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About Gangotri

It is a custom in India for devotees to take a holy dip in the Ganga (Ganges) every now and then on auspicious occasions to absolve their sins or offer their prayers. The authenticity regarding the holiness of river Ganga can be traced back to legend that narrates the descent of Goddess Bhagirathi on earth (also known as Ganga) from Shiva’s locks as a blessing for King Bhagirath’s tireless meditation over ages for the sins committed by his ancestors. Hence Gangotri in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand is a holy shrine for pilgrims and devotees who undertake a strenuous journey and trek to reach the origin of the River Ganga. It is a municipal town located on the banks of Bhagirathi River in the Greater Himalayan Area at an elevation of 3,100 metres above sea level. Gangotri comprises one of the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage sites.

About Gangotri

History of Gangotri Glacier

Gangotri is home to Gangotri Glacier which is the origin point of Ganga as well as feeds the river Ganges (Ganga) and its several tributaries extending 30 kilometers in length and 3-4 kilometers in width. The glacier is surrounded by several giant peaks known as Gangotri group, a popular trekking destination in Uttarkashi district. The peaks are known as Shivling, Bhagirathi III, Thalay Sagar, Meru and Chaukhamba. The glacier moves northwest descending into a basin beneath Chaukhamba peak; an endpoint which appears like a cow’s mouth or Gaumukh (Gau=cow + mukh=mouth). Gaumukh is located at a distance of 19 kilometers from Gangotri town at the base of Shivling peak and in the valley of Tapovan. This is precisely the actual origin point of Bhagirathi River, a stream of Ganges or Ganga. From Devprayag it is known as Ganga.

About Gangotri

Pilgrims bathe in the icy cold holy water of Gangotri to wash away their sins and several others continue ahead to Gaumukh via a trek route through Devgadh, Chirbasa and Bhojwasa to pay homage to the termination point of the sacred river. Gangotri Glacier’s three main tributaries are namely Raktvam, Kirti and Chaturangi.

Geography of Gangotri

Gangotri is located at an angle of 30.98° N 78.93° E at an altitude of 11,204 feet. The area receives heavy snowfall most of the time barring summer months when the temperature is cool yet the chill remains. After 2013 flash floods, the trek to Gangotri has become a bit difficult due to landslide and damage to the roads and trekking routes.

Tourism in Gangotri

Gangotri houses the sacred Gangotri Temple is located amongst beautiful groves of pine and deodar trees. The original Gangotri Temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga was built in 18th Century by Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa on the left bank of River Bhagirathi. The 300 year old temple is closely situated near the submerged Shivalingam or ‘Bhagirathi Shila’ in the holy river which is considered to be worshipped by King Bhagirath while meditating in the Himalayas. The daily rituals and worship of the deity is carried on by a group of Brahmin priests or Pujaris from neighbouring village of Mukhwa. The holy water of Gangotri is transported to worship the deity of Lord Shiva as it is believed that the water is nectar which will soothe Shiva’s throat when he swallowed poison.

About Gangotri

During winter, the deity of Goddess Gangotri is shifted to Mukhyamath Temple in Mukhwa village located at a distance of 20 kilometers due to extreme cold where it is worshipped till the temple reopens in April next year.

Time to visit Gangotri Temple
Morning: 6:15 am-2:00 pm
Evening: 3:00 pm -9:30 pm

The temple is open from last week of April till second week of November. During summer the Shiva lingam remains submerged in Gangotri River whereas during winter it is fully visible when the water level goes down.

Best Time to visit
April to June in summer months when the temperature is very pleasing and September to November after the monsoon is over. In winter months the temple remains closed due to heavy snowfall.

Points to be noted
Only vegetarian and vegan food is available in Dhabas and local food joints at Gangotri whereas non-vegetarian food and alcohol is strictly prohibited in the area.

About Gangotri

Hotels in Gangotri

Gangotri has a few hotels, guest houses and dharamshalas for pilgrims and tourists who visit the area. Given below is a list of hotels :

Ganga Niketan Hotel

Address: Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand-249137
Ph no: NA
Tariff: INR 700-1000 /-

The Chardhaam Camp Harsil
Address: Dharali Harsil, Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand-249193
Ph no: 094120 74906
Tariff: INR 3344 onwards

Shri Ganesh Hotel
Address: Near Bus Stand, Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand-249137
Ph no: 09411399944
Tariff: INR 800 /-

Vijay Raj Hotel Residency
Address: Gangotri Highway, Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand-249137
Ph no: 009412369306/09758234560
Tariff: INR 1000 onwards

Shiv Seva Sadan Dharamshala
Address: Munikireti, Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand -249137
Ph no: 0135-222787
Tariff: INR 700 onwards

Bhagirathi Guest House

Address: Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand-249135
Ph no: 092111 77444
Tariff: INR 500 onwards

Sheli Katej Hotel
Address: Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand-249137
Ph no: 09411504551
Tariff: INR 1000 onwards

