Shivling, Northern India

A beautiful and holy mountain at the source of the Ganges


All content copyright © Ashley Burke 2011. Not to be copied, duplicated or used for any purpose without permission.


The Hindu god Shiva

Shivling (6543m) from Tapovan


Shivling (6543m) is a stunning mountain in the Uttarakhand province of Northern India. It is a holy mountain for Hindus, as the summit is the home of the god Shiva. The summit of Shivling presides over the Gangotri glacier, the mouth of which is the source of the river Ganges. The trail up the River Bhagirathi to the snout of the Gangotri glacier is a Hindu pilgrim route, as many Hindus come to bathe in the freezing cold water emerging from the mouth of the glacier - water which becomes the holy Ganges River.

In September 2011 I joined an expedition led by British mountaineer Simon Yates to climb this mountain, which some consider to be the world's most beautiful. Indeed, the base camp at Tapovan is in a truly stunning setting, and it is hard to imagine a more beautiful base camp anywhere. Unfortunately our attempts to climb this peak were unsuccessful, because a huge serac at an altitude of 6000m barred the route, and large sections of this serac frequently collapsed, dumping tonnes of ice upon the route that we were supposed to be climbing. This danger meant that retreat was the only sensible option.

Despite the disappointment of not climbing Shivling, the trip provided an insight into a very special and beautiful part of the Indian Himalaya.

I hope you enjoy the photos on this website.

Delhi and Agra

Tourism before and after the trip to the mountains - Delhi, Agra and the Taj Mahal.

18 Sep and 12 Oct 2011

The Journey to Base Camp

From Delhi to Gangotri by road and then a 2 day trek to the base camp at Tapovan.

19 - 22 Sep 2011

Our Base Camp at Tapovan

Surely one of the most beautiful mountaineering base camps anywhere, this was our home for 2 weeks.

23 Sep - 8 Oct 2011

The Climbing on Shivling

The actual climbing. Our various attempts on the mountain.

23 Sep - 5 Cct 2011



Web page created 26 Apr 2012, last updated 26 Apr 2012.

All content copyright © Ashley Burke 2012. Not to be copied, duplicated or used for any purpose without permission.