This fascinating ten day trip takes one to Gangotri , the ancient source of the holy river Ganga and onwards to one of the most picturesque high altitude lakes - theKedar tal (4912 mts)! The lake acts like an observation post for the Greater Himalayan peaks e.g. Thaleysagar (6904 mts), Brigupanth (6772 mts) and Jogin Group of peaks, and this area is used by mountaineers as a staging point for scaling the surrounding mountains. The unspoilt lake fed by the Kedar glacier and is also the life source of river Kedarganga, a tributary of Bhagirathi, considered as lord Shiva,’s contribution to Bhagirathi. One has a fair chance of witnessing a varied variety of high altitude fauna e.g. Bharal (blue sheep), Goral, Himalayan black bear and a great variety of birds, during the course of the trek. Though a bit strenuous, the rewards of going on this trek are very high indeed.
Day 01: Arrive at Haridwar.Sacred place of Hindus and gate way to Chardham.
Day 02: Drive enroute Rishikesh - Uttarkashi (185 km/ 6-7 hrs)
A drive takes one to Uttarkashi along the narrow Ganga and Bhagirathi valleys. The road goes past the sacred confluence of The Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers at Devprayag where there is a Lord Rama temple called the Raghunath Mandir visited by the great Hindu philosopher - Adi Shankaracharya in 300CE .This town is the home of the late Acharya Shri Pt. Chakradhar Joshi (a scholar in Astronomy and Astrology) who established Nakshatra Vedh Shala (an observatory) in the year 1946. This is located on a mountain called Dashrathanchal at Devprayag. The observatory is well equipped with two telescopes and many books to support research in astronomy. It also contains about 3000 manuscripts from 1677 AD onwards collected from various parts of country. Overnight in hotel at Uttarkashi.
Day 03: Uttarkashi - Gangotri (3048 m/ 10,000 ft) Drive (95 kms)
Uttarkashi is a town located in the wide Bhagirati valley, and has been a centre for learning and religion since the days of the Vedas! This sacred town has been home to some very famous sages and saints. The name of the town reflects its similarity to and location (as north of) the city of Kashi (Varanasi) Uttarkashi is an important stopover for pilgrims visiting Gangotri. This town has also emerged as an important centre for adventure sports.
Gangotri is the place where the Goddess Ganga descended on Earth from Heaven, and a Temple of Goddess Ganga marks the spot where the Goddess descended to the Earth.The shrine of Gangotri is situated at an elevation of 3200 m surrounded by Deodars (Cedar) and Chir (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 Dharamshalas are located on the far side of the river. It is believed that Raja Bhagirath used to worship Shiva on a slab of rock known as "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 day's trek takes one to Gomukh, the source of the mighty Ganges.. Overnight in hotel.
Day 04: Gangotri - Bhoj Kharak (3989 m) Trek 4 - 5 Hrs
Breakfast is followed by a continuous climb to Bhoj Kharak starts as one leaves the camp. The entire trek along the Kedar Ganga river covers 8 km in all going , through fir (cedus ) and Bhoj (birch) trees. The trek though tough for the untrained legs offers some respite as one gets to see beautiful waterfalls and goes through thick Cedar and Birch (also known as Bhoja Patra) forests. A final push gets one to Bhoj Kharak- named after the Bhoja Patra trees that grow in abundance here! Arrive at Bhoj Kharak and set up camp. Enjoy photography and relish the beautiful sights of the narrow gorge and the gushing Kedar ganga - thought to be Shiva's gift to Bhagirathi! Overnight in tents!
Post breakfast one gains altitude and eventually crosses the tree line to find beautiful meadows, and a grand stand view of the Bhrigupanth peak acts as a backdrop! The camping area is equally captivating and is located near a bubbling stream with crystal clear water surrounded by the meadow. Though strenuous, one realizes that the total distance covered in the day has been a mere 4 kms to reach a suitable campsite.
