounded by giants – Mt. Shivling, Meru, Manda, The Bhagirathi group, Kedardome, Kharchakund and lots

 Day 5  Tapovan (14600 ft) – Chirbasa (11680 ft) 

Altitude 14600 ft 6-7 hrs trek

Descend down through moraine and glacier till Gaumukh

Accommodation in tent

Packed lunch

Carry energy bars, ORS and water

 Day 6  Chirbasa (11680 ft ) to Gangotri (10171 ft) 

Altitude 3,100 m 4-5 hrs trek, 9 km

Accommodation in Guest House / lodge

Hot lunch

Campsite under the pine forest

Moderate level of gradual descent

Natural springs and man made water points are available

 Day 7  Drive from Gangotri to Dehradun 

Road journey of 241 km

8 hours drive through the scenic mountains & valleys Reached Dehradun by 5:00 pm

 Getting Fit 

 1  Walking & Jogging 

You can include walking or jogging for 4-5 km in your daily routine which will increase your stamina & endurance for Gaumukh trek.

 2  Gym & Cardio

Doing light weight with high repetition along with 45 mins of cardio on a treadmill can equip your body muscles against fatigue, cramps & injuries.

 3  Yoga & Pranayam 

Doing yogasanas like sarvangasana, uttanpadasana & surya namaskar along with pranayam techniques like Brahmari can work wonders for your fitness levels.

 Trek  Cost 

13,750 per person

5 Nights 6 Days

(All cost from Gangotri to Gangotri)

*5% GST applicable on trek cost

 Trek  Dates 

5th to 12th May (Open)

7th to 14th May (Full)

14th to 21st May (Open)

23rd to 30th May (Open)

 Short  Itinerary 

 Day 1  Dehradun to Gangotri

 Day 2  Gangotri to Chirbasa

 Day 3  Chirbasa to Bhojbasa

 Day 4   Bhojbasa to Tapovan Via Gaumukh

 Day 5   Tapovan to Chirbasa

 Day 6   Chirbasa to Gangotri

 Day 7   Depart for Dehradun

Note : On Day 7, you’ll reach Dehradun by 5:00 pm. You can book your travel any time after 6:00 pm.

 Why  Gaumukh 

Most compelling reasons to do the Gaumukh Tapovan trek –

High altitude trek

Challenging trek on Gangotri glacier

A great trek to test your fitness & stamina

Astonishing close views of Bhagirathi & Mount Shivling peaks

Trek to source of the holy river Ganga

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 Trek  Registration