Gangotri is the highest and one & only abode of goddess Ganga. It is situated at an elevation of 3,415 metres above sea level, in the heart of Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, near the border of India and Tibet. It is one of the four most sacred temples of India. Other three popular temples are called as Badrinath, Kedarnath and Yamunotri. Gaumukh, which is situated in the Gangotri Glacier, is the origin of this holy River. It can be accessed by a short trek of 19kms from Gangotri. But Hindu mythology says that Gangotri is the place where goddess Ganga came down to earth from the heaven when lord Shiva released the holy river from his luscious locks.
Other than religious significance, Gangotri is also a perfect place to get mesmerized by the serenity and sanctity of the place as it also offers picturesque landscapes. The heavenly surrounding of this place can make anybody feel close to god. This place is also great one for trekkers as well as it is the commencement point of many popular trekking routes such as Tapowan, Bhojwasa, Gaumukh Gangotri Glacier, Gangotri National Park, Shivling Peak etc.
The sacred town of Gangotri is developed around the holy shrine dedicated to goddess Ganga. It also houses several more religious places like Bhojbasa, it is a scenic spot on the rugged terrains. It is perched at an elevation of 3,775 metres above sea level. It can be reached by 14kms trek which goes through rough terrains along with Bhagirathi River; Baironghati, this small settlement of Uttarkashi district houses a temple dedicated to Bhairav Nath. This temple is beautifully surrounded with lush green dense forest that can leave anyone mesmerised; Surya Kund, it is a must visit place for the visitors of Gangotri. This kund is dedicated to god Sun and it is visited by several devotees in order to pay obeisance to the deity. The Surya Kund Waterfall is also a sight to behold; Dharali, it is a picturesque hamlet which is situated on the banks of river Ganga. It is perched at an elevation of 648 metres above sea level and looks like a fairy tale village. It is popular for its glittering apple orchards and Rajma cultivation. The lofty trees of pine and deodar surround the village and make it a dreamlike place. Other than this, visitors can also roam around Jalmagna Shivling, Harsil and Gangnani.
Since the main shrine of goddess is situated at such a great height, so in winter season the region faces heavy snowfall because of which the roads become inaccessible. So during this season the idol of the goddess is shifted to Mukhba which is popularly known as the winter seat of goddess Ganga. Devotees can visit this place this place to get the blessings of the goddess even during winters.
Being one of the most popular destinations of the country, Gangotri has to be well connected with the major destinations of India. Its nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun while nearest railway station is situated in Rishikesh. Both the heads are well connected with rest of the country via frequent services. National capital Delhi also offers several regular buses to popular destinations of Uttarakhand such as Tehri, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Uttarkashi etc. One can easily avail taxis or buses from any of these places to reach the holy shrine of Gangotri.
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