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Gangotri, one of the largest and holiest glaciers in the Himalayas, is the source of the Bhagirathi river. With the extension of a road till the temple at Gangotri, it has become easy to visit. However, travellers who wish to trek ahead of the Gangotri temple to Gaumukh Tapovan Nandanvan trek, should first acclimatise themselves to the altitude, since the ascent by road is rapid. Trekkers should spend at least two nights in Gangotri before venturing higher.
Gaumukh Tapovan Nandanvan trek takes you to the very source of the holy Ganga river. The trek is on a rocky terrain beyond Bhojbasa which tests the fitness level and stamina on the trekker.
Who can do Gaumukh Tapovan Nandanvan trek ?
Gaumukh Tapovan Nandanvan trek is a moderate level trek which can be done by a person with average fitness level and free from any heart disease or hypertension. Gaumukh trek is recommended for children who are 12 years or above as younger kids will get exhausted on trek due to high altitude.
Gangotri (105 km / 3 hrs from Uttarkashi)
Dehradun Railway Station
Jolly Grant near Dehradun
Drive from Rishikesh to Gangotri via Uttarkashi
Gangotri is one of the char dhams of Uttarakhand and has a famous Gangotri temple. It is 98 km by road from Uttarkashi.
Walk on the wide and flat pilgrim trail. Chirbasa is an open ground with a small rest house. One can stay here or proceed to Bhojbasa.
Continue on the wide trail. As you approach Bhojbasa (place of bhoj or birch trees), the views of the peaks on the Gangotri glacier open up. Rest house available.
Proceed to Gaumukh, popularly known as ‘Gomukh’ (3,890 m), which is about 2 km away. Cross to the left bank; a steep trail takes you to Tapovan (4,460 m). The Shivling peak rises sharply above Tapovan campsite. This is a historic and holy place to stay.
Return directly to Bhojbasa.
Trekking Option 1 : Nandanvan
Altitude – 4,570 m Trek – 6 km Time – 7 hours
Go across the Gangotri glacier to Nandanvan on the right bank.
Nandanvan is a lovely plateau on the right bank of the Gangotri glacier, at the entrance of the Raktavarn glacier. It is a green grazing ground and has a different view of Mount Shivling & Bhagirathi peaks. From here one can return directly to Bhojbasa via Gomukh.
Trekking Option 2 : Vasuki Tal
A physically fit & well equipped trekking group with more time can visit Vasuki Tal (4,800 m), which is ahead on the Raktavarn glacier. This trail has an extremely rocky terrain.
Trail down from Bhojbasa to Gangotri.
Drive back from Gangotri to Rishikesh via Uttarakashi
Yes, it is absolutely essential to take a guide for this trek whether you are trekking solo or in a group.
The best season for Nandanvan trek is from July to mid October.
It is ideally recommended for 15+ age. Nandanvan is a high altitude trek which is not suitable for children below 15 years.
Yes, in fact all the Himalayan trails are quite safe for women & solo travelers. People of the region are very warm, caring & hospitable in nature.
Camping tent accommodation (2-3 per tent).
Guides & porters in the region will never demand any tip money from you. They just need their daily wages paid by the trek operator. However, it is always encouraging if one can give a little tip to them if they provide good services.
Indian currency is accepted