PART 2 of 2 – Tips For Trekking: Gangotri to Tapovan via Gaumukh, Eastern Himalayas

*Note: this post is continued from Part 1.

Here are a few more tips to make your trek the most enjoyable it can be! And remember, a lot of the info below can be applied to any multi-day high alpine hike.

  • If you decide to go to Gaumukh, seriously consider going the extra six kilometres to Tapovan. So worth the extra effort. A whole other planet that will BLOW YOU AWAY!
  • Bring your passport. You will need to show it at the check point at kilometer two, and at base camp one in Bhojbasa at your accommodation. (Not required for Tapovan accommodation.)
  • Consider staying at Baba Ram Ashram at base camp one in Bhojbasa. 300Rs/nt, includes meals, chai, tent camping with lots of warm blankets and a good-sized comfortable roll out sleeping mat. Nice vibe too.
  • Sleeping spaces at Moni Baba’s stone huts in Tapovan are 700Rs/nt, and includes meals and chai.
  • You can also stay at Nirmala Baba Ashram by donation. He’s pretty hard core so staying there could be an interesting experience for sure. And probably rustic.
  • It gets very cold so be prepared. Because being cold sucks. Pack a wool hat, wool base layer (top and bottoms), wool socks, scarf, sun hat, warm jacket (wool or down would be best).
  • Wear all your clothes/jacket/wool hat/socks to bed. pic for trek tips 1
  • Bring a second fully charged camera battery. (Note: there is a solar charging option at Baba Ram Ashram.) You will take countless amazing pictures and videos – and your battery will get drained fast. Think ahead so you don’t miss out on some great photo opps’.
  • Also consider packing your camera battery charger – there’s a generator and solar charger at Baba Ram Ashram in Bhojbasa.
  • Take rehydration crystals as the altitude changes, and hot sun can spell some headaches. I suggest putting the electrolytes in your water from the get-go. Take about 6 packets.
  • Pack some altitude sickness medication – you never know. It’s always good to be prepared.
  • Water purifier or purifying tablets. I heard Sawyer makes a great light-weight purifier that you can screw right on to your bottle.
  • Plastic bag to pack out your garbage.
  • High grade sunscreen. (No matter if you have dark skin, the sun can be very intense in these altitudes.)
  • Just in case: diarrhea and cold medication, and muscle pain reliever (like tiger balm or arnica).
  • Good trekking shoes (with ankle support would be best).
  • Swiss knife.
  • Simple, light-weight rain cape – just in case. (You can get a plastic one in the Gangotri market for 30Rs. If you don’t use it, you can donate it to a guide.)
  • Thin gloves (optional, or if you don’t want to carry the weight – just stick your hands in your packets like I did).
  • Store your backpack at your hotel in Gangotri and just take a day pack and perhaps a shoulder bag if you need it.
  • Mala for meditation. You will have lots of time for japa. Work on your Maha Siddhi chant!
  • Bring a bottom sheet as the bedding probably doesn’t get washed regularly, though it appears to be clean. Plus bring a sleeping sheet – preferably a light-weight wool sheet or shawl to cover both needs. Choosing wool adds another layer of warmth. You will need it.
  • Bring plenty of snacks: trail mix, chocolate, Indian snacks like namkeem (salted/dried mung dal, etc.). You can buy snacks at kilometer 9 in Chirbasa or at base camp one in Bhojbasa (at the Government Rest House cafeteria, which also offers hot meals and drinks). But it will cost you, as the prices go up, the higher you get. Ie: bottled water is marked up 400%! Note: You cannot purchase any water or snacks in Tapovan.
  • Take toilet paper (which will also serve your inevitable periodic runny noise). Alternatively you can take a handkerchief for the latter.
  • Cut your toenails before hand to avoid bruised toenails and shredding your toes (which is what happened to me on the descent).
  • Bring a compact container for Ganga Jal (aka: holy Ganges water) from Gaumukh. (And any malas, gemstones, etc. you wish to charge up.) A very powerful vibration there!
  • Check the weather forecast when you’re planning your dates.
  • Take some playing cards perhaps to pass the time while you are crammed in a hut awaiting the passing of a snow/rain or wind storm. (Note: Baba Ram Ashram has a set there.)


Get a visual: PART 1 of 2 – Video Diary: Gangotri to Gaumukh ~ Gaumukh to Tapovan

Do you have a tip to offer for this trek? Please comment below, I would love to hear from you. 


3 thoughts on “PART 2 of 2 – Tips For Trekking: Gangotri to Tapovan via Gaumukh, Eastern Himalayas

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