The Ganga in India has a legend, a story and a belief attached to it at every other step of its course and its source at Gangotri glacier is no different. Cow’s mouth is the literal translation of Gaumukh (or Gomukh) from where the Ganga originates. It is also a place of pilgrimage and as per the legend King Bhagirath got the Ganga down here from the heavens so that salvation could be bought for his sons. True or not Gaumukh with its icicle Gangotri glacier is a challenge for every trekker and adventurer, most of who like to go beyond the Gaumukh point to camp right at the base of Shivling peak from where one also gets to see a magnificent view of Bhagirathi peaks.
Trip Starts from Rishikesh drive to Uttarakashi. It is spectacular drive which views Bhagirathi valley. Bhagirathi River is dammed at Tehri and it forms a reservoir of 22km behind the dam. It takes us 7 hours to reach Uttarakashi. Uttarakashi is a big town of this valley which supplies essential stuff to the villagers of nearby areas. Upon arrival, we check in to our room and rest of the day is spent in exploring the surrounding. Overnight at Guest house.
The Source of Ganga, Gaumukh (or Gomukh) is 18km further upstream from Gangotri. The trek to Gaumukh is gradual, and several pilgrims undertake the journey to pay homage to the river at its known source. Overnight stay at Guest House
Gangotri is one of the major 4 Hindu pilgrimages of Uttarakhand, where it is believed that Ganga river originates & came first time into earth. According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Ganga - the daughter of heaven, took the form of a river to absolve the sons of King Bhagirath's predecessors, following his severe penance of several centuries. Lord Shiva received Ganga into his matted locks to minimize the impact of her fall. This small town is centered on a temple of the goddess Ganga, which was built by the Gorkha General, Amar Singh Thapa in the early 18th century.
After breakfast, start trek to Cheerbasa. We have lunch on the way and reach at a small isolated forest of pine at Cheerbasa. After dinner overnight stay in camp at Cheerbasa.
Day starts with small uphill to the main trail and then trail gets gradual up to Gaumukh. It is about 9km and takes about 4-5 hours to reaches Bhojbabsa. Bhojbasa has a small temple there. Our camp is at Bhojbasa for overnight stay but we go up to Gaumukh for acclimatization as it is 4000m and then return to our camp. Dinner, Overnight Stay at Camp.
Till Gaumukh, it is a well-defined trail. But after Gaumukh, it is full of boulders on Glacier. After crossing the moraine and glacier, we finally reach the place from where we leave the Gangotri glacier below and climb very steep uphill to reach Tapovan from where rises the Shivling Peak (6543m) flanked by Meru (6630m) and Kedar Dome (6808m). Tapovan is surrounded by many famous peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas. You can see the peaks of Bhagirathi & Sudershan from Tapovan, a base camp of Shivling Mountain. The view from Tapovan is definitely worth the effort. We set up camp and spend the rest of the day exploring the area. Dinner & overnight stay in tents.
Morning after breakfast we start our 13 km trek back to Cheerbasa. On arrival, have dinner and overnight stay at Cheerbasa.
Morning after breakfast trek back to Gangotri and board to our vehicles & drive to Uttarakashi. Overnight stay at Uttarkashi.
Morning after breakfast it takes 7 hours to drive to Rishikesh from Uttarakashi. Lunch is served on the way. Trip ends after arrival at Rishikesh.