Garhwal: Gaumukh Tapovan Nandanvan Trek

  • Duration
    17 Days
  • Region
  • Category
  • Best Time
    • May - June
    • October


Trek Grade: Difficult

This is a classic trek to discover the Gangotri Glacier and base camp for various peaks in the Garhwal Himalayas. The trek goes past Gaumukh, the source of River Ganga, the snout of the Gangotri glacier. The initial days of the trek to Gaumukh are followed by hundreds of Hindu pilgrims en route to the sacred source of the Ganges.

The pilgrims normally stay overnight at Bhojbasa and depart early the next morning to offer their darshan (prayers) at gaumukh before returning to Gangotri. Beyond Gaumukh, the established trail gives way to a route crossing Gangotri glacier across moraine and boulders to the beautiful meadow of Tapovan. The beautiful meadow of Tapovan is a delight to visit as you have the Shivling peak (6543m) – the Matternhorn of India, rising high on one side flanked by Meru and Kedardome and the peaks of Bhagirathi on the other side.

We cross the Gangotri glacier once again to camp at Nandanvan, another beautiful meadow right across Tapovan at the base of Bhagirathi massif. The hike up to Vasukital, base camp for Satopanth is a memorable experience. We hike up along the Chaturangi glacier and are surrounded by high mountains like Bhagirathi, Vasuki Parbat, and have Meru, Shivling and Bhrigupanth behind us.

Tours Highlights

  • A 17 days adventure with 9 days of trekking under the shadows of Mounts Shivling, Bhagirathis, Meru, Koteshwar, Kedarnath, Chaukhamba and many more from Tapovan (4,463 meters) & Nandanvan (4,350 meters) visiting source of the Ganga River
  • English trekking guides, camping equipments, personal porterage & ponies for maximum 20 kgs
  • Arrival & Departure transfers with Representative & transportation with SUVs or, mini coaches depending on group size.
  • Flight from Delhi to Rishikesh to Delhi
  • Sightseeing in Old & New Delhi & Rishikesh with English Speaking Guides
  • Prices on request

Destinations Covered

Detailed Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Arrive Delhi


    After clearing Customs and Immigration, step into the receiving area, where our representative will meet you and escort you to the hotel.

    On arrival, check into the hotel.

    Overnight at hotel (No Meals)

  2. Day 2 Delhi


    Delhi is a dynamic city where the past coexists with the present. While historic evidence shows that the area around Delhi was first occupied around 2,500 years ago, Hindu mythology predates that by another 500 years. The British captured the city in 1803 and when they decided to make it the capital of India in 1911, they commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to draw up the plans. The result is slightly surprising with spacious tree-lined avenues punctuated with architecture which is among the most striking in the world.

    On the tour of “Old Delhi,” you will head out to explore this exotic locale with its narrow dirt roads, myriads of people and inexpensive and colorful bazaars that keep alive the traditional workmanship for which Delhi has always been famous. Drive past Red Fort and visit the Jama Masjid, one of the largest Muslim mosques in India. A bicycle rickshaw will take you into the heart of Chandni Chowk (the silver square - so named because of the silver merchants).

    Drive past India Gate, a 42-metre archway built in memory of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War and Rashtrapati Bhawan, built in the early 20th century as the Imperial residence of the Viceroy. Today, it is the official residence of the President of India.

    Thereafter, visit the most prominent Sikh Gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship, in Delhi. It was originally a bungalow belonging to Raja Jai Singh, a 17th century Indian ruler. It is open to people of all faiths, castes or creeds. The premises house a sacred pond in which devotees bathe. They believe that this would wash off their misdeeds and thus allow them to attain peace of mind. The 'Langars' or the community kitchen proves to be the ideal example of prodigious hospitality of the Sikhs. Anyone and everyone can have scrumptious meal irrespective of caste, color or class.

    Conclude the day by visiting the Delhi's most striking monument, The Qutub Minar, which looms majestically across the wide plains of Delhi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was constructed in 1192 by Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak. Built in red sandstone and marble, it has a height of 72.5 meters (237.8 ft) and contains 379 stairs. A Soaring conical tower, it is an exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture and is the tallest minaret in India.

