Destination Gaumukh

Gangotri Gaumukh Glacier Trek
                                                                 Gangotri - Gaumukh Trek at High altitude
Another day in the office reached to its conclusion and evening made me realize that I am sticking in a rut yet again....On the spur of moment, I folded my travel belongings in the backpack and hit the railway station to catch an overnight train to Dehradun.... I was not very much certain about the exact destination but it has to be somewhere in Himalayas and Dehradun is the best base to weigh different options....Was it a relentless pursuit for unknown or just the restlessness which led me to do something random ? Nope. Yes. I am not sure..... whatever was the reason but one has to get slightly out of one's head for walking 38 km straight in a day at an elevation of 4000 meter....
On the way to Uttarkashi
                                                             On the way to Uttarkashi
After getting down at Dehradun, I hit my friend's place to take a quick nap and freshen up before boarding the shared jeep to Uttarkashi. My initial plan was to make to Gangotri on the same day but It's nearly impossible to have a direct journey of more than 250 km (Via Chamba) to Gangotri in single day with public transport.... you should start very early in the morning from Rishikesh/Dehradun to reach Gangotri on the same day.

 River Ganga on the way to Gaumukh from Gangotri Gaumukh Glacier
                                                  River Ganga on the way to Gaumukh from Gangotri

If I look back to the motivation which led me to this rigorous journey then it was surely not my fickle faith in religion, superstition of cleansing sins or mythological stories. I was more fascinated about snow-capped Himalayas and about materializing a dream of being at the bank of Ganges emerging out from a Glacier. Through-out the journey I was imagining that sublime photograph of thin water stream of Ganges. In the back seat of fully packed Tata Sumo, Journey to Uttarkashi was not as comfortable as I expected while boarding the vehicle however route was stupendously scenic.

Narrow River Snaking through mountains
                                                         Narrow River Snaking through mountains

Road winds uphill and always followed the bank of some river or another (most of them are tributary of Ganges). As we climb higher, transformation of landscape into lush green valley was truly overwhelming. In the Jeep I met some locals who gave me fair idea about the present situation at Gaumukh and warned about about chilly weather. They also kept quenching my incessant curiosity about flora, fauna, water falls or about any water stream falling on the way. Along the way we stopped at many villages set in the lap of mother nature narrating their glory. While navigating through this route, you will definitely swing into mood of spirituality..... and will be mesmerized by the natural beauty of surroundings...

Herd of Blue Sheep
                                                                        Herd of Blue Sheep

In the later part of the journey, I was hypnotized with the reflection of dusk on those snowy peaks of Himalayas and could not remember when I reached to Uttarkashi. Uttarkashi was the town where I was supposed to stay for a night.... breaking my journey... It was already sun down by the time I made to Uttarkashi so lodged into a hotel and logged the day off...

Snow Clad mountains near Gangotri
                                                      Snow Clad mountains near Gangotri

Mostly in news due to landslides, flash flooding. Uttarkashi is a spectacular little town amid lush green valley on the bank of River Bhagirathi (Ganga is known as Bhagirathi in that region )...Next morning, I roamed around in the town... went to the forest department office for getting permission for Gaumukh trek....

River Ganga Near Tehri Dam
                                                            River Ganga Near Tehri Dam

Shortly after getting the permit,i caught a shared Jeep to Gangotri

. Luckily I met a fellow traveler for the journey ahead from Uttarkashi. A solo traveler from South Africa who was primarily into landscape photography. Departure time of these shared taxis can be annoying. They primarily follow 2 rules of departure.
1) Taxi will only depart when it is full..
2) Taxi will never be full....

