Source of Ganges trek (Gaumukh)

Trek Duration: 08 Nights / 09 Days (EX DELHI)

Trip Style: Active Adventure

Trekking Level: 4 ModerateInvolves walking on well-defined trails with small sections of moraine, or land slide areas, with daily average walking duration of 4-5 hrs. Net height gain on most of the days would be less than 600 mtrs, with the maximum altitude not exceeding 5000 m.

Highest Alt: 3892 mt

Highest Camping Point: 4100 m (Baguabasa)

Area: Garhwal , Uttarakhand

Best Season : May – June

Overview

The Ganges, probably the world’s most revered river, flows across the plains of northern India to the Bay of Bengal, but its source is high in the Himalayas, amongst snow and glaciers close to the Tibetan border. Our trek to the source begins at Gangotri, one of the four ‘dhams’, or pilgrimage sites , and follow a well-used trail through alpine pastures to Gaumukh, the ‘Cow’s Snout’. This is the physical source of the Ganges. Shrouded in legend and folklore, and flanked by impressive 6000m peaks, it is here that the holy river Ganges begins its long journey to sea. The setting and views are inspirational.

Highlights & Itinerary

Highlights:

  • Great views of Bhagirathi Massif and Shivling peaks
  • Drive through Bairon ghati bridge, said to be the highest suspension bridge ( 103 mt)in the world
  • The snout of Gangotri Glacier that looks like a cow’s mouth ( Gau mukh )
  • Ancient temple of Gangotri
  • Hot Sulphur spring at Ghagnani
  • Great chances to see Bharal (Himalayan blue sheep) in its natural habitat.

Itinerary

Day 01:  DELHI  /  HARIDWAR, Altitude: 350 m, Driving Distance: 200 km / 5-6 hours

Drive to Haridwar which takes about 5-6 hrs. Its the Gateway to Garhwal Himalayas. The city is full of Temples & Yoga Institute & Ashrams.
Arrive Haridwar and check into a heritage hotel right on the banks of the river Ganges. Evening free for individual activity and visit Har Ki Pauri , a nearby ghat during sunset for evening aarti. Overnight stay in hotel.


Day 02: HARIDWAR / UTTARKASHI, Altitude: 1150m, Driving Distance: 190 km / 6-7 hours

After breakfast drive to Uttarkashi (1150 m).Upon arrival check in to the resort. In the afternoon proceed to visit India’s premier Mountaineering institute ‘Nehru Institute of Mountaineering’.  This national institute imparts mountaineering training to young people to inculcate the spirit of adventure among the youth of the country.

Uttarkashi is an attractive small town situated on the right bank of Bhagirathi at an altitude of about 4,964ft/1,550m. It is also the gateway to many mountaineering and trekking expedition in Gangotri area.

In the evening back to the Resort for overnight stay.


Day 03: UTTARKASHI / GANGOTR, Altitude: 3048 m, Driving Distance: 95 km / 4 hours

Drive around 5 hours to reach Gangotri. Gangotri lies in the northwest Himalayas of Garhwal, and is one of the four Holy dhams (pilgrim sites) of the North. The Ganga is believed to have first descended to earth at Gangotri (Ganga + Uttari, which means descended).

Enroute we cross Bhaironghati bridge; said to be the highest in Asia, built across one of the deepest gorges in the world, and connects Gangotri to the rest of the world over the Jahnavi River. Gangotri sits at the very end of National Highway 108.
Upon arrival check-in at tourist guest house. The rest of the day will be spent acclimatizing, visiting temple and surrounding sights. An optional Ganga Puja (offering) can be done on the banks of the River.


Day 04: GANGOTRI / CHIRBASA, Altitude: 3600m, Trekking Distance:  9 km / 3-4 hours

Morning after breakfast start first days trek to Chirbasa (3600 m).

The walk begins with gradual ascent through pine trees, alongside the roaring Bhagirathi river with towering cliffs on your left hand side. This trail keeps following the river and just short of Chirbasa, we will get the astonishing views of the Bhagirathi Peaks. Chirbasa literally meaning “the home of pine”, is situated at 3600 m. We reach our campsite surrounded by birch and pine trees.

Overnight in Alpine tents.


Day 05: CHIRBASA / BHOJBASA,  Altitude: 3792m, Trekking Distance:  5 kms / 2-3 hours

Beyond Chirbasa the terrain becomes really desolate and barren. In fact, it has been referred to as Arctic tundra by some trekkers.

We continue our walk and reach the campsite of Bhojbasa, home of birch (now only a few left in the much denuded area) and setup camp.

Take an evening stroll to one of the high points close-by for better acclimatization of the body to the surroundings. We may get a chance to see a group of ibexes or capture a beautiful sunset on Bhagirathi group of peaks and take a glimpse of the majestic Shivling peak.

Overnight in Alpine tents.


