Gomukh and Tapovan Trek
It has been long since I have looked at my box of knowledge. Time has been consumed in meeting people (trekkers) who have been trekking with my team and me. The experiences have been both overwhelming and frustrating , yet , I wouldn’t want to exchange them for anything. The tricks and trade of using social media has been hovering over me for a long time.Guilty as it would get, I am opening the box with much hope and gratitude.
This blog is about the famous Gomukh
Tapovan trek in the land of Himalayas. Everything that you need to know if you are planning to visit.
In the world of trekkers or even otherwise, Gomukh Tapovan are known to be the most sought after treks. Situated in Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttarakhand of India, Gomukh is actually the snout of Gangotri glacier, which is a source of Bhagirathi river in Northern India. It is one of the two headstreams of the Ganges. In the Hindu mythology, Bhagirathi is considered the source stream of the Ganges.
During the trek, you (trekker) will view the famous trekking destination Tapovan which is a meadow and also the base camp for majestic peaks , Meru and Shivling. You cannot escape being mesmerized by these peaks. No amount of vocabulary will do justice to the beauty this entire place holds.
According to Hindu mythology, the meaning of Meru is backbone. That is why it is called the center of universe and in Bhagwat Gita, Lord Krishna calls himself , मेरुः सुमेरुः शिखरिणां शिखरवतामत्युच्छ्रितानां पर्वतानां च।, which translates as , “In the mountains , I am the Meru.”
These two peaks have been attracting mountaineers and trekkers of India and abroad.
Gomukh Tapovan trek is considered a moderate trekking type. The amateur trekkers can find it difficult, so it is better to train before planning to come for this trek. For the planning and preparation of any trek, please read one of my blogs on the Rope on Slope website.
Let me begin by explaining
each step required to make this trek a successful one.
Here are some tips on how to register for this trek. Uttarakhand government has opened a new portal for treks in Uttarkashi district. The link is www.swstourismuki.com, through this link you can register for any trek. There are three different categories of treks mentioned on the portal - easy, moderate and difficult. Except for the easy ones, for moderate and difficult treks, trekkers have to hire a local trekking agency. Rope on Slope exists on the list of agencies of the portal, which means you can choose us easily :P trust me, we will not disappoint you. Well, let me not be to
o greedy , you can make choices of other trekking agencies from the list which is registered with Uttarakhand Tourism. Be careful about registering your trek with an agency without informing. Some trekkers commit the mistake of registering the treks with the name of the local agency without informing them, which could lead to legal issues. So , please make sure that you first call the owner of the agency or call the agency to make your deal and then register.
Time to be greedy again, for Gomukh Tapovan trek, you can contact Rope on Slope. We have packages which can be customized to your needs. We work with groups and are flexible with the number of people/trekkers in a group. Basically, I am screaming out loud to you, shouting, “PLEASE GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE YOUR TREKKING EXPERIENCE WORTHWHILE.”
This trek starts from Gangotri. You can reach Gangotri by cab, bus or personal car. The nearest railway stations are Dehradun, Rishikesh and Haridwar. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun. You can hire cabs or take the bus services available till Uttarkashi or Gangotri from the airport or railway station Once you are at Gangotri, it is recommended that you must acclimatize yourself for one day. The next day, the trek will start from Gangotri. Kankhu is a checkpost which is 2 kms away from Gangotri, where Gangotri National Park officials check the permits and take security fee for garbage disposal during the trek, once you return, they check the garbage and return the security fee as well. I am so glad that this
practice is done strictly ! In case you would like to read about it, please read my blog on CLEANLINESS ON MOUNTAINS on the website.
After 9 kms, comes another checkpost called Chirwasa which is also a camping destination for some trekkers. People sometimes choose to camp here based on their pace of trekking.
Next we reach Bhojwasa , the first stop , which is after 6 to 7 hours of trekking. The distance between Gangotri and Bhojwasa is 14 kms and the height gained is 3700 mts. Bhojwasa is a beautiful campsite with unparalleled beauty of Bhagirathi massif. Ashram stay is also available here, which provides basic stay and food. There is a GMVN dormitory , Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd, where you can stay and use their cafe for food services.
The third day , we started trekking from Bhojbasa to Tapovan. This is the part where adventure gets even more exciting. To go to Tapovan, we need to cross the river through a trolley , in which a st
eel wire carries a trolley. This is a difficult and dangerous activity. For crossing the river in this trolley, you need a skilled team that will be successful at crossing it, hence , come with Rope on Slope. (haha !!! )
After 1 hour of trekking, you will reach the snout of Gangotri glacier which is called Gomukh. From Gomukh, you will encounter a steep climb in a moraine , which will test your endurance of trekking. After 2 hours of climbing, you will reach the gorgeous destination of Tapovan. Oh ! What a sight ! At Tapovan, you can camp at Amar Ganga river, in the middle of the meadow. You will see sadhus and sages meditating or doing sadhana and also serving people visiting Tapovan.
Point of caution, trekkers can feel various symptoms of AMS, Acute Mountain Sickness, like nausea, headache, fatigue, etc. For prevention , we need to strongly follow the process of acclimatization like roaming around during the day, chatting with fellow trekkers, keeping ourselves busy with activities like helping the staff, pitching a tent etc. The role of food and fluids are very important for acclimatization, such as drinking enough water, soup, dal, etc. Rope on Slope designs its menu according to the rules of acclimatization. (My greedy self is unable to stop selling my services :P )
Next day, while returning from Tapovan, we keep important tips in mind, such as , using a trek pole for balanced descent. Feeling excited to return might be dangerous since it can lead you to take imbalanced steps. So, please take this tip seriously.
We reach Gangotri from Bhojwasa, the next day. The time taken for a return journey is similar to the time it takes for an upward journey.
Now for some camp rules :
Camps should be near the source of water but not too close to the river.
Always protect your campsite from being littered with garbage , especially plastic. Rope on Slope ensures that after camping, there is no garbage left at the campsite. We encourage our trekkers to clean the campsite area along with our staff.
It is advisable not to make loud noises. It can disturb wild animals or other groups in the region.
It is also advisable not to use deodorants (attracts insects) or any harmful things such as cigarettes inside the tent.
Gangotri Valley carries piou
s and religious energy, so it is advisable not to have non vegetarian food.
Drinking of alcohol is strictly prohibited during high altitude treks because it can dehydrate the body.
Come, one and all ! The glacier awaits your visit ! Trek and feel one with nature !