Day 05: Kedar Kharak - Kedar Tal (4750 m) Trek 4 - 5 Hrs
After breakfast one crosses the meadows and on to a trail through scree, rocks & loose boulders. After continuing carefully through a strenuous uphill walk, one is able to see the famed Kedar Tal lake and its indelible reflection of Thalay Sagar mountain in the clear waters.Massive Himalayan peaks flank the lake from all around and the glacier feeding the lake can be seen up close. It is thrilling for some to hear the distant booming and swishing sounds of avalanches and cracking glaciers here! Overnight in tents near the lake.
Day 06: Kedar Kharak - Bhoj Kharak Trek 3 - 4 Hrs..
After breakfast, view the area around the lake, and capture the spectacular sunrise painting the Thalia Sagar mountain in strange colours on film. Spend the day exploring, with an occasional appearance of the Himalayan Ibexes. Post lunch, retrace the previous route to Bhoj Kharak. Overnight in tents.
Day 07: Bhoj Kharak - Gangotri Trek 3 - 4 Hrs.
After an early breakfast, start early for Gangotri in time to witness the Ganga Arti ceremony at the Gangotri Temple. Spend the entire day exploring this fascinating town! Gangotri is one of the most sacred destinations for Hindus, and the holy water of the river Bhagirathi (Ganges) is stored in every Hindu household for religious purposes. So important is the Ganga and its water, that water from this river is put on the lips of the dying to ease their path to salvation. It is time tested that the water from the Ganges never turns putrid even if stored for years! Perform Pooja at the temple built in honour of Mother Ganga (interestingly by the feared Nepalese conqueror of the area General Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th Century) and relax in the peaceful surroundings of the gushing river.
Ganga in his matted locks. A day's trek takes one to Gomukh, the source of the mighty Ganges.. Overnight in hotel.
Day 08: Gangotri- Rishikesh - Haridwar Drive 270 kms.
After breakfast bid Gangotri adieu, and start the swift downhill journey to Rishikesh through the narrow Bhagirathi valley at first, and after Devprayag the Ganga valley, till Rishikesh. Check in hotel for a quick wash, before exploring this holy town on your own, and buying souvenirs! Late evening transfer by car to Haridwar, in time to board the night A/C train to Delhi.
Cost : On Request (per person) from Haridwar to Haridwar for group size 9-10 members.
Book for 5 members or more and get complimentary rafting from Shivpuri to Laxman Jhoola (Rishikesh) - 16Kms distance for each of the members during the return trip to Haridwar.
- Guides (two) :
- Basic Mountaineering Course qualified Guide from Summiters.
- Local Guide who has extensive knowledge of the route .
- Vegetarian meals on the trek (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
- Cooks/Helper and other requisite staff.
- Porters/mules for carrying common equipments (like rations/tents/utensils/)
- Equipments - Tents on sharing basis / Sleeping bags / Sleeping Mats
- Basic First aid Kit.
Forest Permits and camping charges .
- 2 Nights stay Uttarkashi and Gangotri.
- Personal trekking equipments – like trekking poles or sleeping ban liners
- Personal Porters for carrying backpacks of trekkers
- Personal insurance or cost of emergency evacuation
- Purchases of personal natures (like mineral water bottles/bottled or canned beverages/chocolates/dry fruits etc)
- Food to/from the trailhead (Lohajung)
Q: How do I get to Lohajung from Kathgodam and from Lohajung to Haridwar ? What is the distance, travel time and cost each way?
A:Summiters can help you arrange a vehicle to
a) Pick you up from Kathgodam to Lohajung.
b) Drop from Lohajung to Haridwar
The vehicle can typically accommodate a max of 10 passengers. However, it is recommended that 5-7 folks travel in 1 vehicle for comfort. A typical Sumo costs approximately Rs 5,000/- each way. The cost is to be shared by the members in the vehicle and directly to be paid to the driver.
