Gangotri is a famous hill station as well as the sacred destination for visitors. It is nestled in Uttarkashi at an elevation of around 3000 meters above the sea level. It is a place where the pious river Ganga originates. The place is encircled by the enchanting hills of Garhwal. The beautiful scenic views, peaceful ambience, and spectacular landscape entice many tourists from various geographical locations of the world to visit here. It is certainly an ideal destination for the tourists to rejuvenate their mind, body and soul. Gangotri is also the best place for the visitors looking for solace and inner peace. The place creates an awe among the tourists.
Attractions in Gangotri:
Gangotri Shrine : The most popular is the Shrine of Gangotri. It is a place of both religious and archaeological importance. The shrine is said to be around three centuries old. On some occasions, soldiers from the Garhwal Rifle perform "Om Jai Jagdish", in the premises of the temple courtyard that offer a distinct experience watching them surrender themselves to the spirituality of the shrine.
Submerged Shivling : Submerged Shivling, also known as the 'Jalmagna Shivling' is an important site that must not be missed by the tourists. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Gangotri where the Lord Shiva held Goddess Ganga in his matted hairs, when she descended from heaven and manifested into a river. The Shivling remains underwater during summers and could only be visible during winters, when the water level drops.
Gangotri Glacier : Stretching around 30 kms in length and 2.5 kms in width, Gangotri Glacier is the largest glacier in the Himalayas. It holds a very high importance in the country as it is the source of River Ganga, which is the most pious river in India. The glacier is not only a pilgrimage place but an ardent adventure spot as well. There are many trekking routes to the adjoining peaks. The landscape adds a more sense of tranquility that makes it a wonderful place like no other.
Gangotri National Park : It is a very unique national park mixed with perfect flora and fauna. The landscape is a mixture of green meadows surrounded by the glaciers and coniferous forests. The park has a rich wildlife comprising of Snow Leopard, Black Bear, Brown Bear, Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan Monal, Himalayan Snowcock, Bharal (the famous blue sheep of Himalayas), Ibex along with many other mammals and bird species that migrate here.
The Gangotri hill station is also famous for the enthralling adventure activities. The adrenaline lovers can always pick up any route for trekking, as many routes are found in abundance over here. Ganga is known as Bhagirathi here, is famous for its turbulent rapids and deep gorges that give you the thrill of rafting like never ever. There are beautiful beaches where you can camp and witness the fauna of the hill station.
Gangotri is a site for paying homage to the almighty and never-ending fun. One can augment his or her stay by booking the rooms at one of the renowned hotels and resorts in Gangotri. Most of the hotels are situated amid the tranquil environment and lush greenery that offer outstanding facilities and services to the tourists.
The weather remains salubrious all around the year. During the summer season, the temperature hovers around 10°C to 15°C and during winter, the temperature remains 0°C to 10°C.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit this beautiful hill station is from May to September. The tourists must avoid visiting Gangotri hill station during the monsoon season (June to August), as the region is most prone to floods and landslides.
By Air: The nearest airport to reach Gangotri is Jolly Grant that is around 25 kms from Dehradun and 17 kms from Rishikesh and 165 kms from Gangotri.
By Rail: This hill station does not have its own railway station. The closest railhead is Haridwar. The tourists can also board the train from the Haridwar and to spend their holidays in Gangotri.
By Road: A good network of roads connects the Gangotri hill station to the Rishikesh, which is very well connected to Delhi and Dehradun.