Moderate To Difficult
|Suitable for:||10+ years|
|Experience:||First timer can apply, previous trekking experience is more appreciated.|
|Fitness:||Cover 5 km of distance in 30 minutes without a stress.|
Why Gaumukh – Tapovan Is A Must-Do Trek
An eight-day itinerary interspersing myth, spirituality, and sensational adventure, the Gaumukh Tapovan Trek takes you around the Gangotri glacier to the site traditionally believed to be the mouth of the holy river Ganga.
The Gangotri glacier expanse is nearly 24 km long and 6 to 8 km wide, beginning from Gaumukh and extending as far as the Chaukhamba massif around Badrinath. Courtesy of celebrated mountaineers Shipton and Tilman, we have a trek route traversing the entire stretch of this storied land. After feasting our senses in the fleeting glacial hues and the immense backdrop of Mount Shivling, present in its entirety from the base to the serrated peak, we descend through the meadows of Tapovan back to Gangotri. The trek is verily a raging visual thrillfest with rising mountain behemoths such as the Bhagirathi twin peaks, and Mount Meru, besides the ever-present Shivling.
The realization of the magnificence of watching the river that gave birth and nourished an entire civilization emerge fitfully out of the Gaumukh snout to flow 2,525 odd kilometers before meeting with the ocean, comes at a riveting spiritual moment. Trickling from Gangotri glacier through Gaumukh, meaning “cow’s mouth”, the river has a different name- Bhagirathi and becomes the Ganga, the life vein of the northern plains of India only after flowing in with another headstream, Alaknanda at Devaprayag- the key confluence point of Ganga before it pours into the plains. This illustrious geography has emerged from myths that imagine the river as intensely sacred. She was brought to earth from her celestial heights to renew the life of men by the rigorous dedication of a mortal, Bhagirath who gives the channel its name- Bhagirathi, and the river’s devastating energy was sustained by none other than Shiva himself.
The trek, in great parts, veers beyond the tree line and passes through larger-than-life mountainscapes. We camp at rugged heights from where the snow transfused peaks are a stone’s throw away. Be it the surreal sight of the Bhagirathi peaks glistening in the moonlight, the mind-numbing sight of the Shivling from Tapovan campsite, rising from the base to its zenith right before you, or a glimpse of the formidable Mount Meru, the bravura of visual ecstasies never seems to run out on this journey.
This trek is classified as moderate-difficult for all the right reasons. You must come braced for an arduous hike along boulder-ridden paths and a ruthless climate. The holy men who are found living permanently in the meadows of Tapovan for sadhana under the gaze of Shivling can be the ones to draw your inspiration from!
About The Trek
Gaumukh Tapovan Trek is a magnificent trek that takes you along one of the most beautiful and mystical routes of India, all the way to the Gaumukh Glacier, the source of the holy river Ganges. This beautiful trek starts from Gangotri. On the first day, you will drive from Dehradun to Gangotri and the following day you will have an acclimatization day to adjust your body to the higher altitudes. On day 3, our actual trekking begins where we will trek from Gangotri to Chirbasa. A beaten trail takes you from Gangotri to Chirbasa, Chirbasa is covered with tree lines, although not as dense.
The next day, you will trek up to Bhojwasa and as you move out of Chirbasa, the terrain becomes barren and desolate resembling the Arctic Tundra. The closer you get to Bhojwasa, the more vegetation you start to notice, and soon you are in a dense forest. Once you reach Bhojwasa, you are free to explore the area at your leisure in the evening and enjoy a startling sunset over the Bhagirathi group of peaks. The next day, we will head to the source of the Ganga River, the Gaumukh Glacier, and also trek up to Tapovan, a meadow where sages and ascetics go for meditation. Taking a rest day at Tapovan the next day, we will head back to Bhojbasa the following day and from Bhojbasa we will head back to Gangotri and on the 8th day, you will be driven back to Dehradun, ending the wonderful adventure.
What Can You Expect At The Trek
Gaumukh Tapovan is a moderate to difficult trek and as such it requires you to be physically prepared for the trek. Even though it’s a difficult trek, with the right preparation, even a beginner can do the trek. The trek is great on mountain views. You get fantastic views of Mt. Shivling, from the base to the summit, and the Bhagirathi group of peaks.
