Gomukh Trek- A truly wild experience in the Himalayas

The Gomukh snout
The Gomukh snout

Technology owes an apology to ecology. Most of the cities today have turned into a concrete jungle, there is no nature only buildings and garbage around. And this is where trekking comes to the rescue. Traveling at your own pace on land which cannot be accessed by roads. I did the Gomukh Trek earlier this year in April for the first time which inspired me to write this blog.

Gomukh is the snout of the Gangotri glacier. Bhagirathi River or more famously known as the Ganges after it merges with Alaknanda at Devprayag originates from this snout. One of the most revering places in Uttarakhand, unparalleled in its beauty, the trek was rejuvenating, to say the least. Belonging from the hills, I never lost the touch of nature.

Yet, it never ceases to amaze me how much the hills have to offer. Trekking through Gomukh reminded me of the very fact that every twist in the trail revealed another magnificent beauty of a snow-clad Himalayan giant. Gomukh Gangotri Trek is an amazing opportunity for anyone looking forward to getting familiar with the prodigious Himalayas.

Gomukh Snout
Gomukh Snout

Things To Carry

  1. Clothing – Pack 3 t-shirts, 2 trekking trousers, 2 pairs of thermal wear (it gets really cold during the night), 2 pairs of shoes, a raincoat(the weather is unpredictable), gloves, etc.
  2. Medical Kit – Carry a small medical kit including medicines for stomach-ache, headache, fever, and a crepe bandage for a sprain.
  3. Eateries – Eat some Dry fruits, Chocolates, Tetra packed milk, or juice to keep the calorie in the balance because you will be burning a lot of it.
  4. Others – Torch, lighter, Camera, Charger, etc.

Gomukh Trek Itinerary(Gangotri to Gomukh)

‌Day-1 :- Haridwar To Gangotri

Distance – 307 km

Journey duration – 12 hours

You can reach Gangotri via bus or shared taxi from Haridwar. The bus to Gangotri departs from Haridwar at 6:00 A.M sharp and reaches Gangotri around 6:00 P.M. Gangotri is located at an altitude of 10,200 ft above sea level. Your body might need some time to get accustomed to at this height. Get enough rest before you start the trek.

A permit system is applied by the Government to control the number of people traveling in such an economically tender area. You can acquire the permit for the Gomukh trek route from the GMVN office at Gangotri.

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A glimpse of Harsil valley
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Snow-clad Himalayas witnessed from Lanka

Day-2 :- Gangotri to Bhojbasa

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View of Bhagirathi peaks
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Bhagirathi river from the Base-camp Bhojbasa

Start early morning the next day, since gomukh weather could go very down in the evenings. The path to Gomukh Glacier starts from steep stairways behind the main Gangotri temple. After climbing the stairs and a short hike of about 2 km comes the main gate of Gangotri National Park where the permit is checked. You have to pay a fee of ₹ 200 per individual and additional security charges as per your luggage quantity.

You can begin the trek, once the formality is completed. The route to Bhojbasa becomes steeper with the distance, 8 km after the checkpoint comes Chirbasa which is 9 km from Gangotri. Bhojbasa is 5 km from  Chirbasa and the trek is full of landslides and steeper climbs. Thus, it is recommended to take a break at Chirbasa.

You can camp at Bhojbasa only, camping anywhere else in the national park can cost you a fine of up to ₹ 10,000. So, try to reach Bhojbasa before the sunset. The temperature at Bhojbasa decreases dramatically at night, make sure you carry enough clothes with you. In my opinion, 3 layers of warm clothing will do.

There are two ashrams at Bhojbasa, Ram Baba ashram and Lal Baba ashram, eating options at these ashrams are limited. You can stay at either of them or camp your tent if you like.

camp on the way to Gomukh
Base-camp at Bhojbasa on the way to Gomukh

‌Day-3 :- Bhojbasa to Gomukh and back to bhojbasa

Distance – 10 km

Journey duration – 9-10 hours

The trek from Bhojbasa to Gomukh is moderately difficult. There is no definite trail that leads to Gomukh instead one has to find his way through the rocky boulders on the rough terrain. It took almost 5 hours of the exhausting walk for us to reach Gomukh. We ran into a barrier, 500 m around the snout beyond which entry is prohibited.

I sat near the barrier and just contemplated the immense beauty of nature. It surrounded me. It made me realize the importance of traveling. Trapped in our day-to-day existence repeating the same cycle every day really sucks out the enthusiasm which is necessary to lead a jubilant life.

Travelling keeps the alacrity intact not only during the journey but also after it’s completion. It was now time to fold my journey, as I was embracing my accomplishment, the sky turned dark as clouds took over it. I reached bhojbasa and spent the night after following the same trail.

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Rare sight of the Bharal or Blue sheep
Glacier View from Gomukh
Glacier View from Gomukh

Day-4 :- Bhojbasa to Gangotri

I packed my bags the next morning to begin the end of my journey and left for Gangotri. I advise travelers to take on local sightseeing in & around Gangotri after the trek.

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P.S. – If you are planning to trek all the way to Tapovan, You may have to take a halt at Uttarkashi as the permit can only be issued by the GMVN office in Uttarkashi. Also, The gomukh to tapovan trek is for experienced trekkers. If you don’t have enough trekking experience,  I’d suggest you take a break at Gomukh.

Kedarkantha trek is another nerve-wracking trek that I went on, in the Himalayas.

Have a happy & safe journey!

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