Adventure / Trekking | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 23 km from Gangotri, 9 km from Bhojbasa and 5 km from Gaumukh, Tapovan is an area consisting of beautiful meadows at the feet of Mt. Shivling in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. It lies at an altitude of 4460 m in Garhwal Himalayas beyond Gomukh.
Tapovan means forest of penance and as the name suggests it is actually a cold barren dry land suitable for offering penance. Tapovan area is full of meadows, streams and flowers. It is one of the most visited trails in Uttarakhand trekking. These meadows are considered as one of the best high altitude meadow in India. Tapovan area is base camp for several mountaineering expeditions including Shivling peak, Bhagirathi peak etc.
The trek to Tapovan begins from Gangotri and the trek is considered as moderate to difficult. It is a 4 day trek from Gangotri to Tapovan and back. Tapovan can be reached by two routes; the first one is the classic route which goes via Gaumukh Glacier. One has to trek 15 km to reach Bhojbasa from Gangotri. Gaumukh is 4 km from Bhojbasa and Tapovan is 5 km beyond Gaumukh. After reaching Gaumukh Glacier one need to traverse the glacier and climb a rugged track to reach Tapovan. The Tapovan trek is done as a four day trip from Gangotri.
To take the second route, trekkers need to cross Bhagirathi River at Bhojbasa. From here, 9 km long trek on moraine and small ridges will lead to Tapovan. The Tapovan campsite is located at the foot of Mount Shivling (6,543 m). There is also a place named Nandanvan and is also visited by trekkers and pilgrims. Nandanvan is also a spacious meadow located at the base of Bhagirathi massif.
Every year Tapovan is visited by thousands of tourists. The trail to Tapovan is open for trekkers and pilgrims from May to October. The best time to visit Tapovan is between May to June and September to November.