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Amidst the deodar forests and snow clad mountains, the base camp Gangotri is a stunning site in itself. Known as the source of river Ganga, Gangotri is just a beginning when we are talking about the Gangotri Gaumukh Tapovan trek. According to the legends, King Bhagirath prayed Lord Shiva for the salvation of souls of his sixty thousand sons to which Shiva requested Goddess Ganga to release her water on Earth, thus purifying the ashes of Bhagirath’s sons. Being worshipped as a source of purifying one’s soul, Ganga’s actual source is Mount Gaumukh, which in itself is a reason enough to take up this trek.
The trek has so much in store for trekkers that people usually do this trek multiple times. Everytime you come to pay a visit to river Bhagirathi aka Ganga, it has something unusual to offer you thus making you crave for more in your next visit. As you move closer to Mount Gaumukh, you will realise how big and magnificient is this holy glacier.
The other beautiful site is that of Mount Shivling which is without a doubt one of the most beautiful summit of India. Rising from its base all the way to the summit, you get to see the mountain in its entirety which is one rare sight that you will cherish for the rest of your life.
Upon arrival at Haridwar meet our representative they transfer you to Uttarkashi after an early breakfast along the narrow Ganga and Bhagirathi valleys. The road goes past the sacred confluence of The Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers at Devprayag where there is a Lord Rama temple called the Raghunath Mandir visited by the great Hindu philosopher - Adi Shankaracharya in 300CE .This town is the home of the late Acharya Shri Pt. Chakradhar Joshi (a scholar in Astronomy and Astrology) who established Nakshatra Vedh Shala (an observatory considered the second best in the country in the pre independence days), located on a mountain called Dashrathanchal at Devprayag. The observatory is well equipped with two telescopes and many books to support research in astronomy. It also contains about 3000 manuscripts from 1677 AD onwards collected from various parts of country. Uttarkashi is a town located in the wide Bhagirati valley, and has been a centre for learning and religion since the days of the Vedas! This sacred town has been home to some very famous sages and saints. The name of the town reflects its similarity to and location (as north of) the city of Kashi (Varanasi). Similar to Varanasi, town of Uttarkashi lies next to a hill named Varunavrat Parvat, and set on the banks of river Bhagirathi at an altitude of 1158 metres, about 145 kms from Rishikesh on the main route to Gangotri. The famous Vishwanath temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva. In front of the temple is unique Mahadev-ka-Vishal Trishul or Shiva's Great Trident, made of eight major metals (Astadhatu). It is believed Lord Shiva killed Vakasur with this trident. Other important temples are dedicated to Lord Parashuram, Lord Ekadash Rudra and Goddess Kali. Uttarkashi is an important stopover for pilgrims visiting Gangotri. Uttarkashi has also emerged as an important centre for adventure sports. Overnight in hotel.
After breakfast drive to reach Gangotri via Harsil (approx 25 km before Gangotri (3048 mt) by covering approx 95 km in 4-5 hrs. On arrival check-into Hotel. Overnight stay. Witness and admire the beautiful Gorge at Bhairon Ghati over which there is a steel girder bridge. Gangotri is the place where the Goddess Ganga descended on Earth from Heaven, and a Temple of Goddess Ganga marks the spot where the Goddess descended to the Earth.The shrine of Gangotri is situated at an elevation of 3200 m surrounded by Deodars (Cedar) and Chir (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 Shiva on a slab of rock known as "Bhagirath Shila" situated near the temple. Submerged in the river there is a natural Shivling where, according to mythology, Lord Shiva sat when he received the Goddess Ganga in his matted locks. A day's trek takes one to Gomukh, the source of the mighty Ganges. Overnight in hotel.