Purohit Seva Sadan
Address: Munikireti, Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand-249135
Ph no: 0135-222208
Tariff: INR 400 onwards

GMVN Rest House
Address: Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand -249137
Ph no: 0135-2431793
Tariff: NA

How to Reach Gangotri

Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to Gangotri at a distance of 250 kilometers and flights from Delhi to Dehradun can be availed to reach Gangotri or choppers are available to ferry passengers directly to Gangotri. The nearest railway station is in Rishikesh at a distance of 238 kilometers from Gangotri whereby trains connect major destinations via rail route after which pilgrims or tourists will have to avail taxis or rented cars to reach Tehri Garhwal, Uttarkashi to reach Gangotri. Gangotri is well connected by motorable road and can be reached by bus, taxis or private vehicles from Dehradun, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarkashi and other destinations in and beyond Uttarakhand.

Distance of Gangotri from major cities and towns:

Delhi-Gangotri- 452 kilometers
Chandigarh-Gangotri- 427 kilometers
Bangalore-Gangotri- 2562 kilometers
Chennai-Gangotri- 2604 kilometers
Rishikesh-Gangotri- 229 kilometers
Kedarnath- Gangotri- 30.84 kilometers
Yamunotri-Gangotri- 45.87 kilometers
Ukhimath-Gangotri- 53.71 kilometers
Badrinath-Gangotri- 59.80 kilometers
Haridwar-Gangotri- 262 kilometers
Rishikesh-Gangotri- 238 kilometers

Tourist Places near Gangotri

Besides visiting Gangotri and Gaumukh, tourists and pilgrims can tour some other spots located very close to the holy town.

Gangotri National Park located in Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand on the banks of Bhagirathi River is a mini paradise on earth combining glacial formations, soothing green meadows, coniferous forests covering an area of 2,390 square kilometers. The park houses Western Himalayan su conifer forests at lower altitudes and Western Himalayan alpine meadow and shrubs at higher altitudes.

Kedarnath is yet another pilgrimage site on the Chota Char Dham Yatra located at a distance of 30 kilometers from Gangotri housing the deity of Lord Shiva in a conical shape. The breathtaking backdrop of the snow capped Himalayan peak surrounding the temple is a heavenly sight to behold. Kedarnath remains open around the same time as Gangotri; i.e. end of April till second week of November when the idol is shifted to Ukhimath. Tourists have to trek 16 kilometers from Gaurikund to reach Kedarnath valley.

Yamunotri is also part of Chota Chaar Dham sites located in Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand and is the point of origin of the Yamuna River which originates from Champasar Glacier below Banderpoonch peak. The area is renowned for snow capped peaks, thermal springs and glacial formations. It is also the site of Yamunotri temple located on the left bank of Yamuna River.

Ukhimath is a notable place in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand offering panoramic views of Himalayan peaks and Kedarnath located 41 kilometers from Rudraprayag. Situated on Guptakashi-Gopeshwar road, Ukhimath is famous as the deity of Kedarnath is worshipped here during winter months when the actual temple of lord Kedar remains closed due to heavy snowfall in the area. Similarly the idols of Madmaheshwar and Omkareshwar are also worshipped in Ukhimath during winter months.

Badarinath comprising the original Char Dham sites is located in Nar Narayan mountain ranges amidst the Neelkanth peaks in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand on the banks of River Alaknanda. The pre Vedic age temple houses the deity of Lord Vishnu or Narayan is renowned for its scenic beauty. Badarinath can be reached by bus from Rudraprayag and other destinations including Gangotri.

Emergencies in Gangotri

Gangotri has a police station in Uttarkashi district however ambulance, chemists, fire brigade and blood banks are not available in this area.

Police Station

Address: Munikireti, Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand-249137
Ph no: 0135-2430041

Healthcare in Gangotri

Gangotri has one district hospital located in Uttarkashi district and the rest of the hospitals are located in Rudraprayag and other districts of Uttarakhand.

District Hospital
Zila Chikitsalaya, Uttarkashi-Gangotri Road, Gangotri, Uttarakhand-249137
Ph no: 01374-222103

Utilities and Services in Gangotri

Post Office in Gangotri
Gangotri Post Office
Address: Bhatwari, Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand-249135
Ph no: NA

Gas Connection in Gangotri
Gangotri Gas Service( Bharat Gas)
Address: Bhatwari, Gangotri Highway, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand-249141
Ph no: 09837039954

Banks in Gangotri
Cooperative Bank
Address: NH 108, Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand-249137
Ph no: NA

State Bank of India
Address: Tehri Garhwal, New Tehri, Uttarakhand
Ph no: NA

Petrol Pump in Gangotri
Indian Oil Petrol Pump
Address: Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand
Ph no: NA

Gangotri Fact File

District: Uttarkashi
State: Uttarakhand
Population: 606
Altitude: 3,100 meters
Languages Spoken: Hindi, Garhwali
Weather:  Temperature in summer months remains between 10 -15 ° C and in winter between 0-10° C.
Pin Code: 249137
STD Code: 01381

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