About GAUMUKH TAPOVAN TREK
The Gaumukh Tapovan Trek takes one through the Gaumukh, near the Gangotri Glacier which is the mouth of the holy Ganga river. It lies in the Uttarakhand region of India and the trek route is special because of mythological reasons.
Level of difficulty – Moderate to Difficult
Maximum Altitude – 14,600ft
Base Camp – Dharali, 20 km before Gangotri
In the entire Trek, you will get glimpses of Mount Shivling and also of the Bhagirathi Twin Peaks and Mount Meru. The dual combination of the river flowing and the surrounding mountains is a dream-like scenery for any nature lover.
Best Time to do Gaumukh Tapovan trek
The best time to go on the Gaumukh Tapovan Trek is from May to June and mid-August to October.
HOW TO REACH THERE
To undertake this Trek, you will first have to reach Dehradun in Uttarakhand. There are a number of ways to reach Dehradun –
The airport in Dehradun is known as Jolly Grant Airport which is located 25 km away from the city. There are regular flights from Delhi to Dehradun.
Trains are available from Delhi to Dehradun – New Delhi Dehradun AC Express, Dehradun Janshtbdi, Dehradun Shatabdi.
From Delhi’s ISBT Kashmere Gate, you will find regular bus service to Dehradun ISBT. The fares start from Rs. 440.
Dharali is 6 Km away from the town of Harsil. Dharali to Gangotri is a 1 hr drive.
Day 1: Dehradun to Gangotri (10,055ft; 10-12 hours drive from Dehradun to Gangotri)
The drive from Dehradun to Gangotri will take an average of 10-12 hours, covering 241 kilometres. You will pass through Mussoorie – from where you can get a glimpse of the Shivalik Ranges – Dhanulti, Chamba and finally, Uttarkashi, which is on the banks of the Bhagirathi River. Make sure you get proper acclimatization in Gangotri as the altitude gained in this trek will be high.
Day 2: Gangotri to Chirbassa (10,055ft – 11,761ft; 9km; 6 hours)
This day’s trail will take you along the beautiful Bhagirathi River, pine forests, waterfall and streams. The stunning Sudarshan Parbat will be visible to you on the entire trail. The trail is mainly within the Gangotri National Park. Soon, you will reach the campsite of Chirbassa from where the Bhagirathi sister peaks, Manda Peak and Bhrigu Parbat will be visible.
Day 3: Chirbasa to Bhojbasa (11,761ft – 12,450ft; 5 km; 3 hours)
The 3 hour trek is of gradual ascent and the trail widens up to a beautiful view of the Bhagirathi Peaks. Camp near the plain terrain which is known as Bhojwasa, because of the presence of the birch trees. This is the widest part of the Valley and from here you will get the first view of Mount Shivling.
Day 4: Bhojbasa-Tapovan and Gaumukh-Bhojwasa (10,055ft – 12,450ft; 12,450ft – 14,202ft; 24 km; 15 hours)
On the trail to Gaumukh, the Valley narrows. The ascent is gradual and you will have to cross a glacial stream after which you will see Mount Shivling on the right. After half an hour of trekking, you will have to cross a bend from where you will get the beautiful view of Gaumukh. From here, the terrain becomes a bit rocky but can be managed. When you reach the campsite, you will find a small temple of Lord Shiva. Pilgrims cannot go any further without a permission to camp at Tapovan.
The trail from Gaumkh to Tapovan is very difficult as you will be required to climb glacial moraines and go through the Gaumukh glacier and pass a glacial stream named Akash Ganga which needs to be crossed after an ascent of about 100 metres. Tapovan is a steep ascent from here. From the Tapovan campsite, you will get an astounding view of the mountain peaks. Mount Shivling is on the right and Mount Meru is to the right of Mount Shivling. Sumeru, Bhagirathi Peaks, Thenu, Sudarshan Parbat, all are visible from here.
Day 5: Bhojbasa to Gangotri via Dharali (12,450ft – 10,055ft; 7km; 5 hours)
It is a gradual descent first to Chirbasa and then to Gangotri and it will take less time than the initial ascent. From Gangotri, you can ride back to Dehradun which is an 8 hour drive.
BSNL network is available till Gangotri, after that the cellular connetivity in the entire trek will be poor. There are charging points available in Dharali, but the usage of these charging points usually depends on the availability of electricity in Dharali. Uttarkashi is the last point where you can get an ATM.