Difficulty

Moderate-Difficult | Level 1

Duration

8 Days

Highest Altitude

14,203 ft

Age

12 to 55 years

Duration

8 Days

Age

12 to 55 years

Difficulty

Moderate-Difficult | Level 1

Highest Altitude

14,203 ft

optional additions

Trek fee

+ % Gst

+

Gaumukh Tapovan Trek

A Journey to the Source of River Ganga

Gaumukh Tapovan is one of the most rewarding treks you will ever do.

There are summit views and there are ‘big’ summit views. On the Gaumukh Tapovan trek, you don’t just see the best views of Mt Shivling. You see Mt Shivling right from the base to its summit. And if you don’t know about Mt Shivling, it’s one of the most beautiful looking mountains in our country. No wonder the mountain has been featured in our gold calendar every year since it was published.

But wait. Not only Mt Shivling, you see the Bhagirathi sisters from top to bottom. Sometimes we feel the Bhagirathi sisters are even grander than Mt Shivling because the three of them form a massif, which dominates the landscape.

Then why do more people not do the trek you ask?

Unfortunately, the popularity of other treks brought the Gaumukh Tapovan trek down from its grace. It’s almost like a new generation movie star replaced an older star. It sounds silly, but that’s what happened to the Gaumukh Tapovan trek. Treks like RoopkundRupin Pass and the Hampta Pass gained popularity. And Gaumukh Tapovan fell in popularity.

As is the mentality of most trekkers, if they find one trek attractive, they just rush towards the new offering. It is a mistake.

Before we begin, here are some quick facts about the Gaumukh Tapovan trek:

Gaumukh Trek is a 46 km trek hiked over 6 days (8 days including the drive to and from the trek,) in the Greater Himalayas. It lies in the state of Uttarakhand and begins and ends at the pilgrim town of Gangotri.

The trail snakes through the Greater Himalayas within the confines of Gangotri National Park. It is a moderate-difficult trek (more on this ahead on this page) that can be attempted by beginners if you prepare well. 

optional additions

Trek fee

+ % Gst

+

Gaumukh Tapovan Videos

Watch these videos to prepare for your Gaumukh Tapovan trek.

playicon'
playicon'

Quick Itinerary

Study this chart to know how much altitude you would gain/lose every day on the Gaumukh Tapovan trek.

Day 1

Reach Gangotri from Dehradun

Drive distance: 242 km | Drive Duration: 8 hours

Transport will be arranged from Hotel Grand Legacy Dehradun at 6.00 am. Cab cost per vehicle will be Rs.8,000(5-6 seater)This is to be shared among trekkers and paid directly to the driver.

Day 2

Trek from Gangotri (10,050 ft) to Chirbasa (11,630 ft)

Trek Distance: 10 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours

Moderate. Initial 300 m steep ascent followed by a very gradual ascent all the way. 

Day 3

Chirbasa (11,630 ft) to Bhojbasa (12,415 ft)

Trek Distance: 5 km | Trek Duration: 3 hours

Moderate. Initial 100 m ascent to get back on the trail. Very gradual ascent all the way to Bhojbasa

Day 4

Acclimatization walk to Gaumukh (13,090 ft) and back to Bhojbasa (12,415 ft) 

Trek Distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 3 hours

Moderately ascending trail with boulder and moraine sections

Day 5

Bhojbasa (12,415 ft) to Tapovan (14,203 ft)

Trek Distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 9 hours

Difficult. Gradual ascent for 2.5 hours. 2 hours glacier walk followed by 1 hour of moderate ascent. Final 1.5 hours is a steep ascent.

Day 6

Tapovan (14,203 ft) to Bhojbasa (12,415 ft)

Trek Distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 5 hours

Moderate Difficult. Level trail to Chirbasa.

Day 7

Bhojbasa (12,415 ft) to Gangotri (10,050 ft)

Trek Distance: 14 km | Trek Duration: 8 hours

Tricky descent over bouldery section

Day 8

Drive from Gangotri to Dehradun

Drive distance: 242 km | Drive Duration: 8 hours

Cab cost per vehicle will be Rs 8000 (5-6 seater). You will reach Dehradun between 6.00 pm and 7.00 pm.

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

  • You will be staying in tents on all days of the trek.
  • It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek.

    Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available in May, June, July and August. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. Having said that, you'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.

Study this chart to know how much altitude you would gain/lose every day on the Gaumukh Tapovan trek.

PRO-TIPS

A Himalayan trek like Gaumukh Tapovan requires a good fitness level. The trek has long climbs and steep descents daily. As a measure of your fitness, we need you to:

Run at least 5 km in 32 minutes before your trek. Consistency of your workout also matters, so aim to jog 25 km a week or 100 km in a month. It's our minimum mandatory requirement.

https://indiahikes.com/blog/how-to-get-fit-for-your-trek

Once you get confirmed for your trek, we will diligently follow up on your fitness routine. Our team will also assist in putting you through a fitness plan. It will ultimately help you have a safe trek experience.

