Base City: 


Starting Point: 


Ending Point: 


Average Duration: 

1 to 4 days

Route Finding: 

Easy until Gaumukh, route finding across the glacier to Tapovan can be tricky, for Kedar Tal the trail is very straight forward with no junctions until the end where the trail becomes less distinct crossing the terminal moraine of the glacier before reach

Equipment Required: 

sleeping bag is useful, there are lodges at Bhojbasa 5 km from Gaumukh (14 km from Gangotri), at Tapovan it may be possible to sleep in on of the Sadhu's simple rock walled ashrams but you can't count on it, so if you don't have a tent leave enough time so that you can return to Bhojbasa if necessary, if you do Kedar Tal in more than one day shelter will be required


The number of people per day allowed to trek above Gangotri to Gaumukh, the source of the Ganges, as well as further up to Tapovan is restricted. The permit can be obtained in Uttarkashi on the way to Gangotri. The office is on the road to Gangotri 2 to 3 km outside of town. Ask locally for specific directions.

Trek Overview

Gangotri is the jumping off point for the trek to Gaumukh (the source of the Ganges) and the beautiful meadow of Tapovan which sits above it.  You will need to get a permit for this trek in advance from the Forest Department office in Uttarkashi.  There is a quota system so you may have to wait a few days to make the trek if its busy.  There is another very good trek from Gangotri to the lake of Kedar Tal.  A beautiful lake surrounded by a bowl of white mountains adjacent to a glacier.  Fortunately you don't need a permit for this trek so if you have time to kill why you wait to do the Gaumukh trek you can trek to Kedar Tal in the meantime.  The trail starts on the other side of the river from the main town and temple of Gangotri and climbs steeply following the the tributary that joins the Ganges at Gangotri.  Its a 46 km round trip to the lake.  For the fit and acclimatized its possible to do in a very long day trip but the route is steep and it would be much more comfortable to do in 2 days, but you will need a tent or some sort of shelter for this as there is nothing en route.

Its possible to hike to Gaumukh and back in a day from Gangotri for those short on time, but its more pleasant to take two or three days and add a trip up to Tapovan. Both Tapovan and Kedar Tal are very beautiful alpine areas with fantastic views of high peaks. The hike to Gaumukh is interesting for the cultural significance but the views don't get that good until you reach Tapovan or Kedar Tal.

Other Treks in the Region


Hans (not verified)

Hi from Holland,I went to Gangotri, Tapovan and Kedar Tal in late-September 2014. Everything is still pretty much as described above. I spent two nights at Bhojbasa in a tent camp with food and everything, and wnet on a day hike to Kedar Tal from Gagotri. I really liked this area for the scenery, especially the high mountain peaks at Tapovan and Kedar Tal. Gangotri is a fun place as well, where you can see the Indians splashing and bathing in their holy river.Check out my pictures here: here is my GPS route: few points to note:*) You can get your permit now in Gangotri itself, at the jeep/bus stand.*) Going from Gaumukh (the start/end of the glacier) to Tapovan is not as hard as people would like you to believe. You don't need a guide. You stay on the left side of the river and cross the glacier following the rock pile indicators and flags. After crossing the glacier, there is a short steep section up, follwing a small river and then you're there. Tapovan is a lovely place with great views of the surrounding peaks, especially the 6543m Shivling. You'll see a base camp for the climbers who want to conquer it - good luck to them, but I'll stick with trekking :-)*) A day trip from Gangotri to Kedar Tal is indeed possible. It's not a 46km round trip though (as mentioned above), but only about 25km. Don't underestimate it though. It's all the way up and it goes to over 4700m altitude at the lake. I'm an experienced and fit hiker, and left not long after dawn and got back not long before dusk (in September). If you feel you're not going to be back in time before dark, head back. The scenery is magnificent the whole trek, not only at the end, although the lake and the view of the 6772m "pointy" Brigupanth is the icing on the cake.Cheers,Hans  

Trekker's Rating: 

micah's picture

Thanks for the update on the info, great images.Micah

Trekker's Rating: 


Micah (Indie Trekking & Travel)

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