Char Dham Yatra 2024


Gaumukh Travel Guide

Gaumukh is a place that is located in the state of Uttarakhand in the Uttarkashi district and the place is the location where the Gangotri Glacier ends. The place is situated at a height of 13,200 ft. It is one of the largest in the Himalayas with an estimated volume of over 27 cubic kilometers.

Around the Gaumukh glacier is the peaks of the Gangotri Group, including several peaks notable for extremely challenging climbing routes, such as Shivling, Thalay Sagar, Meru, and Bhagirathi. It flows roughly northwest, originating in a cirque below Chaukhamba, the highest peak of the group.

There are a few places where one can trek in the area. There are many rock-filled hillsides that are ideal for mountain climbing as well. One can see many prayer flags near the river bed.

Mythological Importance Of Gaumukh

The terminus of the Gangotri Glacier is said to resemble a cow’s mouth, and the place is called Gomukh or Gaumukh (gou, cow + mukh, face). Gomukh, which is about 18 km from the town of Gomukh is mentioned in the Puranas. It is said there that searching a lost sheep a shepherd boy reached near a glacier in Gangotri, the snout of which exactly looked like the mouth of a cow, and thus it got its name ‘Gomukh’. From then many saints, holy travelers, as well as religious people went there to worship the place.

Gangotri, is the precise source of the Bhagirathi river, an important tributary of the Ganges. The river is one of the main tributaries of the River Ganga and the entire place is extremely scenic and breathtaking. Gaumukh lies near the Tapovan meadow.

The Gangotri glacier is a traditional Hindu pilgrimage site. Devout Hindus consider bathing in the icy waters near Gangotri town to be a holy ritual, and many make the trek to Gomukh and Tapovan.

Places To Visit Near Gaumukh

  • Badrinath Temple:- It is one the most popular temple in Uttarakhand. This holy temple comes under the Chota char Dham circuit and also in the Char Dham circuit.
  • Joshimath:- It is one of the four maths which is discovered by Adi Shankracharya in the 8th century. It is a city with lots of religious importance in Uttarakhand state of India.
  • Auli Artificial Lake:- It is one of the world’s highest Artificial or Man made lake. This beautiful lake has helped in extending the Skii season in Auli.
  • Gorson Bugyal:- It is situated at a height of 3056 mts above sea level. It is just a 3 km trek away from the Auli. It is covered by snow in the winter season.
  • Kedarnath:– It is one of the most popular temples in Uttarakhand. It comes under the Chota Chardham circuit. Pilgrims have to trek 16 km to visit this holy temple.
  • Harsil:- Harsil is a small town with very scenic beauty and it is one of the important places to halt during Gangotri Yatra. The landscape in Harsil is dotted with many small temples that you can visit during your trip to the place.
  • Uttarkashi:- Uttarkashi means Kashi of the north, is a holy town in Uttarakhand, India. It is the district headquarter of Uttarkashi district. Uttarkashi is situated on the banks of river Bhagirathi at an altitude of 1352 m above sea level.
  • Barkot:- It is a small town located 40 km from Dharasu and is beautifully landscaped all around. Ranging from the apple orchards to the great Himalayan ranges and the snow peaks of Bandarpuch, this destination paints a picture irresistible for a travel enthusiast.
  • Dharasu:- It can be visited if you going from Yamunotri (Barkot) to either Uttarkashi, Gangotri, or Tehri during your Char Dham Yatra.
  • Gangotri:- The revered shrine of Gangotri, situated at an altitude of 3,200 mts. about sea-level amidst sylvan surroundings, constitutes one of the most important pilgrimages for the devout Hindu.

Gaumukh During Char Dham Yatra

Many pilgrimages and foreign travelers do the trek of Gaumukh (Glacier) from Gangotri during their Char Dham Yatra tour package. It is the snout of the Gangotri Glacier. Around the snout, nature presents a wild topography. There are boulders scattered here and there with some pieces of broken snow, along with the hard clayey snow of the glacier. You can see many snow-clad peaks from this point and this breathtaking view is also a reason why many people take the difficult trek to the place.

Important Information about Trekking

Limited number of people are allowed to visit Gaumukh per day. The Bharals are found above the altitude of 10,000 ft. Only 4 km from here is Bhujbasa, the only night halting-place on the way.

One can stay at the GMVN Bungalow, or at the Lalbaba’s Ashram, or at Ram Baba’s ashram; both ashram charge Rs 300/- for a day that includes lodging and food. After trekking 41/2km from Bhujbasa, one reaches Gomukh, the snout of the Gangotri Glacier.

A little before Gomukh, the majestic view of Mt. Shivling welcomes the trekkers to the place. The trek beyond Goumukh is quite difficult. Crossing the glacier & going towards Tapovan is become quite dangerous nowadays (because of the landslides).

No plastic bags, bottles, etc. are allowed to be taken beyond this point. On the trail no horses are allowed, so one must make preparations to walk on foot. The trek to Tapovanan and Nandanvan starts from here.

Note: One can carry these items after making a security deposit, deposited in this gate office.

Some Tips

  • Carry some Chocolates (or other calorie-rich food items) along with other food, water, and juices.
  • It will be helpful if one walks 4-5 km every day for 3-4 weeks prior to this trip.
  • Do not return to the base (Gangotri) on the same day. Stay at Bhojwasa (the only place one can stay on the whole route). Otherwise, it will be very hectic.
  • Take your usual medicines with you, apart from those that may be required in high altitudes.
  • Carry Photo Identity Cards and photocopies of the same as that will be required for permission from the forest department.