Post breakfast the trek commences towards Bhojwassa via Chirvasa (3600mt) along a well trodden and well laid path following a gentle incline along the picturesque Gangotri valley. The entire trek on this day is along the roaring Bhagirathi River. Bhojvasa is the last oasis on this route and has a lot of trees, but beyond this point the terrain becomes totally desolate and barren. In fact, it has been compared to the Artic Tundra by many trekkers. From Chirvasa one continues to ascend higher towards Bhojwasa,- the last inhabited place on this route. The arrival at Bhojwasa is heralded by a descent, that continues for a good 750 metres or so to arrive at a small temple and a potential campsite near the river- the place to hit the sack for the night! Exploration of the surroundings and photography are a must do for the remainder of the day! Enjoy the excellent sunset on Bhagirathi group of peaks. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Enjoy the panoramic view of Bhagirathi group of peaks while at Breakfast. Trek to Gomukh (3890mt),immediately after that towards the source of the Ganges. Gomukh is the spot where the water of Ganga trickles down from the glaciers, to descend into the Gangotri valley and beyond. The sages called it 'Gomukh', because in the distant past, it probably appeared like a cow's mouth. Explore the area and trek to Tapovan, one of the finest high altitude alpine meadows in the area. The trek from Gomukh to Tapovan is a ascent crossing over the Gaumukh glacier, and as one climbs, the view of the surrounding peaks becomes clearer, and appear to be just a stone's throw away! Tapovan known for its beautiful meadows that encircle the base camp of the Shivling peak, visited by hundreds of tourist, mountaineers, trekkers and ascetics every year. The campsite is grassy, with wild flowers as far as the eye can see, punctuated by innumerous bubbling streams, making this a very spectacular area for camping. Herds of Bharal (blue mountain goats) are a common sight from here as they clamber the precarious mountain ridges. On the far side of the glacier the Bhagirathi I, II, III (6454mt), provide an equally impressive backdrop. It is also the little wonder that this tranquility attracts Sadhus and saints for extended meditation during the long summer months. Dinner and overnight stay in camp.
Spend the entire day to acclimatize, relax and enjoy the magnificent snow clapped peaks, flora & Fauna and the mountain landscape This is a golden opportunity for photographers and Painters/ Artists. Explore the Kriti & Meru Glacier. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Enjoy the view of the golden rays of sunrise on high peaks, and the crisp and dazzling morning sunshine on the campsite. Post breakfast make a swift descent down to Bhojwasa, covering the seemingly endless trek in a matter of hours. Arrive Bhojwasa and camp. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Enjoy breakfast in the shadow of the mighty Shivling peak, draped in the colour of the rising sun! Trek down to Gangotri - a continuous downhill path, Dinner and overnight stay at the Hotel / Rest house.
Breakfast in the holy town, after visiting the Ma Ganga temple and witnessing the morning Aarti. Drive to Uttarkashi. Spend the rest of the day exploring this town that draws parallels to another highly revered town - Kashi (Varanasi). Take out time to visit the Ashrams and the famed Nehru Mountaineering Institute - the breeding ground of the finest mountaineers in the subcontinent. On arrival check in to hotel. Overnight stay in hotel. .
After an early breakfast drive to Rishikesh.
The trek along the holy river Bhagirathi takes you right up to the source of the river-popularly known as Gaumukh (Cow's snout) at the base of the Gangotri glacier. This trek is for adventure lovers and involves mountain climbing, rock climbing and glacier traverse. This trek can however be undertaken by non-mountaineers with sound health also. The trek passes through an orchard of coniferous pine trees at Chirbasa and birch at Bhojbasa. From Bhojbasa one has to trek to Lanka and Gaumukh. From Gaumukh to Nandanvan one traverses along the Gangotri glacier and Chatturangini glacier. The most well known Tapovan in India is the area above the Gangotri Glacier at one of the primary sources of the Ganges, in Uttarakhand, India. At the foot of Shivling peak, a barren area at about 4,463m (14640 feet) elevation, is a seasonal home to several sadhus living in caves, huts etc. and it has become a trekking destination also. The trekking usually starts from Gomukh and the trek was considered moderate to difficult prior to the destruction of much of the trail from Gangotri to Gaumukh by the 2013 North Indian Floods. Tapovan area is base camp for several mountaineering expeditions including Shivling peak, Bhagirathi peak etc. Tapovan area is full of meadows, streams and flowering plants and the meadows are considered as one of the best high altitude meadow in India. There is also a place named Nandanvan near Tapovan, and Nandanvan is also trekked by trekkers and pilgrims. Nandanvan is also a spacious meadow located at the base of Bhagirathi massif.