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Gaumukh Trek

Treking & Rafting Highlights

Gangotri, the narrow Bhagirathi Ravine, dramatic and beautifully wooded opens out in to a valley flanked by jagged snowy peaks. On the slopes clothed with Birch trees (Bhoj- patra) their trunks wrapped in the paper like tissue used in ancient days for writing scriptures and the group of giant pillars of boulder clay topped boulders As it were stand guard as giant sentinels of the valley stands as a simple edifice to the Goddess Ganga.

We have designed this tour to give you a comprehensive Indian experience –take an Indian train journey across the plains, drive on twisting mountains roads through the Garhwal foothills, visit holy ghats, ashrams and temples in Rishikesh and Haridwar, trek to a height of 14,294ft/4463m, and watch the sunrise on the dramatic Garhwal Himalayan giants such as Shivling (20,956ft/6543m) and Bhagirathi I, II and III (21,958ft/6856m, 20,857ft/6512m, and 20,671ft/6454m respectively).

 

BHAGIRATHI EXPEDITION - Bhagirathi is the main tributary of the Ganga. The river originates from the fabled source of Ganga at Gaumukh. This exotic body of sparkling water then flows down through the heart of the Himalayas cutting itself a magnificent gorge. Our expedition takes you into this gorge which is accessible only by the river. You exit the gorge at Devprayag at the confluence of the Alaknanda and the Bhagirathi which meet together to form the Ganga.

Location Chart

Delhi - Rishikesh - Uttar Kashi - Gangotri - Gaumukh - Tapovan - Chirbasa - Gangotri - Tehri - Dev Prayag - Kaudiyala - Shivpuri - Rishikesh - Delhi

Day by Day Itinerary

DAY 01 : DELHI – HARIDWAR - RISHIKESH (356 mts.)

  • Take the early morning Shatabdi Express train for Haridwar. Transfer to hotel. Lunch at hotel. After lunch sightseeing tour of Rishikesh, Laxman Jhoola (a large suspension bridge) to visit the 13-storey temple on the other side and visit perhaps Triveni Ghat, Bharat Temple and/or the place Lord Rama bathed at Rishikund. This small town is the ancient roadhead for all pilgrim traffic and in the season is hectic with groups of villagers from all over India clamouring for seats on the buses to the four hill shrines. The northern part of the town is called Muni-ki-Reti and refers to the silver shores of the river where the rishis of old meditated. Across the Ganga, large, sprawling but well-maintained ashrams teach yoga and publish books on the scriptures. At sundown each evening there is a service at the side of the river, at the bathing ghat in the middle of Rishikesh at which tiny candle rafts are lit and let out into the choppy water to float away into the dusk. This is highly recommended as it has a very special ambience at this time.
  • Dinner and overnight stay at Camp or Hotel.

DAY 03 : RISHIKESH / SHIVPURI - UTTARKASHI (1150 mts.)

  • After breakfast drive to Uttarkashi (145 kms / 08 hrs). Lunch enroute.
  • Dinner and overnight in Tourist Bungalow or Deluxe camp.

DAY 04 : UTTARKASHI - GANGOTRI (3140 mts.)

  • After breakfast drive to Gangotri covering 97 kms in approx. 05 hrs. along the Bhagirathi River passing Harsil enroute which has a Buddhist colony. Lunch enroute.
  • Dinner and overnight in Rest house.

DAY 05 : TREK TO CHIRBASA (11,549ft/3606mts). Approx. 3-4 hours.

  • The walk begins with gradual ascent through pine trees, alongside the roaring Bhagirathi river with towering cliffs on your left hand side. Soon after you leave Gangotri, you pass a check post for the Gangotri Conservation Project. The money they collect from your guide on your behalf goes towards projects such as collection of litter, re-planting birch trees, and an awareness campaign for trekkers on eco-sensitive tourism. Today’s walk is quite short to help with acclimatisation. Chirbasa means pine trees. Here you have superb views of Manda peak (20,853ft/6511m), Hanuman Tibba (17,186ft/5366m), Bhrigu Parbat (19,217ft/6000m), Bhagirathi I, II and III (21,958ft/6856m, 20,857ft/6512m, and 20,671ft/6454m respectively). You could well spot herds of Bharal roaming the hillside above Chirbasa.
  • Overnight camp.

