Gaumukh Trek-A journey along the Ganga
Gaumukh Trek is a popular trekking destination in India, located in the state of Uttarakhand. It is known for its stunning natural beauty and is considered one of the holiest treks for Hindus.
Gaumukh is the terminus or the source of the Gangotri glacier, which is one of the largest glaciers in the Indian Himalayas and the origin of the holy river Ganges. The trek to Gaumukh takes you through breathtaking landscapes, including dense forests, pristine meadows, and snow-capped peaks, offering a truly mesmerizing experience for trekkers.
The trek to Gaumukh usually starts from the town of Gangotri, which is a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus. The trek is of moderate difficulty and requires proper preparation and acclimatization due to the high altitude. It usually takes around 4-5 days to complete the trek, covering a distance of approximately 18-20 kilometers one way.
Highlights of Trail
During the trek, trekkers get to witness the beauty of the Gangotri glacier and the Bhagirathi peaks, which are prominent peaks in the region. The highlight of the trek is reaching the Gaumukh, which is a small snout of the glacier and is considered the origin of the Ganges River. The sight of the glacier and the river emerging from it is awe-inspiring and holds great religious significance for Hindus.
Apart from the natural beauty, trekkers also get to experience the local culture and lifestyle of the people living in the region, including the Bhutia and Bhotiya communities. The trek also offers opportunities for camping, photography, and bird watching, adding to the overall adventure.
Gaumukh Trek Permit
It’s important to note that the Gaumukh trek requires proper permits from the Uttarakhand Forest Department and the Gangotri National Park, and trekkers should be well-equipped with the proper gear, clothing, and food supplies. It’s also recommended to trek with an experienced guide or join a trekking group for safety and assistance during the trek.
Gomukh – The source of the river Ganges
Day 1: Rishikesh – Uttarkashi (180 km / 5-6 hours)
After breakfast, meet with your guide and head to Uttarkashi (1150 meters) passing through Chamba and Tehri. Arrive at the hotel and enjoy a free evening to explore the area. Uttarkashi is a city known for its ancient temples, Ashrams, and Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. It serves as a base for mountaineering and trekking expeditions in the Gangotri region.
Day 2: Uttarkashi – Gangotri 95 km (3048 m)
After enjoying the morning sunrise in the high hills with a cup of tea, depart for Gangotri via the scenic Harsil valley, covering 95 kilometers in 4-5 hours. Check-in at the hotel and in the evening, visit the Gangotri Temple for evening prayer. Overnight stay at the hotel located at an altitude of 3048 meters in the Gangotri sanctuary, surrounded by Deodars and Pines. The trekking adventure starts from Gangotri, which is considered the source of the holy Ganges River.
Day 3- Gangotri (3048 meters) – Bhojwassa (3792 meters) 14 km trekking / 5-6 hours)
In the morning, meet with your trekking group and depart towards Bhojvasa via Chirvasa at an altitude of 3600 meters. The well-marked path from Gangotri to Chirvasa runs parallel to the Bhagirathi River. However, beyond Chirvasa, the terrain becomes desolate and sandy, with unstable soil. Extreme caution is required in the last two kilometers before reaching Bhojvasa, as landslides are common.
The path descends suddenly in the last stretch to reach Bhojvasa, where there is a small temple and potential camping near the river. The camping field is located near the river bank. Spend the afternoon exploring the area and enjoying the sunset view of the Bhagirathi mountain range. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 4 : Bhojbasa – Gomukh (3890 meters) -Bhojbasa:
In the early morning, you will enjoy the panoramic view of the Bhagirathi group. After breakfast, trek to Gomukh (3890 meters), the source of the Ganges. The sages gave the name ‘Gomukh’ because, in the distant past, it probably looked like the mouth of a cow.
Located at an altitude of 4463 meters above sea level, Tapovan serves as a base camp for mountaineering expeditions on the Shivlinga peak in the Himalaya Garhwal. One can witness a breathtaking view of the Bhagirathi peaks from the meadow at Tapovan. Later it comes to Bhojbasa.
Day 5: Bhojbasa-Gangotri (5-6 hr trek) – Uttarkashi (4 hr car)
After breakfast trek downhill to Gangotri, where the car is waiting to take you to Uttarkashi. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 6: Uttarkashi To Rishikesh (160 Km / 6-7 hours by car)
Breakfast early and depart to Srinagar via Tehri Dam, stopping to visit the villages Pahari and the small villages. Hotel accommodation, free time, dinner, and overnight.
Overall, the Gaumukh trek is a rewarding experience for adventure enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those seeking a spiritual journey amidst the pristine Himalayan landscapes.