Author - Susmita Mukhopadhyay | Category - Adventure, Himalayas, Travel, Trekking | June 11, 2011

Gangotri remains closed due to snow in the winter. The last ritual/puja is performed on Diwali, which occurs either during late october or in early November. It opens mid-April every year the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya. This is not only applicable to Gangotri but to all the four dhams (char dham to the initiated traveler) – Yamunatri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.

Gaumukh, which is the origin of the Ganga, is a glacier. It is situated at a distance of 19 KMS from Gangotri. It is very windy there and as it is situated at a height of approx. 3900-4000 mtrs from sea level, oxygen in the air is deficient. (Oxygen cylinder is available in Gangotri market but personally I do not think, it is needed). One has to walk/trek all through, one can also hire a horse ride up to Bhojwasa (14 Kms from Gangotri). However, the last 5 km is a beautiful trekking route and needs must be covered on foot. The road is okay but strewn with boulders and there are challenges on the way. One needs to cross 4-5 water streams on the way. There are very narrow log-bridges over these streams, barely five inches in width and one has to be very careful when crossing these. There are two landslide-prone zones on the way where stones/boulders come down all the time. Only 150 people are allowed to visit Gaumukh per day. There is forest gate at approx. 1.5KM from Gangotri, it opens at 6.00AM, where one needs to show the travel permission and pay Rs.150/- per person. No plastic bags, bottles etc. are allowed to be taken beyond this point. (One can carry these items after making a security deposit, deposited in this gate office).

You can carry your mobile phones but there will be no connectivity beyond 4-5 kms of trek. The Gaumukh trek is a must for those who love trekking and adventure. If one has the time then, move to Bhojwasa on day one, on day two visit Gaumukh, enjoy the nature and come back to Bhojwasa for the night. Return to Gangotri on day three. While it is more enjoyable to travel in a group and safer, you can also travel alone and enjoy your moments of solitude. Permission for travel/trek to Gaumukh can be obtained from the local forest office at Gangotri (8 – 9 AM in the morning & 6 – 7 PM in the evening).

Some tips for the trek –

  1. Carry some Chocolates (or other calorie-rich food items) along with other food, water and juices.
  2. It will be helpful if one walks 4-5 kms everyday for 3-4 weeks prior to this trip.
  3. Do not return to the base (Gangotri) on the same day. Stay at Bhojwasa (the only place one can stay in the whole route). Otherwise it will be very hectic.
  4. Take your usual medicines with you, apart from those that may be required in high altitudes.
  5. Trek with proper shoes.
  6. Carry Photo Identity Cards and photocopies of the same as that will be required for permission from the forest department.

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4 Comment

  • Treks in Himalayas in India says:

    The Himalayas, home of the snow, is the most impressive system of mountains on the earth, and for centuries the setting for epic feats of exploration and mountain climbing / treks.

  • Removal Companies says:

    Places like the majestic Gangotri are among the most illustrative evidences of the higher power above us, no matter what name people call it. The feeling conquering the mountain is like conquering your possibilities and restrictions as a human being so such an adventure will make you think about the real wonders of life.

  • Kamlesh says:

    Hi friend.
    I visited gangotri from haridwar on 3/6/ big car zylo with 10 seats costing 7000/-up to uttarkashi and then max 10 seat 3000/- up to gangotri. Nice but hilly roads up to uttar kashi. started at 7 am and reached uttarkashi at 3 pm. stay at hotel yamuna nr bus parking new hotel rent 800/- next day started for gangotri at 8 hrs. on way nice streams and scary roads but finest one hr stay at harshil with ganga in background and clean streams and chid vrikshas.reached gangotri at 1.30pm and stay at Mandakini guest house on temple road.[Rs-800/-]Nice food available at Gangaputra restaurent.mostly north indian food. Previous permission arranged from uttarkashi for entry to Gaangotri National Park with Guides and porters and kitchen, tents etc.costing around 40000/- for 11 persons group for 5 days inclusive of all.on 4/6/12 started for trek at 7.30am with clear skys. starting slope difficult to climb for first time travellers.then easy up to chirwasa. occasional difficult portions come in way.enjoyed beautiful mountain views and flora and fauna on the way.not many visitors on that day. rached chirwasa 8 kms and stayed at ganga banks.necxt day started for bhojwasa. difficult trek with fearsome river crossings. but enjoyed a lot. Facility available at bhojwasa for night stay in Govt. Guest house at Rs 300/- per person excluding Tax and food.Lalbaba ashram also provides shelter and food. at nominal cost. but we had our tents and food. Next day strated for gaumukh, mostly non green patches with boulders but wide trek up to Gaumukh[reached at 1.00 pm}.made puja there and family returned bhojwasa. I ,hardik and Dr. Rohit staterd for Tapovan,First encountered Glaciers boulders and crevasses teriible trek then almost 80 degree slope to climb. but honest and helpful guide made us to reach Tapovan at 4.45 pm. once enterd tapovan it was like in heaven. please wait for next comment. Thanks for reading. : kamlesh




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