The snout of Gangotri Glacier is Gomukh, the origin of the holy river Ganges. Gomukh is at 4255 meters 14 km from the Gangotri temple.
The exquisite natural beauty is waiting for you along a thin walk able serpentine trek route from Gangotri to Gomukh. The first destination on your trek route is Chirbasa 7 km from Gangotri. Up to Chirbasa dense green vegetation of Himalayas including pine, rhododendrons, deodar, birch will sooth your eyes. Restless Ganges will accompany you throughout your trek. Small waterfalls will wash your route time to time. Refreshing cool breeze will wash away all your tiredness of walking. At Chirbasa, there are shops and at tourist bungalow you will find food and stay if you wish. Take rest a while, here at Chirbasa, have some snacks and start walking to your next destination, Bhujbasa.
Drastic change of nature you will observe while you move towards Bhujbasa. The vegetations will be sparse as you move forward. The yellowish mighty Himalayas on your left and silvery Ganges down below will be your accompaniment in this route. This part of trekking is little more tiring than the earlier trek up to Chirbasa. The tiny luggage which you will be carrying will be heavier. The strong cool breeze here will add to your discomfort. But I can assure you, you will forget everything after reaching the destination Bhujbasa. The place is called Bhujbasa, because of the abundant Birch trees (Bhuj), which used to be available here earlier. Now the place is barren and like a ground with magnificent view of Himalayan peaks, and the flowing Ganges and a glimpse of Gomukh. A GMVN tourist bungalow comprising of only dormitory accommodation is available here for staying. You can choose to stay in tents for a change.
Start next day for Gomukh, your final destination, 4 km from Bhujbasa. There is no definite walk able route in this part of your journey, rather you have to find your way through and over the boulders carefully. On the boulders the direction of Gomukh is nicely marked with the white chalk. You will walk alongside the Ganges. Different sizes of slabs of ice you will see floating in the holy river in this region. The beautiful Shivling Peak is so near in front of you, as if you can touch it! Deep blue sky, mighty snow peaks, marvelous Ganges will relieve the stress of your tiring trek. Slowly you will reach Gomukh, a huge cave, having similarity with a mouth of cow. Muddy water of furious Ganges roaring out through this cave and chunks of ice are falling on the stream, breaking from the wall of the cave. A view you will remember for your life time.
Gomukh is at an altitude of 4255 Meters. Surrounding Gomukh there are beautiful snow peaks like Bhagirathi, Bhrigupath, Meruparvat, Chaturangi, Shatpath, Kalindi, Basuki, Shivling and so on.
Where to stay at Gomukh:
Unfortunately you cannot stay in this divine place in a hotel or, resthouse. If you can manage permission then tenting is allowed. You have to stay at Bhujbasa 4 km from here.
GMVN Tourist Bungalow: Only dormitory available @ INR 250
Other than this you can be accommodated at Lal Baba Ashram @INR 140 with food per person.
Baba Lal Bihari Das.
Lal Baba Dharmarth Trust,
Bhujbasa Ashram, Gomukh
You can also choose to stay at Harshil, where a GMVN Tourist Rest House is available DB @ INR 700
Few Important Points to Note:
Recently the regulations has become stricter due to different reasons. The new regulations are following:
- Only 150 tourists will be given permission to enter this area, Gangotri national Park daily. These tourists include tourists for Gomukh, Trekkers of Nandan Kanan, Tapovan and Kalindi pass and glacier, porters and guides.
- Permission will be given by Chief Wild Life Warden, 5, Chandravani, Mohabbewala, Dehradun Ph: +91 135 2644691. Or, DFO, Uttarkashi Ph: +91 1374 222444 Fax: +91 1374 222964. Permissions are give on first come first serve basis.
- Fees to enter the park: Indian Nationals INR 25 per day. Foreign Nationals: INR 175 per day
- Ponies and horses are not allowed on this route.
- You have to see Gomukh from a distance of 500 Meters.
- You will be returned from the check post if you don't have permission. It is impossible to get permission after reaching Gangotri. Collect it before hand either from Uttarkashi or, Dehradun as mentioned above.
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