Gangotri is one among the Char Dhams in Uttarakhand,India. The history of Gangotri dates back to centuries when Goddess Ganga transformed 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 to save the earth from devastation. This place is known as the place of origin of river Ganga.
How to reach here:
By Air: Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun (226 Kms) is the nearest airport.
By Rail: Haridwar Junction railway station which is 223 Kms away is the nearest railway station.
Best time to visit: April to June and September to November
Languages spoken: Hindi and Garhwali
Must eat: Satvik non- vegetarian food.
Famous Restaurants: Limited Options.
Places you must visit:
Gangotri Temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga, was built by a Gorkha Commander, Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century. The temple was renovated by the Maharaja of Jaipur in the 20th century. The sacred stone near the temple is believed to be the exact spot whre the river has descended from the heaven.
Gaumukh Glacier is considered to be the precise source of the Bhagirathi river later called as river Ganga. The place resembles Cow's mouth hence the name. Gaumukh is the second largest glacier in India, Siachen being the first.The dip in the ice cold water of Ganga is supposed to be very sacred and holy. This dip is supposed to wash away all your sins and lease you new life. The trek to this glacier is easy but it goes through rocky path.
Jalmagna Shivling (Submerged Shivling) is a natural rock Shivling submerged in the river and is only visible during winters when the water level goes down. The submerged Shivling is a divine sight for those who are lucky enough to witness it. The very sight gives the feeling of having seen God himself !
Nandavan Tapovan are the two arduous trekking spots that offers panoramic view to the Shivling peaks.
Bhairon Ghati lies near the confluence of Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi. There is a Bhairav nath temple which is surrounded by thick dense forest.
Uttarkashi is situated at the banks of river Bhagirathi at an altitude of 1150 mts above sea level. It is home to various famous temples of Lord Vishwanath temple, Ekadash Rudra temple, Bhairav temple, Kuteti Devi temple and Gyaneshwar temple. It is also known to host the Magh mela when pilgrims from all over the country bring along their village deity to take a dip in the holy water of Bhagirathi.
Kedar Tal is a crystal clear lake and is a spectacular creation of God that lies at an altitude of 4425 mts above sea level. It is a best place for a long trek.
Harsil is a scenic village in Uttarkashi. The attraction of this Hamlet lies in its picturesque scenery and apple orchards. It is an inspiring place for all aspiring artists.
Gangnani is a small town in Gangotri. It is famous spot to view the beautiful mountain peaks. It is also famous for its thermal water springs. It's spectacular and tranquilizing surroundings make it a good place for meditation.
Maneri is a latest entrant to the tourist attractions in Gangotri. The main attraction here is the dam built across the Bhagirathi river where the water is channeled to the turbines through an 8 km long tunnel built in Tiloth at Uttarkashi. The added attraction is the beautiful lake developed as a result of the dam.
Dayara Bugyal is a breathtakingly beautiful meadow situated at a height of 3048 m above sea level. Untouched by human civilization, it offers picturesque view of the lovely Himalayas.One can easily plan a trek to Dayara and witness a Sheshnag temple on the way. It also provides excellent ski slopes during winters.
Dodi Tal is a clear sparkling lake nestled midst the thick dense forest. It is a very famous trekking site. The lakeside has accommodation in the form of beautiful rest houses, camp sites and log cabins.
Nachiketa Tal is a picturesque splendid beauty of a crystal clear lake surrounded by dense forest and mind blowing views of mountain peaks. It has a small temple at the backdrop. No accommodation is provided at this place. The lake is named after Nachiketa, the son of saint Uddalak.