Source of Ganges Hiking Tour in Uttarakhand

  • Pay homage to the River Ganges at the Gangotri temple dedicated to this life-giving river and at its source Gaumukh
  • Have a rendezvous with the 6,856 m/22,493 ft Bhagirathi peak, 6000m/19,685ft Bhrigu Parbat and 6543 m/21,325ft Shivling also known as India’s Matterhorn
  • Visit to the ‘Lake of Divine Souls’ in the Himalayas which is considered to be the ‘abode of the Gods’

Explore one of India’s most myriad states from its holy temples and reputed ashrams through to its forests, rivers and mountain peaks to sense the spirituality, mythology and devotion that makes India special.

The Source of the Ganges Treks will take you on a journey of a lifetime from the foothills of the Himalayas at Rishikesh, India to the slopes of glacier ridden alpine valleys of Gangotri and Tapovan at Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand.

This hike is a moderate one and it does not involve any high altitude passes. The privileges of this holy trek include vista views of the Bhagirathi mountain range in the Gangotri National Park topped by views of three 6000m(19,685ft)+ summits namely, Bhagirathi Peak, Bhrigu Parbat peak & Shivling Peak. This is one trek that has it all.

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    11 days / 10 nights

  • Start / End

    Rishikesh, Uttarakhand / Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

  • Price

    From $1,550 pp dbl. occ.

  • Hotels

    Camping / Tea Lodge

  • Activity Level

    Easy to Active

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Brief Itinerary

* with shuttle
2Uttarkashi (1,160 m)1
3Gangotri (3,050 m)1
4Chirbasa (3,600 m)1
5Bhojbasa (3,790 m)1
6 – 7Tapovan (4,450 m)2

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Rishikesh

To get to the starting point of the Source of the Ganges Trek, one needs to travel 245 kms north from Delhi to Rishikesh where at the Himalayan foothills the Ganges River enters the plains of India.

Rishikesh is the Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas of the state of Uttarakhand, India and this ancient town first shot to international fame when The Beatles stopped by for a visit to Yoga Guru Mahesh Yogi in 1968.

Your Trek Leader will meet you at your hotel here in Rishikesh after you arrive and walk you through the plan for the trip in the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’ – where with meditation one can attain Moksha i.e., liberation from rebirth.

Meals: Dinner

Day 2: Uttarkashi

From Rishikesh, we will head to the town of Uttarkashi where trekking permits will need to be obtained before starting the hike.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Altitude: 1,165 m/4,436ft

Day 3: Gangotri

We will next establish base camp here at Gangotri, the starting point of the Source of the Ganges Trek. Gangotri is part of the Gangotri National Park and it is located a four to five hour drive away from Uttarkashi.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Altitude: 3,050 m/10,006ft

Day 4: Chirbasa

Having had time to acclimatise, we begin the Source of the Ganges Trek on the pilgrim trail at Gangotri with views of the 6,856 m/22,493 ft Bhagirathi peak welcoming you into Gangotri National Park as you head to Chirbasa.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance: ~ 9km/6mi over 4 hours

Altitude: 3,600 m/11,811ft

Day 5: Bhojbasa

In season, you will be treated to views of more mountains from the Bhagirathi range enroute along this stretch with the peaks of Bhrigu Parbat and Shivling(India’s Matterhorn) dominating the skyline at a height of 6000m/19,685ft and 6543 m/21,325ft respectively.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance: ~ 7km/4 mi over 2-3 hours

Altitude: 3,790 m/12,434ft

Day 6: Tapovan

You will leave the pilgrim trail behind today at Gaumukh after which you will be able to experience the beauty of the Garhwal Himalayan range in your own way at Tapovan at alpine meadows along rivers among the glacial valleys and towering peaks that surround you here.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance: ~ 10 km/6 mi over 4-5 hours

Altitude: 4,450 m/14,600ft

Day 7: Tapovan

You will get one more chance to take in the magic of these mystical mountains in the Indian Himalayas as today is a rest day. If possible, try to visit Gandhava Lake which is two hours away from Tapovan. This ‘Lake of Divine Souls’ might help you understand as to why the Hindus consider the Himalayas to be the abode of their Gods.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance: ~ 7 km/4 miles over 2-3 hours

Altitude: 4,450 m/14,600ft

Day 8: Chirbasa

Refreshed, rejuvenated and with the spark of your soul re-ignited, we retrace our way back from Tapovan down to Gaumukh after which we re-join the pilgrim trail at Bhojbasa and head down to Chirbasa.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Altitude: 3,600 m/11,811ft

Day 9: Uttarkashi

An early start today means we can walk from Chirbasa to Gangotri following which we will take a shuttle to reach Uttarkashi on the same day, a long stretch in one go. A farewell dinner is on the cards tonight.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Altitude: 3,050 m/10,006ft

Day 10: Rishikesh

We drive back to Rishikesh where you can indulge in some yoga, meditation and rafting even on this rest day.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Onward Journey

Your Trek Leader will make arrangements for the return journey to Delhi from where you can head home or travel deeper in the heart of India.

Meals: Breakfast