Everything You Need to Know About Gangotri

Overview of Gangotri

Gangotri, in Uttarkashi, is a tiny village centred around the Gangotri temple and is one of the holy places among the four Char Dhams (the most important pilgrimage circuits in northern India comprising four holy destinations). It is the tallest and most significant temple of the Ganga River, which is revered in India as a Goddess. Gangotri Dham, located at a height of around 3,100 metres in the Himalayan range in Uttarkashi region of Uttarakhand, occupies a unique place in Hindu hearts. What makes Gangotri one of the holiest destinations is its intimate connection with River Ganga, among all the natural beauty and elegance that the mountains and height of the region give.

The Priests of Mukhwa were selected by Maharaja Amar Singh Thapa to worship the Gangotri shrine. Before Mukhwa Priests, the Khas Rajputs of Taknor were Gangotri priests. Goddess Ganga is considered the village god Someshwar’s sister by the inhabitants of Mukhwa village. The one who visits her maternal hometown Mukhwa on Bhai Dooj to tie Rakhi to his brother and spends the winters in Mukhwa. The residents of Mukhba village have sentiments for Ganga that are both goddess-like and daughter-like. The Bhoga idol of Ganga is sent out by the people of Mukhwa on Akshaya Tritiya, when the doors of Gangotri are opened, in the same manner as the daughter’s departure.


Architecture of Gangotri Temple

Gangotri temple’s architecture is basic and follows the Katyuri style, with five little shikhars (pinnacles) measuring 20 feet in height. After the devastating earthquake of 1803, Gorkha Raja Amar Singh Thapa reconstructed the Gangotri temple in 1807. The sacred shrine faces east, so it receives the first rays of the sun. The sanctum is erected on a high platform and the temple is made of white marble stone. Three large cupolas with golden spires, as well as a few smaller ones, crown the temple. Goddess Ganga is the principal deity in the inner sanctum, along with Goddesses Yamuna, Saraswati, Annapurna, Mahalakshmi, and Bhagirath. In addition, the famous sage Adi Sankaracharya has an idol. Lords Shiva, Ganesha, Hanuman, and Bhagirathi are honoured at the four little shrines.


History of Gangotri

In response to Bhagirath’s pleas, the river Ganga agreed to descend to earth, and its strength was such that the entire world would have been drowned by its floods. Lord Shiva captured the river Ganga to preserve the planet Earth from destruction. Bhagirath meditated for a long time again to please Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was pleased when he saw Bhagirath’s enormous devotion and released River Ganga in three streams, one of which descended to earth and became known as the Bhagirathi River. The 60,000 sons awoke from everlasting rest as soon as Ganga’s water touched the remains of Bhagirath’s ancestors. The Bhagirath Shila, which is near to the Gangotri Temple, is where Bhagirath is said to have meditated.


Geography of Gangotri

Gangotri is a well-known Hindu pilgrimage site in Uttarakhand, India’s northernmost state. It is located near Shivaling Peak in the Himalayas, at the base of the Gangotri glacier, and on the banks of the Bhagirathi River, one of the Ganges’ two main headstreams. On the Himalayan range, Gangotri Dham is located at a height of around 3,100 metres.


Weather in Gangotri

Winter (November to April)

It’s really cold outside, and there’s a lot of snow. During this time, the Gangotri temple is closed. Pro-trekkers and mountaineers are the only ones that come to the area for various trekking adventures around Gangotri.

Summer (May to June)

Summers are cool (May to June) while winters are very cold. The Gangotri temple’s gates open at the start of summer. The weather is comfortable, with a maximum temperature of approximately 25 degrees Celsius, although it can turn rather cold at night. This is the greatest time to go on a pilgrimage and see the attractions.

Monsoon (July to mid-September)

Due to multiple landslides, getting to the temple is challenging. It is recommended that pilgrims avoid travelling during the rainy season.


How to Reach

By Flight: The nearest airport to Gangotri is Jolly Grant Airport, which is around 250 kilometres away. This airport is well connected to Delhi, with several flights every day.

