It is a 46 kms trek which takes up to 5-6 days to complete. The trek begins and ends in Gangotri in Uttarkashi. It is a moderate level trek and requires great physical fitness of the person doing the trek. It is basically the journey to the birth place of our holy Ganga Maiya. It is one of the most beautiful treks you’ll ever experience in your life time. This trek takes you through many Indian pilgrimage lands like; Bhagirathi River, Gaumukh, Gangotari glaciers, Mt. Shivling, Meru and Thalay Sagar. Once you reach the Bhagirathi River, you can also take a dip in the river which is a Hindu ritual. The altitude goes up to 14,222 ft high. The best time to do this trek is in the month of June as it can be considered post-spring season, where the weather is pleasant. And also, in the month of September and October which is pre-winters and the weather is nice at that time.
The trail takes you to green meadows of Tapovan, which are perfect for camping. Then, suddenly there is a change in scenery, as the lush green meadows change to rocky Mountains.
Dehradun to Gangotri
A drive of 285 Kms which take about 10-11 hours. This road passes from Dehradun to Mussoorie to Rishikesh, with scenic views of valleys and mountains on the way. You will also witness Tehri Dam Lake while on your way to Gangotri.
Gangotri to Chirbasa
Now, comes your first trek in this whole route, i.e., Gangotri to Chirbasa. This this a trek across the Bhagirathi River. This trail goes through dense forests and the backside of the mountain where the sun doesn’t shine. A trek of about 8-9 Kms, set your camps in the middle of the forest and enjoy seeing stars.
Chirbasa to Gaumukh
Now, start trekking upwards to the origin of Ganga Maiya. This trek is of 9Kms and you will be able to witness the beautiful peaks of Mt. Shivling. After a not-so-tiring trek of 9 Kms, you will reach your destination of the day, Gaumukh.
Gaumukh to Tapovan to Chirbasa
Now, start your tour with a trek towards Gangotri glacier. After trekking for a few Kms, you will see the gigantic and astonishing view of Mt. Shivling, Mt.Meru, kedar Dome, Sudarshan. You will also come across the lush green meadows of Tapovan.
Chirbasa to Uttarakashi
Trek 8-9 Kms downwards to Gangotri and then drive to Uttarakashi for about 100 Kms. Stay there for a night, take proper rest.
Uttarakashi to Dehradun
Check out from your overnight stay and drive for about 5-6 hours, back to Dehradun.
BEST TIME TO DO TAPOVAN TREK
Any time excluding the rainy season, is a good time for doing this trek. As in rainy season, the rocks and boulders get slippery and it gets risky. The best time to go for this trek is in the months of pre summers and pre monsoon. Months from My to June and August to October is the best time for this trek. You will find other people during this time too, and it would be safer too. The sky stays clear and you will be able to enjoy the sunset and sunrise of Tapovan also.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF TAPOVAN TREK
The trek is moderate to difficult kind of trek as it covers different terrains at different intervals of time. Not recommended for any beginner trekker. The trekker might find a foot for meadows trekking, but it becomes difficult further, when you have to cross the rocky and boulder terrain of the trail. The trekker must be physically fit and have high Cardiovascular stamina.
MYTHOLOGY ABOUT THE GAUMUKH TREK
Gaumukh has been mentioned in the Puranas also. It is said that, once a little boy, who was a shepherd, was searching for his lost sheep, in the hilly region of Tapovan, when he came across a place, which looked exactly like the face of our holy cow, hence the place was named “Gaumukh”, and is known Gaumukh since then. From then, sages, hermits and much religious people have gone to Gaumukh to worship the place. Gaumukh, is the origin of our holy river, Ganga, and is a pilgrimage place for Hindus.
WHAT CAN YOU SEE IN GANGOTRI
This Shivling is submerged in water for a majority of time and can only be seen when the water level is low. It is said, that this is the same place, where Shivji tied up Ganga River in his hair.
Bhairon Nath Temple
This temple is dedicated to the protector of this place, who was allotted by Lord Shiva. It is a ritual to go and visit this temple this temple, when you go for the Gangotri dham.