Gaumukh Travel Guide (Char Dham)

Gaumukh is also known as Gangotri Glacier and called Gomukh as well. Gangotri Glacier is located in Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand, India in a region bordering China. This glacier, source of the Ganges, is one of the largest in the Himalayas with an estimated volume of over 27 cubic kilometers.

Around the Gaumukh glacier are the peaks of the Gangotri Group, including several peaks notable for extremely challenging climbing routes, such as Shivling, Thalay Sagar, Meru, and Bhagirathi III. It flows roughly northwest, originating in a cirque below Chaukhamba, the highest peak of the group.

Gaumukh is situated at a distance of 19 Kms from Gangotri. It is very windy there and as it is situated at a height of approx. 3900-4000 meters from sea level, oxygen in the air is deficient.

One has to walk/trek all through, one can also hire a horse ride up to Bhojwasa (14 Kms from Gangotri). However, the last 5 km is a beautiful trekking route, and needs must be covered on foot. The road is okay but strewn with boulders and there are challenges on the way. One needs to cross 4-5 water streams on the way. There are very narrow log-bridges over these streams, barely five inches in width and one has to be very careful when crossing these. There are two landslide-prone zones on the way where stones/boulders come down all the time.

Important Information For Gaumukh Trek

Only 150 people are allowed to visit Gaumukh per day. There is forest gate at approx. 1.5KM from Gangotri, it opens at 6.00AM, where one needs to show the travel permission and pay Rs.150/- per person. No plastic bags, bottles etc. are allowed to be taken beyond this point. (One can carry these items after making a security deposit, deposited in this gate office).

Some Tips For The Gaumukh Trek

  • Carry some Chocolates (or other calorie-rich food items) along with other food, water and juices.
  • It will be helpful if one walks 4-5 kms everyday for 3-4 weeks prior to this trip.
  • Do not return to the base (Gangotri) on the same day. Stay at Bhojwasa (the only place one can stay in the whole route). Otherwise it will be very hectic.
  • Take your usual medicines with you, apart from those that may be required in high altitudes.
  • Trek with proper shoes.
  • Carry Photo Identity Cards and photocopies of the same as that will be required for permission from the forest department.

Mythology / Importance Of Gaumukh

The terminus of the Gangotri Glacier is said to resemble a cow’s mouth, and the place is called Gomukh or Gaumukh (gou, cow + mukh, face). Gaumukh, which is about 18 km from the town of Gangotri, is the precise source of the Bhagirathi river, an important tributary of the Ganges. Gomukh is situated near the base of Shivling; in between lies the Tapovan meadow.

The Gangotri glacier is a traditional Hindu pilgrimage site. Devout Hindus consider bathing in the icy waters near Gangotri town to be a holy ritual, and many make the trek to Gomukh and Tapovan.

Places To Visit In Gaumukh

  • Badrinath Temple:- It is one the most popular temple in Uttarakhand. This holy temple comes under the Chota char dham circuit and also in Char Dham circuit.
  • Joshimath:- It is one of the four maths which is discovered by Adi Shankracharya in 8th century. It is a city with lots of religious importance in Uttarakhand state of India.
  • Auli Artificial Lake:- It is one of the worlds highest Artificial or Man made lake. This beautiful lake has helped in extending the Skii season in Auli.
  • Gorson Bugyal:- It is situated at a height of 3056 mts above the sea level. It is just a 3 km trek away from the Auli. It is covered by the snow in winter season.
  • Kedarnath:– It is one of the most popular temples in Uttarakhand. It comes under the Chota Chardham circuit. Pilgrims have to trek 16 km to visit this holy temple.
  • Harsil:- Harsil is a small town with a very scenic beauty and it is one of important place to halt during Gangotri Yatra. The landscape in Harsil is dotted with many small temples that you can visit during your trip to the place.
  • Uttarkashi:- Uttarkashi means Kashi of the north, is a holy town in Uttarakhand, India. It is the district headquarter of Uttarkashi district. Uttarkashi is situated on the banks of river Bhagirathi at an altitude of 1352 m above sea level.
  • Barkot:- It is a small town located 40 kms from Dharasu and is beautifully landscaped all around. Ranging from the apple orchards to the great Himalayan ranges and the snow peaks of Bandarpuch, this destination paints a picture irresistible for a travel enthusiast.
  • Dharasu:- It can be visited if you going from Yamunotri (Barkot) to either Uttarkashi, Gangotri or Tehri during your Char Dham Yatra.
  • Gangotri:- The revered shrine of Gangotri, situated at an altitude of 3,200 mts. about sea-level amidst sylvan surroundings, constitutes one of the most important pilgrimages for the devout Hindu.

