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Holidays for Soul - Gangotri

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Spiritual Holidays - Gangotri
| Places to see | Places Nearby | Places to Stay | How to Reach |

The absolver of sins as the Ganga has been known through the ages is the holiest of the holy rivers, revered by the Hindus.  Its character, one of being a cleanser of the heart mind and soul has remained unchanged. Today, its source – Gangotri is not only a pilgrimage site but also a destination to relax, rejuvenate and recharge. The positive energy that permeates through the holy river and the mountains around is something that one can experience only by being their.  

There are many legends associated with the river and one of the legends has it that King Bhagirath did a long penance here and convinced Ganga to come on earth but some means was required to hold the tremendous force of the Ganga. Lord Shiva, pleased with King Bhagirath, agreed to receive her in his thick matted locks, minimizing the impact of her fall. This is why the river is called Bhagirathi, which joins Alaknanda at Devprayag and is known as Ganga thereafter.

Gangotri is located some 250 km from Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. It is pilgrimage site and is among one of the chardhams of Uttarakhand. Gangotri is situated 3,200 meters about sea-level amidst sylvan surroundings.

Places to see in Gangotri

Gangotri Temple is the main attraction in Gangotri. The temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga was built in the 18th century and is located near a sacred stone where King Bhagirath worshipped Lord Shiva. The existing temple is said to be the one reconstructed by the Jaipur dynasty. The Shrine of Gangotri opens during the last week of April or the first week of May, on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya. The temple opening ceremony is a grand affair and special Puja takes place on the banks of the Ganga and inside the temple as well.

The temple closes on the day of Diwali followed by a formal closing ceremony amidst a row of oil lamps. The goddess is then taken to her winter abode at Mukhwa, 12 km downstream.

Places Nearby
Yoga @ Gangotri
Yoga and meditation has its own importance in a place like Gangotri. Those interested in yoga and meditation can visit Yoga Niketan Gangotri. Yoga Niketan offers very basic accommodation in logwood huts. The ashram remains open only six months in a year. For more information contact: 013772-2213.

An 18-km trek from Gangotri to Gaumukh is the highlight of travelling to Gangotri. Gaumukh is the source of the river and can be reached on foot.  Porters and ponies are also available. A tourist bungalow at Bhojbasa, 14 km from Gangotri, is a good place to break your journey. Tapovan, 10 km ahead of Gaumukh is an arduous trek along the Gangotri Glacier that one can reach after crossing Gaumukh. Tapovan is known for its beautiful meadows that encircle the base of the Shivling Peak. It is about 28 km from Gangotri.

Kedar Tal is 18 km trek from Gangotri. Kedar Tal is a spectacular lake that can be reached through a rough mountain trail. This is an arduous trek and there is hardly any facility on the route. A local guide is recommended.

Dayara Bugyal is a popular attraction in the area. A motorable road connects Bhatwari, which is 27 km from Uttarkashi with Raithal village, from where Dayara Bugyal is a 6 km long trek.

Harsil is a small town on way to Gangotri. It is 28 km before Gangotri. Sat Tal or seven lakes, nearby (2 km) is a must visit in Harsil. Another popular town on the way to Gangotri is Uttarkashi, which is also an important pilgrimage centre, situated at an elevation of 1,150 m above sea level. Vishwanath Temple, Gyaneshwar Temple, Ekadash Rudra Temple and Kuteti Devi Temple are some important temples in Uttarkashi.

The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering is located near by. Every year, during the 'Magh Mela' people visit Uttarkashi to take a holy dip in the Bhagirathi along with the image of their village deity.

Places to Stay

Stay options in Gangotri are limited as there are not many hotels in Gangotri. One can stay in ashrams, tourist rest houses, PWD guest house and dharamshalas located on the banks of the Bhagirathi. Check hotels in Gangotri

How to reach

By Air: Nearest airport is Jolly Grant near Dehradun.

By Rail
: Rishikesh is the nearest railway station, 250 km away.

By Road:
There are frequent buses to Gangotri in early hours of the morning from Rishikesh. One can also set base at Uttarkashi and reach Gangotri the next day. Gangotri is approximately 100 km from Uttarkashi.

Check Driving Directions from Delhi to Gangotri

Best time to visit: May-June and September-October.

About Gangotri: Gangotri Information & Fact File
Altitude 3080 meters
Summer 22 (Max) & 6(Min) Degrees Celsius
Winter 8 (Max) & -6 (Min) Degrees Celsius
Best time to Go May – September
Monsoon July - August
Summer May - September
Winter October - March
Clothes Very heavy woolens in winter and moderate woolens in summer
Nearest Airport Jolly Grant, 260 km
Nearest Railway Station Rishikesh, 248 km
Bus Station Gangotri – Direct buses from Rishikesh, Dehradun
Hospital & Doctor

The District Hospital at Uttarkashi (100km) is fairly well equipped to handle emergencies

Places to see Gangotri Temple, Bhairon Ghati, Harsil, Pandu Cave, Gaumukh, Tapovan…
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