Delhi to Gangotri, peace at Gaumukh

After covering 3 Dhams in Yr.2015 (Kedarnath & Badrinath in June 2015. Yamunotri in Oct.2015), time has come to complete our Journey by visiting fourth dham i,e Gangotri. Friends were confused of our decision of splitting of pilgrimage of “Char Dham” but we did so because of time constraint. People working with Private Sector and that to in Customer Operations will agree with our decision.

We did intensive study on weather Conditions of Gangotri & Gaumukh with help of various meteorological websites. However carrying experience of Yr.2015, June Month was already in back of mind and got support from online websites also. So, dates were finalized June 2, 3 &4. We group of 4 packed our bags with minimal stuff .We had planned for Gangotri & Gaumukh.

Gaumukh is another 18Kms, trek from Gangotri.

Gangotri Glacier Covering Gaumukh

Gangotri Glacier Covering Gaumukh

June 1, 2016-Left Noida (U.P.) office by 2.30PM.
Total Strength : Four people in a Santro-Petrol. (Best Vehicle to drive in Mountains. Excellent handling on Zig-Zag roads + Fabulous Pick-Up).

As per our Schedule we had planned to do first night halt at Narender Nagar(26Km up from Rishikesh). We were sailing smooth till Mujaffarnagar but just driving 15 Kms. past Muzaffarnagar Toll Road, we saw heavy presence of policemen diverting traffic from other side towards Roorkee. {On June 1 ,Rorkee witnessed some communal tension.} Anyhow diversion took some 35 Kms extra to reach Roorkee from Chutmulpur Side.

After Roorkee, as usual traffic was very slow till Haridwar and further dead slow till Rishikesh. We had reached to Rishikesh @8PM. We gave some “Sugarcane Juice” rest to ourselves and filled Santro with fuel. 5 Kms, past Rishikesh one has to keep eyes on road because road to Gangotri is diverted well in advance; you need not to enter Rishikesh city.

We were at right way and reached Narender Nagar by 9.30PM. There we started searching for Hotel. Being a Small town, one will not have more options of Hotel. Town has one 5 Star hotel by name of “Ananda”.Costly….at least for a Night halt. We were getting exhausted because we were getting worried of our dinner also. As time passes eateries were also started shutting finally we hit a lodge, took 2 rooms (Rs.250/Room).

Straightway ordered food from nearby Hotel. Owner was very decent; he had delivered dinner in our room itself. We tasted some delicious “Mountain Chicken” .Total dinner cost for 4 Person -Rs.350 only.

June 2, 2016
Golden Rule of Travelling by car in Mountains–Start your driving as early as possible. We just gone by golden rule, left Narender Nagar @5AM. Air was fresh,no traffic just sailing. Given a Morning Tea halt at Chamba(50 Kms. from Narender Nagar).We were carrying some snack with us like, Biscuits,Ras,Matthi etc.

After enjoying early morning drive and few halts we hit Uttarkashi (160 Kms from Narender Nagar) @ 8:45AM. Please be remember to collect your pass from Uttarkashi DFO(District Forest Officer) if you want to trek Gaumukh.

Uttarkashi DFO

Uttarkashi DFO

They issue only 100 Pass/Day from Uttarkashi for next day to Gaumukh.(Depends on availability also, College or University Group/Foreigner Groups mostly fill the vacancies).DFO Uttarkashi opens at 10AM.We utilized our time by taking breakfast. By 10AM few more people joined us at DFO.Finally at DFO we come to know that passes of nest day i,e June 3 already issued and we could get pass only for June 4.

Disappointed and started checking how we can adjust one extra day in our schedule. But DFO gave us some hope by trying our luck with Gangotri DFO. Total Pass issue is 150/Day (100 @ Uttarkashi DFO + 50 @ Gangotri DFO).We moved by this idea we left for Gangotri after paying Rs.600 to DFO (Pass Cost is Rs.150/Person) .Left Uttarkashi DFO @ 11AM. Reached Gangotri by 4PM.

Distance between Uttarkashi to Gangotri is 100KM but stretch is quite narrow hence avg. speed will come of 25 only. If you are lucky than you can skip traffic jams on this stretch but possibility is very less. Being very narrow stretch Big Tourist buses often stuck at bends which leads to massive jams.

However on this stretch enjoy beauty of Harshil and Bhatwari towns. These two are tourist places and you can halt en route to Gangotri. Helipad is also available in Harsil. After reaching Gangotri we hit first at DFO to try our luck for passes of next day to Gaumukh. And we got.

We just ended paying 600 bucks extra.(Rs.150 Per Person). After getting relief of passes we decided to visit Gangotri Temple.Budget Hotels in Gangotri are available. Few good hotels also. After refreshing ourselves in hotel, we spent good time at Gangotri Temple. Saw marvelous “Arti Pooja”, took picks.

History of Gangotri Temple

History of Gangotri Temple

Along Bhagirathi River--Gangotri

Along Bhagirathi River–Gangotri

Water of Bhagirathi River is little muddy .We took holy dip. Water is very chilly. Went out to have dinner. Dinner options are many but people loving Onion & Garlic will miss. South Indian food is also available. Temp. Is very moderate. Days are little warm but nights are chilly. Night Temp. Is around 3-4 Degree. Keeping next hurricane day ahead in mind, we decided to hit bed early.

Gangotri Temple

Gangotri Temple

June 3, 2016-(D -Day)–Trek to Gaumukh–
As stated early; we stick to our decision to start day at early as possible. We left our hotel at 5AM.We reached DFO Check post at 5:30AM which is 1.5 Km(Part of 18Km Stretch of Gurumukhi).At this check post you and your belongings will be frisked and your pass is checked. Polythene Stuff is strictly prohibited, person will count your plastic stuff. Rs.100 per Group is Security deposit which is refundable once you return with counts of stuff.