If you are doing the trek in the summer months that is from mid-May to end-June, there may be traces of snow in mid-May and whatever vegetation the trail has become turning green, the melting snow also adds a swell to the Bhagirathi River and this is noticeable in Suryakund itself. In July, the monsoon begins, which adds makes the trail prone to rockfalls and landslides and it is extremely risky to go there during the monsoon season thus we recommend visiting Gangotri pre-monsoon or post-monsoon. The summer season is the most popular time to do the trek as a lot of pilgrims also happen to visit Gangotri. During summer, the daytime temperature is pleasant and remains around 15°C – 20°C during daytime while the nights are cold and the temperature can drop close to 0°C.
Another great time to do the trek is during autumn when you get to see amazing views of the valley and autumn also brings some color to the trail as the vegetation en route to Bhojwasa turns shades of brown, maroon and yellow. The autumn season for Gaumukh Tapovan Trek is much shorter than the summer season and lasts for about only 4 to 5 weeks. This is because from mid-October it starts snowing and the higher campsites like Bhojwasa are completely covered in snow, making the trek impossible to do in winters. In autumn (mid-Sep to mid-Oct) the temperature is around 15°C during the day and at night it falls as low as -3°C to -5°C. So dress appropriately in layers to keep yourself warm.
Get all set to begin the journey from Dehradun in morning 6. The day will be longer as you will cover 241km to Gangotri. It will be a wonderful 8 hours ride along the mighty mountains. We start early in the morning so that we can reach Gangotri by evening.
Located at only 35kms from Dehradun, the first major attraction will be Mussorie, the famous hill station. The Hill station offers majestic sights of the Shivalik Ranges. After a break for lunch and a bit of sightseeing through Dhanulti, Chamba, you will arrive at the land of Gods, Uttarkashi.
Uttarkashi, the ‘Kashi of the north’ lies on the banks of river Bhagirathi and is home to the renowned Kashi Vishwanath temple. It is a picturesque town where you will see all the temples and religious people around, making you believe that you truly are in the land of Gods. The river Bhagirathi takes you to the scenic Harshil village. Harshil is known for apple orchards everywhere giving a retreat to your eyes. Harshil is the best place to enjoy the serene evening amidst mountains.
Even after a long ride to Gangotri, you would wish it shouldn’t end. Gangotri is on the banks of river Bhagirathi, pervaded by pilgrims. You can roam in the local market, interact will local people, and share amazing pictures with your friends, because of the good network availability. During the night have a great homemade dinner and rest in the guest house.
Good morning in the holy land of Gangotri!
Have breakfast and enjoy the entire day just being alive in the religious vibes. The entire region brims with spiritual fervor and Gangotri is a haven not just for spiritual seekers but also for adventure enthusiasts as well.
Now that you are at 10171 ft height, today is the day for acclimatization. Acclimatization is like a health supplement for your body to get used to the environment and low temperature. At TTH, we take acclimatization very seriously as it is one of the key contributors to the success of a trek. Take acclimatization walks around Gangotri in the evening and while doing that, you can take the advantage of being in Gangotri, one of the four Char Dhams. The Gangotri temple is the biggest temple that was built in the 18th century. Apart from that, you can visit the BhagirathShila, a holy rock where King Bhagirath worshipped Lord Shiva, and Pandava Gufa where Pandavas were rested. Surya Kund and Gaurikund are two hot water springs that you can visit as well, Surya and Gauri Kund are both located on either side of an iron bridge near the temple.
You will see many foreigners meditating and roaming around. Spend the night in the guest house and get ready for the upcoming trek.
Have a full breakfast and take steps ahead to embark on the trek through the mountains. We start early from Gangotri and head towards the Chirbasa campsite. The trek starts from a forest check post and after getting your permits checked proceed on the trekking trail on the left side of the mountain. You will be walking through the pine forests alongside the gurgling Bhagirathi river. There will be gradual ascents but it will be an easy 4-5 hours trek. You will come across many waterfalls and natural streams where you can refill your bottles. Throughout the route beautiful Sudarshan Parbat (21,345ft) will accompany you. The entire walk will be in the Gangotri National Park. Once you cross the third ridge on your trek, you will be greeted with a mesmerizing view of the valley. The fragrance of the blue pine and fir trees is enough to soothe your senses.
Towards the end of the trek you will be welcomed by boulders of the Sudarshan peak, just cross them and you will reach the campsite.
This will be the most scenic campsite, with the Bhagirathi river gushing on the right, lying in between the mountains under the pine trees. The campsite offers the first views of the Bhagirathi Sister peaks, Bhagirathi I, II, and III ( 6856 m, 6512 m, & 6454 m respectively) sharing space with Manda Peak, Bhrigu Parbat, etc. Far away you can also make out the Gaumukh Glacier.