DAY 06 : TREK TO GAUMUKH (3892mts). Approx. 4 hours.

  • It takes approximately 1-2 hours to reach Bhojbasa (12,145ft/3792m) which has an ashram, a tourist guest house and police post. Here the majestic soaring peak of Shivling (20,956ft/6543m) comes into view. The trek from Bhojbasa to Gaumauk is a fairly gradual ascent. “Gau” means cow, and “Mauk” means mouth. At Gaumauk, you can dip your hands and toes in the revered holy water of the Ganges, and you may well find your guide collecting holy water here on the decent for a puja. Gangotri used to be the source, but the glacier has receded now to just beyond Gaumauk.

  • Overnight camp.

DAY 07 : TREK TO TAPOVAN (14,294ft/4463m). Approx. 3 hours

  • Although relatively short in distance, today’s walk will feel strenuous with the combined effects of the altitude, the ascent to be gained, the glacier crossing, and the steep, rocky terrain on the final climb to Tapovan. You begin by trekking over boulders on your approach to the glacier. The trail steepens noticeably as you ascend slowly over the rocky terrain. The glacier is covered by morraine so you do not need any technical equipment, although a steadying trekking pole is definitely handy. As you take your last step up the steep rocky path to enter the Tapovan meadow, you are greeted with the most spectacular view of Mount Shivling, rising like a great deity before you and inspiring awe. Meru, Manda, the the Bhagirathi sister peaks also dominate your view. Gazing down proudly at your ascent, you can see Gangotri glacier.
  • Overnight camp.

DAY 08 : TREK TO CHIRBASA. Approx. 5/6 hours.

  • Rise early, exit from your canvass kingdom, and you will be rewarded with a spectacular panoramic setting. Watch the sunrise on the surrounding 6000m peaks. Shivling is undoubtedly the star of the show, commanding instant attention as it soars dramatically into the sky, dwarfing its neighbours. Today you will retrace your steps to Chirbasa. A steep descent down to the glacier is followed by a rocky traverse of the glacier. Continue your gradual descent to Chirbasa where you will camp for the night in the birch trees grove.
  • Overnight camp.

DAY 09 : TREK TO GANGOTRI. DRIVE TO UTTARKASHI.

  • Retrace your steps from Chirbasa to Malla (3 hours approx.). Drive to Uttarkashi (approx. 5/6 hours). Uttarkashi is an attractive small town situated on the right bank of Bhagirathi at an altitude of about 4,964ft/1,550m. The temples and ghats have names almost identical to those in Varanasi, a historical city in the Indian plains. The most important temple dedicated to Shiva is known as Vishwanath Mandir, where stands a magnificent Trishul (trident), one meter in circumference and made of copper. It supports a trident four meters long. Each prong is about two meters in length. Uttarkashi is known for its temples dedicated to Parhsuram, Datatryea, Annapurna, Devi, Kali Bhairon and other gods and goddesses. At one time, there were 365 temples in this town.

Uttarkashi is also known as Barahat, literally meaning "a big market place". In olden days Kedarnath was a 12 days' trek away, Gangotri 7 days, Yamunotri 5 days and Srinagar 6 days away. Nowadays, motorable roads go to most of these places.

Uttarkashi also has a number of ashrams for the sanyasis and mendicants who occupy the banks of the holy river for penance and prayers. It is a modern town with facilities. The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering is located here. It is situated at a spur at Ladari, dominating the beautiful town and overlooking the entire valley. This national institute imparts mountaineering training to young people to inculcate the spirit of adventure among the youth of the country. The institute at Uttarkashi is the second Nehru Mountaineering Institute which conducts basic and advanced mountaineering courses. Uttarkashi has developed rapidly due to the construction of the Maneri Valley Hydroelectric Project.

DAY 10 : UTTARKASHI - SHIVPURI

  • Drive to the MHE Camp at Shivpuri

  • Overnight at camp

DAY 11 : SHIVPURI - DELHI

  • Leave for onward journey to Delhi

  • Dinner and overnight in sandy beaches.
 
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