Gangotri is a popular pilgrimage center in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand state in the hilly areas of the country. Gangotri is said to be the point of origin of the Ganges River. It is situated on the banks of the river Bhagirathi. Every year, between the months of May and October, thousands of pilgrims come here from every corner of the country to visit Ganga Mata. Like Yamunotri, the fallen holy temple of Gangotri opens on the auspicious festival of Akshaya Tritiya and the doors of the temple are closed on Diwali. It is considered a very sacred place for both Char Dham and Do Dham pilgrimages.
Quick info about Gangotri Temple
|place||Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand (India)|
|Construction||Circa 18th century|
|Creator (Who Made)||Amar Singh Thapa|
|Area (height)||3042 m|
History of Gangotri Dham
According to mythological beliefs, the place where Goddess Ganga descended on Earth is known as “Gangotri Dham”. The city of Gangotri gradually developed around this temple. In ancient times, the pilgrimage to Chardham used to be on foot and its climb was very difficult in those days, so in the 1980s, the road was built for the journey in Gangotri Dham and since then the development of this city has picked up.
No temple was built here in ancient times. There was a platform near the Bhagirathi rock, where idols of deities were kept for three-four months of the yatra season. These idols were brought from various temples of nearby villages like Shyam Prayag, Ganga Prayag, Dharali and Mukhba etc., which were then returned to the same villages after the traveling season. In the 18th century, the Gangotri temple was built by Gurkha commander Amar Singh Thapa of Garhwal at the same place where King Bhagiratha meditated. Sena Thapa also appointed pandas from Mukhba Gangotri villages to manage the temple. It is said that Raja Madho Singh II of Jaipur also got the temple repaired during the 20th century.
Interesting facts about Gangotri Dham
- It is located in the Himalayan ranges at an altitude of 3750 meters above sea level.
- The source of the river Ganges or Ganga called ‘Gaumukh’ is just 19 km from Gangutri. Is situated at this distance.
- The river Ganga at its point of origin is known as ‘Bhagirathi’.
- About 50 km from Gangotri First there is a place called Gangnani. There is a reservoir of hot water here and there is no clear evidence of where this water is coming from, but it is believed that this too is a form of Ganga.
- There is also an ancient temple of Bal Shiva before Gangautri, also known as Bal Kandar Temple. This is the first place of worship of Gangotri Dham.
- Tourists around Gangautri enjoy alpine conical tree forests, alpine shrubs and lush green grasslands.
- The forest area around here has been declared as Gangotri National Park and extends to the Indo-China border.
- Tourists can also see ‘Dnyaneshwar Temple’ and ‘Ekadash Rudra Temple’. The latter temple is famous for the celebration of Ekadash Rudrabhishekam Puja.
- The devotees who come here can also enjoy the beautiful Gauri Kund and Surya Kund located near the temple.
- A short way from this city also leads to the Pandava cave. This cave is considered a place of worship for the Pandavas, the legendary warriors of the country’s largest epic ‘Mahabharata’.
- Devotees and pilgrims visiting the winter season can also enjoy Nordic and Alpine skiing to the fullest.
- Gangotri also has places like Auli, Mandali, Kush Kalyan, Kedar Kanth, Tehri Garhwal, Bedni Bugyal and Chiplakot Valley, ideal for skiing.
- Other famous tourist places around Gangotri include Glacier Ganga, Maniri, Kedar Tal, Nandanvan, Tapovan Vishwanath Temple, DD Tal, Tehri, Kooteti Devi Temple, Nachiketa Tal and Gangni etc.
How to reach Gangotri:
Tourists wishing to go by road can easily reach Gangotri from nearby cities by bus. Both state and private bus services are available from all these cities at all times.
By Train Route:
The nearest railway station of Gangotri is Rishikesh which is 250 km from here. Located at a distance. From here, one can easily reach the destination by public transport and taxi. The railway station is connected to most major Indian cities.
The nearest airport to Gangotri is the Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun which is about 226 km from the city center. Located at a distance. Travelers can take taxis and cabs from the airport to Gangotri. Regular flights are available from Indira Gandhi International Airport , New Delhi to Dehradun.