Day 06: BHOJBASA / GAUMUKH / BHOJBASA, Altitude: 3892m, Trekking Distance: 4 + 4 km / 4-5 hrs

After having breakfast, we will walk about 2hrs to reach Gaumukh (3892 m), which is said to be the source of the Ganges. Here we can spend enough time in admiring the beauty and the power of the nature. It’s a visual treat and an experience in itself to watch the flowing Ganga and the Gangotri glacier

After spending some enough time at Gaumukh we trace back our route to Bhojbasa. Evening free for individual activity. Overnight stay in Alpine tents.


Day 07: BHOJBASA / GANGOTRI / UTTARKASHI, Max Altitude: 3600 m / 1150 m, Driving Distance: 95 km, Trekking Distance:  13 kms / 5-6 hours

Retrace your steps back to Gangotri. Board the awaiting vehicles and drive to reach Uttarkashi by evening. Enroute visit to hot water spring at Gangnani (optional).

Arrive Uttarkashi and check-in at resort for overnight stay.


Day 08: UTTARKASHI / RISHIKESH, Altitude: 400 m, Driving Distance: 175 km

Morning after breakfast, drive back to Rishikesh. Upon arrival, check-into Hotel for overnight stay.

Evening visit ghats along the river Ganges for evening prayer Or relax at hotel and indulge yourself in an Ayurvedic massage.Dinner and Overnight at Hotel


Day 09: RISHIKESH / DELHI, Altitude: 239 m, Driving Distance: 225 km / 6 hrs

Morning after breakfast drive back  to Delhi .Upon arrival transfer to Domestic airport to board flight for onward destination.

********************************************TOUR ENDS*****************************************

Gallery

Trip Notes

Our effort is to give a clear idea about various aspects of the trip to avoid any misunderstanding during the tour. We request you to please read all the information given herewith carefully.

On the Trek

Equipment

All camping equipment like carry mats, tents, will be provided by Freedom 2 Be. You’ll have to carry your own sleeping bags. In case somebody wants to hire sleeping bags, it can be arranged from NIM.

Besides camping tents there will be a separate kitchen and dining tent with camping stools.

Dry pit toilet tents would be put up at the camping sites.

Luggage & Porters

Travel Light ! A Rucksack is what we suggest.  But even duffle bag will do….

But NO fancy trolley suitcases please!

Porters / Mules will carry all personal luggage up to a maximum of 15 kgs. Members will carry only a small Day sack for keeping water, packed lunch, camera, extra layer of clothing etc. while trekking. Please ensure that your sack has sturdy straps.

If the member wishes to hire a porter so that he can walk along with the guest and carry their Day sacks, then an extra porter can be arranged on the spot for which the guest must make the payment directly.

Food

A typical menu on the trek will be as follows,

Breakfast: Bread toast with jam,butter, marmalade, nutela, eggs (though its not permitted on this route, but we’ll try to carry them), porridge, cornflakes, juice.

Lunch: Mostly pack lunch. sandwich / puri-bhaji, Boiled egg / potatos, Fruity, one fruit, chocolate.

Evening tea & biscuits/ pakoras

Dinner: Soup, vegetables (as per season), dal, chapatti, rice, papad / pickle, sweet dish. Chinese and continental will also be served during the trek.

WHEN TO GO?

May – June: These are the best months for this trek , after the snow melts . During this period you will get to see glaciers on the ways and at couple of places you’ll have to cross them also.

Sep – Oct: Another good two months after the monsoon to do this trek. You will experience lot of greenery around along with some lovely flowers till the tree line.

July – Aug: These months should be avoided due to the heavy monsoon influence in this area.

FITNESS

Most people in reasonably good health should not have any problems with most of the activities through the tour.  But good conditioning will allow you to enjoy the walks at high altitude without being totally fatigued.  We will be trekking for around 4-5 hours a day (on an average), where you’ll just be carrying your small day pack having necessary things.

Past experience in trekking:      Useful but not essential !

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE

While on the trek the temperatures expected during the day are as high as 18º to 20º Celsius and average night temperatures expected are 4º to 6º Celsius. Except during bad weather when the temperature can go as low as sub – zero.

MEDICAL & FIRST AID

This trek is physically challenging & in remote region, where professional medical help may not be available. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in good health and physically & mentally fit to join the trip.

The tour leaders, though not qualified medically, are all competent to give first-aid if and when required. In case you have an existing medical condition or disability you must inform us before making a booking with us.

There will be basic Government hospitals available at Haridwar, Uttarkashi & Harsil.

DELAY & UNEXPECTED HINDRANCE

Delays are expected on account of roadblock & weather conditions. Our effort will be to continue with the trip as per the schedule & make you as comfortable as possible. But in such situations we may have to compromise on the campsite / hotels & adjust to these situations then & there.

KIDS

Children above the age of 8 with a sense of adventure are accepted on these hikes. These trips encourage children to understand the interconnectedness between humans and nature.

Children under 12 sharing their parents’ room receive a discounted price. There are no babysitting facilities along the route, but extra bedding and special dishes can be arranged with advance notice.

Best for:     08 years and above

Family friendly accommodation:       Extra Beds Available

Map

Map

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