One of the main religious places among the four Char Dham pilgrimage areas, Gangotri, situated in Uttarkashi, is closely related to Goddess Ganga, the river that we know as Ganges. The history of Gangotri dates back to centuries when Goddess Ganga transformed herself into a river to dissolve the sins of King Bhagirath’s forefathers, following his penance. In order to reduce the impact of her fall, Lord Shiva gathered Ganga into his matted locks and has ever since been associated with Goddess Ganga. Gangotri is a popular pilgrim place in India and tourists should not miss booking Nainital packages when holidaying here.
The Gangotri Temple was built by a Gorkha Commander in the early years of the 18th century. This temple stands at an altitude of 3042m and emits a highly pious aura. Religious rituals are in full swing in the Gangotri temple with the Arti ceremony performed by the pujaris of the Semwal family.
The river Ganga originates from the Gangotri glacier and is known as Bhagirathi. The name Ganga picks up later on after the river passes Devaprayag and merges into the river Alaknanda.
Just the perfect destination to breath in a serene and pious atmosphere, Gangotri has the charm to attract people from all over. The striking presence of the snow-clad mountains in the vicinity and the pure crystal clear water of the Ganges flowing around add to the sanctity of the place. One feels close to God in the high altitude of Gangotri. Vegan food dominates the culture and is available in the local food joints or dhabas. Non-vegetarian food and alcoholic drinks are a strict no-no.
Famous for/as: Pilgrim
Languages: Hindi, Garhwali
Best Season: April to Jun, Sep to Nov
Weather: Summer 10 to 15°C,
Winter: 0 to 10°C
Altitude: 3415 m
STD code: 01381
Chandigarh to Gangotri 427 km
Delhi to Gangotri 452 km
Bangalore to Gangotri 2562 km
Chennai to Gangotri 2604 km
Rishikesh to Gangotri 229 km
Best Season / Best time to visit
The best time to visit the holy city of Gangotri is from April to June and September to November.
Winter (November to March) is freezing cold with heavy snowfall which can disrupt your journey.
Summer (April to May) is very pleasant with observed maximum never crossing 30°C and can get very cold at night. This is the best season for pilgrimage and sightseeing trips.
Monsoon (late July – August) is accompanied by very heavy rainfall that makes it difficult to reach the temple.
The mystical hill station of Gangotri is famous for the Shivalinga, which lies submerged in river Gangotri, during summer and visible only when winter comes. The temple is open from last week of April to second week of November. Snowfall can be enjoyed during winters, especially from end of November till mid of March.
Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Gangotri
Gangotri is the highest temple of Goddess Ganga and one of the four dhams of Uttarakhand state. Gangotri is situated at an altitude of 3,048mts above sea level. Gangotri offers scenic splendors of rugged terrains, gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow clad peaks. The place holds great importance amongst Hindus. Gangotri remains opened from May and get closed on the day of Diwali festival.
You can proceed to Tapovan and Nandanvan after reaching Gaumukh Glacier. Astounding views of Shivling and other major peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas are distinctly visible from Tapovan.
Near the confluence of Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi River lies a scenic Bhairon Ghati. It is located 10kms from Gangotri. The temple of Bhairav Nath is surrounded by dense forest. Bhairon Temple can be reached after traveling by road from Lanka to Bhaironghati andby crossing the Jahanvi River on foot.
A natural rock Shivling submerged under water is an attractive tourist spot of Gangotri. It can be easily seen when winters are on their way because the water level decreases during this period. According to myths and legends this was the place where Lord Shiva was sitting when he received Ganga in his matted locks.
How to Reach Here
By air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Gangotri situated at a distance of 250kms. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Gangotri is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from Jolly Grant Airport to Gangotri
By road: Gangotri is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. Gangotri is situated at the end of NH108. Buses to Rishikesh are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Buses and Taxis to Gangotri are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand state like Rishikesh, Dehradoon, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarkashi etc.
By rail: The nearest railway station to Gangotri is Rishikesh. Rishikesh railway station is situated 234kms before Gangotri on NH58. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh are frequent. Gangotri is well connected by motorable roads with Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are available from Rishikesh, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarkashi and many other destinations to Gangotri.
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