Kedarnath Gangotri Trek
This trek visits the remote holy famous pilgrimage temples of Kedarnath and Gangotri, plus Gomukh - glacial source of the sacred river Ganges, Spiritual Heart of India amid awesome mountains. Alpine forests of oak, rhododendron, bhojpatra, (the famous "paper tree"), juniper, and the stately deodar. The famous Panwalikantha and Tapovan bugyals (Alpine meadows) with their spectacular views of the snow capped high Himalayas. A crossing of Gangotri Glacier. Vistas of many dramatic peaks - Shivling, Mehru Massif, Bhagirathi Massif, Kedarnath, Kedardome, etc. Hardy bakriwale (mountain headers) with their flocks of sheep and goats, frequent sightings of families of lithe and lively langoor (like a black-faced monkey) swinging through the tree canopy high above. Chances to see ibex, snow fox, mountain crow and eagles.
Seasonal contacts with Gujars (local mountain muslim tribal people) famous for their high speed mountain walking and their herds of buffalo. Visits to local picturesque mountain villages.
|4||Kedarnath||Day Trek Around Kedarnath||--||--||--||--|
|10||Bhairochatti||Budhakedar Agonda||6||14||1800||Veh: Hotel/Camp|
|11||Budhakedar Agonda||Balak||6||14||3100||Trek: Camp|
|15||Tapovan||Trek Around Tapovan||--||--||--||--|
|Legend: Alt=Altitude; Veh=Vehicle; Acco=Accommodation|
Day 1 : Delhi - Srinagar (315 kms/9 hrs)
Having arrived in Haridwar by train from Delhi the day prior, today, drive to Srinagar via Rishikesh . Scenic drive along the ganga river through forests and small towns, and the comfluence of the Ganga and the Alakananda rivers at Devprayag. On arrival in Srinagar, Check in at the hotel. In the evening visit to the market in the Srinagar.
Day 2 : Srinagar - Gourikund (125 kms/5 hrs)
Depart from Srinagar - road goes along the Alaknanda River and view the Alaknanda valley and terraced fields. See the beautiful confluence of Alaknanda River & Mandakini River at Rudrapriyag. Check in at the hotel. In the evening visit to the Gouri temple in Gourikund.
Day 3 : Gourikund - Kedarnath (14 kms/6 hrs)
7 hours 14 k uphill trek following the ancient pilgrim path along the Mandakini River to the historic holy shrine of Lord Shiva at Kedarnath Temple (one of the Char Dham - the series of holy pilgrimage sites, the four sources of the Ganges Yamuna Rivers) set beneath glacier covered peaks - Kedardome, Kedarnath, etc. Camp near the historic Kedarnath temple, where the evening puja (colorful prayer ceremony) can be enjoyed./p>
Day 4 : Kedarnath surroundings day trek
Leisurely explorations around the scenic and cultural area of Kedarnath, Ghandi Sarovar (lake), views of snowcapped Himalayan peaks, ancient sadhu (holy men) caves, etc.
Day 5 : Kedarnath - Trijoginarain (36 kms/8 hrs)
Easy 14 k downhill trek to busy Gourikund market town, then by jeep 15 k to Trijoginarayan town, with its fascinating historic temple, then moderate 2 k uphill trek to the forest surrounded meadow camp with mountain views.
Day 6 : Trijoginarain - Maggu (9 kms/5 hrs)
Moderate 10 k uphill trek through forests of rhododendron (bloom end april, beginning may), oak, and bhojpatra (paper tree). Camp on a ridge at an ancient pilgrim dharamsala (inn) with views of mountains and foothills.
Day 7 : Maggu - Panwalikantha (14 kms/8 hrs)
Steep uphill, 4 k then moderate up and down along ridgeline 5 k trek with views north and south of mountains the 5 k trek downhill, then 1 km uphill. Encounters with bakriwales (sheep and goat headers) (june - september) and Gugars (generally handsome local mountain people) famous for their high speed mountain walking and their herds of Buffalo .) Camp in a mountain top meadow famous for it panoramic views of a large section of the nearby Himalayan range, see the collection of villager's grass huts, and ancient pilgrimage dharamsala. Meet the herder villagers (May - September)
Day 8 : Panwalikantha - Ghuttu (18 kms/8 hrs)
Moderate downhill 18 k trek through forest featuring rhododendron ( bloom end April, beginning May), views of Ghuttu valley, terraced fields and villages, to the town of Ghuttu . Stay at the GMVN hotel or camp.
