revered shrine of Gangotri, situated at an altitude of 3,200 mts.
about sea-level amidst sylvan surroundings, constitutes one of the
most important pilgrimages for the devout Hindu.
Visited by hundreds of thousands pilgrims every year, this 18th
century temple constructed by Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa,
is near the spot where the goddess Ganga is said to have first descended
on earth from heaven, in answer to the prayers of King Bhagirath.
Lord Shiva received her into his matted locks to break the great
force of her fall. From there it emerged into many streams and the
one which started from Gangotri was called Bhagirathi.
Pandavas, it is said, came here to perform the great 'Deva Yajna'
to atone for the death of their kinsmen in the epic battle of Mahabharat.
The temple itself is situated on the right bank of the Bhagtathi
are a number of ashrams locked on the other side of the ashrams
locked on the other side of the Bhagirathi, many of which provide
accommodation facilities to the travellers.
of Religious Interest:
These include a trip to the
(18 km.) - the source of the Bhagrithi for a dip in its icy
waters is dip in almost a must for pilgrims; and to the temple of
Bhairavanth at Bhaironghati, (10 km.). GMVN Tourist Bungalow is
located at Bhojbasa, about 14 km., from Gangotri, on the road to
Uttarkashi, at the confluence of the Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi rivers.
also trek to Nandanvan (6 km) and Kedartal (18 km) from
Gangotri is well connected to other parts of the country through
air, rail and road. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, 26 km. From
Rishikesh, 249 km. The temple remains closed from Nov. to May due
to severe winter conditions.