Day 1

Reach Gangotri from Dehradun

Drive distance: 242 km | Drive Duration: 8 hours

Transport will be arranged from Hotel Grand Legacy Dehradun at 6.00 am. Cab cost per vehicle will be Rs.8,000(5-6 seater)This is to be shared among trekkers and paid directly to the driver.

Day 2

Trek from Gangotri (10,050 ft) to Chirbasa (11,630 ft)

Trek Distance: 10 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours

Moderate. Initial 300 m steep ascent followed by a very gradual ascent all the way. 

Day 3

Chirbasa (11,630 ft) to Bhojbasa (12,415 ft)

Trek Distance: 5 km | Trek Duration: 3 hours

Moderate. Initial 100 m ascent to get back on the trail. Very gradual ascent all the way to Bhojbasa

Day 4

Acclimatization walk to Gaumukh (13,090 ft) and back to Bhojbasa (12,415 ft) 

Trek Distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 3 hours

Moderately ascending trail with boulder and moraine sections

Day 5

Bhojbasa (12,415 ft) to Tapovan (14,203 ft)

Trek Distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 9 hours

Difficult. Gradual ascent for 2.5 hours. 2 hours glacier walk followed by 1 hour of moderate ascent. Final 1.5 hours is a steep ascent.

Day 6

Tapovan (14,203 ft) to Bhojbasa (12,415 ft)

Trek Distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 5 hours

Moderate Difficult. Level trail to Chirbasa.

Day 7

Bhojbasa (12,415 ft) to Gangotri (10,050 ft)

Trek Distance: 14 km | Trek Duration: 8 hours

Tricky descent over bouldery section

Day 8

Drive from Gangotri to Dehradun

Drive distance: 242 km | Drive Duration: 8 hours

Cab cost per vehicle will be Rs 8000 (5-6 seater). You will reach Dehradun between 6.00 pm and 7.00 pm.

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

You will be staying in tents on all days of the trek.

It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek. Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available in May, June, July and August. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. Having said that, you'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.

PRO-TIPS

A Himalayan trek like Gaumukh Tapovan requires a good fitness level. The trek has long climbs and steep descents daily. As a measure of your fitness, we need you to:

Run at least 5 km in 32 minutes before your trek. Consistency of your workout also matters, so aim to jog 25 km a week or 100 km in a month. It's our minimum mandatory requirement.

https://indiahikes.com/blog/how-to-get-fit-for-your-trek

Once you get confirmed for your trek, we will diligently follow up on your fitness routine. Our team will also assist in putting you through a fitness plan. It will ultimately help you have a safe trek experience.

Campsites at a Glance

At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Gaumukh Tapovan trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.

Bhojbasa campsite. Picture by BimanDeySarkar.

Tapovan campsite. Picture by Dhaval Jajal.

Tapovan campsite during the sunrise and Mt. Shivling in the background. Picture by Ashish Bhatt.

Why I Believe Everyone Must Trek: A Note from the Founder

playicon'

Trekking transforms lives. It has completely changed my life. When I see my colleagues at Indiahikes, all of them have been impacted greatly. The transformations have been profound and irreversible. 

I see it in our trekkers too. I have seen them change professions, careers or start a new life. I have seen them get in and out of relationships, and start new projects. These are life-changing experiences. 

I have seen children building resilience. I have seen families come together. When I see those above 55, I see them rediscover passion and a sense of purpose. These are not small gains.

In the mountains new professions, new economies and new businesses have opened up. Our staff no longer go to cities to earn their living. Their income has increased. Above all, they are happiest working in this world. Trekking has been truly transformative.  

Everyone must trek. It transforms lives far more than you imagine. 

playicon'

Arjun Majumdar Founder, CEO

Arjun Majumdar, the Founder of Indiahikes, went on this trek in 2015. As one of the veterans of the trekking community in India, he’s an expert when it comes to Gaumukh Tapovan Trek. Here’s Arjun talking about one of the top treks in our country.

What I Like and Don't like About the Gaumukh Tapovan Trek

What I Like About the Gaumukh Tapovan Trek

Arjun Majumdar Founder, CEO

Arjun Majumdar, the Founder of Indiahikes, went on this trek in 2015. As one of the veterans of the trekking community in India, he’s an expert when it comes to Gaumukh Tapovan Trek. Here’s Arjun talking about one of the top treks in our country.

1. The Gaumukh glacier


I have not stood at the snout of such a gigantic glacier in my life. The Gaumukh glacier snout must be as high as a ten-storey building. Big chunks of ice, as big as cars, continuously fall with thunderous sounds from the mouth of the glacier. I remember the ground reverberating with every fall.

Below, the opening of the glacier was a big cavern, from which the Bhagirathi flowed. I have seen rivers forming from under a glacier. But I have never seen a river, in its full width, flow out from under a glacier, right at its source. It was stunning.

Minuscule trekkers standing before the mouth of the Gangotri glacier. Picture by Atul Rana

2. The crevasses on the glacier

Traversing the glacier from one end to another was fantastically adventure-filled. The surface of the glacier was a maze of crevasses. Some so small that you hardly notice them, some big enough to swallow you whole.

Deep down in some of the big ones, the colour of the ice was green with a bluish tinge on their walls. Rivulets made a channel through them, sometimes disappearing into a dark abyss. It was fascinating seeing this spectacle.

