Gomukh, which is actually the snout of the Gangotri Glacier is considered to be the source of the river Ganga. Gomukh literally means cow’s face, which the glacier is supposed to look like.
It is 19 km northeast of Gangotri where the journey starts…
To reach Gomukh you have to walk all the 19 km from Gangotri. After 8 km you reach Chirbasa, a place with only a few tea shops and some tents for staying overnight. The place is surrounded by a chir pine’s forests. From there the path leads to a mountain desert. At this point, you have to be very careful because of the landslides which are frequent and unexpected.
About 5 km from here there is a place called Bhojbasa. Most people stay during the night in Bhojbasa (without electricity and hot water) and then continue their journey the next morning. If you get up early in the morning you can have a majestic view of a Shivling peak (6,543 meters).
You should bring a warm sleeping bag, a flashlight and good shoes if you are planning to visit these places. If you are spending a night in Bhojbhasa, there is a Tourist Bungalow with a few dorms, Bhojbasa Ashram who provides some floor space or you can just put your own tent.
From Bhojbasa it is a good 5 km track to Gomukh. The path is marked by stones, but not clear-cut so most of the time you have to make your own path.
The Glacier is a 328 ft high wall of grey snow at a height of 4,200 meters. It is 30 km long and about 2-4 km wide.Years ago the glacier is said to have reached all the way down to Gangotri. In front of the glacier there is a small Ganesha temple.
There is no place to stay in Gomukh so from there you have to continue your trek to Tapovan or you have to go back.
The trek beyond Gomukh is quite difficult. There is no road and to get there without a guide can be extremely dangerous, as there can be huge holes in the glacier totally hidden by snow. Also the last 2 km before Tapovan are very stiff (about 70 degrees).