Shivling Peak enveloped with clouds
                                                                

Shivling Peak enveloped with clouds

After waiting for couple of hours and taking 2-3 circle of the town of Uttarkashi, Jeep took the road to Gangotri. On the way we stopped at Harshil which is a picturesque hamlet on the bank of river Ganges. Harshil is also popular fo apple orchards and Rajma. After 6-7 hours of bumpy ride we made to Gangotri which was quite chilly. After lodging into a room with basic amenities, we both roamed around in Gangotri. My religious side (or perhaps adventours side) inspired me to take a dip in Ganga's freezing water. Visited the main temple, offered my prayers and took part in the evening Arti. Gangotri is a serene village surrounded by snow capped Himalayas and remains colder through out the year. Next day I was supposed to visit Gaumukh and return back so i hit the hay little early after having light dinner at Gangotri.

Ganga Basin near Gangotri - Gaumukh
                                                              Ganga Basin near Gangotri - Gaumukh

Next morning at 5'o clock, we began hiking to Gaumukh. Gaumukh is 18 km from Gangotri (Not very steep hike). Initial stretch of the Gamukh trail passes through alpine forest and then green pasture replaces the landscape. Gaumukh falls into Gangotri Forest reserve hence you won't be finding villages enroute. The absolute wilderness of ethereal mountains are truly fascinating and I even came across the herd of Blue sheeps. High altitude and Thin air also discourage inhabitation in this part of Himalayas. In between we stopped at many places..... sometimes appreciated the absolute wilderness around us.....suddently i felt like a dreamer trolling through a narrow trail among high boulders set there since ages and the rippling of a river was the only sound in that lifeless terrain....Sky was partially clear and snow capped mountains were dominating the horizon....and I was the only one in that dream land walking to reach somewhere or may be nowhere... After 5 hours of exhausted walk,I made to the source of River Ganga......at an elevation of 4000 meter, It was Gaumukh... Felt lucky to be there and was among very few travelers who made to Gaumukh that day....

Ganga Origin at Gaumukh Glacier
                                                                   Ganga Origin at Gaumukh Glacier

In fact i was the only one in that cold and arid landscape near Gaumukh. I laid on a boulder at the bank of Ganges and stared at the blue sky. In the state of blissful contemplation, I felt like i am the only one breathing on this planet...the absolute serenity of the place brought my senses into some sort of synch but I knew it was all temporary. I will again get distracted to the world. Keeping my incessant thoughts on hold I took bath at the holy place. It was time to fold the journey because it would be dark very soon and dangerous too considering that wilderness,altitude and inclement weather.I took the same trail in reverse and reached Gangtori by evening. Next moring, I caught the first Jeep to Uttarakashi and then a connecting bus to Dehradun....

Finally caught a night train back to New Delhi....

Gangotri- Gaumukh Trek , Gaumukh Glacier, Ganga Origin
                                                                       Gangotri- Gaumukh Trek
This amazing journey to Gaumukh left its footprints on my head. Even today, I can feel every water stream,wooden bridges,glaciers,snowy breeze,cold desert....

How to reach Gaumukh: Known as the source of River Ganges, Gaumukh is 18 km trek from Gangotri. Gangotri is some 270 km from Rishikesh and can be approached by early morning taxis from Rishikesh. There are very few direct taxis so this journey can not be done in a single day. Most of the trekkers break their journey at Uttarkashi which is some 170 km from Rishikesh. You can get busses/shared jeep on this route. Uttarkashi is also the place to get permits for Gaumukh trek. Next day, board a shared jeep to Gangotri from Uttarkashi and start trekking day after that.

Gangotri to Gaumukh trek is not a steep hike and generally done as a 2-3 days trek with overnight stay at Bhojwasa which is 4 km before Gaumukh.

 

-Timing of Busses from Haridwar to Uttarkashi is 6-9 A.M
-Forest Department Uttarkashi Opening timings 10 AM to 5:00 PM
-From Uttarkashi to Gangotri most shared jeeps starts around 6 AM but you can get those till 10 AM (If there are enough travelers)
-Permissions can also be obtained from Gangotri early morning and evening 5 PM to 7 PM
-Indian-150 INR for two days, after 2 days 50 INR for each extra day, Foreigners 600 INR first two days and then 150 INR for extra days.

- you can get a locker facility in Gangotri.

 

Forest Department Uttarkashi Opening timings 10-17h.
DFO – Uttarkashi, Tele Fax no 01374-223693.
ID Proof Photostats are required to procure permit.