Typically, the participants take the Ranikhet Express (Train# 15013) to arrive at Kathgodam. The distance from Kathgodam to Lohajung is approximately 270 KMs. The jeep would leave after the arrival of the Ranikhet express and would reach Lohajung in the evening.
The distance from Lohajung to Haridwar is approximately 240 KMs. Typically, the participants leave early in the morning from Lohajung and reach Haridwar by evening.
Q: I do not want to carry my rucksack. Can arrangements be made to carry it?
A:We expect the trekkers to carry their own backpack and recommend the same. In exceptional cases where assistance is needed Summiters can help make arrangements at an extra cost of Rs 1000/day - per backpack for the trek. It is requested, that as far as possible, trekkers inform of this need before the trek.
Q: Is it possible to combine white water rafting at Rishikesh along with this trip?
A:Rafting can be arranged by Summiters from Shivpuri to Laxman Jhoola (Rishikesh) (16 KMs distance) for Rs 800. You can contact Summiters for further details.
Q: Will part of my money be refunded if I drop out of the trek mid way?
A:If you drop out of the trek mid-way the money would not be refunded. Also, the individuals would have to bear actual charges that are incurred, like arranging pony/porter/transportation to get you back safely to the trailhead.
Q: Who can do this trek?
A: If you can walk on an average of 5 to 6km without a problem, then you can! If you have specific health issues like asthma, heart issues or the likes, consult your doctor before participating in the trek.
Q: How cold does it get?
A: It depends on where you come from, but from an Indian context – it can get quite cold. The temperature in the higher regions can touch -2 degrees at night. So be prepared and carry warm clothing. Although multiple layers will serve the purpose, it can get quite heavy and uncomfortable. Your best bet would be to buy a professional high altitude jacket.
Q: What should we carry?
A: The following items are a must-carry:
Shoes: A good pair of shoes is a must - a good pair does not mean your Adidas/ Nike/ Reebok/ Puma sport shoe. You need a pair that can withstand the wear and tear of walking for many days. A bad shoe can ruin your trek by causing blisters. Ask us, we can help you in choosing the right one for your budget.
The other things you need to carry are : gloves, a skull cap, a sun hat/cap, your personal clothes and toiletry kit, a good pair of sun glasses, a water bottle and your personal medicines (if necessary). Your sleeping bag, mat and tents will be provided to you by Summiters.
Q: What food do you provide?
A: We provide simple vegetarian food that is light and suitable for trekking. Don’t expect pizza hut or an Anand Bhavan - nor will you have to go hunting. You will have enough and when you are tired – anything served will taste superb!
Q: Is the mountain water safe to drink?
A: Yes. It’s as pure as it can be. But if you are finicky – you can buy mineral water
Q: Can I charge my phone on the trek?
A: The last point where you can charge it is at Lohajhung but this is subject to availability of electricity during your stay.
Q: How can I prepare myself?
A: Take daily long walks or jogs.
Terms and Conditions
*All about the elusive star*
Here are our conditions:
Booking must be confirmed 30 days prior to date of departure by paying the full amount – It takes lot of effort, time and money in planning the trek in remote locations. So please give us enough time to make your journey a lifetime’s journey.
All expenses accruing from change in schedule due to weather conditions or health issues are to be borne by the participants. Summiters will not be responsible for the weather or your personal health issues.
Cancellation policy – We plan everything for you well in advance, so that your trip is hassle-free and as smooth as possible. This means that porter fees, permits, accommodation expenses are all paid in advance. Any cancellation will mean inconvenience and loss to all the people involved in making your journey successful. Therefore, it is only fair to pass on the accrued costs to you. Our policy is:-
- Cancellation prior to 30 days from date of departure : Full Refund
- Cancellation between 30 days to 20 days prior to date of departure: 50% Refund
- Cancellation between 20 days prior to date of departure and departure date:No Refund
- No Show : No Refund