    Overnight at hotel (B)

  3. Day 3 Fly Delhi – Deharadun & Drive To Rishikesh – 1 ½ Hour’s Drive


    Indigo Flight # 6e-7334 Delhi/Dehradun (Etd: 07:20/Eta: 08:20 Hrs.)

    Meeting and assistance upon arrival and drive to Rishikesh and transfer to hotel.

    Lunch at hotel.

    After lunch sightseeing tour of Rishikesh, Laxman Jhoola (a large suspension bridge) to visit the 13-storey temple on the other side and visit perhaps Triveni Ghat, Bharat Temple and/or the place Lord Rama bathed at Rishikund.

    In part of the town is called Muni-ki-Reti and refers to the silver shores of the river where the rishis of old meditated. Across the Ganga, large, sprawling but well-maintained ashrams teach yoga and publish books on the scriptures. At sundown each evening there is a service at the side of the river, at the bathing ghat in the middle of Rishikesh at which tiny candle rafts are lit and let out into the choppy water to float away into the dusk. This is highly recommended as it has a very special ambience at this time.

    Overnight at hotel (B, L, D)

  4. Day 4 Drive Rishikesh to Uttarkashi (1150 M) – 6 Hours’ Drive


    Meeting and assistance upon arrival and drive to Uttarkashi which is also known as Barahat.

    Literally meaning "a big market place". Uttarkashi has a number of ashrams for the sanyasis and mendicants who occupy the banks of the holy river for penance and prayers. Uttarkashi also has the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) which conducts various mountaineering courses.

    On arrival, check into the hotel.

    Overnight at hotel (B, L, D)

  5. Day 5 Drive To Gangotri (3048 M) 4-5 Hour’s Drive


    The first half of the drive from Uttarkashi to Gangotri is now marred with a lot of development & construction activities caused by the Loharinag Pala Hydroelectric power project which fortunately has been stopped by pros tests from various environmentalists. Once we cross Gangnani hot water springs the drive becomes very scenic and climbs up to a small pass called Sukhi Top which offers great views of the river Ganga with the snow-capped mountains in the background. We drive past Harsil and on to the pilgrim town of Gangotri. Arrive and check-in to the Guest House.

    Arrive and check-in to the Guest House.

    Overnight at guest house (B, L, D)

  6. Day 6 Trek From Gangotri To Chirbasa (3548 M) – 4 Hour’s


    The walk begins with a gradual ascent through pine forests alongside the roaring Bhagirathi River with towering cliffs on the left.

    We pass a check post for the Gangotri Conservation Project. Chirbasa means home of pine trees! From here you get superb views of Manda peak (6511 m), Bhrigu Parbat (6000 m), Bhagirathi I, II, and III (6856 m, 6512 m, & 6454 m respectively).

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  7. Day 7 Trek From Chirbasa To Bhojbasa (3784 M) – 2 ½ Hour’s


    It is a two hour trek to Bhojbasa (3784 m) which has an ashram, a tourist guest house and a police outpost. Bhojbasa is named after birch (Bhojpatra) forests in the area. It is presently totally denuded of the Bhojpatra trees. Today, the dead woods of Birch remind us of the past glory of the Birch forest. Since the area has been declared as a National Park & the no of people entering the park has been restricted one can notice early signs of re-forestation. After lunch we walk up to Gaumukh, the snout of the river.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  8. Day 8 Trek From Bhojbasa To Tapovan (4463 M) – 5 Hour’s


    The trail from Bhojbasa to Gaumukh is a fairly gradual ascent. Today's walk will feel strenuous with the combined effects of the altitude, the glacier crossing and the steep and rocky terrain on the final climb to Tapovan. Here the soaring peak of Shivling (6543 metres) comes into view. The trek begins over rocky boulders and becomes noticeably steep gradually over the rocky terrain. The glacier is covered by moraine so you do not need any technical equipment, although a steadying trekking pole is definitely handy. Take the last step up the steep rocky path to enter the Tapovan meadow and view the spectacular sight all around you. You are surrounded by the giants - Shivling, Meru, Manda, the Bhagirathi group, Kedardome, Kharchakund and many more.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  9. Day 9 Free Day At Tapovan, Hike Up Towards Meru Glacier & Back.