Hi, I am planning for Gaumukh

Hi, I am planning for Gaumukh Tapovan Nandanvan on October 2nd week. Anyone wants to join me?

IF I START MY TREK FROM

IF I START MY TREK FROM GANGOTRI TO BHOJWASA & NIGHT STAY FOR THE SAME NIGHT AND NEXT DAY MORNING AFTER VISITING GAUMUKH WANT TO BACK AT GANGOTRI---- HOW MUCH TIME WILL TAKE OR IS IT POSSIBLE?

It is possible and will take

It is possible and will take 2 days as you already planned.

 

Very informative blog. Thanks

Very informative blog. Thanks for sharing and helping out. 

Me along with my husband are thinking of going to Gangotri from Dehradun. Can we go to Gangotri and return back on the same day and what are the places we can cover if we want to make the best use of our time. We are good with private vehicle. 

Thanks a lot in advance for your info. 

No. It is not possible to

No. It is not possible to drive to Gangotri from Dehradun and come back on the same day. Even reaching Gangotri from Dehradun in single day would be quite taxing. Gangotri is not a day trip from Dehradun. Its very far and roads are not that good.

Hi vishnu very good article 

Hi vishnu

very good article  and very helpful for the trekkers

I am planning to trek to Gaumukh- tapovan -gangotri. would like to have travel partners to share guide and prorter charges.

if any one interested in the last week of sept 15 from gangotri i.e 27 to 1st oct 15 pl let me know and contact at raopavi@yahoo.com

regards

Praveen

Thanks for your comment. Good

Thanks for your comment. Good luck with your trip. I hope you find a travel partner.

no not yet find any co

no not yet find any co traveller.

Let us see.

 

OK

OK

Hi vishnu very good blog

Hi vishnu

very good blog about the gangotri-Goumukh trip. thanks for the insight abt trip.

I just want to ask  how is the weather during last week of septmener 2015. I am planning to visit Goumukh- Tapovan(if any co traveller available)  from 27th Sept 2015 to 30th Sept 2015.

If any one interested may pl join my e mail Id is raopavi@yahoo.com

thanks

raopavi

September-October are the

September-October are the best month for doing trek to Gaumukh. 3-4 days are too less for including Tapovan. you should have at least 5 days (ex- Rishikesh).

+- Vishnu

I'm planning to visit

I'm planning to visit Gangotri glacier next week oneself ,i wanna know would it be safe to visit this time ? 

Give me an idea about the time duration to go from Rishikesh to Gangotri with transportation mean and must have gear to go along to be packed in backpack.

 

Its monsoon time so you

Its monsoon time so you should prepare for lots of rain. Otherwise its OK.

Rishikesh to Uttakashi (one day) and then Uttarkashi to Gangotri (Second day). If you are using private vehicle then you can reach Gangotri in single day from Rishikesh.

For Gaumukh, you really do not need any trekking gear etc. carry [proper trekking shoes and something for cold.

Hi vishnu, Thanks for your

Hi vishnu,

Thanks for your wonderful blogs.

me.my wife and my dauthter are going to Gomukh on either 10th or 11th september this year from kolkata, west Bengal. can you suggest about the weather or any other difficulties, we may face on the way to Gomukh ?

waiting for your reply......

thanks,

satya

Gaumukh is relatively an easy

Gaumukh is relatively an easy trek. its not a steep hike like other treks in Char-Dham yatra. I do not think there would be any problem reaching Gaumukh

thanks for the nice article.

thanks for the nice article. i am planning to do solo for gangotri. starting 05 aug  from haridwar. purpose is spritual 

any body wantinng to join. mail me att drmanoj2020@yahoo.co.in

Glad to know about your trip.

Glad to know about your trip. i hope you find a travel partner. Enjoy.

+- Vishnu

Hi Vishnu! I am solo female

Hi Vishnu!
I am solo female traveller. I am planning to visit Gangotri from New Delhi around next week.