Char Dham Distance Chart From Gaumukh

Many pilgrimages and foreign travellers do the trek of Gaumukh (Glacier) from Gangotri during their Char Dham Yatra.

Gaumukh – Yamunotri
Distance:– 222 kms
Time:– 8 hrs
Route:– Gaumukh – Gangotri -Chinyalisaur – Dharasu Band – Barkot – Jankichatti – Yamunotri

Gaumukh – Gangotri
Distance:– 20 kms
Time:– 4 hrs
Route:– Gaumukh – Gangotri

Gaumukh – Kedarnath
Distance:– 380 kms
Time:– 16 hrs
Route:- Gaumukh – Gangotri – Srinagar –RudraprayagAugustmuni – Guptkashi – Gaurikund – Kedarnath

Gaumukh – Badrinath
Distance:– 440 kms
Time:- 14 hrs
Route:– Gaumukh – Gangotri – Srinagar Rudraprayag –Karnaprayag –Nandprayag – Pipalkoti Joshimath – Govindghat – Pandukeshwar – Hanuman Chatti – Badrinath

Top 5 Places To Stay In Gaumukh

Normally travellers are not allowed to stay in Gaumukh or Tapovan, if you get the permission then you can arrange camps or tents from Gangotri or Uttarkashi.

1) Dev Darshan
It is located in Gangotri which offers 3 accommodation with private balconies. It has all the essential facilities.
Address:– Gangotri National Highway 108, Uttarkashi 249194 India.

2) Prakriti The Retreat
This beautiful retreat offers its guest the beautiful and perfect view of the river from its rooms. You can explore many popular places while staying in this retreat.
Address:- Gangotri National Highway, 81st KM Milestone(Near Harsil), Dharali, Distt Uttarkashi

3) Harsil Cottage
This cottage is situated on the banks of a river. It offers its guest nature in its purest form. It provides luxuriou rooms with attached bathroom and tasty food served.
Address:– The Harsil Retreat, Harsil, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand.

4) Mountain Village Stay
It is situated at an apple orchard at Harsil, Uttarakhand. This hotel offer all the necessary facilities like 24 hour front desk, airport transfer, room service etc.
Address:- Dharali Heights, Village Dharali Harsil, Uttarakhand.

5) The Char Dham Camp
It is a beautiful place to stay for pilgrims doing Chardham yatra. The sacred Bhagirathi river adds more beauty to this beautiful place. The camps provided comfy beds with all the basic amenities.
Address:- Kalp Kedar Mandir,Village Dharali, P.O. Harsil, Gangotri , 249335.

How To Reach Gaumukh

Gaumukh well connected by motorable roads but the place does not have any airports and railway stations. You can easily travel here by using public transport as well as by driving your own vehicle.

Route 1:- Delhi – Gaumukh via Haridwar

By Road:– Gaumukh is well connected by motorable roads from Delhi. There are many regular buses available for traveling to Gaumukh from Delhi via Haridwar. You can also drive your car to travel Gaumukh.

Gaumukh does not have any railway station & its own airport. Tourists can reach Haridwar via train then hire taxi, cab or local bus to reach Gaumukh. It will take approximately 10 hours to reach Gaumukh.

Route 2:- Delhi – Gaumukh via Dehradun

By Road:– Gaumukh is well connected by motorable roads from Delhi. There are many regular buses available for traveling to Gaumukh from Delhi via Dehradun. You can also drive your car to travel Gaumukh.

Gaumukh does not have any railway station & its own airport. Tourists can reach Dehradun via train or air then hire taxi, cab or local bus to reach Gaumukh. It will take approximately 11 hours to reach Gaumukh.

Post Comments/Questions on “Gaumukh