GANGOTRI DHAM

Gangotri Dham is a pilgrimage center located in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand state, India. This place is one of Chaar Dham Yaatra (other three dham are Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath). Gangotri is the highest and most famous temple of river Ganga which is worshiped as a goddess in India.

The original source of river Ganges is at Gaumukh, located 19 km away. It can be reached through trekking from Gangotri. The river Ganga is known as Bhagirathi because of its origin from Gaumukh. It receives the name Ganga from Devprayag, where it joins the Alaknanda River. But there is a mythology about Gangotri Dham, in which king Bhagirath performed penance to bring Goddess Ganga to earth to wash away the sins of his ancestors and Goddess Ganga in the form of water descended to earth through Lord Shiva’s hair.

Gangotri Dham is a popular pilgrimage site for tourists; large number of tourists and devotees visit here every year. The main attraction of Gangotri among devotees is the Gangotri Temple, which is dedicated to Maa Ganga. The temple remains open for six months from May to November every year. On Akshaya Tritiya the idol of Maa Ganga is shifted from Mukhbas (Mukhimath) to Gangotri temple. On Bhai Dooj, the idol is returned to Mukhimath for another 6 months.

What is Gangotri Dham famous for?

Gangotri Dham is famous among devotees and tourist as pilgrimage, holy river Ganga and Char Dham Yaatra (other three dhams are Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath).

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Best time to visit Gangotri

Gangotri Temple remains shut around six month (Nov to April) due to heavy snowfall. That’s why, the temple can be visited only for six months (May to Oct). It is believed that May to June is the best time to visit Gangotri as it does not rain during this time and you can enjoy a bit of chill even in summer.

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Opening and closing time

The temple remains open for six months from May to November every year. On Akshaya Tritiya the idol of Maa Ganga is shifted from Mukhbas (Mukhimath) to Gangotri temple. On Bhai Dooj, the idol is returned to Mukhimath for another 6 months.

In open days, the temple is open from 4 pm to 9 pm but it opens for the general public for doing darshan (visit) at 6:00 am and has a break in the afternoon between 2:00 to 3:00 pm. In the temple, morning aarti held at 6:30 am but the daily worship rituals at Gangotri Temple begin with Maha Abhishek at around 4:30 am and end with Shayan (evening) Aarti at around 7:00 pm.

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Must Know Before You Visit Gangotri

  • From Uttarkashi Route – Uttarkashi – Harsil – Gangotri
  • From Yamunotri Route: Jankichatti – Barkhot – Bhramkal – Dharasu – Dunda – Uttarkashi – Gangori – Maneri – Bhatwarhi – Gangnani – Harsil – Dharali – Gangotri
  • From Rishikesh Route: Rishikesh – Narendra Nagar – Chamba – New Tihari – Dharasu Bend – Uttarkashi – Harsil – Gangotri
  • Uttarkashi is the nearest point near Gangotri. Many Devotees stay at Uttarkashi and visit Gangotri for a day
  • Accomodation facilities are available in Gangotri at various guest houses and dharamshalas. Prices for accomodation vary according to seasons.
  • Some small shops and restaurants are located in the main market which is 1km before Gangotri Temple.
  • Non-vegetarian food and alcohol are restricted in Gangotri.
  • A few km before entering Gangotri, the Nagar Panchayat charges Rs 50 as parking fee for the vehicle

How to Reach Gangotri

By Road – Gangotri is located in Uttarkashi (district of Uttrakhand) which is very well connected to rest of India through network of Roads. State transport buses are also available directly from places like Delhi, Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh to Uttarkashi and after that you can take buses from Uttarkashi to Gangotri.

By Train – Rishikesh, haridwar and Dehradun Railway Station is the nearest railway station and these trains connect from various cities of India.

By Air – The nearest airport for Gangotri is jolly Grant Airport Dehradun.

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PLACES TO VISIT IN GANGOTRI

Gangotri Temple

Gangotri temple is one of the most famous sacred places in Hindu religions and this is the second holy stop of Char Dham Yatra, which comes after Yamunotri Dham in Uttarakhand. Gangotri temple is positioned at the heart of Gangotri Dhaam at the height of over 3000 meter above the sea level. The holy river Bhagirathi is one of the two major streams of the Ganges, flows alongside the Gangotri temple. Gangotri temple is the source of Ganga River devoted to Goddess Ganga and also one of the most sacred river of India.

