DISCOVERING GANGAS ORIGIN
DAY-1 DEHRADUN TO GANGOTRI (245 KM DRIVE)
Gangotri is at a distance of 245 km from the capital city of Dehradun. We
assemble at a designated venue in Dehradun and leave early in the morning for
our destination. We drive through the beautiful hill stations of Sua Kholi,
Mussourie, and Uttarkashi. However, the Gangotri Highway is an all-weather road
and provides a convenient passage for vehicles, the Char Dham Yatra, and
unforeseen road conditions may pose some delays. This is the reason we start
early. After an 8- to 9-hour drive, we reach Gangotri. You check into your hotel
rooms and have the remaining day to rest and roam around in the market nearby
the main temple. You can also attend the evening aarti at the Gangotri temple.
The catch is to stay outdoors in order to properly acclimatise to the altitude gain.
Consuming an adequate amount of water keeps you hydrated and helps you
acclimatize well. After having our dinner, we call it a day and get ourselves ready
for the coming adventure.
DAY-2 GANGOTRI TO CHIRBASA (10 KM TREK)
Today we start our trek after an early breakfast. After around half an hour into
our trek, we reach the forest check post right before entering the Gangotri
national park area. We resume our trek after some mandatory permit checks. As
you walk on the trail, the Bhagirathi River flows to your right. You start to catch a
glimpse of Sudarshan Parvat from here on, which, later on, disappears. The trail
till Chirbasa is mostly low-grade, accompanied by a few stream crossings. You’ll
spot a number of Bhoj patra (silver birch) and Chir (pine, from which it got its
name). Keep your eyes and ears open to spot some amazing flora and fauna in the
Gangotri NP region. We reach Chirbasa and set up our campsite for the day.
Explore the campsite and relax. You can also find your own peaceful spot beside
the river. The Bhagirathi massif is visible from this site.
DAY-3 CHIRBASA TO BHOJBASA (5 KM TREK)
A little ascent from your campsite takes you to the main trail. There are a few
landslides prone areas enroot so you need to pay heed to your guide’s
instruction to safely pass this area and avoid taking rest on such patches.
Bhojbasa is a bigger campsite compared to Chirbasa as it is above tree line. A few
meters before reaching the campsite, you’ll find a shed from where you get a
wide view of the campsite. There are several Ashrams, forest huts and a GMVN
guesthouse. People usually rest in Bhojbasa on their way to or after coming back
from Gaumukh. In the evening you can go on a walk on the main trail and you
might also find a flock of blue sheep hanging out on the rugged slopes.
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DAY-4 BHOJBASA TO TAPOVAN (6 KM TREK)
If you look ahead of Bhojbasa, you’ll see a trail that was once washed off after
heavy rains. Since then, it has been the only option to reach Gaumukh, i.e., by
crossing the river. The trolley is manually pulled, so it requires us to wake up early
in the morning and cross the river before the place becomes crowded with
Today, our trail will be a gradual ascent followed by a level walk till the Gaumukh
region. The trail gets open into a vast land with sand and boulders all around
(they are moraines of the Gangotri glacier that were left after the glacier
From this point, we will traverse the glacier and take a steep hike till we
finally reach Tapovan. We will also be crossing the Aakash Ganga at several
places. After settling in and pitching our tent, we can explore the campsite or visit
Mauni Baba Ashram too. If you go further on that ridge and look to your left,
you’ll get a grand view of the Gangotri glacier spread across its length. This also
happens to be the route to the famous Kalindi Khal trek.
Tapovan, which literally translates to ‘a forest to do penance," is a vast meadow
at an altitude of 14,203 ft above sea level. The Aakash Ganga flows placidly here
but takes a fierce drop on its way to Gaumukh. It is the base camp for
mountaineering expeditions to the giants, including Bhagirathi and Shivling. You
get a magnificent view of Shivling right from the base to the top. Meru and
Bhrigupant are also visible from here.
DAY-5 TAPOVAN TO BHOJBASA VIA GAUMUKH (7 KM TREK)
Today we will be witnessing the main highlight of the trek: Gaumukh, which is the
snout (end of a glacier that melts to form a river) of the Gangotri glacier and the
origin of the river Bhagirathi. It is named so because, in the early days, this snout
used to resemble the face of a cow. After breakfast, we make our way down the
rocky slope right to Gaumukh. One needs to be very alert while descending
because there are a lot of loose rocks and scree that make it a difficult job. We
will remain to our right because this trail takes us to Gaumukh. Take a rest and
soak in the sheer immensity and serenity that are summoned by the raging
waters of Bhagirathi. It is truly a humbling experience to stand in front of
something as huge as the source of a river that feeds the breadths of the Indian
subcontinent. Now we resume our journey and trek all the way till Bhojbasa. We
set up our campsite and have the rest of the day to ourselves.
DAY-6 BHOJBASA TO GANGOTRI (14 KM TREK)
We descend all the way from Bhojbasa to Gangotri. This day marks the
culmination of our trekking days; we head back to civilization, take the much-
desired rest, and get ourselves ready for the road trip the next day.
DAY-7 GANGOTRI TO DEHRADUN (245 KM DRIVE)
Today after a 5 day hike, we finally say goodbye to the charming town of Gangotri
and return to Dehradun. We can now return to our respective locations from
here, with a longing in our hearts to return to the Himalayas and experience its
tranquility and grandeur all over again.