Gangotri glacier perched in the magnificent Garhwal Himalayas is situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. This glacier originates at the northern slope of Chaukhamba range of peaks. This glacier serves as a vital source of Ganga River and is the largest glacier in the Himalayas, having an estimated volume of about 27 cubic km. This glacier lies between 30°43’22″–30°55’49” (lat.) and 79°4’41″–79°16’34” (long.), extending in height from 4120 to 7000 m.a.s.l. The total ice cover of Gangotri glacier is approximately 200 km² and has about 20 km³ of ice in volume. This glacier is about 30 km long and about 2 to 4 km wide. The Gangotri glacier is surrounded by majestic peaks of Gangotri Group, offering arduous trekking to Shivling, Thalay Sagar, Meru and Bhagirathi III.
This glacier is a combination of several other glaciers that drains into it and forms a huge mass of ice. The Bhrigupanth (6772m), Kirti stambh (6285), Sumeru Parvat (6380) respectively and, Ratavana Bamak, Chaturangi Bamak and Swachand Bamak which lies on the northeast slope of Srikailash, Man parvat, Satopanth and an un-named group of peaks.
Gangotri glacier is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site. Bathing in the icy cold water of Gangotri glacier is considered to be pious. Gomukh which means cow’s mouth is the terminus of the Gangotri Glacier. Gomukh which resembles a cow’s mouth is about 19 km from the Gangotri town. It is the precise source of the Bhagirathi River. One needs to trek from Gangotri till Gaumukh, passing Devgadh, Chirbhasa, Bhojwasa en route.
How to Reach:
One can easily reach the Gangotri glacier as it is well connected by motorable roads up to Gangotri temple. From there a 17 km, long bridle path will take you to the right bank of the Bhagirathi River and then to Gomukh.