The Gaumukh Tapovan Trek is one of the most preferred and oft-trekked routes by the Indian hikers and trekkers. You should also embark on the Gaumukh Tapovan Trek if you want to satiate your inner callings to visit sacred sites and ancient pilgrimage centers apart from the fantastic adventure experience that this trek offers. You can also do the Gaumukh Tapovan Trek solo. Enchanting views of Mt. Shivling and the Bhagirathi Sisters, forming a massif, bordering this region is enough for you to embark on this trek. And if that is not enough, then there lies the highest-altitude grassland of Tapovan and the second-largest Indian glacier-Gaumukh. The latter is the origin of the holy Ganges.
The Gaumukh Tapovan Trek best time lies around the pre-monsoon/summers and the post-monsoons/autumns. The summer season stretches from mid-May to the end-June and offers daytime temperatures of 15 to 20 degrees Celsius near Gangotri, but the campsites might be colder. There could be occasional occurrences of precipitation as the weather is unpredictable. Thus you should always be prepared for early-monsoon or late-spring rainfall. On the other hand, the post-monsoon/autumn season that stretches from mid-September to the end of October is a little colder but has a more stable weather condition. Till Chirbasa, the forest section offers you natural insulation. After this point, you encounter a drastic change in temperature between the day and the night, around 15 degrees Celsius during the day and 3 to 0 degrees Celsius at night.
The Gaumukh Tapovan Trek has been rated moderate to difficult by most of the experienced trekkers and hikers. The sheer gain in altitude increases the difficulty level of the trek, though the trail is mostly straightforward. The round course starts and ends at Gangotri, taking you across 46 kilometers and a height of 4463 meters over eight days. Amongst those eight days, at least one day is reserved for high-altitude acclimatization. You can also stay at picturesque campsites in Chirbasa and beyond, which is included in the Gaumukh Tapovan Trek cost if you travel with reputed tour operators and travel agencies.
Like other treks that fit beginners and first-time trekkers can attempt, the Gaumukh Tapovan Trek can also be done by them. You need to prepare yourself physically and mentally well in advance for the trek. The physical preparation includes custom training and fitness regime like brisk walking, running across undulating topography, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc., amongst other indoor and outdoor activities.
Like all other high-altitude adventures, you should concentrate on getting yourself a pair of sturdy, well-made hiking boots with defined ankles and good grips. Apart from this, a good-quality, sturdy walking stick is one of the essential items to carry. A 50-60-liter backpack, 20-30 liter daypack for offloading purposes, warm clothes consisting of a couple of full-sleeved quick-dry shirts, insulation layers- 2 light fleece layers and one light, full-sleeve sweater, an outer, regular padded/shell jacket, raincoats/ponchos, windcheaters and a pair of quality hiking pants made from the same quick-dry, waterproof material as your full-sleeved shirts should be in you packing list.
You should also carry other essentials, including a pair of sunglasses for UV protection, suncap, balaclava, synthetic and woolen hand gloves, a few pairs of underwear, extra pairs of socks, sports bra (for women), rain cover for the backpack, essential toiletries like biodegradable soaps, excess toilet paper, and wet wipes, sunscreen, lip balm, moisturizers, personal medicines, and a first-aid kit. The best thing to do is carrying your own water bottles and hydration packs to avoid littering the serene Himalayan sceneries with disposable plastic bottles.