Gangotri dham is one of the sacred pilgrimage sites Char Dham (Four Pilgrimages), which are four holy and essential places for Hindus and are part of the essential “Char Dham Yatra“. The town of Gangotri is situated on the banks of river Bhagirathi. It is one of the best pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand state. Located at the height of approximately 3048 meters on the Himalayan range in Uttarkashi district of state Uttarakhand, this shrine of goddess Ganga holds a very important and special place in the hearts of all of us.
Maa Ganga (Mother Ganga), the holy river and much revered deity of Hindus, originates from the Gangotri glacier at Gaumukh, which is about 18 km from the town of Gangotri. It is believed that Goddess Ganga came to earth to wash away the sins of King Bhagirath’s ancestors. A popular legend holds that Goddess Ganga descended when Lord Shiva released the mighty river from the locks of his hair.
Gangotri is known for its ancient temples. The present Ganga temple was built by a Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa in the early 18th century. At Gangotri, there are many hotels to stay and there is a small market selling various items for worship and many other things. It has several government-managed dharamshalas, which provide good accommodation.
Gangotri to Gomukh Glacier:
From temple, there is a 18 km trek to Gomukh glacier, which is at a height of 4225 meter. River Ganga originates from this glacier. This part of river Ganga is known as river Bhagirathi. This river meets river Alakananda at Rudraprayag forming the mighty river Ganga.
Best Time to Visit Gangotri :
May to October
The temple opens from May and gates are closed on the occasion of Diwali festival in Oct and Nov. The temple remains closed during winters because of the weather conditions. The region is prone to heavy snowfall. The idol is shifted to Mukhyamath temple in Mukhba village, which is 20 km downstream.
Tip : If you are staying at Uttarkashi and planning to return on the same day without staying at Gangotri, you need to head towards Gnagotri early in the morning.
How to Reach :
- Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun (277 km).
- Dehradun is the nearest railway station (242 km).
Distance From Other Places:
- 98 km from Uttarkashi
- 242 km from Dehradun
- 264 km from Rishikesh
- 288 km from Haridwar
- 483 km from Delhi