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
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:
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.
This place is famous for its hot water springs. Many famous mountain peaks can be seen
from here. Gangotri is 53 kms from here. After a long journey, a dip in one of the hot
pools removes all signs of tiredness. This place seems to be quite popular with the English
On the Uttarkashi road, 9 kms away this is close to where the rivers
Bhagirathi and Jat Ganga meet. The main attraction here is the temple of
18 km from Gangotri , this is where the Ganges rises. The river Bhagirathi has its springs
here. Gaumukh is at the height of 4200 mts above sea level. The most important thing
to remember is that this place is not very difficult to cover by foot. The road that
passes through the valleys is not at a slope. The river Ganges flows besides the road
The whole route way is surrounded
by deodar, birch and padma trees. If one starts walking early in the
morning taking the straight road, one reaches a camp called Cheedvasa 10 kms later. There
are many shops here for utilities. 4 kms later is the Bhojvasa camp (3792
mts). Here there
is a tourist guest house, Lalbihari Ashram and a few lodges. A canteen is
available for food.
After visiting Gaumukh tourists stop here for
the night. Gaumukh is just 4 kms from Bhojvasa. From beneath a massive cave in
Gaumukh, Ganges is born in the form of a stream. The snow-covered scenery here is a
feast to the eyes .In the background of the glacier the collective peaks look very
majestic. Between the Gangotri and Gaumukh one finds many shops that serve hot tea, cool
drinks, Indian food and other snacks. On rare occasions deer can be seen around
Tapovan: Above the Gaumukh glacier is a
road through many steep rocks with a climb of 4 kms which reaches a very serene
place called Tapovan. This grassy field is situated on the Shivling peak which is 6543 mts
above sea-level. Many flowers bloom here and streams flow out of every nook and corner.
Another way from Gaumukh leads to Nandanvan through a very steep pass. There is no
accommodation available here. Adventurous tourists can camp out here.
Further from here one
road leads to Vasuki Tal, Kalindikhal (5590 mts) and from here goes to
Waterfall: This is also called Gowri Kund. The other name for
the river Ganges is Bhagirathi. At one point, this river widens and falls in the form of a
This is close to the temple and many tourist come here to worship. This place is also used
for bathing. A little further, Kedarganga which comes from Kedartal joins the river
kms from Gangotri is a picnic spot filled with deodar and conifer trees.
Many rocks surround this area.
18 kms from Gangotri, after a very difficult walk one finally views Kedartal lake which is
always covered with snow. This looks like it reflects the high Himalayan peaks. If one
wants to camp here all arrangements must be made prior to the journey.
kms before Gangotri Harsil is a picnic spot with rivers, streams and waterfalls
which add to the beauty of the valley. Many hotels, guest houses and
restaurants are available.
20 kms before Gangotri, in the 6 kms periphery of the village Dharali are 7 small
lakes which together are called Sath Tal. Among these two are drying up. The rest
have cold fresh water. The trek from Dharali is beautiful.
When coming from Gangotri to Uttarkashi 70 kms away is a small town called
10 kms above is the last bus stop called Raithal. 10 kms from
Raithal by foot is Dayara which is spread over miles of land and is famous for its snow
sports like skiing. In summer, thousands of flowers bloom here. In winter the slopes
get covered by snow.
Dodi Tal is a well known lake that can be reached after a 21 km trek from Sangam
It is 10 kms from Uttarkashi.
Gangotri is 99 kms from here. This is the most beautiful town of Garhwal. The whole town
is full of temples.
11 kms from Uttarkashi , is a big electricity power station . The river
Ganges looks like a
big lake here.
Light woollens in summer and heavy woollens in winter .
The closest airport is Jolly Grant which is 18
kms from Rishikesh. Buses and taxis are available here. The closest Railway station is
Rishikesh which is 249 kms away. Buses and taxis and coach tours are available from here.
Gangotri is connected by road to Uttarkashi, Tehri and Rishikesh.
Cities and Towns:
1. Government Tourist Guest House
2. Travelers Lodge (Garhwal Mandal Corporation).
Gangotri has no big hotels. The Forest
Department has also Rest Houses apart from the Government rest houses. Ashrams also
To move in and around Gangotri,
buses, taxis and ponies can be hired. Guides also can be engaged.