Gangotri is a world famous point from where the river Ganges originates. Till the yesteryears pilgrims could reach here only after a long walk filled with hardships. But now a motorway reaches right up to the temple. The main point from where Ganges rises is 18 kms from here. This place is called Gaumukh. At least half the people visiting Gangotri visit Gaumukh. The adventurers and the mountaineers take the challenge of going till Gaumukh. Beyond Gaumukh are Nandanvan and Tapovan which are both well known.
An ancient temple of Ganges is found here at a height of 3200 mts. The flowing waters and the cool winds blowing through the deodar forest rejuvenate one’s inner self. The story goes that King Bhagirath brought the Ganges down here from the heaven for the salvation of his sons. The surroundings here are so beautiful that one tends to forget all ones tensions.
The Gangotri temple was built by the Gurkha Commander Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century. The gates of the temple are opened on a fixed date in May and then Gangotri gets crowded. On the day of Deepavali (festival of lamps) the gates are closed again for winter. The whole town then wears a deserted look. The statue of Ganga is then taken for 6 months to a nearby village called Mukhwa (Mukhimath) for worship. One day before the gates open in summer this statue is taken in a procession on a cart with a lot of pomp and show.
Places of Interest:
Jalmagna Shivling: This naturally made Shivling (emblem of Shiva) of stone is found underwater in the river. When the water level decreases this is visible. There are many stories attached to this.