Gangotri Dham – The Origin of Ganga
Gangotri is one of the important Char Dham destinations in the Hindu religion and is one of the original sources of the holy river Ganga. The main origin source of river Ganga is “Gaumukh” which is a glacier situated 19 Km away from Gangotri Dham. River Ganga is one of the longest and most sacred rivers in the world.
Gangotri temple is located at an altitude of 3100 meters above sea level, on the banks of the river Bhagirathi. Gangotri is the starting point of the Ganga river, where the goddess Ganga is worshipped by the pilgrims. In ancient times the river was known as Bhagirathi and attained the name Ganga from Devprayag onwards where Bhagirathi meets with Alaknanda river from Ganga river. Gangotri is the home place of many ashrams, temples and small shrines.
The Gangotri temple opens in the month of May on the auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya and closes on Bhai Duj or Yama Dwitiya which falls in the month of November. The Gangotri temple remains closed for the rest of the six months.
History, Mythology and Importance of Gangotri
According to Hindi mythology, it is said that the river Ganga is a result of the reward given by Lord Shiva to the king Bhagirath for his hard penance. 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 Ganga in his locks to reduce the force. The sacred stone near the Gangotri temple denotes the place where Ganga came first to the earth. That’s why Ganga is also called by the name of Bhagirathi.
The present temple of Gangotri was constructed by Gorkha Commander Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century. It is said that at the time of construction of the temple Gaumukh glacier was there but due to global warming it disappeared. Gangotri is well-connected with National highways and state highways. The nearest airport is in Dehradun.
Gangotri Travel Guide
There are many shops near Gangotri which sell prasad and small bottles to carry water from Gangotri after darshan. Ganga water is pure and is used in worship in the temple. There are some hotels and Ashrams for the accommodation of tourists on the other side of the temple. Gangotri is home of a variety of flora and fauna. There are many temples around Gangotri where tourists can learn more about the origin of the Ganga.
- Temperature: 16(Max) and 5(Min)
- Location: Uttarkashi, Garhwal
- Stay (Recommended): 2 days
- Nearest Railway Station: Dehradun (240 Km)
- Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun (250 Km)
- Famous locations: Gangotri temple and Popular treks
- Best times to visit: April, May, June, September, October and November