Gaumukh Tapovan

By Venkat Gandikota | 2010

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You see holy Shivling mountain. After the snow falls it looks like a sitting Lord Ganesh. From Gangotri walk 18 kms to Gaumukh glacier. Walk on the glacier for about 2-3 hours to reach Tapovan from where u see Shivling.

When Editor trekked to Tapovan for the first time in 1989 and saw the Shivling felt he had reached heaven. Height is 6,540 metres.

You see Panchrangi, Gangotri glaciers. The latter is the second longest glacier of Indian Himalayas after Siachen.

Mountain in centre is Bhagirathi right to left is 1,2,3. On one side of the Gangotri glacier is Bhagirathi on the other is Shivling.

You see a reflection of Bhagirathi in water. Gaumukh is the source of Bhagirathi (Ganga).

A close up view of Bhagirathi mountain nos 1 and 2, above 6500 metres.

Gaumukh glacier is the source of the Holy Ganga. Media reports state that the glacier is receeding every year.

You see Gaumukh glacier on right hand side of picture, top of glacier in centre and top left is Shivling.

Another view of Shivling. At the base of Shivling is Tapovan ie at a height of 14,640 feet.

Early morning sun rays on the Shivling 6540 metres.

Early morning sun rays on the Shivling. From Tapovan u can see Shivling (6,540 metres), Kedar Dome (6,808 metres) and Mount Meru (6,507 metres).

Another view of Shivling. People climb the holy mountain but the success rate is low. However, nobody climbs to the top.

You see Shivling. At its base is Tapovan is from where this photo taken.

Shivling amidst clouds.

Another view of Shivling with water gushing down, also known as Banganga.

Another view of Shivling.

Another view of Shivling. The three black birds that you see are crows.

Akashganga. It comes down giggling from the Shivalinga. The myth goes that this is the original Ganga coming down from Lord Shiva’s ‘Jata.’

You see Bhagirathi peaks in background. Flat ground in Gaumukh are camp sites.

You see Gaumukh glacier with Bhagirathi peak in the background. To right of picture is Tapovan/Shivling. To left of picture is Nandanvan.

You see trek route from Gangotri to Gaumukh. As u can see at places pathway is on the edge of the mountain, only a few feet broad.

Trek from Gangotri to Gaumukh. We were lucky that it started snowing during the trek. What a experience.

Same - trek from Gangotri to Gaumukh.

You see Sudharshan Peak ie close to Nandanvan.

You see snow covered Gangotri Mandir that was made sometime between 1860-1900. It is dedicated to Goddess Ganga.

Gangotri market.

You see Gangotri town.

You see Gangotri town as it was snowing.

You see Gangotri town.

You see Gangotri town.

You see Ganga ghat in Gangotri.

You see two seniors enjoying a walk as it snows. How I wish I was there!

This is the picture of Suryakunda in Gangotri. The Ganga falls from a height of about 60 feet to meet the Kedar Ganga coming from Kedar Tal.

You see Gangotri town.

With friends and a respected Sandhu.

You see Bhagirathi right to left is 1,2,3. These homes are used by shepherds. When the Editor visited Tapovan in 1989 he spent many hours relaxing in one such home.

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