Navigating these crevasses, literally tip-toeing over to the other side, ultimately clambering up to Tapovan, is an adventure that stays with me. It is fun, and frankly, quite adventurous. I admit I had my moments when my palms were sweaty.

Crevasses on the Gaumukh glacier. Picture by Jude Rayen

3. Mt Shivling and the Bhagirathi sisters from Tapovan

a. Mt Shivling
I was expecting Tapovan to be a flat grassland. It wasn’t. It was a bit bouldery, a bit grassy but a very large open land. I remember the moment when we got to Tapovan. Just as we clambered into Tapovan, all my trek mates stood rooted to their spots.

They were witnessing something that they had never seen before. Right in front of them, almost less than a stone’s throw away was the entire Mt Shivling from its base to its summit.

Mt Shivling was no ordinary mountain. It was the most beautiful mountain my trek mates had set their eyes on. Like a beautiful young lady with her slender neck, and her head held high, Mt Shivling stood in front of them with grace and elegance.

I finally understood why photographers travelled from across the globe to take pictures of this majestic mountain.

b. The Bhagirathi sisters
On the other side, right across the Gangotri glacier, we saw the Bhagirathi sisters. The three summits in one massif. I’ll be frank here. Even though Mt Shivling is the Greek God of beautiful mountains, it was the Bhagirathi sisters who held our attention longer.

The three sisters: Bhagirathi I, II and III. All of them nestled together in one isolated massif — and the entire massif standing tall from its base to the summit. You don’t see such mountain views in other parts of the world.

At that moment I understood what it meant to be at Tapovan. I was not witnessing spectacular mountains. I was seeing something utterly unique in mountain views. In trekking circles, if there is a list of grand scenes to see, I would put this view from Tapovan in my top 3.

4. The sunrise and sunset on the majestic mountains

I love sunrises and sunsets on mountains. Somehow it evokes deep emotions in me. Sometimes when I see a spectacular one, tears well up in my eyes.

So I keep a count of some of the best ones. This is why I mentioned earlier about photographers coming from far and wide to do this trek. Mt Shivling is at such an angle that you get a divine sunrise and sunset on it. They warm the summit in such fascinating colours that it not only lights up the mountain — it kind of makes an already beautiful mountain stunning in its grandness.

In the evening there’s a more spectacular show. With the sunset happening both, on the Bhagirathi sisters as well as Mt Shivling. You don’t know which one to watch! As a sunset lover, it was one of the best sunsets that I saw in my life.


What I don’t like about Gaumukh Tapovan Trek

1. Trek to Chirbasa

Frankly, I did not like the trek until we got to Chirbasa. I thought it was a bit monotonous with similar valley views. Too many pilgrims too. The Chirbasa campsite was a bit of a let down as well. It was small and crampy.

After Chirbasa, the trek changed completely though. There were superb colour changes, terrific rock formations, and I don’t have to say, right ahead, one of the greatest mountain views in our country.

Mt.Shivling

Picture by: Chandana Puttalingaiah

Tapovan Campsite

Know Your Trek

We have always wanted trekkers to be well-informed before they go on a Himalayan trek. Knowledge is the difference between a safe trek and a dangerous one. It’s also the difference between a wholesome experience and a superficial experience.

Use this section to learn about the Gaumukh Tapovan trek. It has in-depth information about each day of the trek, what to expect, and how you need to prepare for it. Many years of expertise have gone into this content. Trekkers find that extremely useful.

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

PRO TIPS

Why fitness matters on the Gaumukh Tapovan Trek

playicon'

On Moderate-Difficult treks like Gaumukh Tapovan, you’ll walk for about 8-12 km each day. Gradual to steep ascents and descents are common on all days. Expect to reach high altitudes of 15,000+ ft. There will also be technical sections (such as rockfall zones, near-vertical sections, glacier walks), which our technical teams will help you navigate.

Your goal is to comfortably run 5 km within 32 minutes.

How to Get Fit for Your Trek

Note: If you are above the age of 58 years, you'll need to submit a Treadmill Test report within 7 days of registration.

playicon'
?

Trek Trivia

Things Nobody Tells You About This Trek

Gaumukh-Tapovan is one of India's oldest trekking trails

Trekkers walking towards Tapovan. Picture by Dhaval Jajal

Given that the Gaumukh-Tapovan trail has a large religious significance, it is one of the few trails that have been frequented by trekkers from across the country for centuries together.

It used to be one of the country's most visited treks until other treks started getting discovered.

Despite that, even today, you will see at least 150 trekkers on the trail every day, not limited to trekkers alone, but several religious devotees as well, who trek to offer their gratitude to River Ganga.

Trekkers walking towards Tapovan. Picture by Dhaval Jajal

Leaving Mountains Better

Green Trails is our promise to leave the mountains better. We have removed over 1 lakh kilos of waste left behind by others on trekking trails. Yet this is a small percentage of what we do. Green Trails dives into reducing use of resources, reducing our carbon footprint and bringing about a change in the daily practices of our trekkers too.

;

Available Dates

Slots Available

Filling Fast

Waitlisted Group