Tapovan is a naturally diverse area carpeted by the lush green grasslands that are considered to be the best high-altitude grasslands in India. It is perched at an elevation of 4463 metres about 14,640 feet above sea level and is situated near the famous Gangotri shrine. At the foot of Shivling peak, Tapovan is a seasonal home to several sadhus living in caves, huts etc.
In the past few years, Tapovan has emerged as a popular trekking destination and people from far-off places come to see the enchanting grasslands of Tapovan that are decorated with flowering plants.
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Early morning after having breakfast, drive to Uttarkashi from Dehradun. The road from Dehradun passes through Mussoorie Bypass Road offering scenic views whereas the road from Rishikesh goes through Chamba Hill Station. The massive Tehri Dam Lake also comes into view as you proceed towards Chilyanisaur.
The holy town of Uttarkashi is a popular place among the pilgrims heading to Gangotri. On reaching Uttarkashi, drive further to Gangotri. It takes another 4 hrs from Uttarkashi to reach Gangotri via Harsil. If you start from Dehradun/Rishikesh at around 6 am then you will probably reach Uttarkashi by 12 Noon. Take another shared cab to Gangotri from Uttarkashi. Perform evening aarti at Gangotri Temple and obtain the permits to enter Gangotri National Park. Have dinner and overnight stay in Gangotri.
Wake up to the glorious view of the sunrise and post breakfast start trekking across the Bhagirathi River on a relatively well-marked trail to Chirbasa. This relaxing trek goes through the forests and allows the trekkers to walk on the side of the mountain, giving shelter under its shade. On reaching Chirbasa, set your camps on the riverside, amidst the forested area and have an overnight stay.
Post breakfast start trekking towards the source of river Ganges. This swift trek will offer magnificent views of the Mount Shivling and the Bhagirathi peaks. Capture the unprecedented views from Bhojwasa and take some rest here. After trekking for a couple of kilometers, you will reach Gaumukh, the source of Ganga River. Relish the beauty of this place and pitch your tents for the night.
Start off early to make your way towards Gangotri Glacier. The swift 5 km trail will lead you to Tapovan. After traversing for a few kilometers, you will see a distant view of the lofty Himalayan peaks such as Mount Shivling (6,543 m), Mount Meru (6,630 m), Kedar Dome (6,808 m), Sudarshan (6,507 m) and Bhagirathi I, II and III. On coming closer to the view, you will come across the luscious golden meadows of Tapovan, from where you can have a panoramic view of these peaks. Walk barefoot on the smouldering grassland, relax and trek back to Chirbasa.
After having nutritious breakfast, trek back to Gangotri and then drive to Uttarkashi. Check in at a hotel and have an overnight stay.
Check out from the hotel and drive towards Rishikesh/Haridwar.
In addition to first day stay at Gangotri, there will be slight modification in the itinerary to include Nandanban as well in your Tapovan Trek. In this case you can camp at Tapovan for 2 days.
First thing in the morning, visit the sacred shrine of Goddess Ganga - Gangotri Temple. You can buy necessary items from the market at Gangotri town. The trek starts from Gangotri itself. You need to show permits at Forest Check Post, 2kms from Gangotri. As you walk deep into the valley the vegetation also decreases. Continue trekking to reach Chirbasa, located 9 kms from Gangotri.
The route involves crossing small streams en route to Chirbasa. Chirbasa makes a good campsite and it is also the last point where you’ll see good vegetation. You can camp here if there are any signs of AMS or if you are tired. Chirbasa is situated at an altitude of 3, 580mts above sea level.
Bhojwasa is located 5kms ahead of Chirbasa. Bhagirathi Peaks are constantly visible during the trek. Bhojbasa is an open expanse of land in the valley, situated at an elevation of 3,800mts above sea level. There are few ashrams at Bhojwasa where pilgrims stay.
Tapovan can be reached by two routes. The first one is the classic route which goes via Gaumukh Glacier. Gaumukh Glacier is 5kms from Bhojwasa. After reaching Gaumukh Glacier you need to traverse the glacier and climb a rugged wall to reach Tapovan.
For accessing second route crossing Bhagirathi River from Bhojwasa itself is required. A long walk on moraine and small ridges for many kilometers will end up at Tapovan. Distant view of Gaumukh Glacier can be seen from this trail. Tapovan campsite is located at the foot of Mount Shivling (6,543mts). Tapovan is situated at 4400mts above sea level.
Crossing the massive Gaumukh Glacier is required to reach Nandanvan from Tapovan. The trek starts with a steep descent from Tapovan to reach the glacier and ends with a steep climb of approximately 100mts to reach Nandanvan. Nandanvan (4450mts) is situated at the foot of Bhagirathi Peaks.
Trek down to Gaumukh Glacier. The snout of Gaumukh Glacier used to look like a cow’s face, but you won’t see any such resemblance now. This is the origin of Holy Ganges. Further trek down to reach Bhojbasa .
Trek down to Gangotri. It will take around 5-6hrs to reach Gangotri from Bhojwasa.
Bid adieu to the exhilarating trekking journey and post breakfast drive to Kathgodam from Lohajung village.
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