Part I: Exhilarating trip to gangotri and gaumukh

Hi, I am a regular and avid fan of ghumakkar and swear by the experiences of  fellow fun loving ghumakkar’s… Though, I always wanted to share my experiences but due to utter callousness and laziness, would never write… , for a change… Today, I have got sometime to pen my thoughts..expereinces…and fair share of inexperience in preparing the travel itinerary… at least in the trip to be shared…

Ever since my colleagues traveled to gangotri and gaumukh sometime in may 2004 and shared with me their experience… I was looking and waiting for like minded friends who would accompany me to such places…It was my first trekking trip…

I was finally able to make this trip in May, 2009. It all started with discussion with my colleague Gaurav. He shared my cherished desire to trek himalayas… we checked with many other fellow colleagues but we could ensure comfirmation from only rakesh, another colleague… rest all kind of ditched at the last moment… Then, I called up my friend Anuj, tried and trusted liutenant… more than Anuj I had to convince his wife…:). After lot of deliberations, she agreed to let go Anuj with us…

Before, we actually went travelling and trekking, I researched a lot on trek.. climate.. accomodation.. road condition… and also, how to secure trekking permit from forest department, uttarkashi. We were lucky enough to speak to forest department officials over phone and they agreed to accept our permit application through fax.. but we had to collect the permit form their office on hillock at uttarkashi.. and they were kind enough to issue, help and guide us to our way forward…

We went directly from our office in gurgoan on wednesday evening at 6:00 PM and could reach sahibabad to pick anuj only by 9:30  due to traffic conditions.. Picked up Anuj and his mom-in-law (to be dropped enroute in meerut..) All of us except anuj were hungry.. we all had a good dinner at a dhaba in meerut after dropping anuj’s mom-in-law… and started onwards only around midnight…

Thereafter we opened the car throttle and let it lose to a flying start only to reach narendranagar by 03:30 and chamba by 06:00am… there we filled up fuel tank .

We stopped at a roadside café for a T-break after crossing chamba on way to uttarkashi…as we move ahead we started feeling the drop in temperature and cool breeze..the road till uttarkashi was excellent except for few bumps on a small stretch enroute.. we stopped only at forest office, uttarkashi and was awestruck to figure out who will take the stairs to reach the main office on the hill… Gaurav and myself took the lead only to be asked the officer to call all of us who needed to trek.. he was kind enough to issue the permit immeditely and few advise..remember, the permit is valid for the date mentioned only as that time only 200 trekkers per day (excluding sadhus) were allowed… Enroute ahead of uttarkashi, we stopped byside of bhagirathi and played with cold water and clicked few pictures.. and tried to get rid of tiredness and sleep..

We had a brunch en route somewhere around maneri… and that was the end of our smoth ride…as the rood was pathetic after that… this was due to numerous land slides.. road widening and dam construction…. The road improved a bit around harsil onwards… By the time we crossed the dam site… and were approaching harsil… it started pouring… the scenic beauty was amazing.. the roads covered with pine and devdars et al… endless waterfalls gushing from every other side of the mountains and the might bhagirathi flowing … the river color was attracting us to have a dip in it.. it looked crystal clear and free flowing the view was at its best and beyond any comparison.

We were all mesmerized by the such a beautiful natural landscape and scenery as soon as we crossed harsil we reached a toll road near lanka and there was a steel bridge. The scenery below the bridge was stunning… very narrow river flowing thousands of feet below between very narrow gorge between 2 mountains.. the gap was no more than 50 feet… parked our slying beauty by the roadside and took few pics… though photography was prohibited… goshhhhh… it was absolutely amazing… we drove further and reached gangotri by around 5:30 pm…. It was drizzling all the while and we look out for accommodation there… we were tired and had no intention of going to market for dinner but we had to go… as the temperature was around 0degrees and we felt we were underequipped with woolens… So we bought, pair of woolen socks… woolen gloves…caps etc… to our surprise, we were all tored… got one T-wala to cook maggi and serve in our room… Remember, electricity is a scarce commodity here. We thereafter took rest and  to start our  day early for trekking to gaumukh.


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Dear Sarvesh,

    I have been to Yamnotri & Gangotri in June 2010, thanks for refreshing the beautiful memories.

    Well written post supported with beautiful pictures. It would be great if you could put captions along with pictures.

    As I was not able to go to Goumukh, looking forward to see your post on Goumukh.

    • sarveshji says:

      Dear Mahesh,

      I badly wanted to do the trek again this year as well… but I could not find a companion :)

      Thanks Vibha to attach pictures. I am unable to upload pics.. I am not getting the option while posting.. I guess the version currently is different and FAq for uploading pics.. refer to old version. Appreciate, if you can guide me some screenshots ..

      I must tell you the trek to gaumukh is the most amazing experience in itself. I would recommend you do trek, next time you visit gangotri..

  • sskagra says:

    I have seen this side is a very good,beautiful pictures written is a so powerful
    Thanking you

  • Sahil says:

    Dear Sarvesh ,
    Very well written . And good supporting pics say the rest. Looking forward for the next part.


  • Vibha says:

    Hello Sarveshji,

    Well written post and good pictures. I will get back to you about your query regarding the pictures.


  • nandanjha says:

    Seems like you had a good adventure with all-night drive and then all-day drive, freezing atmosphere in May and what not. Look fwd to part 2.

    For pictures, you can e-mail me and I would get it done.

    Also, please get yourself a gravatar. Instructions are here –

  • aurojit says:

    Hi Sarvesh,

    A very interesting account of the trip to Gangotri. The driving part was real commendable.
    I was there during summers this year, and agree, the experience is amazing.


  • g. vasanth says:

    Hi sarvesh…your travelogue refreshed my memories about a bike ride that I and my friend took till Harsil. as it was off season therefore, we could not proceed till gangotri and had to turn back from harsil itself. The one night that we spent at harsil was bone-chilling….we had a great time though…am now planning another ride back to that place and this time i intend to go till gangotri.

    • sarveshji says:

      Dear g,

      Harsil is the best place enroute gangotri and I guess its better than any place at any hills in india… The river bed was very cast, serene and beautiful.

      Very eager to stay at harsil at least for 1 night.. the next time I go there.

  • I live in Uttarakhand but still I am planning to visit Gangotri. You people are lucky………..

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