***$200 discount for those who qualify, please contact TNI for details***
Trekking category: Moderate to Strenuous
Namaste and warm welcome to India and Rishikesh! Ever since the Beatles spent time at the ashram of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the late ’60s, Rishikesh has been a nest for spiritual seekers, yoga and meditation practitioners. This small, very cute town situated in the feet of the Himalayas gives opportunity to experience Hindu culture and lifestyle. One can truly relax and rejuvenate while walking along holy river Ganga shores, visiting ancient temples and ashrams, enjoying local food and Arti music in the evening, feel different meditative energy of ancient Vedic times. Same time experience bustling and hustling of typical Indian streets and markets.
Rishikesh is a starting point of most of the Garhwal Himalaya treks. Our trekking adventure will start in Gangotri which is considered one of the four holy Hindu shrines. It is said to be the mythological source of the Ganga river. Gaumukh at the elevation of 4,000 m / 13123 ft is the source of river Bhagirathi and is also considered the true source of river Ganga. Tapovan at the elevation of 4,463 m / 14,640 ft is the area beyond Gaumukh consisting of a beautiful meadows. Crossing Gangotri Glacier to reach Tapovan is challenging for every trekker but it is truly worth it. Tapovan where we are going to spend three nights in tents is peaceful and surreal, offering stunning views of the beautiful Mt. Shivling and the Bhagirathi group of peaks. From Tapovan base camp we will reach Mount Meru Glacier and Kirti Glacier during our day trips. You will be trekking on a lot of moraines, boulders and glaciers. Those are quite challenging hikes, full of spectacular views of majestic Himalayas, rivers and meadows – a true rejuvenation of the body, mind and soul! Last part of our India tour will be visiting famous Taj Mahal in Agra city, an unforgettable experience of peace and love!
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NAMASTE AND WELCOME TO INDIA!
We meet in Delhi International Airport according to arrival times and transfer in comfortable cars to Rishikesh. The drive from Delhi to Rishikesh will take approximately 5-6 hours so we recommend to book flights that arrive in Delhi by 6pm India time on September 24th, so we would have ample of time to get to Rishikesh by night time in order for you to have good, restful sleep in a hotel. Dinner will be served that day.
Departure: 10 am
Morning after breakfast we will proceed for sightseeing of Rishikesh, a spiritual small town situated in the feet of the Himalayas. Visiting of famous Ramjhula and Lakshman Jhulla suspension bridges, walking the famous ‘Holy Path’, enjoying Ganga views and its beaches, visiting asharams, Bharat temple and Triveni Ghat. At the end of the day will experience evening holy Ganga Arti Ceremony in Old Rishikesh market. Dinner and overnight stay in a hotel.
Departure: 4.30 am
Early start to experience the breathtaking sunrise in the Himalayas! We begin our busy day with a short drive (about 45 min) to get to the highest point of Rishikesh called Kunjapuri, also the sight of a famous Goddess temple for Hindus, at an elevation of 1,990 m (6,528 ft). If the weather is clear, from the top enjoy spectacular views of the snow-capped Himalayas Mountains and admire views of Rishikesh and the Ganges River. We will do a 45 min short hike downhill and then drive back to Rishikesh for breakfast. Later on we will take another short drive to Vasistha ancient cave for deep meditation – an uplifting, spiritual experience. After that we will proceed for adventurous activity – white water river rafting! River Ganges – the living Goddess of India, rafting on her waters is certainly a pleasurable and memorable event. The 1,5 hour of moderate difficulty with clear passages adventure or more challenging one with grade 4 rapids – it will be your choice depending on how brave you are! Dinner will be served in a hotel. Evening final packing and preparation for trekking.
RISHIKESH / UTTARKASHI
Departure: 8 am
(Altitude 1,200 m / 3,937 ft)
After breakfast drive to Uttarkashi – a major town in Northern Garhwal is a stopover point on the way to Gangotri Temple. A distance of 185 km will be covered in about 5/6 hrs. The drive, though long is very scenic with deep valleys on one side and hills on the other, forests and winding roads set in the mood for real adventure. Check in a hotel on arrival. Evening visit local market and famous Kashi Viswanath Temple. Dinner and overnight in a hotel.
