Source of Ganges - Gangotri 12 Day Trek
If you do just one trek in India this one to the source of the Ganges River high up in the Himalayas might be the best option. The source of the Ganges attracts numerous Hindu pilgrims ever year to witness this spiritual location. The actual source of the Ganges is at the end of the long Gangotri Glacier and is known as the "Gomukh (meaning cows mouth)". After a night in Delhi we will head to Rishikesh at the base of the Himalayas, on the banks of the Ganges the town found itself on the map after the Beatles visited in the 1960's seeking spiritual guidance from the local yogi. Its many Ashrams are popular with students and you can relax a few days taking yoga classes or if you prefer a bit more excitement it's a great place for whitewater rafting and short hikes. Leaving Rishikesh we drive through the high peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas to the end of the road at Gangotri. The first day of trekking takes up the banks of the Bhagirathi River and we are rewarded with views of the Bhagirathi group of peaks all of which are over 6000m/20,000 feet. The next day of hiking brings us to the giant Gangotri Glacier, the source of the Ganges. We then make a steep climb to the meadows at Tapovan where we have fantastic views of Shivling Peak. This area is still visited by many of Sadhus, a term referencing the religious wise-men of India. We spend the next day hiking up the glacier and reaching a high point of 5250m/1725ft where we can admire the surrounding mountains before again camping at Tapovan and returning back to Delhi via the same route. The best season for this trek is from May to June and Sept to early November.
- 12 day adventure, 4 of which include 3 meals a day
- 5 nights of accommodation; 2 nights Uttarkashi and Rishikesh and 1 night in Gangotri & Delhi
- Daily breakfasts in the hotel and packed lunches while on excursions
- Transport by Air Conditioned Train/Bus/Auto
- Tents and supplies while trekking
- All permits and sees
- Fully-licensed, English-speaking guide
- Porter service
- Local and government taxes
Day 1: DelhiYour guide will pick you up at the airport in Delhi and transfer you to the hotel. Sightseeing can be arranged if you arrive early in the day.
Day 2: Delhi to Rishikesh240 km
We will head from Delhi and travel by air conditioned bus or train to Rishikesh, a small village on the banks of the Ganges at the base of the Himalayas. Spend the evening relaxing and exploring the town. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 3 and Day 4: RishikeshRelax in Rishikesh on the banks of the Ganges. Spend a day in a local ashram practicing yoga or get your thrills white rafting or hiking near the base of the Himalayas.
Day 5: Rishikesh to Uttarkashi172 km
We leave in the morning after breakfast for the Uttarhashi which lies on the banks of the Bhagirathi, considered by Hindus as the source of the Ganges. We overnight in Uttarkashi and have the late afternoon and evening free to explore. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 6: Uttarkashi to Gangotri98 km
This morning we head to Gangotri a 98km drive after breakfast. We can stop enroute at the Gangnani hot springs for a relaxing dip. We arrive in Gangotri in the early afternoon and can spend the evening free. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 7: Gangotri to Bhojwassa3350m/10990ft - 5 to 6 hours trek
The trek follows the banks of the Bhagirathi River as it gradually ascends through the forested slopes. Bharal (Himalayan Blue Sheep) are commonly sighted on the forest slopes. We are rewarded with views of the Bhagirathi group of peaks all of which are over 6000m/20,000 feet. We overnight in tents at Bhojwassa.
Day 8: Bhojwassa to Tapovan4460m/14640ft - 5 to 6 hours trek
We spend the morning trekking to the actual source of the Ganges which is called the Gomukh. The Gomukh is at the end of the giant Gangotri Glacier whose melting waters feed the Ganges. We then make a steep climb to the meadows at Tapovan where we have fantastic views of the Shivling Peak and we can camp in the meadow at the base of the peaks. This is holy area and one still visited by many of the Sadhus, as religious wise-men of India are referred.
Day 9: Tapovan - Day Hiking5250m/1725ft
Today we hike up the lateral moraine of the Glacier for great views of the surrounding peaks which include; Kedardome, Kirti Bamak and Mount Shivling. After a full day hiking we return to the meadows at Tapovan for camping.
Day 10: Tapovan to BhojwassaReturn via Same Route.
Day 11: Bhojwassa to UttarkashiHike down to Gangatori and return by car to Uttarkashi.
Day 12: Uttarkashi to DelhiIt takes a full day to get back to Delhi and we can transfer you to train station, airport or a hotel. This is the end of the trip.
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