We started trekking through Gangotri National Park. Fantastic View with river Bhagirathi flowing by your side making poetic noise. Carry some warm stuff a light weight Jesry will work or have jacket. Mornings are chilly & speedy winds adding more cold. Wear good Sport Shoes having good sole- grip. Carry a bottle of water.

View of Gangotri Glacier from Gangotri Temple

View of Gangotri Glacier from Gangotri Temple

On many stretches water is not available; depend on what you are carrying. Trek is really tough; many stretches are continuously walking on Stones. At 9Kms. first halt is Chirwasa. With morning energy we had reached our first halt of Chirwasa @ 8:30AM.We took some costly refreshment like tea & paranthas at Chirwasa. Please remember to fill your belly because you are going to lose lot of glucose on next stretch.

Walking empty stomach could be harm for your body. We left Chirwasa at 9.30 and started trekking towards Bhojwasa which is 5 Kms. This stretch is filled with lot of difficulties, on trek you will often find no road; you have to make your own road on walking stones. As you move on this stretch, you will find problem in breathing because of less oxygen.

Walk slow, take full rest. It is advisable to drink water on regular interval. Carrying Glucon- D or Salt+Lemonswill be benefited. After numerous stop-away we had reached to Bhojwasa by 11:30.Bhojwasa is having all facilities of Staying/Food. Tents are available if you want to give night halt. If you are going to Gaumukh, than there is small by-pass, from Bhojwasa.

View of Bhojwasa 14 Km from Gangotri

View of Bhojwasa 14 Km from Gangotri

Ponies are available till Bhojwasa only if you are coming from Gangotri. By now we had completed our 14 Km. journey and only 4 Kms. are left. We did not halt at Bhojwasa and continued our journey to Gaumukh. This 4 Km. stretch is Mission-Impossible like and tougher than previous 2 strectes.Again after numerous halts we had reached to Gaumukh at 1PM.

View is really marvelous. You have to show courage to walk next 500 Mtrs. You will see few signboards prohibiting to walk towards Gaumukh, to reach exactly at the spot of Gaumukh.Gangotri Glacier is just reachable but you cannot because there is no way. Gaumukh is small part of Gangotri Glacier, which is origin of River Bhagirathi/Ganga. Gaumukh is called because of “Design of Part of Glacier like Mouth of Cow”. One can see large & heavy pieces of ice coming out from Gaumukh.Here you will hit by speedy chilly winds. Day Temp. is 3 Degrees Celsius.

Gaumukh-Origin of River Ganges

Gaumukh-Origin of River Ganges

You are covered by Mountains on either side and from front Gangotri Glacier. We spent close to 1 hrs. at Gaumukh.After taking chilly holy dip at Gaumukh we decided to return. On this stretch, returning too is tough because for many kms. You have to walk on pointed heavy stones.We started our return journey at 3PM from Gaumukh. By now we were completely tired and just collecting energy by drinking Glucon D.We was walking with dilemma of halting at Bhowasa or not.

Walking towards Gaumukh

Walking towards Gaumukh

Shiva Temple--Gaumukh

Shiva Temple–Gaumukh

Walking again of 18Kms is actually not advisable. Almost every trekker gives night halt at Bhojwasa & return to Gangotri next morning. But condition with us was not so lucky. As per schedule we have to leave Gangotri next early morning back to Delhi. So we decided to Walk. As we started walking we started exhausting. However with cheer ups among ourselves we reached DFO at 9PM. We collected our refund money of Rs.100 and reached to Gangotri town @9.45PM.After taking some rest we took bath with hot water followed by massage of legs and body with Mustard Oil. Finished dinner by 11PM. Lights Off.

June -4–Return Journey
Morning was really painful. None of us could walk easily because of last day’s 36 Kms of pilgrimage Marathon. 5.30AM Went to Gangotri temple. Collected water for home and left Gangotri at 6AM. Reached Rishikesh @3PM.Being Saturday driving through heavy traffic from Rishikesh to Haridwar. Took holy dip once again at “Har Ki Pouri”,Haridwar.

Water is same muddy as we found in Gaumukh. Had evening Paranthas at “Gurunanak Dhaba in Muzaffarnagar before hitting Toll Road”. Reached Noida @9.30 PM.

Total Person -04, Kms. Travelled—1200Km,,Total Cost –Rs.3500/Person(Inclusive of Petrol)

7 Comments

  • Pooja Kataria says:

    Dear Anant, you are truly Blessed to have visited ‘Char Dham’ already. Indeed, a nice detailed post about Gaumukh and Gangotri. And, this surely looks very reasonable and cost efficient trip to me. :)
    Keep posting more.
    Thanks!

  • M M Mishra says:

    Well written Travelogue,Anant….

    This must one the most cost effective & time consious journey to one of the toughest terrain of the country.It is real challenging to complete the journeey from Gangotri to Gomukh & back in a single day..
    Please share the journey details and photographs of your 3 Dhams completed earlier..

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Welcome aboard Anant.

    That was quite a journey, all through. Bravo.

    Also, please email us a 75 word bio which we can put at your author page. Wishes.

  • Ramta Jogi says:

    36 kms trek in a single day is not cup of of tea of everyone.
    Keep that stint Anant.
    A few more pics of Gaumukh could have added some charm.

  • Sanjeev Joshi says:

    Anant ji…marvelous journey…36 km in a day is wonderful strength. I am planning in may Ist week but will stay at chirbasa/bhojwasa next day to gomukh tapovan….
    Can you share phone nos.etc for staying arrangements. I am going alone so also advise whether I can get any group there ?

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