UTTARKASHI / GANGOTRI
Departure: 9 am
(Altitude 3,050 m / 10,006 ft)
After breakfast leave for Gangotri – a famous Hindu shrine at the altitude of 3,048 m (10,006 ft). There is a myth about sage Bhagirathi who did severe meditation to please Goddess Ganges here, so river Ganges started flowing. The River is named as Bhagirathi until it reaches Deopryag. The temple was originally constructed by Gorkha commander Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century. Nearby there is the rock on which Shiva is said to have received the Ganges in his matted locks. After 3-4 hours drive (100 km) we will arrive and check into a mountain hotel in Gangotri hill station. Afternoon explore the surroundings, have dinner and overnight in a hotel.
Departure: 10 am
It is a day for acclimatization. Full day sightseeing of beautiful Gangotri area surrounded by mountains. The picturesque pilgrimage sacred spot where Ganga, the stream of life touched earth for the first time. We will walk in a market, visit Suraj kund, Gauri kund, Bhim cave, Ganga temple and attend the worshiping ceremony in the temple. Evening packing and final preparation for trekking which will start next day. Dinner and overnight in a hotel.
GANGOTRI / BHOJBASA
Departure: 7 am
(Altitude 3,800 m / 12,467 ft / 14 km – 5-6 hrs trek)
After early breakfast the trek starts to Bhojbasa campsite at the elevation of 3,800 m/12,467 ft. Everyone walks with packed lunch. Basic personal luggage will be carried by porters and/or mules (up to 10 kg/22 lbs only per person). This trek follows the right river bank with the scenic views of some snow-capped mountains like Mt Bhagirathi I, II and III, Mt. Sudarshan etc. After 9 km we will arrive at Chirbasa which is still on the tree line. From here we can have a clear view of the Bhagirathi group of peaks. Beyond Chirbasa the terrain becomes really desolated and barren. In fact, it has been referred to as the Arctic Tundra by many trekkers. 5 more km continue walk will take us to our camp area at Bhojbasa. A distance of 14 km will be covered in about 5-6 hrs. Overnight in Tent.
BHOJBASA / GAUMUKH / TAPOVAN
Departure: 7 am
(Altitude 4,500 m / 14,763 ft / 4-5 hrs trek)
From Bhojbasa 4 km ahead is Gaumukh – it is where the waters of Ganges trickle down from the Glaciers. The sages called it ‘Gaumukh’ because in the distant past, it probably appeared like a cow’s mouth, though today it no longer appears so. Today we can get the first glimpse of Mt Shivling, like an ice-cream cone rising towards the sky. After a short break at Gaumukh we start our further trek to Tapovan. We walk 2 hrs in Gangotri glacier, one has to be very careful for open crevasses and loose boulders while crossing the glacier. After crossing the glacier we will take a break just next to the river Amar Ganga which turns into a gorgeous waterfall, followed by one more hour of very steep climbing to get to Tapovan. After this tiring walk one feels so satisfied when breathtaking view of Mt. Shivling at the elevation of 6,545 m/21,473 ft will welcome us there. Wherever you turn your face snow-capped mountains like Mt Meru, Mt Vasuki, Mt Bhagirathi and more will be smiling at you. The camp site is next to river Amar Ganga and just below of Mt Shivling and we will spend three nights there. Dinner and overnight stay in tent.
