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Gangotri Dham

The Gangotri Dham is one of the temples from the famous Chhota Chardham Yatra of Uttarakhand. The shrine of Gangotri is dedicated to goddess Ganga whom we know as the river Ganga and it is located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand’s Garhwal region, India. Gangotri temple is situated at an elevation of approximately 3048 meters above from sea level. Mostly the temple of Gangotri is visited after the Yamunotri in the Chardham Yatra circuit.

According to great Hindu mythology, Gangotri is the spot where the sacred and mighty River Ganga descended from the heaven, brought by the penance of Bhagirathi and from then the River of Ganga is also called as Bhagirathi River.

Gangotri temple is nestled in the breathtaking Himalayas Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, and is a very revered pilgrimage site which has an immense religious significance. The Gangotri Dham is surrounded by towering mountains, snowcapped peaks, lush valley and it offers the splendid views of the great Himalayas. The environment here at Gangotri is very tranquil and soothing.

Gangotri Dham : About and History of Temple

About the Gangotri Temple

Gangotri temple houses the deity of the goddess Ganga, and the shrine of Gangotri is visited by thousands of devotees who come here from across the globe to take a glimpse of the deity of the Goddess Ganga. The temple is nestled among tall Himalayan peaks, deep forests, glaciers, towering trees and considered as one of the holiest places to visit in India. Gangotri Dham houses the many small shrines of other gods and goddesses of Hindu religion, many temples, and many ashrams.

The temple of Gangotri is located at the banks of Bhagirathi River, close to the sacred rock which is known as “Bhagirathi Shila”, where king Bhagirathi did penance to please the lord, Shiva. The actual origin of the Ganga River is Gomukh in the Gangotri glacier which is around 19 kms away from Gangotri temple and it can be accessed by trekking only. The water from the Gangotri is taken to offer to lord Shiva and is believed that it contains nectar that soothes throat of lord Shiv after he swollen the poison which appeared from “Samundra Manthan”.

History of the Gangotri Temple

The Shrine of Gangotri is devoted to goddess Ganga, it is brought on earth from heaven by the penance of king Bhagirath. The temple of Gangotri was constructed in the early 18th century and was bult by a Gorkha commander whose name was Amar Singh Thapa. The temple has undergone several rebuilds and renovations over the years due to several natural disasters and harsh weather of this region.

According to great Hindu mythology, Ganga descended on earth after the centuries long penance of King Bhagirath which worshipped the lord Shiva to please him and to atone the sins and misdeeds of his ancestors and grant salvation to their souls. And that is the reason, Ganga is also referred as Bhagirathi River. Lord Shiva took the Ganga within his matted hair to reduce the celerity of Ganga River.

Gangotri Dham has been a pilgrimage site of spiritual significance from centuries, attracting devotees from all corners of the globe.

Gangotri Weather

The weather at the Gangotri Dham varies throughout the year due to the height it is situated and the mountainous terrain.

Summer: The summer season here are the months of Mid-April – June which is also considered as a very great time to visit the temple as the weather remain very delightful and pleasant during this season. The temperature ranges from 10 – 20 in summer.

Monsoon: The monsoon month are July – Mid-September, the monsoon season is not considered as good time to visit the Gangotri temple as the region witness heavy rainfall and occasional landslides.

Autumn: The months of Mid-September – Mid-November is also considered as pretty good time to visit the Gangotri temple. The weather remains very calm and pleasant during this time span.

Winter: Mid-November – April is the winter season here at Gangotri and the temple remain closed during this time span.

Opening and the Closing of Gangotri temple

The temple of Gangotri usually opens on the auspicious day of “Akshay Tritiya”. It was closed for the winter season and is going to open on the 11th May for 2024 season. And is going to close two days after Diwali.

The priests of the Gangotri temple perform the holy rituals before opening and closing time of the Gangotri temple. The special rituals and poojas are performed both at the places in the temple and also at the bank of River Ganga. The Gangotri shrine is remain closed from the November end to April during the peak winter season.

Pooja Ceremonies at Gangotri temple

Morning Aarti: The morning aarti is performed here to open the temple for devotees, the pilgrims can also attend this aarti.

Evening Aarti: The sandhya aarti performed here at the Gangotri temple in the evening devotees can also appear in the evening aarti and can take glimpse of the Goddess.

Other Sightseeing places nearby Gangotri Dham

Harsil: Harsil is a very picturesque village tourists might consider to explore. It is just 30 kilo meters away from the Gangotri temple.

Gomukh: The source of the river Ganga which is situated approximately 19 kilo meters away from Gangotri and can be accessed by trekking.

Gangnani: The Gangnani is also a very great place to visit, it is famous for its hot springs. It is situated around 50 kilo meters away from the Gangotri temple.

How to reach Gangotri Dham

Gangotri dham is located in district Uttarkashi of Uttarakhand state near Indo-Tibetan border. Gangotri pilgrim is well connected with important cities and towns of state Uttarakhand. The bank of holy Bhagirathi River holds this dham in its lap. Gangotri dham is one of the sacred four dhams which simultaneously make Chardham, the holy Chardham Yatra.

By Air: The nearest airport to reach Gangotri is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun which 266 kms away. Regular flights are available to Delhi and the road connectivity is good between Dehradun Airport to Uttarkashi. To reach Gangotri, Uttarkashi, one can easily get taxi service from the Airport.

By Rail: Dehradun railway station is the closest one from Gagotri at a distance of 242 kms. As everyone know Dehradun city is one among most visited destinations of India so it has well connected railroads from different major cities. Gangotri dham in Uttarkashi and Dehradun are well linked by road with every day buses and taxi services on the route.

By Road: Transport and Taxicabs are effortlessly available from Uttarkashi to many other major destinations of Uttarakhand such as Dehradun Chamoli, Uttarkashi, and Haridwar. Gangotri which is in Uttarkashi is well connected by road. NH 334 is the highway route from Delhi to Haridwar and NH 72A is an expressway from Delhi to Dehradun.