By Train: Gangotri does not have a train station; the nearest one is at Rishikesh, which is 86 kilometres away.

By Road: Gangotri is well-connected by road, with buses and taxis readily available from popular places like as Rishikesh, Dehradun, Uttarkashi, and Tehri Garhwal.


Gangotri Temple opening and closing date

The Gangotri Temple will open on May 3rd, 2022. The closing date for 2022 is about October 25. The Gangotri temple is open for around six months, from Akshay Tritiya until Diwali. Goddess Ganga prepares to leave for Mukhyamath temple in Mukhba village, 20 kilometres downstream, as the winter season approaches the mountain region. On the auspicious day of Diwali (October/November), the transfer takes place amid vedic mantras and elaborate ceremonies. On the festival of Akshaya Tritiya (April/May), the Goddess is transported back to the Gangotri temple with much more excitement and passion.


Some other Keypoints about Gangotri

Submerged Shivling

One of Gangotri’s most holy locations is a natural rock shivling that is submerged under water. During the winter, when the water level drops, it is easily seen. Devotees come to pray at the site where Lord Shiva is reported to have seated to receive Ganga in his matted hair. The shivling is adjacent to the Gangotri Temple and is an incredible sight that strengthens one’s faith in the almighty.


Who discovered Gangotri?

Before the British state of Uttarakhand was established in 1815, getting here was extremely difficult. By direction of the East India Company’s Surveyor’s Journal, the mission of investigating the Ganges’ source was handed to the team of Captain Reaper, Webb, and Hearsey in 1808. His crew, however, was unable to get past Bhatwadi.


Places to visit near Gangotri?

Gauri kund & Surya Kund, Pandav Gufa, Bhairav Jhap, Surya Kund, Mukhba, Nelong Valley, Krdartal, Gaumukh Trek, Dharali, Tapovan Trek, Harsil


Why is Gangotri famous?

It is the highest shrine to the Goddess Ganga. The sacred River Ganges, also known as Bhagirathi, comes from the Gangotri glacier, which is located here. The Gangotri Temple, where Goddess Ganga is revered, is the primary attraction of Gangotri. The magnificent temple is composed of white granite and stands 20 feet tall.


Is it safe to travel to Gangotri?

Yes, visiting Gangotri Dham through Uttarkashi is totally safe. It is well linked by road and attracts a significant number of pilgrims each year during the yatra season.


What is the size of Gangotri glacier?

Gangotri Glacier is one of the biggest in the Himalaya, spanning 30.2 kilometers long and 0.5 to 2.5 kilometers broad.


Do we need to trek for Gangotri temple?

Gangotri is a well-connected Dham, with connections to all of Uttarakhand’s main cities. It is not difficult to go to Gangotri.


Can we go to Gangotri in December?

In December, you are unable to visit Gangotari. During the winter, the temple and roads are usually closed. Cars usually travel up to Harsil, which is ahead of Uttarkashi.


Is Gangotri Glacier trek difficult?

Gangotri is a difficult trip that runs from Gangotri to Gaumukh in the Himalayas. In the Himalayan land, you may choose from a variety of paths. The 17-kilometer walk to Hindus’ sacred site is located along the banks of the Bhagirathi River and is full of exciting adventures that make for a genuinely remarkable experience.


How long is Gaumukh trek?

The total distance between Gangotri to Gaumukh is 18-19 kilometers.


How much is a trip to Gangotri?

On public transport it will cost ~ INR 5,000-6,000 from Delhi- Gangotri-Delhi on public transport.


Best time to visit Gangotri Dham?

The best time to visit Gsangotri Dham is summer (May to June).


How to get Gaumukh Trek Permit?

DM Office Uttarkashi. The DFO is located near the bus stand that is easily accessible.

Forest Office Gangotri.


What is Gangotri Movie?

Gangotri is a Telugu-language drama film directed by K. Raghavendra Rao that was released on March 28, 2003 in India.


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