TAPOVAN / MERU GLACIER / TAPOVAN
Departure: 7 am
(Altitude 4,600 m /15,091 ft/4-5 hrs trek)
Tapovan is rather barren area at about 4,463 m /14,640 ft elevation and it is a seasonal home to several sadhus living in caves and huts. It is a base camp for mountaineering expeditions including Shivling peak. The area is full of meadows, streams and flowering plants and the meadows are considered as one of the best high altitude meadows in India. Today after early breakfast we will hike to Nila Tal, a famouse and beautiful Blue Lake at 4,600 m and to Mount Meru Glacier. We will get close enough to take great shots of the Meru Mountain, a main heroine in the documentary film “Meru” co-directed by married couple Jimmi Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi which won the U.S. Audience Documentary Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Great experience while walking in moraines. Later we will have to face very steep downhill hike to come back to Tapovan which is very exciting and thrilling experience. Hot lunch in our camp site should satisfy everyone’s appetite. Afternoon time for relaxations, writing diaries, reading books, story telling etc., all in the fresh beautiful air of the Himalayas. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
***If the weather and present difficulties of the terrain allows we might visit Advance BC of Mount Meru. In this case we will have to carry packed lunch as both ways trek might take 7-8 hours***
TAPOVAN / KIRTI GLACIER / TAPOVAN
Departure: 7 am
(Altitude 4,700 m / 15,419 ft / 5-6 hrs trek)
Today we will encounter another thrilling hike to the place called Khara Pathar followed by the Kirti Glacier which is the one that leads to Mt Kedardome 6,800 m/22,309 ft. The trek follows the Gangotri Glacier. Through the boulders we cross the base of Mount Shivling peak and reach Kirti Bamak. This is a full day very scenic trek, so everyone has to carry packed lunch and cameras! We can see from very close views of Mt Kharchakund and Mt Shivling and from the other side of the Gangotri Glacier we can see Bhagirathi I,II and III and many more snow-capped peaks. We will meet herds of wild blue ships. These area is full of snow leopards but one has to be extremely lucky to encounter them. Evening come back to our base camp Tapovan for another delicious dinner and overnight stay in tents.
TAPOVAN / CHIRBASA
(5-6 hrs trek)
Departure: 8 am
After early breakfast we will wind up our camp and very carefully start steep walki down to Gangotri glacier followed by crossing the river, then the glacier itself and finally reaching Gaumukh. From here easy walk to get to Chirbasa campsite for our tented accommodation.
CHIRBASA / GANGOTRI / UTTARKASHI
Departure: 9 am
(9 km / 3-4 hrs trek)
After breakfast we will start our last hike down till Gangotri where we board the car and directly drive to Uttarkashi for comfortable rooms and hot showers. After arrival at Uttarkashi check into the hotel for relaxation and rest. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel.
UTTARKASHI / RISHIKESH
Departure: 8 am
(5 hrs drive)
Drive back to Rishikesh. We should reach the hotel in the early afternoon so for the rest of the day we can have plenty of time for shopping, Ayurveda massage to sooth our tired bodies (additional costs will apply), mehendi making etc,.
RISHIKESH / DELHI
(5-6 hrs drive)
Departure: 3 pm
Morning is free for activities of your choice and final packing. Afternoon Delhi departure, we might take train or cars to get to Delhi. Dinner and overnight stay in a hotel in Delhi.
DELHI / AGRA (TAJ MAHAL) / DELHI
Departure: 8 am
Today we will proceed for Agra town excursion to visit famous Taj Mahal monument. The distance of 200 km/125 m will be covered in about 3-4 hrs (each direction). The Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the world built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz. The ivory-white marble mausoleum took over 22 years to finish, between 1630 AD to 1652 AD. If time allows we will also visit Agra Red Fort, a massive structure on the bank of Yamuna River built by famous emperor Akbar in 1565 AD. Evening drive back to Delhi for dinner and overnight in a hotel.
Today there are no group activities. The only services provided is breakfast and mid-day check out from the hotel followed by transfer to Delhi International Airport. Whatever your plans are, our representative will help you get on the right track.
Rate does not include:
International airfare, Indian visa fee, insurance fees, lunch in Delhi, Agra and Rishikesh, any alcoholic beverages, tips, any mountain equipment rentals (hiking boots, sleeping bags, etc), laundry, camera entrance fee, video making fees, pony/horse ride, ayurvedic and medical treatments, donations in temples or ashrams, personal expenses, expenses incurred beyond our control such as bad weather, flight cancellation, road closures, landslides, political disturbances, etc.