Gaumukh Tapovan trek is situated in the Greater Himalayas. It lies in the state of Uttarakhand and begins and ends at the pilgrim town of Gangotri, which is in the Uttarkashi district. The trail goes through the Greater Himalayas within the confines of Gangotri National Park.
How to reach Gangotri?
You can reach Gangotri from all major cities and towns of Delhi, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar or Uttarkashi. It is well connected by road.
By Air - The closest you can reach Gangotri by air is to Delhi/Dehradun.
By rail - The closest railway station is in Rishikesh which is 243 km away
By road - Daily buses and shared cabs are available from all locations
Irrespective of the closest destination, you must take buses/shared cabs from Uttarkashi to Gangotri.
Direct Buses are available from Dehradun/Rishikesh to Gangotri. They are not on all days, and there's no fixed schedule. The frequency of these buses is quite unpredictable and dynamic. It is not in place during the offseason.
Buses from Dehradun/Rishikesh to Uttarkashi ply pretty frequently. They ply early morning till 12 in the afternoon, sometimes till 2pm. It is recommended to start early to reach Gangotri on the same day. Ticket fares are between Rs 400-500.
Shared taxis from the Dehradun taxi stand (near parade ground) to Uttarkashi are also available, which cost around Rs 400 per person. You can get down and then take another shared taxi to Bhatwari, which costs approximately Rs 300 per person.
These taxis (Mahindra Bolero with a capacity of 8 - 10 people) only commute once they are completely filled with passengers. Therefore you can expect a waiting time of 1 - 1.5 hours, depending on the situation. From Bhatwari, you will have to take another shared taxi to Gangotri, which also costs around Rs 300.
You can also travel to Gangotri by your own car. Gangotri is well connected by road.
Pro Tip: It is advisable to break your journey if you plan to reach Gangotri via road. We recommend reaching Dehradun via air/rail/road and then taking a bus to Uttarkashi. From there, take a shared cab until Gangotri the next day.
What to expect from the journey to Gangotri
The first stretch from Dehradun to Uttarkashi is quite scenic. As you pass Mussoorie, you will enjoy the lush coniferous forests till Moriyana top.
The view from Uttarkashi to Bhatwari is also beautiful as you go along the Bhagirathi river, which changes its colours from pure blue to greyish-blue as per different seasons.
Nature shows off her charm further as you move closer to Gangotri. The mountain views become more majestic and grand. The valley keeps narrowing, and you can feel closer to the Himalayan mountain ranges. Each mountain's texture and cut is a view you should not miss.
You'll see a few broad and narrow sections of the Bhagirathi river. As you move around 10 km up close to Gangotri, you can feel you are moving right in the middle of a mountain up across a narrow valley. The entire route is also lined up with deodar and pine trees, making the experience spectacular.
The final 5 km up till Gangotri is lined with sharp peaks. You will feel like they are welcoming you in Gangotri when you see them.