This sacred shrine, situated at an altitude of 3,200 mt is the source of the river Bhagirathi. It is surrounded by the mountain peaks of Shivling, Satopanth and Bhagirathi sisters. Accessible by a motorable road, it is one of the most pious Hindu pilgrimages.
As the legend goes, Raja Bhagirath used to worship Lord Shiva at the sacred stone near which the temple is located. It is believed that goddess Ganga first descended to earth from Heaven, at this stone. Amar Singh Thapa, the Gorkha Commander of Garhwal, in the 18th century A.D. constructed this temple. It is also believed that the Pandavas, came here to perform the great 'Deva Yagna' to atone the death of their kinsmen in the battle of Mahabharata.
Submerged in the river, this natural rock Shivling is the place where, according to mythology, Lord Shiva sat when he received the Ganga in his matted locks. It is visible in winter months when water level decreases.
A spectacular lake situated at a distance of about 18 km trek from Gangotri, negotiable through a rough mountain trail. The trek is very tiring and testing even for a hardy trekker. There is no facility of any kind on the way and one haste make all arrangements in advance. A local guide is essential. The lake is crystal clear with the mighty Thalaysagar (sphatikling) peak forming a splendid backdrop. The place is about 15,000 feet above sea-level and is the base camp for scaling to Thalaysagar, Jogin, Bhrigupanth and other peaks.
Kedar Ganga Sangam
Around 100 yards from the Ganga temple, flows the river Kedar Ganga. Starting from the Kedar valley, this river meets the Bhagirathi river on its left bank.
This is the snout of the Gangotri glacier and the present source of the Bhagirathi river. It is held in high esteem by the devotees who do not miss the opportunity to have a holy dip in the bone chilling icy water. The 18 km distance from Gangotri haste be covered on foot or by ponies. The trek is easy and many people come back to Gangotri the same day. Porters and ponies are available for excursions to Gaumukh and other trekking routes at Gangotri. There is a Tourist Bungalow at Bhojbasa, 14 km from Gangotri where lodging and other facilities are available.
10 km from Gangotri. Astride the road to Uttarkashi and near the confluence of Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi rivers is situated, Bhaironghati . The temple of Bhairav Nath surrounded by thick forests is worth visiting.
After traveling by road from Lanka to Bhaironghati one has to cross the Jahanvi river on foot. After crossing the Jahanvi river and moving uphill, the Bhairon temple can be seen.
26 km from Gangotri. Located in the topographically mountainous district of Uttarkashi, this hamlet is famous for its natural beauty and delicious apples. Harsil is situated at a distance of 72 km from Uttarkashi on the main highway to Gangotri and is at a height of 2,620 mt above sea- level.
From Harsil, the adventurous tourist can trek to Sat Tal, situated just above Dharali, 2 km beyond Harsil, to be greeted by the rewarding sight of seven lakes situated amidst beautiful natural surroundings. The Harsil-Jangala Chatti route is amidst dense Deodar forest.
55 km from Gangotri. Noted for its thermal springs and close-up views of famous mountain peaks, its peaceful and tranquilising environment provides an ideal setting for meditation.
70 km from Gangotri. It is a small upcoming town located at about 25 km from Gangnani.
92 km from Gangotri. It has lately emerged as a place of tourist interest as a result of the construction of a dam across the Bhagirathi river, from where the water is fed to the turbines through an 8 km long tunnel at Tiloth in Uttarkashi. The resultant lake at Maneri has added to the charm of the place.
107 km from Gangotri. An important pilgrimage centre equated with Varanasi , or Kashi in divinity. It is located in a wide stretch of the valley.
Situated at a distance of 155 km from Rishikesh , the last railhead, at an elevation of 1 ,150 mt above sea-level on the bank of river Bhagirathi, this picturesque town is also the district headquarter. From the religious point of view as well, it is considered important because the temple of Lord Vishwanath, is located here where a massive iron trident is erected. Description about this temple is given in 'Kedar Khand' (Skand-Puran). The other important temples situated here are Ekadash Rudra, Bhairav and Gyaneshwar. The temple of goddess Kuteti Devi is situated at the top of hill about 1.5 km away.
