Gaumukh Tapovan Trek

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Why Book With Us?

  • Safety
  • Small groups - (6-12)
  • Experience nature
  • Sustainable experiences

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  • 7 Days/6 Nights
  • Moderate
  • 14000 ft./4267 m
  • 12 Participants
  • May | September
  • Uttarakhand

Gaumukh Tapovan Trek Overview

Gaumukh Tapovan trek in Uttarakhand takes trekkers right to the source of the Holy river Ganga. Unknown to many, this trek also brings you close to Mt. Shivling. You witness the mighty Mt. Shivling right in front of you. You encounter its grandeur, from top to bottom, while standing amused at its base.  Along with Mt Shivling, you will enjoy the clear views of Mt. Meru and the Bhagirathi sisters on the Gaumukh Tapovan experience. 

The gigantic glacier of Gaumukh is one of the largest in the Himalayas and gets its name from its unique appearance. Gangotri Glacier’s snout, which is known as Gaumukh, resembles a cow’s mouth. This massive glacier stretches for about 30 km in length and is 4 km wide. It’s quite a rare experience to get up close to a glacier of this size.

The beauty of Gaumukh is terrifying and fascinating at the same time.

Trek to the source of river Ganga

The humongous chunks of ice floating in the crevasses fascinate you.​Gangotri glacier is where the river Bhagirathi originates, also called Ganga. It then follows its course and gushes to converge with River Alakananda at Devaprayag, becoming the Ganges. 

  As the trail is known to a select trekking community, it is relatively isolated. You will enjoy exclusivity on the Gaumukh Tapovan trail and also the campsites.​

On the trek, you encounter spirituality throughout the trail. First, the trek starts from the holy town of Gangotri. The trail takes you to Gaumukh Glacier, where Bhagirathi originates. and later becomes the Holy River of Ganga. Alaknanda River meets the Bhagirathi River and thereafter flows on as the Ganges River or Ganga.

You also experience the serenity of Tapovan grasslands. Tapovan is an occasional home to hermits searching for spiritual awakening. 

During your trek, you’ll get a chance to explore Gangotri temple, which boasts a long and fascinating history dating back to the 18th century. Along the way to Pandava Gufaa, a popular resting spot believed to have been used by the Pandavas, friendly local villagers will entertain you with thrilling stories from the epic Mahabharata.

The trek is perfect for discovering a fascinating amalgamation of mystical beliefs and mind-boggling landscapes. What you discover here leaves a lasting impression. So experience the magical mountains and spiritual encounters on this Himalayan adventure with OWLS. 

Gaumukh Tapovan trek brochure


  • Meals 
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners (Day 1 Dinner to Day 7 Breakfast)
  • Accommodation 
    • Tents, Homestays/Dorms
    • Cloakroom Charges 
  • Highly Experienced Leaders and Guides 
    • Trained and Qualified Guides
    • Certified Outdoor Leaders
  • Permits
    • National Parks and Sanctuaries
    • Forest Permits and Entry fees 
  • Camping Equipment
    • Kitchen Tent
    •  Toilet Tent
    • Dome Tents 
    • Sleeping Bags
    • Mattresses
  • Technical Equipment
    • Wilderness Medical Kit
    • Climbing Rope 
    • Climbing Accessories
    • Ice Axe
    • Microspikes
    • Oxygen Cylinder
    • BP Meter
    •  Oximeter, Thermometer etc.


  • Travel cost from pick-up point to and from the basecamp (Dehradun to Gangotri cab fare)
  • Transit meals (Day 1 and Day 7)
  • Personal expenses 
  • Offloading charges 
  • Cost incurred due to change in the itinerary 
  • Additional services  (including mules, assistance, health-related support etc.)
  • Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions list. 

Gaumukh Tapovan Trek Itinerary

Day 1 : Dehradun (2,150 ft.) to Gangotri (10,000 ft.)

The holy town of Gangotri is around 242 km from Dehradun. You pass through Chamba, Chinalisour, Uttarkashi, and Harshil to reach Gangotri. The mountain roads that take you to Gangotri have their own charm. You witness the towering pine trees that as you reach Chamba.

You will reach Gangotri during late evening and rest for the night before the trek begins on Day 2.

Day 2 : Gangotri (10,000 ft.) to Chirbasa (11,750 ft.)

Today, the trail is around 10 kms. It is comfortable to walk with few steep ascents followed by gradual ascent throughout the trail till you reach the campsite.

