Hindu Pilgrimage

The picturesque pilgrimage in the hinter lands of the Himalayas is the most sacred spot where Ganga, the stream of life, touched earth for the first time.

According to mythology, Goddess Ganga - the daughter of heaven, manifested herself in the form of a river to absolve the sins of king Bhagirath's predecessors, following his severe penance of several centuries, Lord Shiva received into his matted locks to minimize the immense impact of her fall. She came to be called Bhagirathi at her legendary source.

Along the right bank of Bhagirathi stands the shrine of Gangotri dedicated to the Goddesss. Perched at a height of 3.042 mts., it was constructed in the early 18th century by a Gorkha Commander, Amar Singh Thapa.

Every year, lakhs of pilgrims throng the sacred temple between May and October. By November, Gangotri is covered by snow. It is believed that the Goddess retreats to Mukhba, her winter abode (12 kms. Downstream). The Physical source of the holy river is at Gaumukh, 19 kms. Further uphill, along the Gangtri glacier.

Several pilgrims trek upto the source to offer prayers either on foot or on ponies. The verdant valleys, dense forests and towering peaks offer excellent trekking and mountaineering opportunities for adventure enthusiasts. Guidance and assistance can be obtained from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering; Uttarkashi or the Tourist office (Tel. : 22290) and OSD ( Adventure Tourism), Uttarkashi or Indian Mountaineering Foundation, Benito Juarez Road, Anand Niketan, New Delhi - 110021.

General Information

Altitude : 3.042
Climate : Summer : Cool during the day and cold at night Winter : snow - bound Touchin sub - zero
Clothing : Summer : Light woolens Winter : Very heavy woollens
Language : Hindi, Garhwali & English
Season : May to November

How to Reach

Jolly Grant, Dehradun 266 kms.
Rishikehs, 249kms.
Well connected to Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and Delhi Important Road Distances : Dharasu (129 kms.), Yamunotri (224 kms.) Mussoorie (247 kms. ) Tehri (172 kms.) Uttarkashi (99 kms.)

Sights to Visit

Gangotri Temple

This 18th century tmple dedicated to Goddess Ganga is located near a sacred stone where King Bhagirath worshipped Lord Shiva. Ganga is believed to have touched earth at this spot. According the another legend, Pandavas performed the great Deva Yagna here to atone the deaths of their kinsmen in the epic battle of Mahabharata. The temple is an exquisite 20 ft. high structure made of white granite.

Submerged Shivling

The natural rock Shivling, submerged in the river is an amazing sight reinforcing the power of thee divine. According to mythology, Lord Shiva sat at this spot to receive the Ganga in his matted locks. The shivling is visible in the early winters when the water level goes down.

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