We made a stop at Gomukh Wednesday – learn more about this important source of the Ganges!

Gomukh is known as the terminus or snout of the Gangotri Glacier, and is a primary source of the River Ganges. This is where the river is in its purest form compliant with international standards.  Sitting at an elevation of 13,200 feet, it is located in the Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is known a popular Hindu pilgrimage site, as well as a trekking destination.

The word Gomukh literally translates to “Mouth of a Cow” in reference to its resemblance of a cow’s mouth or snout. This thought originated from an ancient Hindu text called the Puranas. The text mentions a shepherd boy who is in search of his lost sheep. He reaches a glacier in Gangotri, where the snout looked exactly like the mouth of a cow, and thus got its name ‘Gomukh’.

Today the terminus of this glacier has been shrinking. The local ecosystem is in a state of over-exploitation and rapid deterioration. According to modern research the snout has moved 1 km in just 70 years.


Gomukh “Mouth of a Cow” / Photo Credit: Wikipedia


Small shrine at Gomukh / Photo Credit: Wikipedia