Maa Ganga is present in the white building temple in the form of a small silver sculpture where pilgrims worship and seek blessings. Most of the devotees take a dip in the Bhagirathi River before offering prayers at the temple. The peaceful white temple and the surrounding area offer a beautiful view of the Himalayas and the mighty river Ganga. The view is breathtaking in the morning at sunrise as the sun shines from behind the Himalayas spreading light and life in the area. The pleasant holy vibe in the air is enough to explain why the temple is of such importance to all.

The temple remains open for six months from May to November every year. On Akshaya Tritiya the idol of Maa Ganga is shifted from Mukhbas (Mukhimath) to Gangotri temple. On Bhai Dooj, the idol is returned to Mukhimath for another 6 months.

gangotri-temple-image
gangotri-temple-image
gangotri-temple-image

Gauri Kund and Surya Kund

The Surya Kund waterfall is Just 500 meters ahead of the Gangotri temple, where devotees offer prayers to the God Sun (surya).

 On one side of the iron bridge is Surya Kund while on the other side of the bridge is Gauri Kund. Surya Kund Falls is a mesmerizing site for visitors and photographers. The fall from the height of the Bhagirathi River make a spectacular sight for the tourists.

surya-kund-image
surya-kund-image
surya-kund-image

Jalmagna Shivlinga

Jalmagna Shivlinga is a famous shivlinga which is situated near the Gangotri Temple. This Shivlinga is naturally originated from the earth under water and only visible during the winter when the water level goes down due to snow.

According to belief of peoples, this is the place where Lord Shiv sat with Ganga Maa tied in his tangled hair. By dividing it into 7 streams, shiva saved the earth from the immense force of Goddess Ganga.

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Bhairon Ghati

Bhairon Ghati is a small settlement, located near the confluence of Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi rivers in the mountains of northern India. It is situated around 10 km from Gangotri town. This Ghati is also known for the temple of Bhairav Nath which is situated in the midst of dense forests. According to mythology, it is believed that, God Bhairav Nath was chosen as a protector of this region by the Lord Shiva.

Pilgrims can come here to enjoy treks in Bhairon Ghati and watch the scenic views of the surroundings as well as visit the Bhairav Temple to seek the blessings of Lord Bhairav.

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bhairon-ghati-image
bhairon-ghati-image

Gangotri Glacier

Gangotri Glaciers Nestled in the spectacular Garhwal Himalayas is situated in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. This glacier originates on the northern slope of the peaks of the Chaukhamba range. This glacier serves as an important source of the Ganges River and is the largest glacier in the Himalayas, with an estimated volume of about 27 cubic km and it is about 30 km long and 3 to 4 km wide.

This Glacier is one of the largest glaciers in the Himalayas and is the primary source of the Ganga River which is the largest river in India. Ganga water is extremely pure and medicinal due to its medicinal plants and mineral content flow.

Pilgrims who visit the Gangotri temple to seek the blessings of Goddess Ganga and some pilgrims go a step further and visit Gomukh, the source of the river Ganga, located 19 km from Gangotri. Gomukh is the last point of the Gangotri Glacier which is a popular trekking destination for adventures who love to visit the Gangotri Glacier and immerse themselves in its magnificence.

This glacier is surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Gangotri group, which offers difficult trekking to Shivlinga, Thalay Sagar, Bhagirathi III and Meru.

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gangotri-glacier-image
gangotri-glacier-image

Harsil

Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, Harsil is an untouched and hidden place in the state of Uttarakhand which offers ample opportunities to peace seekers. It is situated on the banks of river Bhagirathi at an altitude of 2620 meters above sea level. It lies 78 km from Uttarkashi and 30 km away from the Gangotri National Park. In recent years, this quaint village has become popular among travel enthusiasts and nature lovers. Harsil is surrounded by dense forest of Oak and Deodar where nature warmly welcomes everyone.

The temperature of harsil remains pleasant during summer where you can enjoy a bit of chill even in summer and reaches a freezing point in winter. This place is suitable for yoga and meditation where you can do it. Along with this you can do trekking, hiking and cycling on Harshil routes to make your trip memorable.

harsil-image
harsil-image
harsil-image