Revive yourself by having lunch. Enjoy the blissful evening by the side of the Bhagirathi river, you can also take an acclimatization walk to explore the area. To make the day more adventurous you will be spending the night in tents. Of course, besides the flowing river, between the mountain peaks, under the pine trees…!!!
Wake up with the stunning fluorescent views of sun rays on the mountain peaks, and get refreshed to trudge again. This will be the easiest 2-3 hours trek having a gradual ascent. The trail widens now with closer views of the Bhagirathi peaks. You will cross some landslide sections easier to walk upon. About 45 minutes into the walk and you will reach the first ridge section and as you keep walking, the Bhagirathi group of peaks comes closer and closer. Soon you will reach a landslide-prone area filled with boulders and a stream running across your path. There will be another ridge after this point with about 8 to 9 landslide-prone bends, be mindful of falling rocks in this area. After the trek, you will see a bridge over a stream and a plain terrain where tents will be laid for you, this is Bhojwassa.
The name Bhojwasa came from Bhopatra trees or the Birch trees, which are in abundance there. This is the widest part of the valley serving you the first view of Mount Shivling. You will find an ashram, police post, and a rest house, also some igloo-like houses. You can opt to stay in those houses but that requires permission.
Chill around in the noon after having lunch at the campsite. You can capture the splendid camping area, or you can walk 300 m above the Bhojwasa campsite from where you can get a striking view of the valley. Spend the cozy cold night in the tents.
Today we will trek from Bhojwasa to Tapovan. It is a 9 km long trek so eat full, get packed lunch, fill water bottles (there are no water sources on the route), carry energy bars, and lots of excitement.
We will set off early in the morning and after walking for bout half a kilometer, we will arrive at the Bhagirathi River. To reach the Tapovan, we need to cross the river by means of a manually pulled trolley over the bridge. It is a unique experience and this method is often used as a method of river crossing in the mountains where there are no bridges in place. It takes about an hour for the entire batch to cross the river via a trolley so don’t be impatient.
After crossing the river, you will walk for about 2 km with rocks and stones on either side, this is also a potential rockfall-prone zone, so we will try to cross the area before lunchtime to avoid any potential rockfalls. After crossing this zone, you have to cross the Akash Ganga River. Look for spots from where you can cross the river and if the water flow is high then you will have to take your shoes off to cross the stream.
We will have lunch after crossing the river. Tapovan is a steep climb from here. After lunch, we will set out for the Tapovan campsite. It takes about 1.5 hr to reach Tapovan from this point. Once we reach the Tapovan meadows, we will find a suitable spot to pitch our camp for an overnight stay.
Tapovan is famous for the Sadhus who come here for meditation. It is also the base camp for the expeditions going to Mt. Shivling. It offers the direct, bigger sight of Mt. Shivling which is considered one of the most sacred and beautiful mountains. Do not miss the sight of Mt. Meru and Bhagirathi peaks. Pilgrims are not allowed to camp in Tapovan unless they have a permit.
After a grueling trek, Tapovan serves as the perfect place for solitude. Here you will find mountain goats roaming around, just as you are, and a great view of the Gaumukh Glacier. End your strained yet memorable day by resting peacefully in tents.
Rise early to cherish the few last moments in front of legendary mountains that are shining in the bright suns rays and get ready to visit the Gaumukh Glacier. Mt. Shivling looks prettier as never before, passing its beauty to the adjacent peaks. Together they all make a spectacular sight. It is time to take these memories back after having breakfast. Carry packed lunch and enough water as you did earlier because there are no water sources.
Yes, again you have to cross the rocky terrain and moraines of the glacier. Descending is more difficult than ascending they say, you will realize this now as you make your way around the boulders. Watch your steps and move gradually. Try to relive the moments while you retrace the steps. Enjoy the forested sections of Bhojwasa once again with its flora and fauna.
It is quite a steep descent to Gaumkuh and today you will get to see the behemoth glacier from up close. Gaumukh is the end of the Gangotri glacier and hence the source of the divine Ganges river. Gaumukh means cow’s mouth, it is believed the snout looked like a cows mouth in past. Most religious people consider it a blessing to visit the Ganges. Even if you are not religious you will be astonished to see how huge the snout is and how small you are in front of it.
