Gomukh, also known as "Gaumukh" or "Gomukhi" (Hindi: गौमुख
or गौमुखी ; Assamese and Bengali: গোমুখ or
গোমুখী), is the terminus or snout of the
and the source of the Bhagirathi River, one of the primary headstreams
Ganges River. The place is situated at a height of
13,200 ft (4,023 m) in
Uttarkashi district in the state of
Uttarakhand, India. It is one of the largest in the Himalayas with an
estimated volume of over 27 cubic kilometers. It is a popular Hindu
pilgrimage site, along with Gangotri, as well as trekking destination.
 On 26 July 2016, following heavy rains in Uttarakhand, it was
reported that the front end of
Gomukh was no more, as a large chunk of
the glacier had collapsed and was washed away. In 2013, due to cloud
burst in Uttarakhand, huge cracks had emerged on the glacier.
The word "Gomukh/Gaumukh" (go/gau=cow, mukh= mouth) literally means
"Mouth of a Cow." According to some sayings, earlier the snout exactly
looked like the "Mouth of a Cow."
1 In ancient times
3 Trek route
In ancient times
A small shrine at Gaumukh,
Gomukh is mentioned in the Puranas. It is said there that searching a
lost sheep a shepherd boy reached near a glacier in Gangotri, the
snout of which exactly looked like the mouth of a cow, and thus it got
its name 'Gomukh'. From then many saints, holy travelers, as well as
religious people went there to worship the place.
Gomukh, terminus of the
Gangotri glacier. The Bhagirathi peaks rise in
Gomukh is 18 km from
Gangotri in the foot hills of Bhagirathi at
a height of 4255m. It is the snout of the
Gangotri Glacier. The
Bhagirathi river here is pretty speedy. Around the snout, nature
presents a wild topography. There are boulders scattered here and
there with some pieces of broken snow, along with the hard clayey snow
of the glacier. The
Gomukh snout is rapidly moving backwards.
According to the modern research the snout has moved 1 km in just
Closer view of the
The first and foremost thing for
Gomukh trek is that you must have
permission from (D.F.O.) District forest officer, Uttarkashi. Only 150
permits are issued per day, permission can be taken via fax also.
The trail to
Gomukh begins from Gangotri, about 18 km
(11.2 mi) from Gomukh. It was heavily damaged by rockslides by
2013 North Indian Floods
2013 North Indian Floods as was road access to Gangotri. 9 km
Gangotri is Chirbasa, the abode of Chir trees. After
3 km of Chirbasa comes the dangerous Gila Pahar, the place well
known for its landslides even prior to the 2013 destruction of much of
the trail here; near-sheer cliffs down to the river must now be
traversed. Here the Bharals, a type of mountain antelope are sometimes
seen. The Bharals are found above the altitude of 10,000 ft. Only
4 km from here is Bhujbasa, the only night halting place on the
way with buildings. One can stay at the GMVN Bunglow, or at the
Lalbaba's Ashram or at Ram Baba's ashram; both ashram charge Rs 300
for a day that includes lodging and food. After trekking 41/2km from
Bhujbasa, one reaches Gomukh, the snout of the
little before Gomukh, the majestic view of Mt. Shivling welcomes the
trekkers to the place. On the trail no horses are allowed, so one must
take preparations to walk on foot. The trek to Tapovanan and Nandanvan
starts from here.
Snout point of Gongotri Glacier, Gomukh
The route after 'Bhojbasa' can be quite difficult, more so since the
2013 floods. One has to cross a boulder zone to reach the Gomukh
snout. The trek beyond
Gomukh is quite difficult. Crossing the glacier
& going towards
Tapovan has become quite dangerous nowadays
(because of the landslides). There is no track and one must have a
guide and should be prepared to face any type of accident which can
even be a life-threatening one. The last climb to reach
very stiff, within 2 km a climb of around 1500 foot and is quite
a challenging experience.
You may apply for an online permit at
http://www.swsuttarkashi.com/Home/DashBoard , even with an online
permit you would still need to get it verified at the district
magistrate uttrakasi office
^ S. S. L. Malhotra (1983).
Gangotri and Gaumukh: a trek to the holy
source. Allied Publishers. p. 139.
^ Harshwanti Bisht (1994). Tourism in Garhwal Himalaya: With Special
Reference to Mountaineering and Trekking in Uttarkashi and Chamoli
Districts. Indus Publishing. pp. 83–.
Gomukh - D Shiv Prasad Blog". D Shiv Prasad Blog.
2016-08-18. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gomukh.
Hydrography of Uttarakhand
Lakes of Kumaon hills
Hydrography of surrounding areas
Coordinates: 30°55′36″N 79°04′51″E / 30.92678°N
79.08079°E / 30.926