    Day hike to Meru glacier on the west of Tapovan. It’s a steep uphill climb in the beginning and we then follow a ridge to Meru glacier. This is the same route taken by people climbing Shivling from the west ridge.

    Return to camp at Tapovan.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  10. Day 10 Trek From Tapovan To Nandanvan (4350 M) 6-7 Hour’s


    Today is a long day walk where we descend from Tapovan to the Gangotri glacier and walk the endless glacial moraine to get to the other side.

    Then we walk up the steep moraine as we make our way to the meadows of Nandanvan, at the base of the Bhagirathi peaks.

    Nandanvan is right across the meadows of Tapovan and is also a magnificent viewpoint of the majestic Shivling peak, the Matterhorn of the Himalayas.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  11. Day 11 Free Day At Nandanvan, Optional Hike Up Towards The Bhagirathi Ii Base Camp

    Bhagirathi Base Camp

    We spend this day in the serene surroundings of Nandanvan.

    After a relaxed morning, we go for a short hike up towards the Bhagirathi II base camp on the north side of the Bhagirathi massif.

    We gain some height and then return to camp for a hot lunch.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  12. Day 12 Trek To Vasukital (4880 M) & Back To Nandanvan 6-7 Hour’s


    We start the day by walking along a gentle stream with views of the Meru and Bhrigupanth. The trail goes along the Chaturangi glacier and after a couple of hours, reaches a deep gorge eroded by the Vasuki glacier.

    We descend diagonally into the glacier and then after a short climb we can see the Vasuki Tal Lake.

    A short descent of 10 mins brings us to the lake, at the foot of the north-west ridge of the Vasuki Parbat, which feeds the lake. Vasuki Tal acts as the base camp for Satopanth climb and one would need to walk another 10-15 mins from the lake to get the glimpse of the mighty mountain.

    We have lunch by the lake and return to camp. Alternatively we can have a light snack by the lake and return to camp for a sumptuous meal.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  13. Day 13 Trek To Chirbasa (3548 M) – 6 Hour’s


    Rise early to see the spectacular sight of the sunrise on the surrounding 6000 meter peaks. Shivling is undoubtedly the star of the show, commanding instant attention as it soars dramatically into the sky, dwarfing its neighbors.

    Today we will retrace our steps to Chirbasa. A steep descent down to the glacier is followed by a rocky traverse of the glacier and a gradual descent to Chirbasa.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  14. Day 14 Trek To Gangotri (3-4 Hour’s) & Drive To Uttarkashi (4 Hour’s Drive)


    It is a 3-hour trek from Chirbasa to Gangotri from where we have a 5-hour drive to Uttarkashi. We aim to get to kuflon Hideaway early enough so we can get our much needed hot showers and relax in the evening.

    Dinner & drinks by a soaring campfire is a great way to finish the trip.

    Overnight at Hotel (B, L, D)

  15. Day 15 Drive To Rishikesh 6-7 Hours Drive


    After a relaxed breakfast, we set off for a long drive to Rishikesh.

    We reach our hotel in the late afternoon and get our much needed showers and some rest.

    In the evening we will get time enough to explore the bustling township of Rishikesh and attend the famous Ganga Aarti – prayer ceremony on the banks of the river Ganges.

    Overnight at Hotel (B, L, D)

  16. Day 16 Rishikesh To Dehradun & Fly To Delhi


    Indigo Flight #6E-726 Dehradun/Delhi (ETD: 15:25/ETA: 16:10 Hrs.)

    After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Dehradun Airport in time to fly to Delhi.

    Arrive Delhi, you will be transferred to the hotel.

    Overnight at hotel (B)

  17. Day 17 Delhi & Departure


    On time check-out from the hotel and transfer to the Airport to connect with the departure International flight.


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