The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering is also located on a hill above the town, 5 km away. Close by at Ujeli are a number of Ashrams and temples. On the occasion of "Magh Mela" (January 14), every year people from far and near visit Uttarkashi to take a holy dip in Bhagirathi along with the idol of their village deity.
Bugyal, in the local language means "high altitude meadow." The road to Dayara Bugyal branches off near Bhatwari a place on Uttarkashi-Gangotri road about 32 km from Uttarkashi. Vehicles can go up to the village of Barsu from where one has to trek a distance of about 8 km to reach Dayara. Situated at an elevation of about 3,190 mt above sea-level, this vast meadow is second to none in natural beauty. During winters it provides excellent ski slopes over an area of 28 sq. km. From this spot one can trek down to Dodi Tal which is about 30 km away, through dense forests.
The road from Uttarkashi to Gangotri, bifurcates at 4 km from Uttarkashi and vehicles can go up to Kalyani, 7 km further up, from where, Agoda is 5 km trek away at an altitude of 3,30 7 mt. The trek from there ascends gradually through thick forests and beautiful mountainous scenery. Dodital , a sparkling and crystal clear lake surrounded by forests is 16 km further, at an elevation of 3,307 mt. The famous Himalayan trouts are found in abundance in the lake. Permit for fishing can be obtained from the Divisional Forest Officer, Uttarkashi.
There is a beautiful Camping Site, Forest Rest House and a log cabin by the side of the lake. From there one can trek down to Hanumanchatti (27 km) and then to Yamunotri .
A drive through the terraced fields takes one to Chaurangi-Khal, a place 29 km from Uttarkashi. From there a 3 km trek through lush green forests takes one to Nachiketa Tal, a tranquil spot. There is greenery all around and a small temple at the bank of the lake gives it a serene look. Nachiketa, the devout son of saint Uddalak, is said to have created this lake, hence the name.
There is no accommodation facility and visitors have either to come back to Uttarkashi or stay at the PWD Inspection House at Chaurangi-Khal.
Former capital of Tehri Garhwal principality. The town Lies at the confluence of Bhagirathi and Bhilangana rivers. It is also the site of a giant hydel project.
This new capital of erstwhile Tehri state, commands a panoramic view of the Ganga valley of Rishikesh and the plains of Haridwar . There is a Tourist Office at Narendranagar.
Trekking And Mountaineering
This valley region offers many trekking and mountaineering opportunities. Guidance and assistance can be obtained from Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi, U.P., or the Tourist Office and OSD (Adventure Tourism), Uttarkashi, U.P. or Indian Mountaineering Foundation, Benito Juarez Road, Anand Niketan, New Delhi -110021.
Trekking options in Gangotri
Air : Nearest Airport is Jolly Grant (26 km from
Rail : Nearest railhead is at Rishikesh , 249 km.
Road : Gangotri is connected by road to Uttarkashi, Tehri Garhwal and Rishikesh and from there to other parts of the country. Important road distances are Uttarkashi 97 km, Tehri 167 km, Dharasu 125 km, Yamunotri 232 km, Mussoorie 250 km.
Bus : Bus services of Samyukt Rotation Yatayat Vyavastha Samiti connect Gangotri with many centres in the region like Haridwar , Rishikesh, Tehri, Uttarkashi etc.
U.P.Govt. Tourist Rest House (GMVN). There are a number of Dharamshalas and Guest Houses also avialable for accommodation.
Post office (only during Yatra season), Primary Health Centre and Police Post
Only local eating places (dhabas) are available. Non-vegetarian food and alcoholic drinks are prohibited in Gangotri.
Fast Food Centers Enroute
|Summer||Cool during the day and cold at night|
|Winter||Snow-bound. Touching sub- zero|
|Winter||Very heavy woolens|
|Languages||Hindi, Garhwali & English|