Gangotri is located at a height of 3048 metres and is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. It is a very sacred place from where Ganga, the stream of life, touched earth for the first time. The River Ganga originates at Gaumukh or the cow’s mouth. Gaumukh is around 17kms before Gangotri and devotees who reach there do not miss the chance to take a holy dip in the bone chilling icy water. The Semwal family of priest’s supervises the ritual duties of the temple. Gangotri is easily accessible by car or bus. It is the starting point of the Gangotri-Gaumukh-Tapovan and Gangotri-Kedartal treks.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Harsil is situated 76 km away from Uttarkashi and 24 km before Gangotri. Harsil is an unspoilt hidden jewel of Uttarakhand state offering ample scope for people seeking peace and serenity in the lap of the Himalayas. It is situated on the banks of the Bhagirathi river at an elevation of 2620 metres. Harsil has become popular in recent years among travel enthusiasts and nature lovers. The Bhagirathi River, the 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 a distance of 72 km from Uttarkashi en route to Gangotri. Gangnani also leads the way stretched at a distance of 12 km 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 the 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 km. 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 and beautiful views of the Himalayas make the place memorable. A 30 km trek through dense forests from here will take you to Dodi tal.
The days are pleasant in summer but the nights are cold. Winters are extremely cold.