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Gangotri : Chardham Yatra

Gangotri is one of the sacred pilgrim centers in India and a part of the famous Chardham Yatra. The place has great significance in the Hindu mythology and is considered holy as the river Ganges, known to be the stream of Life, came on earth for the first time.

The natural setting of the place also mesmerize the devotees and experience the heavily bliss. One can also enjoy the mystic view of Indo-Tibetan border.

Gangotri is situated at the banks of river Bhagirathi, at a height of 3100 meters on the Himalayan range.

Temple at Gangotri
History of Gangotri
The temple of Gangotri was said to be constructed in the early years of the 18th century by a Gorkha Commander. Later, the kings of Jaipur, rebuilt it.

At Gaumukh is the origin of the sacred river that sets in 19 km trek from Gangotri, known as the Gangotri Glacier.

The Hindu mythology states that King Bhagirath - the grandson of King Sagar - did self-punishment for almost 5500 years. This penance was to purify the ashes of the King Sagar’s 60,000 sons.

Pleased by this, Lord Shiva sent Goddess Ganga to shrive the sins of ancestors of King Bhagirath. As Goddess Ganga was sent in the form of river, Lord Shiva caught her in his matted locks to put a control over her force.

Therefore, at the source, the river is called Bhagirathi and later from Devprayag, where it meets Alaknanda, obtains the name Ganga. The pilgrims offer water collected at Gangotri to Lord Shiva.

Places of interest near Gangotri:
Gangotri has bountiful attractions for the tourists and devotees to enjoy. Nature lovers can visit Dodi Tal, Ganges Glacier, and Kedar Tal by undertaking treks ranging from moderate to difficult levels.

Pilgrims also enjoy the mystical ambiance at Gangotri Temple and Vishwanath Temple. Apart from this, Harsil, Maneri, Tapovan, and Uttarkashi are also some of the popular tourist attractions of near Gangotri.

Best time to visit Gangotri:
Best time to pay holy visit to the sacred city of Gangotri is from April to June and September to November.

  • The summer months from April to May are very pleasing as the temperature does not cross 30°C (max) and can drop to very lower point making nights very cold.
  • Monsoon months from late July to August make sojourn to the temple difficult due to heavy rainfall in the area. 
  • The winter months from November to March are not advisable for visit to the temple due to heavy snowfall and freezing cold.
How to reach Gangotri:
The city of Gangotri could be reached by various modes, say air, rail and road.
  • By Air: Jolly Grant airport, Dehradun, is the nearest airport. It is at a distance of 162 km from Gangotri.
  • By Rail: Rishikesh is the nearest railhead that is 145 km from Gangotri.
  • By Road: From Rishikesh, Uttarkashi, Tehri, Haridwar, and other nearby places, there are regular buses that provide service till Gangotri. For road traveol, private taxies could also be hired.

Looking for pilgrimage tours in India? You may also find following post interesting:
  1. Amarnath Cave Yatra
  2. Kedarnath Temple: Chardham Yatra
  3. Amarnath Yatra Planning: Travel Tips
  4. Chardham Yatra