The terminus of the Gangotri Glacier is said to resemble a cow’s mouth, and the place is called Gomukh or Gaumukh. Gomukh, which is about 19 km (11.8 mi) from the town of Gangotri, is the precise source of the Bhagirathi river, an important tributary of the Ganges. Gomukh is situated near the base of Shivling; in between lies the Tapovan meadow. Gomukh is 18 km from Gangotri in the foothills of Bhagirathi at a height of 4255m. It is the snout of the Gangotri Glacier. The Bhagirathi river here is pretty speedy. Around the snout, nature presents a wild topography. There are bolders scattered here and there with some pieces of broken snow, along with the hard clayey snow of the glacier.
The trail to Gomukh begins from Gangotri, about 22 km (13.7 mi) from Gomukh.9 km ahead of Gangotri is Chirbasa, the abode of Chir trees. After 3 km of Chirbasa comes the dangerous Gila Pahar, Here the Bharals, a type of mountain antelope are sometimes seen. The Bharals are found above the altitude of 10,000 ft. Only 4 km from here is Bhujbasa. After trekking 41/2km from Bhujbasa, one reaches Gomukh, the snout of the Gangotri Glacier. A little before Gomukh, the majestic view of Mt. Shivling welcomes the trekkers to the place. The trek to Tapovanan and Nandanvan starts from here. The last climb to reach Tapovan is very stiff, within 2 km a stiff of about 70 degrees, which gain a height of around 1500 foot and is quite a challenging experience.
Area : Garhwal Himalayas
Duration : 06 Days.
Altitude : 3890 mts/12760 ft
Grade : Moderate
Season : May – June & August – Mid Oct
Day 01 : Rishikesh – Uttarkashi (180 kms/ 5-6 hrs)
Morning after breakfast meet Himalayan Outdoors guide and transfer to Uttarkashi (1150 mt) via the hill towns of Chamba & Tehri taking 5-6 hrs driving time. Upon arrival at Uttarkashi check-in at Hotel. Evening free to explore the surrounding by your own. Overnight stay at hotel. Uttarkashi is the principle town in the region. Home to a lot of very ancient temples, Ashrams, and Dharamshalas, this town is also home to the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. Uttarkashi also acts as a gateway to many mountaineering and trekking expedition in the Gangotri area.
Day 02 : Uttarkashi – Gangotri (3048 m/ 10,000 ft) Drive (95 kms).
In the morning view the sun rise on high hills with a cup of tea in hand. After breakfast drive towards Gangotri via the picturesque Harsil valley approx 25 km before Gangotri (3048 mt) by covering 95 km in 4-5 hrs. On arrival check-into Guest house. After relaxation visit the temple for prayers. Overnight stay in hotel.
Gangotri : The shrine of Gangotri is situated at an elevation of 3200 m surrounded by Deodars and Pines. The original temple was constructed by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa. Every year people from all around the world visit this shrine. A number of Ashrams and Dharamshalas are located on the far side of the river. It is believed that Raja Bhagirath used to worship Lord Shiva sitting on a slab of rock called the "Bhagirath Shila" situated a short distance away from the temple. Submerged in the river there is a natural Shivling (called Jalmagna Shivling) where, according to mythology, Lord Shiva sat when he received the Goddess Ganga in his matted locks. A days trek takes one to Gomukh, the source of the mighty Ganges.
Day 03 : Gangotri (3048 mts/10000 ft) – Bhojwassa (3792 mts/12440 ft) 14 kms trek/5-6 hrs)
In the morning meet the trekking team and start the trek towards Bhojvasa via Chirvasa (3600mt). From Gangotri one moves along the well marked and equally well trodden path towards Chirvasa, which is almost at the end of the tree line. The entire trek goes parallel to the roaring Bhagirathi River. Beyond Chirvasa the terrain becomes really desolate and barren, and the soil sandy and unstable. In fact, the last two kms before reaching Bhojwasa are known to be prone to landslides, and require extreme caution. The path suddenly dips on the last stretch to arrive at Bhojvasa; there is a small temple and a potential campsite near the river. The camp is established near river bank. Spend the afternoon to explore the area and to enjoy excellent sunset on Bhagirathi group of peaks. Dinner
and overnight stay in tents.
Day 04 : Bhojwassa – Gomukh (3890 mts/12760 ft)
Bhojwassa Enjoy a sunrise view of the Bhagirathi group of peaks. Post breakfast, trek to Gomukh (3890mt), the source of the Ganges. Gomukh is the spot where the water trickling down from the glacier forms the Ganga river. The sages called it 'Gomukh', because in the distant past, it probably appeared like a cow & smouth. Explore the area and trek back to Bhojvasa for overnight stay.
Gomukh : The Gomukh glacier is the source of Bhagirathi (Ganges) and is held in high esteem by the devout who do not miss the opportunity to take a holy dip in the bone chilling waters.
Day 05 : Bhojwassa – Gangotri (Trek 4-5 hrs) – Uttarkashi (95 kms/3-4 hrs)
Post breakfast get ready for trek down to Gangotri and upon arrival at Gangotri, drive to Uttarkashi. Check in to hotel upon arrival at Uttarkashi. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 06 : Uttarkashi – Rishikesh
Post breakfast, drive to Rishikesh. Trip Concludes.