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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

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"Char Dham: Source of River Ganges"

Gangotri Tourism

This pilgrimage destination situated in Uttarkashi is mostly famous for the four religious centers, or as they say, the Char Dham spots.

Mythological stories will have you believe that following King Bhagirathi's penance spread over centuries, Goddess Ganga transformed herself into a river to wash away the sins his forefathers. Lord Shiva then gathers Ganga into his matted locks to minimize the immense impact of her fall, and ever since the Himalayan glacier from which Ganga emerges has also been called Bhagirathi. Ganga derives its name after the river passes Devprayag and merges into the river Alaknanda."

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The Beauty of Gangotri

Gangotri can easily be described as nature’s nest, and a thorough wonderland of pines, deodar trees and snow covered mountains peeking from far off, as one drives their way on top of the mystic hills when the rays of the sun pierce through the mountain peaks looks heavenly. If one hikes to the glacier from Gangotri, they may even experience snow all around and minimal vegetation - unlike, the areas of dense forestation in the lower parts. At the height of 3,100 metres (or 10,200 feet) above sea level - Gangotri is a beautiful pilgrim town for a pleasant and peaceful stay, along with the perks of getting to see the origins of the Holy River in its purest form. The flowing waters of the river are ice-cold, but that doesn’t deter the pilgrims and tourists alike, to dip in them to wash away their sins. An interesting belief around this area is that after a pilgrim comes back from Ganga darshan in Gangotri, they have to give up one piece of eatery from their food habit forever. It can be a certain fruit, vegetable and rice, or whatever that one wishes to chuck. All said and done, truly spending some quality time alone on the banks of river Ganga, is sure to give anyone the perfect opportunity to introspect, think deep and be wrapped in the sanctity of this place that is enough to calm the soul and please the heart.

The Legend of Gangotri

Set in the dense forests of the Greater Himalayan Range, with a mystic view that one is bound to gasp at in awe, Gangotri - a town in the Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttrakhand, is truly a heaven for travellers, hikers and most of all, for hindu pilgrims - who consider Gangotri, sacrosanct for being on the banks of the Holy river Bhagirathi and most of all, for being the place of origin of the Goddess River Ganga. Gangotri holds, as a sanctuary for pilgrims, immense mythological importance and probably, this is why the Gangotri temple is considered amongst the four sacred sites of the Chaar Dham pilgrimage temples. The ancient and fascinating legend of Gangotri is that, for many-a-century, King Bhagirath undertook a series of severe self-mortifying rituals as a way to show outward repentance of the sins carried out by his predecessors. He performed a very harsh penance, in order to bring nirvana to his ancestors who were said to have been burned to ashes due to a sage’s curse. The Daughter of Heaven, River Ganga, who only flowed in the heavens before this, then decided to descend into the Earth, after Bhagirath’s prolonged meditation. However, it was said that once the Ganga starts flowing, no one on the face of the Earth could stop the Goddess’s mighty tides and flow which had the power to sweep the entire planet away. It was then that Lord Shiva, on the day of Gangavataran or Ganga Dussehra, decided to rise and channelise the waters with his valour and took the Ganga in the locks of his hair and released one of the strands of his hair in Gangotri. Ganga then flowed down, in the form of 12 streams of water from here - which were later called its tributaries. Hence, Gangotri is that place where the Holy River Ganga, touched Earth for the first time and has been worshipped for thousands of years, ever after.

Gangotri Dhaam Yatra

The pilgrimage to Gangotri is a part of the Char Dham Yatra and is considered one of the most sacred pilgrimage tours in India. It is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. The holy river Ganga originates from the Gangotri and flows through the snow covered Himalayas. Gangotri is often associated with numerous legends. It is believed that Goddess Ganga was lured to Earth by acts of penance and deep meditation performed by King Bhagirtha. It was only then that Goddess Ganga descended on the Earth as the mighty 'River Ganga'. This is also perhaps the reason for the river being known as 'Bhagirathi' before it meets the Alaknanda at Devprayag and picks up the name 'Ganga' there onwards. Set amid tall Deodar forests, Gangotri makes for the picture perfect holy city, flooded with tourists.Treat your eyes to the magnificent view of the majestic Himalayas and the mystical Ganga, all at the same time!

Suggested Itinerary for Gangotri

Day 1- Reach Uttarkashi. Check into the hotel and relax for the remaining day to acclimatise and refreshen yourself for the next day's journey.
Day 2- Start for Gangotri after having breakfast. It takes almost 8 to 10 hours by road to reach the destination. Stop at Gangnani hot springs on the way for a quick halt. Arrive at Gangotri. After freshening up at the hotel head towards the Gangotri temple for the famous Arti.
Day 3- Keep the third day for the trek along the Bhagirathi river to Gaumukh, the physical source of river Ganga. Start early and take a major halt at Bhojbasa which is situated at a trekking distance of 14 km from Gangotri.
Day 4- Have breakfast and head back to Uttarkashi.

Gangotri Photos

Gangotri, Uttarakhand
Gangotri Temple
Vishwanath Temple
Kedar Tal

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FAQs on Gangotri

What is famous about Gangotri?

Famous for its alluring beauty and sanctity, Gangotri is located on the banks of river Bhagirathi. Excellent view of the snow clad Himalayas.

What is not so good about Gangotri?

The region is prone to heavy snowfall during the winters, often disrupting the communication and transport facilities. Non-vegetarian food and alcohol are strictly unavailable.

Who should visit Gangotri?

Gangotri is a great destination for people who want to enjoy a divine, as well as an adventurous experience. Ideal for the braveheart pilgrims.

What is the best time to visit Gangotri?

Gangotri tends to remain cold for the most part of the year; however, the ideal time to visit this place is between April to June and from September to October. Summers in Gangotri is quite pleasant and a perfect season to pay homage at the holy shrine. Monsoons are characterised by heavy rainfall, and it is difficult to travel there during that time. Winters are frigid and not the best time to visit the place.

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What is the local food in Gangotri?

Gangotri does not have an elaborate menu but does house a number of local eating joints, stalls and restaurants as well as ashrams that serve typical Indian platters. One also finds a handful of places serving Chinese here. Since the region has immense religious and spiritual significance for Hindus, non-vegetarian food is not available and alcohol, prohibited.
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What is the best way to reach Gangotri?

Reaching Gangotri is not a problem, rail head as it is well connected by air, road and railway networks.The Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun makes for the nearest airport, while Rishikesh railway station is the railhead at a distance of 250 km from Gangotri. Cars and tourist buses are another viable options to undertake the journey by road.
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What are the things to do in Gangotri?

The top things to do in Gangotri are Ganges Glacier, Gangotri Temple, Kedar Tal, Harsil, Dodi Tal, Auden's Col. You can see all the places to visit in Gangotri here

What are the places near Gangotri?

The top places near to Gangotri are Valley of flowers which is 70 km from Gangotri, Nelong valley which is located 15 km from Gangotri, Auli which is located 79 km from Gangotri, Kedarnath which is located 31 km from Gangotri, Rishikesh which is located 119 km from Gangotri

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Popular Questions And Answers on Gangotri

Q. How easy or difficult is the Gangotri Trek? How many days are enough for the trek?

Kumar Kislay

2 years ago
There are actually a lot of trips you can undertake from Gangotri. Such as to tapovan, Shivling, nandavan. Gomukh, Rudragaira and Kedar Tal. Each of these will take you 10-15 days.

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