Gangotri Dham (Uttarakhand) all Information
Gangotri Dham, or Gangotri Templ is considered as one of the four sacred and significant pilgrimage sites of ‘Chota Char Dham Yatra’ in Uttarakhand. Located at the height of nearly 3100 meters on the Himalayan Range in Uttarkashi (district of Uttarakhand), it is one of the holiest places as it is the origin of the holy Ganga River.
The name of the place itself witnesses the spirituality of the place but it also has magnificent natural scenery. The original Gangotri Temple was built by the Nepalese general Amar Singh Thapa. The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga (the Ganges) from Devprayag onwards where it meets the Alaknanda.
The origin of the holy river is at Gaumukh, set in the Gangotri Glacier, and is a 19 km trek from Gangotri. The temple is closed from Diwali day every year and is reopened in May. During this time, the idol of the goddess is kept at Mukhba village, near Harsil.
Myth about the Gangotri Dham
According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Ganga took the form of a river to absolve the sins of King Bhagiratha’s predecessors, following his severe penance of several centuries. According to this legend, King Sagara, after slaying the demons on earth decided to stage an Ashwamedha Yajna as a proclamation of his supremacy.
The horse which was to be taken on an uninterrupted journey around the earth was to be accompanied by the King’s 60,000 sons born to Queen Sumati and one son Asamanja born of the second queen Kesani. Indra, supreme ruler of the gods feared that he might be deprived of his celestial throne if the “Yajna” (worship with fire) succeeded and then took away the horse and tied it to the ashram of Sage Kapila, who was then in deep meditation.
The sons of the King Sagara searched for the horse and finally found it tied near the meditating sage. Sixty thousand angry sons of King Sagara stormed the ashram of sage Kapila. When he opened his eyes, the 60,000 sons had all perished, by the curse of sage Kapila. Bhagiratha, the grandson of King Sagar, is believed to have meditated to please the Goddess Ganga enough to cleanse the ashes of his ancestors, and liberate their souls, granting them salvation, or Moksha.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Gangotri temple is from April/May to June, and September to October/November. Monsoons bring a very real danger of landslides, floods and other problems while winters are characterized with heavy snow and freezing temperatures.
Code of Conduct for Visitors
The pilgrims are required to bath in the crystal clear waters of the pious river before visiting the main shrine.
How to reach the Gangotri Temple?
By Air: Jolly Grant airport, Rishikesh Road, Dehradun, is the nearest airport to Gangotri. Hire a cab or get a bus from here.
By Rail: Regular trains to Haridwar and Dehradun are available at all times of the year. Hire a cab or get a bus from here.
By Road: Gangotri is connected with motorable roads, and buses and taxes from important destinations like Rishikesh, Dehradun, Uttarkashi and Tehri Garhwal are easily available.
• Hotel Manisha
• Hotel Gangaputra
• GMVN Tourist Lodge
• Hotel Mandakini Lodge
• Ganga Guest House
• Ganga Glaciers
• Kedar Tal
• Dodi Tal