Gangotri is one of the mythological sources of the river Ganges, said to be brought to earth by King Bhagiratha on praying to the Lord Shiva. Therefore, the waters emerging from Gangotri that will flow into the river Ganges in the lower plains, is identified as River Bhagirathi. As per puranic sources, the goddess Ganges was made to descend on earth to purify the souls of men. The ‘char dham’ pilgrimage, of which Gangotri is a part, is propelled by such myriad beliefs. From Gangotri, the pilgrim route goes higher up- to ‘Gaumukh’. Gaumukh meaning ‘the cow’s mouth’ is the snout of the Gangotri glacier and source of a primary headstream of the holy river. The holy meadows of Tapovan lie beyond here. All in all, the Gangotri-Nandanvan trek is a greatly challenging high altitude experience, steeped deeply in India’s innate spiritual culture, and a Himalayan majesty at it’s very rugged yet most beautiful. The high point on this trek experience comes with learning how to negotiate the volatile glaciers and moraine topography. Giant, madly enchanting snow peaks etch the skies from all around on this trek, towering over your journey. Look out especially for the peerless vision of Mount Shivling and Mount Bhagirathi. On the Gangotri Nandanvan Trek, trekkers must account for extra acclimatization days and arrangement for permits.
Trek the terrain where beauty and ruggedness seamlessly blend in the deep interiors of Gangotri-Nandanvan. Massive, sky-scraping peaks rise straight and high across horizons as the trek unwinds under the gentle gaze of Mt. Shivling and Mt. Bhagirathi. The sacredness of these sites add to the enigma of the trek immensely. Gangotri being the mythological source of riverine goddesses’ descending stream into earth holds a place of great significance. You can find pilgrims coming from afar to take a dip in the waters of Gangotri to purify from within. In terms of advanced trek experience, this journey lets you sharpen your skills of negotiating volatile glacier and moraine walk, the art of thoroughly acclimatizing to the punishing hard climate and thinning air of higher altitudes, and learning the use of climbing gears. There is amazing diversity of the Himalaya’s essence found on this trek, the flowering meadow high land beyond the Gangotri glacier is dubbed as the ‘heavenly garden’, camping here in the midst of sweet fragrant grass and a sky full of stars on a clear night, draws the greatly rewarding conclusion to the journey.
Altitude reached upon arriving at Gangotri on this trek will be 10055 ft., and on reaching Gaumukh, you will be looking over the world from 14,202 ft. Going beyond to Nandanvan, we wll be reaching the height of 14,311 ft- the highest point on this trek.
May to June in the summer and from mid-August to October during autumn are the best seasons to make a journey on the Gangotri-Nandanvan route.
By Air: Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun is the closest airport for reaching Dharali, the base camp for the Gangotri Nandanvan Trek. Booking from the daily flights from Delhi to Dehradun works best for most trekkers.
By Rail: Dehradun Railway Station connecting with Delhi, Chandigarh, and many other major railheads in the country is the most conveniently reachable railhead.
By Road: ISBT Delhi has many buses scheduled to reach Dehradun from where buses can found for accessing Dharali.
Are There Any Shops Available On the Gangotri-Nandanvan Trek?
It’s futile to expect stores on this rugged and largely uninhabitable terrain, except at Gangotri- a marked pilgrimage since hundreds of years.
Altitude Sickness holds a great degree of possibility on this trek. Therefore trekkers must prepare with caution and keep a keen eye on fitness. Course in Diamox medicine starting from Dehradun till the end of the trek is also recommended. Better to take the advice from a general practitioner.
It’s normal to find this route moderately trafficked mostly by pilgrims till Gangotri and Gaumukh. As for trekkers, the high difficulty level of the route works as a deterrent.