The legend has it that once there was a powerful king named Sagar, who wished to perform the Ashwamedh Yajna with a ceremonial sacrifice horse. Fearing that Sagar will complete the Yajna, Lord Indra took the horse and tied it to the ashram of Lord Kapila where he used to meditate. Sagar sent out 60,000 of his sons to bring back the horse and when they were creating chaos in Kapila Muni’s ashram, his meditation got disrupted and he turned all of the 60000 sons to ashes and cursed that they will attain Moksha only if their ashes are washed in the water of the holy River Ganga, who then resided in heaven. All of Sagars ancestors failed to please Brahma to bring Ganga on Earth, however, King Bhagirath was able to please Brahma and he ordered Ganga to flow down Earth. Goddess Ganga was not pleased with this and flowed with such intensity that she was about to drown the entire world. Bhagirath then prayed to Lord Shiva and Shiva agreed to capture Ganga in his locks to control the force and this is how Ganga arrived on Earth. To date, it is believed that a dip in the Ganga is enough to resolve all sins of an individual.
After a steep descent to Gaumukh, walk down the terrain alongside the Bhagirathi river. It will be a 5 to 6 hrs trek to Bhojwasa and you will be back to the same pine forests. Tonight we will camp here again before returning to Gangotri the following day.
Wake up to realize that this will be the last day of the trek. Trek for around 6 to 7 hours covering 14 km to reach Gangotri. You will enter again in the Gangotri National Park, with the valley slowly closing behind you. Watch out for the rockfall section once again and you can catch upstreams and waterfalls to refill your water bottle. Say goodbye to the Bhagirathi and other mountain peaks as their sight now disappears.
Have hot lunch and dinner in the guest house. Pack to return to Dehradun and thereby to your lovely homes.
Have a final cup of morning tea in the mighty land of Gangotri. Say a final goodbye to your fellow trekkers and take back lots of memories. Take a wonderful group picture and get into the cab that will ride you back to Dehradun. This will be an 8 hours ride, between the mountains, valleys, and Bhagirathi river. The river guided us throughout the trek.
You will reach Dehradun by 5 PM, and from here you can lead your return journey as you have planned. We hope you take back loads of adventure-filled memories and take a pledge to come back to the mountains.
First of all everyone has to reach Dehradun, after that TTH will take care of your further travel plan.
Our pick-up location is Dehradun Railway Station at 06:00 AM
The distance from Dehradun Bus Stand (ISBT) to Railway Station is 6 km, without traffic it will take 15 minutes.
Options to reach Dehradun
1. Take an overnight train/bust to Dehradun, and then take a cab to the pickup point.
We always recommend to go for the govt. Buses over the private ones outside the bus station as based on the experience we have found that there are very high chances of delay involved with private buses. Also, govt. Buses are always more reliable. Whichever bus you choose, just make sure to reach Rishikesh at least by 05:30 am positively.
2. Take flight to Dehradun airport (Jolly Grant Airport) (25 km, 50 min), if coming by flight then come one day early.
Trekkers will be dropped at Dehradun Railway station by 06:00 PM, for onward journey from Dehradun it is advised to make arrangements after 08:00 PM.
The distance from Railway Station to Dehradun Bus Stand (ISBT) is 6 km, it will take approx 25 minutes.
1. Accommodation. (Guest house, Home stay, Camping)
2. Meals while on trek (Veg)
3. Trek equipments: Sleeping bag, mattress, tent (twin sharing), kitchen & dinning tent, toilet tent, utensils and crampon (if required).
4. All necessary permits and entry fees to Gangotri National park).
5. First aid medical kits, stretcher and oxygen cylinder.
6. Mountaineering qualified & professional trek Leader, guide, cook and Support staff.
7. Services from Dehradun to Dehradun.
8. TTH Staff insurance.
9. Mules to carry the central luggage.
1. Any kind of personal expenses.
2. Food during the transit.
4. Mules or porter to carry personal luggage.
5. Any kind of emergency evacuation charges.
6. Anything not specifically mentioned under the head.
Normally TTH expect to carry your personal luggage on your own, if you wish to offload your backpack, you can give it to porter.
Charges of offloading backpack:-
INR 2100/- if you make an online payment, 10 days in advance
INR 2400/- if you inform us after reaching Gangotri
The backpack cannot weigh more than 09 kgs. Backpack should have waterproof cover. Suitcases/strolleys/ bags will not be allowed.
Make a single payment and trek the number of times you want.
If you book a trek with Trek The Himalayas and are unable to complete the same or you have successfully completed that trek and want to do it again, you can repeat it multiple times without paying the cost of the trek.
Terms and conditions
The fee can be paid by online transfer/Check deposit/Cash deposit/Demand draft. Instruction for
payment will be forwarded along with your confirmation email. When your transfer is done, please
e-mail us a confirmation mail with your transfer details, so that we can follow up your reservation efficiently.
