When I first read about the Garhwal Himalayas as a young teenager, I had the nagging feeling that this was a forbidden world reserved solely for God-blessed climbers gifted with out-of-this-world abilities. Joe Tasker, my idol and inspiration in mountaineering, has described two unforgettable adventures in the Garhwal Himalayas - the terrifying descent from Dunagiri where he and Dick miraculously stayed alive despite physical exhaustion, and the famous climb of the vertical face of Changabang where he and Pete bivouacked in hammocks on the face. The Garhwal Himalayas consist predominantly of 6-thousanders and some rare 7-thousanders, but undoubtedly they outshine other mountains in beauty and the marvellous shapes of peaks! This journey offers a trek to a less familiar area of the Himalayas; it is more difficult than the treks to Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Base Camp. The conditions are more basic (we sleep in guesthouses and tents on higher plateaux and near glaciers), but the peaks are remarkable and views are mesmerising!
Mt. Shivling /6543 m/ is one of the most sacred peaks in the Garhwal Himalayas. Located by the glacial moraine of the Gangotri Glacier, according to the Hindu myth it is the symbol of Lord Shiva. The massif overlooks the meadow of Tapovan, considered one of the most beautiful alpine meadows dotted with plants in full bloom. The first ascent of Shivling (done by an Indo-Tibetan team) dates from 1974. This impressive trek is considered challenging and is used also for acclimatisation for the ascent to the peak. We shall cross the 5000m mark! The trek partly overlaps with an ancient Hindu pilgrimage trail. The dozens of towering peaks along our itinerary include the remarkable Hanuman Tibba, Bhrigu Parbat, Bhagirathi I, II and III, Meru, Satopanth, Kedardom! The trek to Shivling base camp starts from the village of Gangotri /3048 m/, a popular spot for pilgrims ...
Day 01: Arrival at Delhi
On arrival at Delhi airport meet our executive and transfer to pre booked hotel. Overnight stay.
Day 02: Delhi – Haridwar (By AC Train) - Rishikesh (25 kms/45 mins approx)
In the morning take AC Train/Volvo Coach from Delhi to Haridwar at 06:50 hrs. Arrival at Haridwar by 11:25 hrs, meet our guide and transfer to Rishikesh by road. On arrival check in to hotel. Evening free to explore the area. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 03: Rishikesh - Uttarkashi (1150 mts/3772 ft)
In the morning after breakfast drive to Uttarkashi via Chamba. One can see a panoramic view of the high mountain peaks of Garhwal. Upon arrival at Uttarkashi check in to hotel. Evening free to explore the surroundings. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 04: Uttarkashi - Gangotri (3048 mts/9998 ft)
In the morning drive to Gangotri via a beautiful Harsil valley. Enroute take a holy dip in hot Sulphur springs at Gangnani. Upon arrival at Gangotri check in to hotel. Evening free to explore the beautiful surroundings. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel/TRH.
Harsil: Harsil is a beautiful spot to see the colors of the nature. The walks, picnics and trek lead one to undiscovered stretches of green, grassy land. Harsil is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the surroundings. Sighting here includes the Wilson Cottage, built in 1864 and Sat Tal (seven Lakes). The adventurous tourists have the choice to set off on various treks that introduces them to beautiful meadows, waterfalls and valleys. Situated amidst the incredible beauty of mountain peaks, Harsil is counted amongst some of the most beautiful places in the Garhwal region.
Gangotri: The shrine of Gangotri is situated at an elevation of 3200 m surrounded by deodars and pines. The original temple was constructed by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa. Every year people from all around the world visit this shrine. A number of ashrams and Dharamshala are located on the other side of the river. It is believed that Raja Bhagirath used to worship Shiva on a slab of rock "Bhagirath Shila" situated near the temple. Submerged in the river there is a natural Shivling where, according to mythology, Lord Shiva sat when he received the Goddess Ganga in his matted locks. A days trek takes one to Gomukh, the source of the mighty Ganges
Day 05: Gangotri - Bhojwassa (3350 mts/10988 ft)
The walk begins with gradual ascent through pine trees, alongside the roaring Bhagirathi River with towering cliffs on your left hand side. Soon after you leave Gangotri, you pass a check post for the Gangotri Conservation Project. The money they collect from your guide trees and an awareness campaign for trekkers on eco-sensitive tourism. Today’s walk is quite short to help with acclimatisation. Chirbasa means pine trees. Here you have superb views of Hanuman Tibba (17,186 ft/5366m), Bhrigu Parbat (19,217 ft/6000m), Bhagirathi I, II and III (21,958 ft/6856m, 20,857 ft/6512m, and 20,671 ft/6454m respectively). You could well spot herds of Bharal roaming the hillside above Chirbasa. Dinner and overnight stay in tents at Bhojwassa.