Day 9 : Ghuttu - Bhairochatti (12 kma/5 hrs)
4 k gentle trek on country road, the uphill 8 k trek through terraced fields, mountain villages, pine forest, oak, and rhododendron (bloom end april, beginning may). Frequent sightings of families of lithe and lively langoor (like a black-faced monkey) swinging through the tree canopy high above. Camp at Bharavchatti - forest-surrounded mountain top bugyal (alpine meadow) with sunset views of foothills and mountains, and a historic temple.
Day 10 : Bhairochatti - Budhakedar Agonda (14 kms/6 hrs)
10 k trek downhill trek through forests, villages, and terraced fields, past the Budakedar temple. Gentle 4 k uphill trek to Agonda village and river-side camp for lounging and bathing and washing.
Day 11 : Budhakedar - Agonda Balak (14 kms/8 hrs)
Moderate then steep 14 k trek forests, villagers with cattle, meadows, to Belak village camp in a forest with mountain views (Bandar Punch, Srikant, Jonli).
Day 12 : Balak - Gangotri (93 kms/9 hrs)
Moderate 18 k downhill trek to Latta town through forests and villages to trail head, then 4 hours by vehicle via scenic road along the roaring torrent of the Bhagirati river to Gangotri (one of the Char Dham - see above DAY 1) set in an enchanting forest of deodar pines, featuring the Gourikund waterfall, and the historic Gangotri temple, where the evening puja (colorful prayer ceremony) can be enjoyed. Stay in hotel. (hot water for bathing!).
Day 13 : Gangotri - Bhojbasa (14 kms/8 hrs)
Gentle 14 k uphill trek, with many colorful sadhus and pilgrims on their way to Gomukh, along the roaring torrent of the Bhagirati River with views of famous Himalayan peaks (Sudarshan, Bhagirati Massif, etc.), past villagers' tea stalls, to Bhojbasa, with its busy ashrams. Camp with sunset view of Bhagirati Massif.
Day 14 : Bhojbasa - Tapovan (8 kms/5 hrs)
Gentle 4 k uphill trek to dramatic Gomuk, sacred spot where the holy Ganges River emerges from its glacier. One of the most important pilgrimage sites in India . Moderate up and down hill 3 k trek across the Gangotri Glacier, then steep 1 k uphill trek to Topovan, a famous bugyal, base camp for Shivling Peak and Mehru Massif, several sadhu ashrams, and spectacular views of many famous mountains.
Day 15 : Tapovan - Trek Around Tapovan
Leisurely explorations around Tapovan, for views of many high snow caped mountains mountains and glaciers and the opportunity to see ibex, snow fox, mountain crow, and eagles
Day 16 : Tapovan - Chirvasa (14 kms/7 hrs)
Steep 1 k downhill trek to Gangotri Glacier, then 3 k up and down on the glacier, then 9 k gentle downhill trek to Chirvasa beautiful camp side surrounded by pine trees. The beautiful sunset on Bhagirathi massif.
Day 17 : Chirvasa Uttarkashi (109 kms/8 hrs)
Three hour gentle downhill walk along the Bhagirathi river to Gangotri. 5 hours drive along scenic mountain road, through villages, along the Bhagirati river, to Uttarkashi, market center north central Garhwal, set in a valley surrounded by foothills and terraced valleys.
Vishwanath Temple : One of the major Shiva worship centers for all India, this ancient and renowned temple is an interesting and important pilgrimage and touristic monument.
Uttarkashi Town : Situated on a new lake, this clean and nature-surrounded little city features a line of ashrams along the banks of the Bhagirathi River, an early branch of the sacred Ganga.
Nehru Institute of Mountaineering : World famous institution of instruction for the mountaineer.
Day 18 : Uttarkashi - Rishikesh (185 kms/7 hrs)
Departure in the morning after breakfast road goes along the Bhagirathi River till 35 km. then it goes up through the villages and foothills and terraced valleys. Check in at the hotel. In the evening visit to see the Ganga pray in the Swagashram.
Rishikesh : Rishikesh is the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttaranchal. It's also starting point on the journey to the sacred sources of the Ganga and the Yamuna Rivers. According to legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to Sage Kapila's curse. The penance was answered and the river Ganga trickled forth from Lord Shiva's locks and its bountiful water revived the sons of King Sagara. In the tradition of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here, praying for the salvation of their ancestors
Day 19 : Rishikesh -Delhi (225 kms/6 hrs)
Return drive to Delhi.
Best time to visit Kedarnath Gangotri Trek : May, June, End August, September, October and November.