For the cancellation of services due to any avoidable/unavoidable reasons, Trek The Himalayas must be notified of the same in writing at [email protected] At the time we receive your written cancellation, refunds based on the total fare are as follows.
Cancellations prior to 25 days from the start of the Trip
Cancellation between 24 days and 15 days to the start of the Trip
Cancellation between 14 days and 10 days to the start of the Trip
Cancellation less than 9 days to the start of the trek
If by a rare consequence TTH calls off/cancels a trek:
At TTH, we almost never call off or cancel our treks. But in the rare event that we do call off or cancel a trek due to any unforeseen circumstances or natural catastrophes like continuous rain or snow, thunderstorms, snowstorms, landslides, floods, earthquakes, or any other natural calamity that prevents us from carrying out a trek in a safe manner, unforeseeable circumstances like local riots, curfews, pandemics, lockdowns, government orders, or any such situations that prevents a safe trekking experience, TTH will issue a voucher summing up to the same amount as your trek fee. The voucher can be redeemed on any of the treks over a period of the next year.
In the rare event that TTH shifts a trek:
As we mention always, weather conditions at high altitudes are extremely unpredictable and can change at any time of any day. Also, situations like natural calamities or political unrest, pandemics and lockdowns, etc are out of our control and if an event cannot run under any such circumstances that we do not directly have control over then we will try to give you an alternative trek, which means your trek will be shifted from one trek to another, which will be safer and more favourable.
In these cases, a voucher is issued to mitigate the difference in cost between the two treks. You can redeem the voucher at any time over a period of one year from the date of issue. A refund fee or refund of the difference is not applicable.
Cash Voucher Terms:
Itineraries are based on information available at the time of planning and are subject to change. "Trek The Himalayas" reserves the right to change expedition dates, people or itineraries as conditions warrant. If a trip must be delayed or the itinerary changed due to bad weather, road conditions, transportation delays, government intervention, airline schedules, sickness, or other contingency for which TTH or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays and/or other changes are the responsibility of the participant. TTH reserves the right to decline, or accept, any individual as a trip member for any reason whatsoever.
|Back pack & rain cover||(50 - 60 ltr) with comfortable shoulder straps|
|Day pack + rain cover||20 - 30 ltr (If hire a mule or porter)|
|Walking stick||Advisable (At least one)|
|Water bottle/Hydration pack||2 bottles of one liter each, People who use hydration pack 1 hydration pack and 1 bottle of one liter, Carry at least one thermos flask.|
|Personal Medical Kit||Consult your doctor|
|Snacks||Energy bars, dry fruits, electral/ors|
|T-shirts||4 Full sleeves (Non-cotton)|
|Fleece T-shirts||1 Nos.|
|Fleece jacket||1 Nos. (Alternative: a woollen sweater)|
|Down feather / Hollofil jacket||1 Nos.|
|Wind & waterproof (jacket & pant)||1 Pair|
|Thermal inners (upper and lower)||1 Pair|
|Trek pants||3 Synthetic (avoid shorts, fitting denims, capris)|
|Waterproof gloves||1 Pair|
|Fleece/woolen gloves||1 Pair|
|Hand sanitizer||Antibacterial powder|
|Toothbrush and toothpaste||Lip balm / Chapstick|
|Toilet Paper & wipes||Quick dry towel|
|Head torch||1 Nos. (Avoid Hand torch)|
|Sun cap||1 Nos. (One that covers the neck as well)|
|Woolen cap||1 Nos.|
|Balaclava||1 Nos. (Optional)|
|Sunglasses||Dark with side cover, it should be U/V protected, People who wear spectacles- (A)- Use contact lenses. (B)- Photo chromatic glasses.|
|Trekking shoes||1 Pair (Waterproof, high ankle with good grip)|
|Cotton socks||6 pairs|
|Woollen socks||1 pairs|
|Gaiters||1 Pair (TTH will Provide)|
Fitness regime for:
|Moderate To Difficult|
Calculate Your BMI :
Congratulations, your body is in good conditions!
|Less than 16.5||Serverely Underweight|
|16.5 - 18.5||Underweight|
|18.5 - 25||Normal|
|25 - 30||Overweight|
|13 May - 20 May 2023||Open|
|20 May - 27 May 2023||Open|
|27 May - 03 Jun 2023||Open|
|03 Jun - 10 Jun 2023||Open|
|10 Jun - 17 Jun 2023||Open|
|17 Jun - 24 Jun 2023||Open|
Jammu and Kashmir