Himalayan Pilgrimage to the Source of the Ganges
An extraordinary spiritual journey to Tapovan, through the mystical Himalayas
There is a place in the high mountains of the Himalayas where it is possible to touch the source, the very nature of our being. To reach this place is to come out of what we commonly perceive as real into a reality that seems more alive, more aware, and at one with the majestic mountains in a very deep way.
Such a place is Tapovan and the journey is from the self to the Self, an inward process that is reflected in the outer pathway that leads up the side of Mother Ganga (the Ganges River) to its source and beyond.
To register for this amazing experience click here.
This pilgrimage will allow spiritual seekers from all paths an opportunity to tread the paths that have been laid down by yogis and sages throughout centuries and experience the sacred energies of these majestic mountains that uplift the soul and recharge spiritual endeavor. This trek will take you from Rishikesh to Tapovan, which is a vast meadow surrounded by mountain peaks and nestled at the base of Shivaling mountain, it is one of the most beautiful and breath-taking places imaginable. It is here that Ganga (known as Akash or Sky Ganga) begins her descent. This sacred place is where yogis, seers, and rishis have performed spiritual practices since time immemorial.
The eighteen-day pilgrimage includes meditations and walks at some of the most sacred and powerful places along the Ganges, such as the sacred sites of Haridwar, Rishikesh, Uttakashi, Gangotri, Gomukh and finally Tapovan, a place of divine connection. Here the veil between the physical and the spiritual is thin. It is in this place that we can more easily experience of our inner nature. and drop into the oneness that underlies our existence.
This pilgrimage offers the possibility of intense experiences, with the inclusion of meditations, satsangs, spiritual discourses … and more. It offers the opportunity to soak in the sacred energies of the Himalayas and come back revitalized and deeply transformed.
“A pilgrimage to sacred places can awaken us to the Beingness of who we truly are” Savitri
Pilgrimage Guide Savitri has been travelling to the Himalayas for the past 25 years living in ashrams in sacred regions and has been deeply inspired by the ancient pathway to Self-realisation. Over the past fifteen years, she has undertaken an annual pilgrimage to Tapovan, living in a cave, amidst the silence, within the community of saints and yogis. These experiences transformed her own life and she wishes to play a role in sharing the transformative power of practice in places of spiritual power.
Day 1 – May 26th: Rishikesh. Commence preparation for the pilgrimage to Himalayan Mountains.
Day 2 – May 27th: Rishikesh – Yoga, kriya, meditation and satsang with Shailendra Negi, a Vedic yogi
Day 3 – May 28th: Vashista Gufa – an ancient cave where sages have meditated for thousands of years.
Day 4 – May 29th: Ananda Mayi Ma’s mahasamadhi (tomb) – Ma was a famed woman saint known for her blissful states.
Day 5 – May 30th: Raft along the Ganges – experience the thrill of the sacred waters of India’s holiest river.
Day 6 – May 31st: Travel to Uttakashi – known as the Valley of the Gods is an ancient center for yogis and rishis. Visit the Vishwanath temple and enjoy talks and satsangh with learned teachers.
Day 7 – June 1st: To Ganganani and Gangotri – Stop for a hot bath at a natural spring. At Gangotri we will visit the temple to Mother Ganga.
Days 8 – 9 – June 2nd & 3rd: Gangotri.
A unique opportunity to stay with Swami Sundarananda considered to be one of the great yogi Himalayan Masters who has devoted his life to the path of yoga. An accomplished yogi, who has mastered all the yoga postures and pranayamas, he is also a famous photographer and mountaineer. He has chronicled his devotion to the natural beauty of the Himalayas in his gallery (currently in completion stage), so we will be among the first to stay there and experience the gallery with Swamiji’s amazing photography. It will be an opportunity to share in daily meditations with Swamiji. There will be a trip to visit Bhakti, a woman saint who lives in a cave. A devotee of Hanuman, she spent 14 years of unbroken sadhana staying in this part of the Himalayas. We will share a meal and spend some hours enjoying her many stories.