Along the trail, Sudarshan Parbat plays hide and seek to offer you glimpses of it. You traverse through a forest area full of blue pine and silver birch trees.

To reach Chirbasa you will cross a few streams and witness some beautiful waterfalls on the way. The campsite will be right next to the Bhagirathi river.

Day 3 : Chirbasa (11,750 ft.) to Bhojbasa (12,450 ft.)

The distance today is comparatively short. You will cover the distance of 5 kms in around 3 to 4 hrs while you trudge your way through some gradual walks, along with some steep ascents.

The day starts early from Chirbasa. Chirbasa is covered by Chir pine trees all around. You’ll witness terrific boulders, sprawling valleys, and stunning panoramic views of some of the most high-altitude mountain ranges in our country. As you march towards the next campsite, Mt. Bhagirathi offers you its spectacular view along the trail.

You will reach Bhojbasa in the afternoon. You have left the treelines and now you camp in the open area with mountains all around. The campsite here offers you a clear view of Mt. Shivling. While the scenery after Chirbasa might be a visual treat, brace yourself to battle the spine-chilling windy weather that engulfs you once you step out of the forest cover.

Day 4 : Bhojbasa (12,450 ft.) to Tapovan (14,200 ft.) via Gaumukh (13,450 ft.)

The trail to Gaumukh passes through some steep ascent, rocky patches, and glacial stream crossing. After walking for a few hours, you will reach the mighty Gaumukh glaciers. The unprecedented view of Gaumukh is an experience of a lifetime. The team proceeds toward Tapovan after admiring the beauty of one of the largest Himalayan glaciers.

You will walk on the glaciers, and cross patches full of boulders to reach the campsite of Tapovan. Tapovan, a high-altitude meadow is frequented by sages who come here to meditate and come closer to God. From here, the view of Mt. Shivling is astounding. You also witness towering Mt. Meru, Bhagirathi peaks, and Sudarshan Parbat. To come this close to some of the big mountains of our country is unprecedented.

Day 5 : Tapovan (14,200 ft.) to Bhojbasa (12,450 ft.)

You will proceed towards Bhojbasa. The distance is covered in around 5-6 hrs. The trail is a mix of gradual descent and some level walks.

Day 6 : Bhojbasa (12,450 ft) to Gangotri (10,055 ft)

You will start early from Bhojbasa and cover a distance of around 14 km. you will reach the holy town of Gangotri by evening. You can visit the temple here and offer your prayers here after completing the trek.

Day 7 : Drive back to Dehradun (2,150 ft.)

After experiencing beautiful landscapes of mountains, meadows, and glaciers, you will drive back to Dehradun. You will reach Dehradun by late evening. Consider booking your onward journey keeping the buffer day in mind.

How to reach the basecamp of Gaumukh Tapovan trek?

✈️Nearest Airport – Jolly Grant International Airport, Dehradun

🚉 Nearest Railway Station – Dehradun Railway Station

The base camp of Gaumukh Tapovan is the holy town of Gangotri. The distance between Dehradun and Gangotri is around 242 km. It takes 10 -12 hours drive to cover the distance. 

OWLS arranges pick-up from Dehradun to Sari for the participants. The pick-up will be available at the Inter-State Bus Stand, Dehradun (ISBT Dehradun).  Reach the pickup location at 6 a.m.

The drive to the base camp in Gangotri passes through Chamba, Chinalisour, Uttarkashi, and Harshil. The mountain roads leading to Gangotri have their unmissable charm. The towering pine trees you witness in Chamba. The scenery along the journey only gets beautiful as you move further. You will reach Gangotri late evening and rest for the night. 

Travel Plan to Dehradun

The base camp Gangotri is around 242 km and is a 10- 11 hrs drive from Dehradun.  Dehradun is easily accessible by air, train and road. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant International Airport in Dehradun. You can book your tickets well in advance till Dehradun to avail of tickets at cheaper rates. You can choose to travel by air from any metro city to Dehradun. The other option is to reach Delhi by air and travel by train or bus from Delhi onwards. 

Here is a guide on how to plan your travel step by step to reach Dehradun

  • Reach Dehradun directly by air or train on Day 0
  • Fly to Delhi and board a bus or train to reach Dehradun on Day 0
  • OWLS pickup from Dehradun on Day 1 at ISBT, Dehradun 

Travel Plan A – By Air till Dehradun

 If you are reaching Dehradun by air, here are a few options for planning your travel. Dehradun Airport is well connected with all the metro cities.  Book a direct or connecting flight to Dehradun. If you plan to reach Dehradun by air, ensure to land in Dehradun on Day 0. 

