Pages - Menu

Gangotri Dham Yatra-About Gangotri Dham Yatra-Gangotri Dham Temple-Images

About Gangotri Dham Yatra

         According to an old legend, Lord Shiva rewarded King Bhagirath after his penance and Ganga came down to earth. However, due to her pride, and the fact that the earth would be devastated if Ganga came down in her full force, Lord Shiva caught her in his locks. It was then proclaimed that Goddess Uma or Parvati, Shiva's consort, would bathe in the Ganges daily and only then would she descend on the earth. The sacred stone near the temple denotes the place where Ganga first came down to earth. This is why Ganga is also called by the name of Bhagirathi .Gangotri, the source of the river Ganges and seat of the goddess Ganga, is one of the four sites in the Char Dham Pilgrimage Yatra circuit. The temple was constructed in the early 18th century by a Gorkha Commander Amar Sigh Thapa The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga 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 picturesque pilgrimage in the hinterlands of the Himalayas is the most sacred spot where Ganga, the stream of life, touched earth fro the first time. According to mythology, Goddess Ganga, the daughter of heaven, manifested herself in the form a river to absolve the sins of king Bhagirath's predecessors, following his severe penance of 5500 years. Lord Shiva received into his matted locks to minimize the impact of her fall. The river itself begins at Gangotri which literally means Ganga Uttari or Ganga descending She came to be called Bhagirathi at her legendary source. The Shrine of Gangotri situated at an elevation of 3200 m above sea level amidst captivating surroundings along the right bank of Bhagirathi is 100 km from Uttarkashi. The Shrine of Gangotri opens during the last week of April or the first week of May, on the auspicious day od Akshaya Tritiya. The temples opening is preceded by a special Puja of Ganga both inside the temple as well as on the river bank. The temple's closes on the day of Diwali followed by a formal closing ceremony amidst a row of oil lamps. It is believed that the Goddess retreats to Mukhwa, her winter abode (12 km downstream)

General Information 

Altitude : 3048 mts.
Climate : Summer - Cool during day and cold at night Max: 20°C & Min: 6°C; Winter - Snow bound touching sub zero.
Season : April to October
Clothing : Heavy woolen throughout the season.
Languages : Hindi, Garhwali and English.

How to Rich

Air : Nearest Airport is Jolly Grant (262 Kms.).
Rail : Nearest railhead is at Rishikesh, 226 Kms. away.
Road : Gangotri is connected by road to Uttarkashi, Tehri Garhwal and Rishikesh and from there to other parts of the country. Bus services of Samyukt Rotation Yatayat Vyawastha Samiti connect Gangotri with many centre in the region like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Tehri, Uttarkashi etc.

Gangotri Dham Temple







      Situated at the spot where the Ganga descended to earth, this temple was constructed in the 18 th century. People also believe the Pandavas also performed the Deva Yagna. As the legend goes, King Bhagirath used to worship Lord Shiva at the sacred stone, near which this 18th century temple is located. The slab on which King Bhagirath is believed to have meditated is called Bhagirathi Shila. The mother Ganga is worshipped as Goddess and the holy river in the temple. Before performing the Puja rituals, a holy dip in the Ganga flowing nearby the temple is a must. The Pujari's (priest) belong to Brahmin community from Mukhwa village. Ten of them are selected by rotation every year to perform all the functions covering the temple and they also perform the duties of pandas. 
Located at the spot where the Ganga descended to earth, this temple was constructed in the 18 th century. Some people also believe the Pandavas also performed the Deva Yagna here to atone the deaths of all their kin who died in the Mahabharata. The temple is an imposing structure made of white granite and 20 feet high.

The physical source of the holy river is at Gaumukh, 18 kms. further uphill, along the Gangotri Glacier.
i) Pilgrims trek upto the source to offer prayers either on foot or on small ponies.
ii) Even helicopter services are also provided for the darshan. These services can be taken from Agastyamuni to Kedarnath and Gangotri.
The dense forests lush with greenery and towering peaks offer marvelous trekking and mountaineering opportunities for adventure enthusiasts.
The temples which are otherwise closed open once a year for some months for the devotees. 

Sight Seen Gangotri Dham

Gaumukh : The Gaumukh glacier is the source of Bhagirathi (Ganga) and is held in high esteem by the devotes who do not miss the opportunity to have a holy dip in the bone chilling icy water. It is 18 Kms. trek from Gangotri. The trek is easy and at times people come back to Gangotri the same day. 

Submerged Shivling: Submerged in the river, this natural rock Shivling is the place where, according to mythology Lord Shiva sat when he received the Ganga in his matted lock. It is visible in winter months when water level decreases.

Kedar Ganga Sangam: Around 100 Yards from the Ganga Temple flows the river Kedar Ganga. Starting from the Kedar Valle, this river meets the Bhagirathi on its left bank.

Kedar Tal : This spectacular and enchanting lake is situated at a distance of about 18 Kms. from Gangotri, negotiable through a rough and tough mountain trail. The trek is very tiring and there are testing moments even for a hardly trekker. There is no facility of any kind on the way and one has to make all arrangements in advance. A local guide is a must. The lake is crystal clear with the mighty Thalaysagar (Sphatikl-ing) peak forming a splendid backdrop. The place is about 4000 mts. above sea-level and is the base camp for trekking to the Thalaysagar, Jogin, Bhrigupanth and other peaks.

Dayara Bugyal : Bugyal in the local language means "high altitude meadow," The road to Dayara Bugyal branches off near Bhatwari a place on Uttarkashi-Gangotri road about 28 Kms. from Uttarkashi. Vehicles can go up to the village of Barsu from where one has to trek a distance of about 8 Kms. to reach Dayara and other route is via village Raithal, 10 Kms. from Bhatwari, from where one has to trek about 7 Kms. to Dayara Bugyal. Situated at an elevation of about 3048 mts., this vast meadow is second to none in natural beauty. During winter it provides excellent ski slopes over an area of 28 sq. Kms. The panoramic view of the Himalayas from here is breathtaking. There is a small lake in the area and to camp by this side is a memorable event. From this spot one can trek down to Dodi-Tal which is about 22 Kms. away, through dense forests.

Sat-Tal : Sat-Tal, meaning seven lakes, is situated just above Dharali, 2 Kms. beyond Harsil. The trek of about 5 Kms. is rewarding as this group of lakes is situated amid beautiful natural surroundings. It also provides lovely camp sites.