I would like to know that:
1) Is it possible to do solo trekking from Gangotri to Gaumukh. Any idea about the cost of hiring private guide?
2) How was the accommodation at Bhojwasa. Do I have to carry my own camping stuff or tent?
3) Is Gangotri-Gaumukh track safe for trekking in this season.

Thanks a lot for your helping.

p.s.If there is any solo traveller or group also planing to go Gangotri and trek to Gaumukh around that time and won't mind to join me or let me join you please let me know via this email. —rottenpans@gmail.com

Sorry for the late response.

Sorry for the late response. i was off the grid.

Well, you can trek solo from Gangotri to Gaumukh. trail is well outlined and you will meet people enroute. you can also hire a guide from Gangotri if you want.

Its basic. it is an ashram. No need to carry tent or any other stuff. you will get proper place to sleep and food as well.

It is monsoon time. besides rain there is no other challenges.

Have a safe trip and i hope you find fellow travelers through this forum.

+- Vishnu

Hi Vishnu: very informative

Hi Vishnu: very informative thread of mails ... i want to do this trip i understand this 5 days from delhi should be ok ... which is the best season to do this

best // namit

Yes. you can do it in 5 days.

Yes. you can do it in 5 days. will be little hectic but very much doable.

Hi Vishnu, Due to some

Hi Vishnu,
Due to some unavoidable circumstances one of my friend is not able to go on this trip to gangotri, I am planning to trek alone to gaumukh, tapovan and if possible nandanvan.
What you recommend, although I am bit confident that I will get few friends on the way.

Thank you
Regards
R j

Hi RJ I am going solo from 19

Hi RJ

I am going solo from 19 -26 Sep 15 . better two than one

 

rgds

rajesh

Hi, Can you please share your

Hi,

Can you please share your no. Bcz me and my friend(Drunk are also planning on the same date, so it'll be good to join you from delhi

I would not suggest to trek

I would not suggest to trek solo beyond Gaumukh. Route is not well-outlined. You will need a guide, trekking accessories, camp and other logistics for trekking to Tapovan and Nandanvan. Also you need to prepare yourself for high altitude.

+- Vishnu

i am reaching rishikesh on

i am reaching rishikesh on 17th june. Any intrested to join for Gaumukh trek contact me on 0990079844

Hi. Really a good website. me

Hi.

Really a good website.

me and my husband are planning to gomukh treck. we will depart from delhi on 6th june and will be there in Uttarkashi on the next day. we will strat treck most probably on 9th. please mail me if anybody interested to join on the same day. 

 

Best

Chetna

Thanks for dropping your

Thanks for dropping your comment here. Good luck and i hope you find a fellow trekker through this forum.

+- Vishnu

hi Vishnu Thanx for the

hi Vishnu

Thanx for the details. Although i noticed your blog is dated 2010..but i hope you will be able to shed some light on this. I plan to start my journey from delhi around the 19th or 20th may 2015 for gomukh. I understand there is a lal baba ashram as well as GVMN guesthouse in bhojwasa..but is there any place to spend the night in chirbasa?

No idea about accommodation

No idea about accommodation at Chirbasa. There was a camping site but it was make-shift arrangement. Lets hope someone who had been recently replies to this question. have a good trip

Hi, I am going to gomukh and

Hi,
I am going to gomukh and then tapovan in June (tentatively 17th 2015) with my friend. It would be great if some fellow travelers join.
It's always good to have friends.
Will wait for reply from someone.
Thanks

Hi, I also want to go

Hi,

I also want to go Gangotri and yamnotri please contact me 9873755904

I am planning for this trip i

I am planning for this trip i will reach rishikesh on 17th June

my contact number is 9900079844

Glad to hear about your

Glad to hear about your travel plan. I hope you find a travel partner through this website.

+- Vishnu

Hi Vishnu, First of all i am

Hi Vishnu,

First of all i am completely mesmerized with pictures of Gaumukh..nice work done..

