Bhagirathi I, II and III are a group of sacred peaks, which mountaineers attempt in the Garhwal Himalayas. Garhwal Himalaya - considered a haven for mountaineers, has many 6000 and 7000 meter peaks, which are attempted and climbed by climbers from all over the world. For more information on Garhwal Himalaya, see the page - Garhwal Himalaya.
From New Delhi, one can go via two routes:
1 - Delhi - Haridwar - Rishikesh - Uttarkashi - Gangotri (everything by road) OR
2 - One can fly to Dehradun, and go via Dehradun - Uttarkashi -Gangotri. Although the Delhi - Dehradun flights are expensive.
To go from Delhi, one can either take the regular government buses plying from ISBT, Delhi or take private buses upto Rishikesh. After Rishikesh, one has to board a "smaller" bus, as the road up into the mountains is not wide enough.
Also, if one can afford to spend money, one can hire a private car and go all the way to Gangotri.
Gangotri is one of the 4 sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus, along with Yamunotri (also on the same route - the bifurcation is after Uttarkashi), Kedarnath and Badrinath.
From Gangotri, the trek starts. The route is:
- Gangotri to Bhojwasa - 14 km.
- Bhojwasa to Nandanvan (base camp) - 16 km (depends on what the state of the glacier is).
- Nandanvan to upper Nandanvan (ABC) - Around 4 hour gradual walk.
- ABC to Camp 1 - A 3-hr walk on snow.
- Camp 1 to Camp 2 (which we avoided in our expedition) - Around 4 hour glacier walk.
- Camp 2 to Summit Camp - A long walk on glacier, with quite a bit of gradient.
- Summit Camp to Summit - 612 m of climb in snow and loose rock.
After the formation of the new state of Uttarakhand, Gangotri National Park was created, and a lot of restrictions were imposed by the local government, for trekkers and climbers arranging expeditions in this area. A lot of permissions are required for planning an expedition here, some of which are:
- Permission from IMF, Delhi.
- Permission from Forest Department, Govt. of Uttarakhand.
- Permission from Ministry of Environment, Delhi.
- Permission from Gangotri National Park Office, Uttarakhand.
Due to imposing so many permissions and restrictions, the number of expeditions in this area had nosedived.
When to Climb
May last week to June third week.
Before May last week - lots of snow.
After June third week - lots of rain.
Camping can be done as long as you are safe from the numerous rock-fall areas. Camping at Goumukh is banned, unless you have a medical emergency or something. Also, camping at Chidbasa and Bhojwasa is permitted, but prior permission has to be taken.
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