Dehradun city is 32 km away from the Jolly Grant Airport. It takes 1 hour to reach the city. You can opt to hire a cab/auto directly from the Airport. The other option is to exit the Airport complex and book an auto. The charges for prepaid cabs at the airport are exorbitant.  Another low-cost alternative to get to Dehradun city is to travel on a city bus. Walk towards the Dehradun – Rishikesh highway and hop on a shared auto or city bus. You will have to wait for the bus. Regular city buses run between Dehradun and Rishikesh almost every half an hour. 

If you land in Dehradun on day 0, book a hotel or dorm near ISBT, Dehradun.  Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam’s hotel is 10 minutes away from ISBT and offers rooms at reasonable rates. They have economical as well as deluxe rooms. 

OWLS pick-up will be available on Day 1 at ISBT Dehradun at 6. a.m. 

Travel Plan B by train/ bus from Delhi

This option will be economical for you. Flight to Dehradun will be slightly priced higher than flight to Delhi. To cut down your travel budget, fly to Delhi, then get on a bus or train from Delhi to Dehradun. 

You can book and find bus options at UTC Online or Redbus. Another option is to go to Kashmere Gate and book a bus offline. Board a bus or train arriving in Dehradun on Day 0 evening. Reaching Dehradun on Day 0 helps you to rest before your trek starts on Day 1. 

If you want to travel overnight, Nanda Devi Express runs daily and departs from H. Nizamuddin at 11.35 p.m. and arrives at Dehradun early at 5.40 a.m. Overnight Volvo AC buses also run frequently between Delhi and Dehradun. It takes 6-7 hours to get to Dehradun from Delhi. 

How to plan your return flight/train to Delhi 

Your Gaumukh Tapovan Trek is 7  days, including travel to and from the base camp. The team will be back in Dehradun on Day 3. You reach Dehradun in the evening, between 7 to 8 pm. 

While returning, you can fly directly out of Dehradun to your city. The second option is to travel by bus or train to Delhi. 

If you go with the first option, you can book a direct flight from Dehradun to your city on Day 4. 

Travel to Delhi by train or bus

The second option requires you to travel to Delhi by train or bus.  Once you reach Dehradun in the evening, you can head to ISBT Dehradun and book an AC Volvo bus to Delhi and travel comfortably. The other option to reach Delhi from Dehradun is to book a train. 

If you prefer the second option, book a flight that departs late morning or early afternoon of Day 5. The overnight buses from Dehradun arrive in Delhi in the wee hours. Book a flight departing in the afternoon to avoid rushing. 

Some trekkers prefer to stay back for a day and use the buffer day to explore Rishikesh or Mussoorie. You can either stay for a night and explore Dehradun city or proceed home the same evening if flying out of Delhi. 

Gaumukh Tapovan Trek Map

Gaumukh Tapovan trek map by gooutwithowls

Gaumukh Tapovan Trek FAQ

How long is Gaumukh Tapovan Trek?

The total distance of the Gaumukh Tapovan trek is around 46km. The average distance you will cover is 6-8  km per day. 

Is Gaumukh Tapovan trek suitable for beginners?

Gaumukh is a demanding trek, and we do not recommend it to beginners. You will walk an average of 6- 8 hours every day and cover approximately 10 km. On long days, you will hike 8-9 km at an altitude above 12,000ft.

However, if you are a beginner with good physical fitness, you can consider the trek after consulting our Outdoor Leader. 

How difficult is Gaumukh Tapovan Trek?

Gaumukh Tapovan is a moderate to difficult trek, considering the duration and the altitude gain. The trek spreads over seven days through an easy-to-moderate trail and some steep ascents and descents. It climbs to an altitude of 14,203ft when you reach Tapovan. 

What will be the temperature on Gaumkh Tapovan trek?

Summer temperature in Gaumukh Tapovan ranges from 15°C to 20°C. The temperature dips down to almost 0°C at night. 

Find out a detailed guide on Gaumukh Tapovan temperature and weather here. 

What is the best time to visit Gaumukh Tapovan Trek?

The best time to visit Gaumukh Tapovan Trek is summer. The trek is accessible during the summer and the autumn months. 

Read the season-wise guide on the best time to visit Gaumukh Tapovan. 

Will there be snow on the trek?

You will find the remains of the snow at higher altitudes if you plan the trek during the spring months. However, there will be no fresh snow on the trek. In autumn, there will be no snow on the trek. 