I am planning to visit Gangotri on 18-19 May 2015 on my own conveyence, i'll be taking my first hault at Dehradun. Is it possible to reach Gangotri on same day if i start early in the morning from Dehradun and take a room and visit to temple next morning or Is it safe to take hault first at uttarkashi( Please advise for good hotel in Uttarkashi) and again at Gangotri(Please advise for good hotel in Gangotri) and visit temple, I am confusd between these options..Please suggest. Also Please advise for Godd hotel in Gangotri and any other place to visit aprt from Temple, will not do Trekking due to tight schedule.

Thanks !

 

Thanks for your comment. Yes.

Thanks for your comment.

Yes. it is safe to break your journey at Uttarkashi. There are handful of guest houses near Bus stand. About Gangotri, I do not have much idea about hotels. There are many basic hotels in Gangoti so should not be any problem.

+- Vishnu

Hi, Can we take our kids age

Hi,

Can we take our kids age 6, 9 & 11 along with us for Gangotri to Gaumukh trek......

We are 03 families planning to visit gangotri during last week of May'2015

 

Please suggest.

 

Thanks, \

with regards,

Sanjay

Gaumukh is not advisable with

Gaumukh is not advisable with 6 year old kid. its a long 18 km trek and altitude is also moderate. Gangotri is fine visiting with kids.

+- Vishnu

I am 60 year old retired

I am 60 year old retired person, wish to go to Gangotri & Goumukh,If any Group or any one accompany me with them, I will pay my share all exps, what ever, No issue on Mode of Travel / Taxi / Bus/Can share Group own car ( Date of Travel any day between May 2015 )

I am living in delhi, can join from any place Haridwar / Rishikesh or Delhi itself

Any one interested can call me 9899896964

Glad to hear about your

Glad to hear about your expedition sir. Have a good trip and I hope you find a fellow traveler through this forum

Regards
Vishnu

Dear Friend Vishnu Kumar. I

Dear Friend Vishnu Kumar.

I hope so that you are in best of your health and happiness.

I am planning to visit Gangotri form Delhi with my Wife and 5 yr old daughter with my oun car on 2-May-15

How safe is to travel alone till Gangotri.

Do road till gangotri remain busy with trafiic were we can get help in case of emeregency.

Sorry for the late response.

Sorry for the late response. i do not think there is any problem visiting Gangotri in the last first week of may. Enroute Gangotri, there are many small villages and traffic is mostly running.

hii sir I want to go gaumukh

hii sir
I want to go gaumukh by bullet bike is it possible same day
Plz replay
Regards

Gaumukh is not motorable. you

Gaumukh is not motorable. you can reach Gangotri on your bike but not beyond.

+- Vishnu

I want to go to Gaumukh

I want to go to Gaumukh between 16th-23rd May.. I want to know that is it correct time to go gaumukh?...and how many days that trekking will take i.e from gangotri to gaumukh and back?....

I also want to know about the permission to go Gaumukh.... Can the permission be taken On-the-spot from Gangotri?...

 

Pleae reply....

this Year snow-season

this Year snow-season extended further so you may see a lot of snow on the way to Gaumukh in the period you are planning. Time is coorect. Gangotri-Gaumukh will take 2 days and 1 night. Permits can be obtained from Forest office, Uttarkashi. Sometimes they issue permits from Gangotri as well but i will suggest to get it from Uttarkashi.

+- Vishnu

We are 2 persons planning to

We are 2 persons planning to trek to gaumukh, tapovan and nandanvan in June, 2015.

 

Any plans please ?

No plan from my side. I hope

No plan from my side. I hope you find fellow travelers here.

+- Vishnu

2 of us are planning to go to

2 of us are planning to go to gomukh tapovan nandanvan etc for 12 days in June 2015.
Is anybody else planning during this time ?

Hi Vishnu, It's really

Hi Vishnu,
It's really helpful site. Thanks for so much of upload of necessary and interesting things.
I am along with my friend will be going to gomukh, tapovan, if anyone interested can join us so that we can have more people together.

If anyone interested can mail us at rjha1976@gmail.com.
Thanks

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