Shivling and the Source of the Ganges

India, Trek & Walk, 13 days - from $1,620 (land only)

Trek & Walk
Shivling and the Source of the GangesShivling and the Source of the Ganges

Expertly led and Great Value

That's what our clients tell us. Praise for our local leaders is consistantly high and with all meals and airport transfers included, we're great value too!

  • Classic Garhwal trekking holiday - heart of the Indian Himalaya
  • Spectacular views of Shivling and the Bhagirathi peaks
  • Atmospheric Gangotri and its pilgrimage temples
  • Hike from Bhujbasa to Gaumukh and the source of the Ganges
  • Rishikesh and the lamp-floating Aarti Ceremony

This exciting new two-week holiday through a rugged and visually arresting part of the Great Indian Himalaya punches well above its weight in terms of the variety of quintessential India experiences it packs into a short timeframe. Including sightseeing in Delhi, a classic Indian Railway journey, the floating lamp (Aarti) ceremony in Rishikesh, trekking with Hindu pilgrims and Sadhus to the holy River Ganges, and climbing up to the meadows of Tapovan below an array of impressive peaks dominated by the beautiful spire of Shivling, this holiday is loaded with moments and insights of culture, spirituality and great beauty. Beginning with a tour of Delhi's famous sights such as the Red Fort and the Qutab Minor, we then take the train north to Haridwar where the mountains of the Himalaya rise from the great Indian plain. We stop at Rishikesh to watch the daily Aarti ceremony where thousands of oil lamps are floated on the wide river Ganges, before following this sacred river first by road and then on foot, to its legendary source at Gamukh amid the tumbling ice of a huge glacier. We continue trekking beyond the glaciers to an unexpected and tranquil meadow surrounded by jagged peaks and spires of rock and ice. Just moments before reaching this meadow we have our first view of the Shivling, a breathtaking peak often referred to as the Matterhorn of India. Combining a short trek and a range of memorable cultural experiences, this is India trekking at its best!

Is this holiday for you?

This is a short and relatively straightforward trekking holiday in India. Our pace on the approach to Gamukh and Tapovan is governed by our need to acclimatise properly, rather than by the actual distance which we are prepared to walk each day. The distances covered each day are short, averaging about 8 or 9 kilometres and on most days we will be walking for no more than 5 hours. As we are following a popular route of pilgrimage as far as Gamukh, the paths are mostly good. The approach to Tapovan will involve more rugged terrain including glacial moraine. It should be noted that trekking at altitudes above 3000 metres makes greater demands on the body than walking at low elevations, and is of itself challenging even for fit hikers. An integral part of the holiday is getting there and we will have two full days and two half days of driving on small roads through the Indian foothills as well as two rail journeys to get to and from this remote area. The grade of the trip reflects the short duration of the trekking but you must ensure you are physically prepared and should be comfortable with walking for between 3 and 5 hours each day for several days continuously.

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