Maximum Altitude: 14,202 ft
Duration: 8 days
It is not common to find a trek which is filled with adventure, spirituality and mythology. And that’s why Gaumukh Tapovan trek is so special. Gaumukh is from where Bhagirathi river originates. It then meanders through the mountains and merges with Alaknanda in Devprayag to form the holy Ganga. Tapovan is an area beyond Gaumukh consisting of a beautiful meadow, at the feet of Mt. Shivling.
The trek starts from Gangotri which is also an important pilgrimage site for the Hindus. People from all over the country come here to witness the origin of the mighty river and pray. Walking through a forest pine trees with a valley below, you cannot help but admire the scenery. The trail also passes through the rare flora and fauna of the region. Try to look closely at the bird who sings to you in the morning. She’s telling you how special she is.
As you keep climbing, the valley widens and offers views of snow-clad peaks. The best part about the trek is how the colour keeps changes. From the green forests to the rocky landscape and snowy mountains, it feels that nature has splashed colours all over the canvas and created something spectacular.
According to Puranas, there was a boy who reached a glacier near Gangotri in search of his lost sheep. The snout of the glacier looked exactly like the mouth of a cow and therefore it was named “Gaumukh”. At Gaumukh, one can find Bhagirathi gushing out of a snout like opening. The awe-inspiring view is revered by everyone. The area is peaceful and surreal, and offers stunning views of Mt. Shivling and the Bhagirathi sisters. The famous Mount Meru is also visible from here.
After a steep climb from Gaumukh, you will reach Tapovan, an alpine meadow that encircle the base camp of the Shivling peak. Mount Shivling is one of the most beautiful mountains in our country, and looking as it rises from the ground into the azure sky is a moment you would always want to remember. Surging alpine meadows, network of gurgling streams and the presence of some renowned Himalayan peaks very next to you, makes for one of the most awe inspiring sights of the region.
The Gaumukh Tapovan trek has many stories for you. These are the stories from the Puranas about how the sages meditated here and also the stories about how so many trekkers overcame their fears to go on one of the most beautiful treks. It is the perfect combination.
How to Reach: Gangotri is around 240 km from Dehradun. You can reach Dehradun by flight/train/bus and drive down to Gangotri
Best Time to Visit: May-June, Sept-Oct
Click here to read about Rupin Pass, another beautiful trek in Uttarakhand!