Day 10 – June 4th: Trek Gangotri to Bojvasa: Night stay at Ram Baba Ashram.
Day 11- June 5th: Trek Bhojvasa to Tapovan – Stopping at Gaumukh for a special ceremony, where the waters of Ganga emerge from the glacier, The trek from Gaumukh takes us across the glacier and up the steep ascent to Tapovan.
Days 12 – 15 – June 6th – 9th: Tapovan: staying at Mouni Baba Ashram where simple food and blankets will be provided. Immerse yourself in the sacred silence of a place where centuries of spiritual seekers have come to experience the oneness.
Day 16 – June 10th Trek back to Gangotri.
Day 17 – June 11th: Gangotri to Rishikesh.
Day 18 – June 12th: Rishikesh closing ceremony.
When: 12th March – 7pm
Where: Lotus, Kawai Purapura,
14 Mills Lane, Albany
This pilgrimage will be demanding both in terms of spiritual practice and the nature of the trek at high altitude. The trek is considered moderate to difficult, so good health and a high level of fitness is required.
Cost: $2500 (excludes air fares NB). Tickets can be purchased here.
Travel within India by road (generally jeep).
Daily accommodation, wholesome vegetarian food, entrance fee to Gangotri Park.
Taxi fare to/from Jolly Grant airport to Vedic Yoga Guest House, Rishikesh for commencement, completion of the journey.
Pony, porter and/or helicopter service if needed during the trek.
Extra snacks you may want to take for the journey.
For the purposes of safety and to ensure a deep and fulfilling experience, this pilgrimage is limited to a small number of spiritual seekers. For more information you can contact our tour guide Savitri on the details below:
To register for this amazing experience click here.
What to take
Before you go, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper gear to keep you safe and comfortable along the way.
We recommend the following:
- Backpack (40-60 litres):
- Day pack to carry daily essentials like water bottle and snacks for trips. You can hire a porter to carry your large pack whilst on the trekking days.
- Water resistant trekking shoes with a good tread – 1 pair
- Thermal inner wear – 2 pairs. Merino highly recommended. While layering, this will be the layer closest to your skin.
- Warm long sleeve tops and trousers – two pairs. Can include a light weight fleece layer.
- One light weight top and bottom for sunny days. There are plenty of great affordable clothes available in Rishikesh.
- Down Jacket. Lightweight, highly packable, and extremely warm, down jackets are a mainstay in the mountains. Ensure this layer fits you. Oversized jackets let in cold air.
- Meditation shawl. Can be purchased in Rishikesh or Gangotri.
- Sun hat or head cloth.
- Woollen hat and balaclava: Indispensable for early morning mediations at Tapovan. These can be purchased in Gangotri Remember that you lose almost 60 per cent of your body heat from your head.
- Woollen gloves
- Woollen socks – 2 pairs
- Rain-proof jacket with hood and rainproof pants
- Trekking pole Highly recommended as it provides stability and balance both while navigating the glacier, climbing up to Tapovan and descending back down.
- Water bottle
- Personal clothihng
- Sunscreen lotion
- Sandals or general footwear
- Travel Towel
- Regular prescribed medications
- Toilet tissues
- Dry fruit/nuts
- Head lamp (with extra batteries)
There is bedding provided but in the mountains this is just a thick quilt. You may wish to bring your own sleeping bag with liner, and if you wish more comfort an inflatable mini trekking mattress.
Note: You may wish to travel light to India and purchase most of the necessary items in Rishikesh. Everything is available and much cheaper than anywhere else.
First Aid Medical Kit
It is important to carry a personal medical kit with electrolyte packs, pain killers,, bandaids, medicines for headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, indigestion. Pharmacies are available in Gangotri with suitable medicines for altitude symptoms.
Please email a scan of your passport and forward for obtaining trekking permission.Please click here to upload. (Must be under 1mb size.)