Icebergs floating in the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon Snæfellsjökull frozen peaks Snæfellsjökull at sunset Blocks of ice on Breiðamerkursandur beach

Himalayan Peaks & the Source of the Ganges - Indian Photographic Trek

Highlights include…

  • Beautiful trekking to the source of the Ganges
  • Snow peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas
  • Spectacular views of Shivling and the Bhagirathi peaks
  • Atmospheric Gangotri and its pilgrimage temples
  • Traverse the Gamukh Glacier
  • Rishikesh and the lamp-floating Aarti Ceremony
  • Delhi railway station
  • Astro photography over the mountains
  • Classic Indian train journey
  • Stunning Himalayan sunrises and sunsets
  • Trekking with Hindu pilgrims and Sadhus
  • Spires of rock and ice
  • Sadhus and pilgrims
  • Classic portrait photography
  • Wild rivers
  • Three nights on top of the world!

Introduction

This fabulous photographic expedition takes a classic trail through the spectacular scenery of the Garhwal Indian Himalaya. Starting in Delhi, we make a classic railway journey to the pilgrim towns in the foothills of the Himalayas. We join the throngs of pilgrims heading for the source of the Holy Ganges. Leaving the crowds behind we trek through lofty Himalayan peaks spending three nights in one of the worlds most beautiful Himalayan meadows. Fully supported our local team will take care of us well and our only concern will be to take it easy, acclimatise slowly, have fun and take some amazing images.

Brief Itinerary

For full details please download the trip description PDF

Day 1: Delhi

Arrive in Delhi. Transfer to our first night hotel close to Delhi Railway Station and Old Delhi.
Hotel

Day 2-3: Train to Haridwar

Early morning transfer to the railway station to catch the express train to Haridwar. The train journey takes around four hours. We arrive in Haridwar at lunchtime. We join our drivers and cars for the short drive to Rishikesh on the banks of the Ganges. The town has many temples, shrines and ashrams and is a major place of pilgrimage and starting point for pilgrimages to Badrinath and Gangotri. We spend two nights in Rishikesh to thoroughly explore this interesting and photographically rich pilgrim town.
Accommodation Hotel

Day 4: Drive to Uttarkashi

Today, we begin our drive up into the Indian Himalaya. Our route follows one of the major tributaries of the Ganges, the Bhagirathi River, twisting and turning through steep-sided and heavily forested valleys. After a day of spectacular scenery we arrive at the important pilgrimage town of Uttarkashi (1350m).
Accommodation Mountain Lodge

Day 5-6: Drive to Gangotri 3050m

The scenery on our drive today rapidly becomes dramatic and we will start to see impressive rock spires and snow-capped peaks rising up above the valley sides. We reach the pilgrimage site of Gangotri (3050m) in the late morning. We will spend two nights here mindful of the need to acclimatise before starting our trek on Day 7. No doubt we will find lots of interesting and unusual photographic subjects including the local pilgrims, the ever present mountain scenery and the raging river.
Accommodation Mountain Lodge (2 nights)

Day 7: Trek to Chirbasa 3600m

Our walk begins with a relatively easy ascent through forests of oak and pine, following the Pilgrim’s Trail on a well-defined path which climbs gradually beside the Bhagirathi River, with impressive cliffs on our left side. We will reach our camp at Chirbasa (3600m) on a level site beside the river, in time for a hot lunch. From our camp we will have fabulous view of the surrounding Himalayan Peaks such as the very impressive Bhagirathis.
Accommodation Tent

Day 8-9: Trek to Bhujbasa 3800m

Accompanied by hardy pilgrims, we continue our hike in this impressive valley, climbing through pine forest to the alpine plateau of Bhujbasa (3800m). Arriving in camp after just a couple of hours walking, we will take an early lunch. In the afternoon we will take it easy to allow our bodies to acclimatise to the heady height of 3800 m. We stay here for two nights to allow a more relaxed walk on day two to the legendary source of the Ganges, where you can dip your feet in the sacred water of the river. For the less energetic, a short distance above camp we will get our first views of Shivling arguably one of the world’s most spectacular Himalayan peaks. There are usually lots of colourful sadhus or holy men to around this particular camp.
Accommodation Tent

Day 10-12: to Tapovan 4350m

From Bhujbasa, we trek a little way back up towards Gaumukh, before turning onto the Gangotri Glacier and follow a cairned trail that leads to the east side of the glacier. We have superb close up views of the snow capped peaks including Bhagirathi, Shivling, Meru, and Kharchkund. Tapovan (4350 m) will be our base for three nights. We camp in a large meadow surrounded by the icy peaks of the Bhagirathi range with a truly spectacular view of Shivling. Three nights here will allow us to be unhurried with our photography. We will be in a superb place for some remarkable Himalayan sunrises and sunsets.
Accommodation Tent

Day 13: Down to Chirbasa 3600m

Rising early, we can enjoy a final spectacular sunrise over the surrounding 6000 metre peaks. Following breakfast, we set off downhill on our return to civilisation. Recrossing the Gangotri Glacier, we descend the valley with a welcome stop for lunch near the trail at a local Dhaba. We will reach the camp at Chirbasa mid afternoon.
Accommodation Tent

Day 14: Down to Gangotri and Utterkashi 1350m

From our camp at Chirbasa, we descend easily through the pine forest for just a couple of hours to Gangotri. Here, we rejoin our vehicles that will take us back down the Bhagirathi Valley to Uttarkashi. The town has similar ghats and temples to Varanasi and is a marvellous place for photography. The town’s most important temple is dedicated to Shiva and known as Vishwanath Mandir.
Accommodation Lodge

Day 15: Utterkashi – Haridwar

Today we make the seven hour road journey to Haridwar. The views are spectacular and we will break the journey with photographic stops and lunch.
Accommodation Hotel

Day 16: Haridwar-Delhi

This morning we board the train for Delhi. Arriving around lunchtime we will have time to explore several options including the Mosque, Delhi Railway station or the fascinating streets and markets of Old Delhi. Alternatively we can take a long shower, relax and contemplate our amazing Himalayan adventure.
Accommodation Hotel

Day 17: Home flights

Transfer to Delhi International Airport for Homeward flights

What’s Included

  • All meals
  • Return train 2 class A/C from Delhi to Hardware
  • All accommodation
  • An English-speaking Indian guide
  • Private vehicles for transport
  • Photography tutor/guide
  • All entrance & camera fees, except for video equipment
  • Delhi Airport transfers on group arrival and departure days

What’s not Included

  • International flights
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, extra snacks
  • Tips for local staff
  • Indian visa

Complete Itinerary and Full Details

This page is only a brief summary. A complete itinerary and more details can be found in our trip description PDF
It is important that you read this full day-to-day description and further information for this holiday before making your booking.