Gangotri Temple

Gangotri Temple

Gangotri, the origin of the River Ganges and seat of the goddess Ganga, is one of the four sites in the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. The original Gangotri Temple was built by the Gurkha 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.

Bhagirath Shila is believed to be the holy rock where King Bhagirath prayed to Lord Shiva.

Pandava Gufa, located 1.5 km from Gangotri, is the place where the Pandavas are believed to have meditated and rested en route Kailash. Pilgrims will have to trek up to the Pandava Gufa.

In the pilgrimage journey of Chota Char Dham, Gangotri is often visited after Yamunotri (located on the western region of Garhwal Hills). Pilgrims generally make Uttarkashi as their base camp. The time taken from Uttarkashi to Gangotri temple is about 4 hours by road.

Historical relation

According to Hindu history, Goddess Ganga took the form of a river to absolve the sins of King Bhagiratha's predecessors, following his severe penance of several centuries.

Submerged Shivlingam

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[disambiguation needed] 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 Kapil, 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 Kapil. When he opened his eyes, the 60,000 sons had all perished, by the curse of sage Kapil. 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.

Do Dham - Yamunotri and Gangotri is a pilgrim break that includes Yamunotri and Gangotri i.e. first half of the classic Chaar Dham Itinerary. Yamunotri (Origin of River Yamuna) and Gangotri (Origin of River Ganga) is not only rewarding from Pilgrimage perspective but also present excellent drives and views enroute.

How to Reach Gangotri

By Air: The nearest airport from Gangotri is Jolly Grant, which is located just 26 km from Rishikesh. From the airport, the travelers need to take either a taxi or the luxury buses to reach Gangotri.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is located at Rishikesh, about 249 kms away, from where one has to hire a cab or take a luxury bus to reach Gangotri. Rishikesh is not connected by fast trains and Kotdwar has very less number of trains. Thus Haridwar serves as the best railway station if you are visiting Gangotri by train. Haridwar is connected by many trains from all part of India.

By Road: Gangotri is easily accessible by road with most of the major cities of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and NCR region. It is located at a distance of 452 Km from Delhi & 229 Km from Rishikesh.

Gangotri Road Connectivity: Gangotri is well connected to Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Kotdwar, Roorkee, Chamba, Tehri, BarkotHanumanChatti and JankiChatti. There are bus services of Samyukt Rotaion Yatayat Vyawastha Samiti available as well, that connects Gangotri with many major centres in the region like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Tehri, Uttarkashi etc.

Gangotri Road Route from Delhi

Route 1 (Via Haridwar): Delhi – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Narendranagar – Tehri – Dharasu Bend – Uttarkashi – Bhatwari – Gangnani – Harsil – Gangotri

Route 2 (Via Dehradun): Delhi – Dehradun – Mussoorie – Chamba – Tehri – Dharasu Bend – Uttarkashi – Bhatwari – Gangnani – Harsil – Gangotri

Gangotri Distance Chart

 

Uttarkashi to Gangotri: 97 kms
Tehri to Gangotri: 167 kms
Dharasu to Gangotri: 125 kms
Yamunotri to Gangotri: 232 kms
Mussoorie to Gangotri: 250 kms
Rishikesh to Gangotri: 249 kms
Delhi NCR to Gangotri: 452 kms
Dehradun to Gangtori: 300 kms

Itinerary:

Day-1 Arrival at Haridwar. Evening Har Ki Pauri Darshan

  • Day-2 Haridwar - Barkot
  • Day-3 Barkot -Yamunotri - Uttarkashi
  • Day-4 Uttarkashi - Gangotri - Harsil
  • Day-5 Harsil - Haridwar
  • Day-6 Depature
  • Distances:
    • Haridwar to Barkot -175 kms (6 hrs)
    • Barkot to Uttarkashi -71 kms (3 hrs)
    • Uttarkashi to Harsil -60 kms (2 hrs)
    • Harsil to Haridwar -228 kms (7.5 hrs)

 

Considered one of the Char Dhams (the others being Yamunotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath), Gangotri is said to be the mythological source of the Ganga river, and the spot, where Bhagirath worshipped Lord Shiva and mother Ganga descended on earth. Lord Shiva is said to have received the river in his matted locks at
Gangotri.

Location of Gangotri

Gangotri is located at an altitude of 3048 mts in the Himalayas of Uttarakhand, India. Gangotri is situated in the northern part of Uttarkashi District and very close the Indo-Tibetan border. It is approximately 300 km from Dehradun, 250 km from Rishikesh and 105 km from Uttarkashi.

Coordinates of Gangotri: 30.98°N 78.93°E

Gangotri on Google Maps

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