What is the cost of Gaumukh Tapovan trek?

The Gaumukh trek cost is Rs. 17499/- 

The trek cost covers your experience from basecamp to basecamp.

Where is Gaumukh Tapovan Trek located?

Gaumukh Tapovan is located in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand.  

What is the duration of Gaumukh - Tapovan Trek?

The trek typically spans 7 days, which includes the time required for travelling to and from the base camp.

What is the altitude of the Gaumukh Tapovan Trek?

Gaumukh Tapovan trek is at an altitude of 14,200ft. The trek starts from Gangotri, located at an altitude of 1,000ft. 

Where is the base camp of Gaumukh Tapovan Trek?

The journey commences from the holy town of Gangotri. In Hinduism, Gangotri holds great reverence and is considered a sacred place. Every year, followers from all over the country embark on the Chardham Yatra, a religious pilgrimage, and Gangotri is one of the places they visit during the yatra.

What is the altitude of the Gaumukh Tapovan trek?

Gaumukh Tapovan trek is at an altitude of 14,203ft. 

Can we do Gaumukh Trek on our own?

 Devotees and rishis on the pilgrimage frequent the route to Gaumukh. If you plan to continue beyond Gaumukh, hire a professional guide. It’s safe to have a well-informed guide to traverse the challenging trail and unpredictable mountain weather. 


How should I prepare to avoid AMS?

The most important thing to do on a trek to avoid AMS is to drink water, more than your daily intake. Water is an excellent way to avoid AMS. Along with this, you should also have all the nutritious meals we provide on the trek. If you still are sceptical about getting AMS, we would advise you to carry Diamox tablets with you. However, according to the situation your Outdoor leader will advise whether or not you should take it.

I have a medical condition. Can I join the trek?

We encourage everyone to trek, even if or not they have a medical condition. We have an in-house doctor at OWLS with whom you can discuss your medical condition and accordingly, we can help you better prepare you for the trek.

What document do I need to carry?

Please keep the following documents ready before filling out this form

  1. ID proof
  2. Health form (for all participants of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh treks) and (for all participants <15 and > 60 years of age)
  3. RTPCR for children <15 years/Vaccination certificate for adults (for Nepal treks)

Should I bring snacks to eat on the trek?

Although we provide filling breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with morning tea and evening snacks, you can carry some light snacks for munching on the trail. You can carry protein bars, dry fruits, and homemade snacks like Shakkarpara to help you give that extra energy on the trek. 

Who will be leading my trek?

All our Outdoor Leaders are trained and experienced leaders. They have completed basic Mountaineering Course, and are equipped with basic first-aid knowledge. Our leaders are certified Wilderness First Responder course

Do I need to get my medical kit for the trek?

You don’t need to carry your medical kit. If you have your prescribed medications, you need to carry them on the trek

What kind of arrangement is available for accommodation on the trek?

The accommodation will be on twin sharing basis. One tent will be shared by two trekkers. 

Is there any arrangement for offloading on the trek?

Yes. Communicate your requirement to the trek leaders beforehand, as it will be difficult to arrange to offload at the last minute. The offloading charges will be Rs 350 per bag, and your bag should not weigh more than 9 kg. 

Note: At OWLs, we suggest our participants carry their backpacks and avoid offloading. However, in case of pressing circumstances, you can opt for offloading.

Is there any option to keep our luggage at the base camp?

Yes, you can leave the extra luggage at the base camp. However, do not leave valuables like laptops, jewellery, or any other expensive items in the base camp. 

What will be the toilet facilities on the trek?

The OWLS team will set up a toilet tent near the campsites. The toilets will be dry toilets and you will have to use toilet paper. There will be a pit dug by the team and you will have to cover your nature’s call with dry soil. Avoid using wet wipes, as they are not biodegradable. At OWLS, we thrive to leave no trace in the mountains. 

At the base camp, you will have regular concrete toilets.

What will be the food arrangement on the trek?

The food offered will be as per the nutritional requirements. As you will be walking every day for 4-6 hours, you will be burning a good amount of calories. The team makes sure that the food you will be offered is healthy and helps you sustain through the day. The regular meal comprises eggs, locally grown vegetables, rice, roti, and pulses. The menu changes from day to day. 

What will be the status of the mobile network on the trek?

You will have access to most of the mobile networks at the base camp in Gangotri. We suggest our participants make important calls while at the base camp. There will be no signals throughout the trek.