The Bhagirathi River originates at Gaumukh, often spelled "Gomukh" or "Gomukhi." It is where the Gangotri Glacier releases Bhagirathi, which then runs downward before becoming known as the River Ganga. It is located at 13,200 feet and roughly 18 kilometers from Gangotri (4,023 meters).
Gaumukh holds a very religious significance in Hindu mythology and is a pilgrimage location where pilgrims visit the Gangotri holy shrine and see the Gomukh, the pout of the Gangotri glacier, and the emergence of the sacred Ganga river. Gomukh is mentioned in the Puranas. It is said that a shepherd lost his sheep and reached a glacier in Gangotri, the snout of which exactly looked like the face of a Cow, and thus it got its name 'Gomukh.'
Places to visit in Gaumukh
While Gomukh is primarily a pilgrimage site and trekking destination, several places in and around the region offer breathtaking natural beauty and cultural experiences. Include these nearby places in your itinerary and make your visit to the Gaumukh Trek more memorable. Some of the top places to visit in or near Gomukh include:
- Gaumukh Tapovan Trek
- Tapovan Hot Springs
- Bhairon Ghati
Things to do in Gaumukh
Gaumukh is a popular and sacred place, famous among the people, as Gangotri is nearby. So many travelers wish to enjoy nearby areas, and Goumukh is one of them. Here you will get lots of things to do without being bored. Some of the best things to do in Gomukh are:
- Trekking at Gaumukh
- Seek blessings from the divine at the temple
- Capture stunning landscapes photographs
- Enjoy camping outside.
- Explore the glacier.
- Experience local culture.
- Stroll out and relish nature's beauty.
Best time to visit Gaumukh
Weather and accessibility play a significant role in determining the best time to visit Gaumukh. Due to its great altitude in the Himalayas, the area endures weather fluctuations throughout the year. The summer months of May to June and September to October are the most significant times to travel to Gaumukh since they are thought to be the best times for trekking and pilgrimage in the area. So, before making travel arrangements to Gaumukh, it is crucial to examine the weather and accessibility.
How to reach Gaumukh
Gaumukh is a sacred glacier in the Indian Himalayas in the Uttarakhand state. To reach Gomukh, travelers should first reach Uttarkashi. Air travelers can take a flight to Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is located 200 km away from Uttarkashi's headquarters. From the airport, cabs for Uttarkashi are readily available. The nearest railway stations to Uttarkashi are Rishikesh and Dehradun. Travelers, after reaching Gangotri, need to trek to the Gaumukh Uttarakhand. The only way to get it is to trek.
Accommodation in Gaumukh
Gaumukh is the glacier from which the Bhagirathi River originates. It is a famous pilgrimage destination as well as a trekking destination. However, camping and staying overnight are not allowed for environmental reasons at Gaumukh. Instead, one can find accommodation, including the GMVN guest house at Bhojbasa, just 4.5 km from Gaumukh. Trekkers usually take a day trek to Gaumukh and return to Bhojbasa by evening.
Where to eat in Gaumukh?
Since there is no village or town at this elevation, finding a food stall or dhaba is impossible at Gaumukh. The only food you can have is the one you take on trekking. There are several local restaurants and dhabas in Bhojbasa where one can savor North Indian vegetarian dishes and authentic Garhwali cuisine.
How to get around in Gaumukh?
The only option to get around is by foot as it is a small pilgrimage site. So, you won’t find any car, or any means of transportation to explore this site.
- Training for the moderately challenging Gaumukh trek by swimming, cycling, and jogging is advisable because these activities assist in building cardiovascular endurance.
- Bringing a knowledgeable trekking guide with you is a good idea because they will be familiar with the terrain and can aid with your navigation.
- Trekking should be avoided during the monsoon. The roadway becomes slick during the monsoon because of the constant rain, and the area is vulnerable to unforeseen landslides, cloudbursts, and barricades.
- Ensure that you are traveling with at least two other people. It would be better to go out with someone. Moreover, make sure someone is aware of your strategy for returning home.