The scenic town of Gangotri is located at an altitude of 3,048mts above sea level in the Uttarkashi district. With the holy Bhagirathi River flowing across Gangotri is one of the Char Dham of Uttarakhand. The highest and the most important temple of Goddess Ganga is located in this sacred location. The small town derives its name from the Gangotri temple. The present temple of Gangotri was built by Amar Singh Thapa, Gorkha General in the early 18th century. The scenic vistas of rugged terrains, gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow covered peaks are really captivating. It is a highly esteemed pilgrimage of the Hindus. Gangotri remains opened from May and get closed on the day of Diwali festival. The temple remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall.
Places to see at Gangotri: The centre-most attraction of Gangotri is the Gangotri temple. This apart there are also other tourist attractions in Gangotri. These include:
Gangotri is the highest temple of Goddess Ganga and one of the four dhams of Uttarakhand state. Gangotri is situated at an altitude of 3,048mts above sea level. Gangotri offers scenic splendors of rugged terrains, gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow clad peaks. The place holds great importance amongst Hindus. Gangotri remains opened from May and get closed on the day of Diwali festival.
You can proceed to Tapovan and Nandanvan after reaching Gaumukh Glacier. Astounding views of Shivling and other major peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas are distinctly visible from Tapovan.
Near the confluence of Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi River lies a scenic Bhairon Ghati. It is located 10kms from Gangotri. The temple of Bhairav Nath is surrounded by dense forest. Bhairon Temple can be reached after traveling by road from Lanka to Bhaironghati andby crossing the Jahanvi River on foot.
A natural rock Shivling submerged under water is an attractive tourist spot of Gangotri. It can be easily seen when winters are on their way because the water level decreases during this period. According to myths and legends this was the place where Lord Shiva was sitting when he received Ganga in his matted locks.
Nearby attractions around Gangotri: While in Gangotri, you can also make excursions to places like:
Kedar Tal can be reached after a difficult trek of 14kms which starts from Gangotri. Kedar Tal holds crystal clear icy cold water with reflection of snow capped Himalayan peaks. The maximum elevation that you will encounter enroute Kedar Tal is shocking 4,912mts above sea level. The lake is perched at an elevation of 4,225mts above sea level with the majestic Thalaysagar Peak providing captivating scenery.
Situated 47kms before Gangotri, Gangnani is popular for its natural thermal springs. People take a dip in this natural hot water spring before heading towards Gangotri.
It is one of the hidden jewels of Uttarakhand offering ample scope for nature and adventure lovers. Harsil is situated on the banks of Bhagirathi River at an elevation of 2,620mts above sea level. The distance from Gangotri to Harsil is 21kms. You can plan a short and easy trek to Sattal from Harsil.
Gaumukh glacier is the source of Bhagirathi River which is also known as Ganga River before the confluence of Devprayag. Gaumukh Glacier is situated 18kms from Gangotri. ‘Gau‘ means Cow and ‘Mukh‘ means face hence the combined meaning of Gaumukh is cow’s face. If you carefully observe the glacier it will resemble as a cow’s face. Gaumukh is the second largest glacier of India, first one is Siachen.
Gaumukh is 30kms in length and approximately 3 to 4km in width. It is a source of the Bhagirathi River which is one of the most important tributary of the sacred Ganga River. One can reach Gaumukh by a trek of 18km. The trek to Gaumukh glacier is easy but it goes through a rocky surface. The trek goes through Bhojbasa offering splendors of nature throughout.
Submerged Shivling: There is a natural rock Shivling in Gangotri submerged under water which can be easily seen when winters are on their way as the water level decreases during that time. According to myths and legends this was the place where Lord Shiva sitting when he received Ganga in his matted locks.
There is a Tourist Bungalow at Bhojbasa, 14kms from Gangotri where lodging and other facilities are available. Gaumukh glacier is situated at an elevation of 3,892mts above sea level. You can encounter several majestic Himalayan peaks like Shivling, Thalay Sagar, Meru, Bhagirathi III etc., while trekking owards Gaumukh.
In recent times, the retreat of the glacier has quickened significantly. Major steps have been taken by the government of Uttarakhand towards this severe problem. Now only 100 persons can trek to Gaumukh each day.
Things to do in Gangotri: The trek lovers can organize trekking upto Tapovan via Gaumukh. Pay homage to Mata Ganga in the Gangotri temple. Go for an itinerary to the nearby locations in and around. Apart from this if you are just doing nothing take a stroll around this beautiful town.
Best time to visit Gangotri: The best time to visit the holy city of Gangotri is from April to June and September to November.
How to go ?
Nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is a domestic airport located at about 260 km away from city center. Taxi cabs are available from airport to Gangotri city. The airport operates daily flights to Delhi. Nearest International airport is Delhi, which is about 452 km away.
Rishikesh is the nearest railway station, which is about 250 km away. The station is well connected to many major cities in India. The cabs are available from Rishikesh to Gangotri.
Gangotri is well connected by state owned bus services. Many buses are available from Gangotri to Uttarakashi (97 km), Yamunotri (232 km), Mussoorie (250 km) and Tehri (167 km).
Where to stay ?
You will find plenty of accommodation facilities in Gangotri. Some options are:
Tourist Rest House (GMVN): +91-013772-22221
Shivlinga Tourist Complex: +91-01374-223518, 222418, 222118 Website: www.shivlingauttarkashi.com
Motel Bhagirathi: +91-01377-2222233
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.