Gangotri, Uttarakhand

Gangotri is the place high in the Garhwal Region, where holy River Ganges originates, It is one of the four pilgrimage sites of Chota Char Dham Yatra. The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga (the Ganges) from Devprayag onwards where it meets with the Alaknanda River. Gangotri temple was built by the Gorkha General Mr Amar Singh Thapa in early 18th century and was later re-built by the Maharaja of Jaipur.

Gangotri Mythological Importance:

According to the Indian mythology, the King Sagar had 60,000 sons. He defeated all the kings on the earth and wanted to stage a Ashwamedha as a proclamation of his victory on the world. The horse was to travel round the world uninterrupted and so all the other kings would accept his supremacy on their kingdom or would have to fight an army leading of his 60,000 sons. The King of Heaven, the lord Indra feared the power of King Sagar and decide to stop him, he stole the horse and tied it to the ashram of Sage Kapil. When the 60,000 sons saw the horse in Maharishi Kapil ashram they got voilent and started to attack the rishi ashram. Sage Kapil was in deep meditation and on hearing the disturbance he opened his eyes in anger and all the 60,000 sons of King Sagar burnt to ashes, except for prince Asamanjas. The grandson of King Sagar brought the horse back from the Maharishi Kapil and asked for his forgiveness. Sage Kapil told him that the sons can be brought to life only if Ganga is brought from heaven to earth. So, Bhagirath meditated obdurately for several years and finally, the goddess Ganges got pleased and came down to earth and manifested herself in the form of river. To prevent the earth from floods, the Lord Shiva received Ganges into his matted locks to minimise the immense effect of her fall. The Bhagirath then worshipped Lord Shiva, the lord shiva blessed him and released Ganga from his locks in seven streams. The water of Ganges touched the ashes of Sagar sons who rose to the their eternal rest in heaven. These seven streams of Ganga were Bhagirathi, Bhilangana, Jahnvi, Mandakini, Rishiganga, Alaknanda and Saraswati which merged and called as Ganges. The Goddess Ganga later came to be called as Bhagirathi at her legendary source in Gangotri. The Gangotri Temple is situated on the right banks of the Bhagirathi river. The Bhagirath Shila, believed the King Bhagirath to have meditated, is located near the temple of Ganga.

The most famous places near Gangotri Dham is Pandav Gufa is the places where the Pandavas used to stay during their banishment years and Gauri Kund, Surya Kund is the bathing kund of goddess Parvati.

Apart from Gangotri Dham there is couple of famous sites near the temple includes Gangnani, Bhairav Temple, Submerged Shivaling, Gauri Kund and Surya Kund, Pandav Gufa.

Accessibility: 297 kms from Rishikesh, 287 kms from Hardwar, 242 kms from Dehradun, 500 kms from delhi, 243 kms from Dehradun railway station, 279 kms from the nearest airport "Jolly Grant Airport" in dehradun.

Accommodation: There are a couples of places to stay in Gangotri dham, Near Gangotri has various types of accommodations like dharamshalas, affordable guesthouses and budget hotels.

Timings

Gangotri temple open at 6.15 AM and closes 9.30 PM

Best Time to Visit

May-Jun to October-November, rainy season (Jul-Aug) should be avoid

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