Day 06: Bhojwassa - Gomukh (3890 mts/12760 ft) - Tapovan (4463 mts / 14640 ft)
Early in the Morning enjoy the panoramic view of Bhagirathi group of peaks. After breakfast trek to Gomukh (3890mt), the source of the Ganges. Gomukh is where the water of Ganga trickles down from the glaciers. The sages called it 'Gomukh', because in the distant past, it probably appeared like a cow's mouth. Explore the area and trek to Tapovan, one of the finest high altitude alpine meadows in the area. The trek from Gomukh to Tapovan is ascent steep, and as we climb, the view of the surrounding peaks becomes clearer. They appear to be just a stone's throw away. Tapovan known for its beautiful meadows that encircle the base camp of the Shivling peak, Tapovan is a very pleasant surprised spot with a large meadow complete with bubbling streams, wildflowers and campsites. Herds of Bharal (blue mountain goats) is a common sight from here on mountain ridges. On the far side of the glacier the Bhagirathi I, II, III (6454mt), provide an equally impressive backdrop. It is also the little wonder where Sadhus and saints choose this spot for extended meditation during the long summer month. Arrive Tapovan and camp. Dinner and overnight stay in camp.
Gomukh: The Gomukh glacier is the source of Bhagirathi (Ganges) and is held in high esteem by the devout that do not miss the opportunity to have a holy dip in the bone chilling icy water.
Tapovan: Tapovan is an ideal location for the tourists looking for peace and adventure. Tapovan is located on an altitude of 4463m / 14640ft above sea level. Tapovan is base camp for Shivlinga peak in Uttrakhand hills. One can also have a nice view of Bhagirathi peaks from Tapovan Meadow. Every year this place has been visited by thousands of tourist including foreigners for adventure activity like mountaineering & trekking.
Day 07: Tapovan
The day is for acclimatisation.
Day 08: Tapovan – Kirti Bamak – Tapovan (7 kms/6 hrs)
Early in the morning full days excursion to Kirti Bamak glacier and from here you can see the Kedardome peak (6850 mts/22468 ft), Kirti Bamak (6500 mts/21320 ft) and a magnificent view of Shivling from the east. After exploring the area return to Tapovan for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 09: Tapovan - Meru Glacier - Tapovan (5 hrs/6 kms)
The day is also thrilling to see the Mt. Meru peak (6400 m). In the morning trek to the base of Mt. Meru crossing the meadows of Tapovan the trail climbs into another ablation valley. It’s mythical name is "The mountain of Gold". After exploring the area return back to Tapovan for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 10: Tapovan - Nandanvan (4570 mts/14990 ft/ Trek 4-5 hrs)
We trace back to Nandanvan via Gomukh glacier. The route from Tapovan leads from the upper section of the meadow till down and onto the glacier. From Gomukh turn towards Nandanvan (4340m) and steering on right one will be on top of the Gangotri glacier. The glacier runs between two ranges and the landslides make a layer of rocky moraine on the ice which makes the walking easier. The glacier walk is very slippery and a slight lack of concentration would be dangerous. Huge crevasses gaped here and there. After a walking for about a kilometer there is a vertical ascent. Big rocks enroute offer grips and foot - holds but many of them are deceptive too. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 11: Nandanvan - Vasuki Tal (4800 mts/15744 ft) – Nandanvan (7 kms/6 hrs)
Morning trek along with Chaturangi Glacier to reach Vasukital, a beautiful base for Mt Satopanth and Mt Vasuki Parbat with a small lake. The trek is steady upward. After exploring the area trek back to Nandanvan for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 12: Nandanvan - Bhojwassa (Trek 4-5 hrs)
Early morning enjoy the sunrise on high peaks. After breakfast trek down to Bhojwassa. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Day 13: Bhojwassa - Gangotri (Trek 4-5 hrs) – Uttarkashi
Morning after breakfast trek down to Gangotri, where our car will be waiting for us. Then drive to Uttarkashi. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 14: Uttarkashi – Haridwar – Delhi (275 kms/8-9 hrs)
Morning after breakfast drive 170 kms to reach Haridwar. Arrival at Haridwar by afternoon. Explore the surrounding and evening transfer to railway station to catch train for Delhi at 18:05 hrs. Arrival at Delhi by 22:45 hrs.
Day 15: Delhi Departure
Transfer to Delhi airport as per your flight schedule.
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