Car Rental For Char Dham Yatra

Car rental service for Char Dham Yatra or for individual Char Dham Temples (Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri), Here you will find all types of the latest information about Cabs/Taxi Rental Services with rates from your city. We have some of the best car rental operators offering the quality & efficient Car Hire service for pilgrimage tours in Uttarakhand.

Char Dham Distance Chart From Gaumukh

Many pilgrimages and foreign travellers do the trek of Gaumukh (Glacier) from Gangotri during their Char Dham Yatra.

  Distance Time Route
Badrinath 440 kms 14 hrs Gaumukh -> Gangotri -> Srinagar -> Rudraprayag -> Karnaprayag -> Nandprayag -> Pipalkoti -> Joshimath -> Govindghat -> Pandukeshwar -> Hanuman Chatti -> Badrinath
Kedarnath 380 Kms 16 hrs Gaumukh -> Gangotri -> Srinagar -> Rudraprayag -> Augustmuni -> Guptkashi -> Gaurikund -> Kedarnath
Gangotri 20 kms 4 hrs Gaumukh -> Gangotri
Yamunotri 222 kms 8 hrs Gaumukh -> Gangotri -> Chinyalisaur -> Dharasu Band -> Barkot -> Jankichatti -> Yamunotri

Top 5 Places To Stay In Gaumukh

Normally travellers are not allowed to stay in Gaumukh or Tapovan, if you get the permission then you can arrange camps or tents from Gangotri or Uttarkashi.

1) Prakriti The Retreat
This beautiful retreat offers its guest the beautiful and perfect view of the river from its rooms. You can explore many popular places while staying in this retreat.
Address:- Gangotri National Highway, Dharali, Distt Uttarkashi.

2) Dev Darshan
It is located in Gangotri which offers 3 accommodation with private balconies. It has all the essential facilities.
Address:– Gangotri National Highway 108, Uttarkashi.

3) Harsil Cottage
This cottage is situated on the banks of a river. It offers its guest nature in its purest form. It provides luxuriou rooms with attached bathroom and tasty food served.
Address:– Harsil, Uttarakhand.

4) The Char Dham Camp
It is a beautiful place to stay for pilgrims doing Chardham yatra. The sacred Bhagirathi river adds more beauty to this beautiful place. The camps provided comfy beds with all the basic amenities.
Address:- Kalp Kedar Mandir, Harsil, Gangotri.

5) Mountain Village Stay
It is situated at an apple orchard at Harsil, Uttarakhand. This hotel offer all the necessary facilities like 24 hour front desk, airport transfer, room service etc.
Address:- Dharali Heights, Village Dharali Harsil, Uttarakhand.

How To Reach Gaumukh

Gaumukh well connected by motorable roads but the place does not have any airports and railway stations. You can easily travel here by using public transport as well as by driving your own vehicle.

Route 1:- Delhi – Gaumukh via Dehradun

By Road:– Gaumukh is well connected by motorable roads from Delhi. There are many regular buses available for traveling to Gaumukh from Delhi via Dehradun. You can also drive your car to travel Gaumukh.

Gaumukh does not have any railway station & its own airport. Tourists can reach Dehradun via train or air then hire taxi, cab or local bus to reach Gaumukh. It will take approximately 11 hours to reach Gaumukh.

Route 2:- Delhi – Gaumukh via Haridwar

By Road:– Gaumukh is well connected by motorable roads from Delhi. There are many regular buses available for traveling to Gaumukh from Delhi via Haridwar. You can also drive your car to travel Gaumukh.

Gaumukh does not have any railway station & its own airport. Tourists can reach Haridwar via train then hire taxi, cab or local bus to reach Gaumukh. It will take approximately 10 hours to reach Gaumukh.

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Please help me to obtain online permit for Gomukh and Tapovan.


Whenever I m trying to get online trekking permit for Gomukh & Tapovan, it shows service unavailable.
Please help.

Sharmistha Sinha

I want to visit Gaumukh this year in 2018. Gangotri temple is closing on 8th November I believe. Can i still visit Gaumukh after that? Till when can I visit Gaumukh this winter? I’m in rishikesh right now. Please do reply, as i cannot find this information anywhere. Thank you.

Barun Pandit

How can I get e pass for gomikh

Kulbhushan khatri

I want as prior booking n permission for gaumukh tracking. What to do?

Sacred Yatra

Permission for Gaumukh trek can be easily taken at Gangotri. There is no online or advance booking option till now. For more details you can check

Dr Subhendu P Chakravarti
Reply to  Sacred Yatra

I heard that the permission for trek to Gaumukh can be had from Gangotri NP headquarters based at Uttarkashi. Has it been changed?.

Sacred Yatra

No, it hadn’t changed. Forest offices at Gangotri and Uttarkashi provides permission for trek to Gangotri.

Suvharup Saha
Reply to  Sacred Yatra

Is this Forest office to obtain permission is open on Sundays also or it will work only in weekdays (Monday to Saturday), please advise

Sacred Yatra
Reply to  Suvharup Saha

Hi Suvharup, Offices are closed on Sundays. Now you can take permit online too.

Reply to  Sacred Yatra

I have applied it online and made payment too. I have a fee receipt now. Is it enough or I have to take permit from DFO uttarkashi?

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