The shrine of Gangotri is situated at an elevation of 3048 m amidst captivating surroundings. Gangotri is located at a distance of 99 km from Uttarkashi and 265 kms from Rishikesh. The temple, constructed by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa, in the 18th century, is situated on the left bank of Bhagirathi. It is visited by lakhs of pilgrims every year. A number of ashrams are located on the other side, some of which provide accommodation facilities to the visitors.
Places of Interest
Harsil is situated 76 kms away from Uttarkashi and 24 kms before Gangotri. Harsil is an unspoilt hidden jewel of Uttarakhand state offering ample scope for people seeking peace abd serenity in the lap of the Himalayas. It is situated on the banks of the Bhagirithi river at an elevation of 2620 mts. Harsil has become popular in recent years among travel enthusiasts and nature lover. The Bhagirithi River, Chirping of birds and salubrious environment are the highlights of this destination. The temperature of Harsil remains pleasant during summers and chilly during winters.
The terminus of the Gangotri Glacier is said to resemble a cow’s mouth, and the place is called Goumukh or Gaumukh (gou, cow + mukh, face). Goumukh, which is about 18 km (11 miles) from the town of Gangotri, is the precise source of the Bhagirathi river, an important tributary of the Ganga. Goumukh is situated near the base of Shivling; in between lies the Tapovan meadow.
Gangnani is situated at distance of 72 kms from Uttarkashi enroute to Gangotri. Gangnani also leads the way stretched at a distance of 12 kms to another place worth visiting, called Bhatwari. Gangnani proves as the spot to view the famous mountain peaks surrounding Gangotri. Also famous for its hot water springs, Gangnani is an explorer’s delight. So pure is the air and the surroundings that one leaves this place totally charged and rejuvenated.
The word Bugyal according to a local language means high altitude meadow. On route to Gangotri, a road branches off near Bhatwari and this will take you to Dayara Bugyal. The distance from Uttarkashi to Dayara Bugyal is 32 kms. You can go by a vehicle till village Barsu, from there a three km trek will take you to Dayara . Once there you will be simply enchanted by the beauty of this large meadow. A small lake, beautiful views of Himalayas, all these make the place memorable. A 30 km trek through dense forest from here will take you to Dodi tal.
According to mythology, Goddess Ganga, the daughter of heaven, manifested herself in the form a river to absolve the sins of king Bhagirath's predecessors, following his severe penance of 5500 years. Lord Shiva received into his matted locks to minimize the impact of her fall. The river itself begins at Gangotri which literally means Ganga Uttari or Ganga descending. She came to be called Bhagirathi at her legendary source. According to mythology King Sagar after slaying the demons on earth staged an Aswamedh Yagna to proclaim his supremacy. The King's 60,000 sons born of Queen Sumati and one son Asamanjas of Queen Kesani were to accompany the horse. Lord Indra fearing loss of his supremacy stole the horse and tied it to the ashram of ancient sage Kapil who was then deep into meditation.
On their search for horse, the 60,000 sons stormed the ashram of Kapil and just before the attack on him the sage opened his eyes and reduced all the 60,000 sons of King Sagar except Asamanjas to ashes. King Sagar's grandson Anshuman was successful in recovering the horse from Kapil and was told that those 60,000 burnt will attain heavenly adobe if Ganga is brought down from heaven & their ashes were sleaned by its water. Then the great task of bringing Ganga to earth started. Anshuman failed and so did his son Dilip but his grandson Bhagirath succeeded. The intense meditation made Ganga to descend from heaven and in order that the earth is not flooded, it remained suspended in the matted locks of Lord Shiva's hair. Shiva pleased with King Bhagirath, released Ganga in seven streams - the most sacred streams came to be known as Bhagirathi (started from Gangotri). King Sagar's 60,000 sons' ashes were touched with Ganga water and thus they were bestowed with eternal rest in heaven.
In summers: Cool during day and cold at night. / In winters: Very cold, about sub zero.