Source of The Ganges Trek


Source of The Ganges Trek

The trek to the source of the Ganges as one of the most sacred river – starts from the Gangotri temple. It is the temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga. The trek follows the Ganga through dense forests and grassy meadows, taking you to the Source of the holy river. On the way, you find scantily clad sadhus in the lotus position, meditating on the bank of the icy cold water coming out the glacier. Further up, Tapovan is a high altitude meadow surrounded by numerous peaks.

The Ganges is considered the most sacred river in India. Legend has it that the Goddess Ganga descended to Earth from the heavens at Gangotri. So Gangotri is considered to be the source of the river. The actual source, however, lies 19 km from Gangotri, at Gaumukh. Our trek starts from Gangotri. The spiritual intensity here is palpable as you witness the daily puja at the temple and witness Hindu devotees bathing in the freezing waters of Bhagirathi. The trek follows the river upstream to the actual source at Gaumukh and Tapovan. This exciting trek offers fantastic view of beautiful mountains like Shivling (6543 m), Meru and the Bhagirathi group of mountains.

Detail Itinerary (11 Nights – 12 Days)

Day 01: Arrive Delhi

On arrival at Delhi airport met our representative and then transfer to pre booked hotel. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 02 : Delhi – Haridwar – Rishikesh

In the morning board the morning Shatabdi A/C train to Haridwar to reach at noon at the Haridwar Railway Station – and meet our company representatives ; thereafter drive to Rishikesh (a 45 minutes drive). In the evening visit the Ganga river bank for the spectacular and moving Aarti- spectacle of sights, sounds and chanting. Rishikesh is well known for its scenic beauty and the spiritual experience. Flanked by the Shivalik range of the Himalayas. It is fabled that when Raibhya Rishi did a hard penance, God appeared by the name of “Hrishikesh” and this area thereafter came to be known as Rishikesh (Locks of the sage). Overnight in hotel.

Day 03 : Rishikesh – Uttarkashi (170 kms/ 4-5 hrs)

Post breakfast – the drive takes one to Uttarkashi 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.

Day 04 : Uttarkashi – Gangotri (3048 m/ 10,000 ft) Drive (95 kms).

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.

Day 05 : Gangotri (3048 mts/10000 ft) – Bhojwassa (3792 mts/12440 ft) 13 kms trek/5-6 hrs)

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.

Day 06 : Bhojwassa – Gomukh (3890 mts/12760 ft) – Tapovan (4463 mts / 14640 ft)

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.

Day 07 : Tapovan (4463 mts / 14640 ft)

Spend the entire day at leisure to acclimatize, relax and enjoy the magnificent snow clapped peaks, flora & Fauna and the mountain landscape afar! This is a golden opportunity for photographers and Painters/ Artists. Explore the Kriti & Meru Glacier. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.

Day 08 : Tapovan – Bhojwassa (Trek 4-5 hrs)

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.

Day 09 : Bhojwassa – Gangotri (Trek 4-5 hrs)

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.

Day 10 : Gangotri – Uttarkashi

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.

Day 11 : Uttarkashi – Haridwar – Delhi

Morning after breakfast drive to Delhi via Haridwar. On arrival transfer to hotel. Overnight stay.

Day 12 : Delhi Departure

Transfer to international airport according to your flight schedule.

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