Gangotri is a popular pilgrim place in India and one of among the four Char Dham pilgrimage areas has important values in Hindu religion situated at the bank of Bhagirathi river.
The present Gangotri Temple was built by a Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa in the early 18th century in the early years of the 18th century. This temple stands at an altitude of 3042m and emits a highly pious aura. Religious rituals are in full swing in the Gangotri temple with the Arti ceremony performed by the pujaris of the Semwal family.
The mystical hill station of Gangotri is famous for the Shivalinga, which lies submerged in river Gangotri, during summer and visible only when winter comes. The temple is open from last week of April to second week of November. Snowfall can be enjoyed during winters, especially from end of November till mid of March.
As per legends, the Goddess Ganga transformed herself into a river to dissolve the sins of King Bhagirath’s forefathers, following his penance. In order to reduce the impact of her fall, Lord Shiva gathered Ganga into his matted locks and has ever since been associated with Goddess Ganga.
1. Gangotri Temple
The highest temple of Goddess Ganga and one of the four dhams of Uttarakhand state. Gangotri is situated at an altitude of 3,048mts above sea level. Gangotri offers scenic splendors of rugged terrains, gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow clad peaks. The place holds great importance amongst Hindus. Gangotri remains opened from May and get closed on the day of Diwali festival.
2. Underwater Shivling
A Shivling made from natural rock is submerged under water and can be seen in winters when the water recedes. It is said to be the place Lord Shiva sat on while he tied Ganga in his matted hair. Dividing it into 7 streams, Shiva saved earth from the massive force of Devi Ganga.
3. Gaumukh and Tapovan
To witness the holy birth of River Ganges at Gaumukh, one can take up a picturesque and exciting trek surrounded with peaks and soaring peaks. One can further trek to Tapovan which is about 4 km from Gaumukh. Tapovan has meadows, beautiful flowers, streams and incredible views of surrounding Himalayan Peaks such as Shivling and Bhagirathi. Tapovan is also a base camp initiating a number of mountaineering tours.
4. Bhairon Ghati:
Near the confluence of Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi River lies a scenic Bhairon Ghati. It is located 10kms from Gangotri. The temple of Bhairav Nath is surrounded by dense forest. Bhairon Temple can be reached after traveling by road from Lanka to Bhaironghati andby crossing the Jahanvi River on foot.