“Gangotri and the nearby attractions, apart from adhering to the virtuous and pristine commotions, facilitate the tourists to witness the intricate bounty of Mother Nature, fascinating outlook of lush vales, picturesque peaks and many bewildering geographical marvels…!”
Gangotri is located in the district of Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand, at an elevation of 3048 meters above the sea level. It is positioned on the bank of the sacred river Bhagirathi and is one of the holy Char Dhams of Uttarakhand state. This place is the emerging point of the sanctified river Ganges. Gangotri proffers picturesque magnificence of rocky terrains, rapid flowing water of the river Bhagirathi and snow clad peaks.
According to Hindu mythology, the “daughter of paradise” Goddess Ganga, transformed herself in the form of river Ganges in order to release the ancestors of King Bhagirath from all their sins. It is said that King Bhagirath meditated for a long time to bring Ganga on earth. When river Ganga was coming to earth, to reduce its impact, Lord Shiva received its water into his tresses. After this, Bhagirath meditated to please Lord Shiva, and thus, the sacred river came on earth. This river is also named as Bhagirathi.
The sacred tour of Char Dham starts from Yamunotri and then proceeds to Gangotri Dham. While doing the Gangotri Yamunotri Yatra, tourists can visit many of the attractions that can make their travel unforgettable. These attractions near the Gangotri Shrine are the perfect blend of spirituality and nature’s bounty. Some of the major attractions around Gangotri are as follows:
The holy Gangotri Temple, dedicated to Goddess Ganga, is perched along rightwards of Bhagirathi. The rock on which King Bhagirath did his meditation, is also positioned near the temple. Millions of pilgrims visit this holy shrine every year.
Gomukh is a spellbinding place located in Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand. This place is known as Gomukh because it looks like the mouth of a cow. It is positioned at an elevation of 14,000 feet and is the originating point of sacred river Ganges. This mesmerizing place is nestled near the Shivling Peak that is famous for its exhilarating trails of climbing. Tapovan meadow is situated near Gomukh that elates the tourists with its picturesque panoramas. Gomukh is counted among the most sacred places for the Hindus and is only 18 kms away from holy Gangotri Temple.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple:
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most renowned temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is considered as one of the prominent pilgrim charms in the Uttarkashi region. A temple of erstwhile era, Kashi Vishwanath is believed to be built by Parasuram. It was later on renovated by the wife of Maharaj Sudarshan Shah in 1857. There is a 60 cms high Shivling in the temple. This holy shrine is a must visit place during the trip of Uttarkashi.
Shakti temple is situated just opposite the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The center of attraction in this temple is theBig Trishul positioned inside. This massive Trishul is 6 meter high and is 90 cms at the base. There are different stories about the Trishul among the people. It is extensively believed that the lower part of this Trishul is made up of copper while the upper part is of iron. According to the legends, Goddess Durga aimed this Trishul to slaughter the devils.
Most of the tourists undertaking Gangotri Yatra,prefer to stay in Harsil only. It is believed that this place got its name when river Jalandhari and river Bhagirathi once had an argument about their significance. Both were arguing to prove that one is more significant than the other. Afterwards, Lord Vishnu, also known as Lord Hari, was asked to arbitrate the argument. To absorb the anger of the two, Lord Vishnu turned himself into a massive Shila (stone). Even today, after crossing Harsil or Hari-Shila, the waters of these two rivers become less rapid. The beautiful region of Harsil is well known for its Rajma and Apple. The shooting of a famous Bollywood film ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ was done in Harsil. The renowned waterfall (Jharna) scene of the heroine Mandakini was shot under the waterfall situated in Harsil. This waterfall now bears the name of this actress.
After reaching Gaumukh Glacier (the terminus point of river Ganges), a tourist can proceed to the scenic place of Tapovan and Nandanvan. Awe inspiring vistas and other significant peaks of Garhwal Himalayas are clearly visible from here. Other than sanctifying himself in the pious atmosphere, a tourist can also enjoy the elating experience of trekking at Tapovan.
The captivating region of Bhairon Ghati liesnear the convergence of Bhagirathi River and Jat Ganga. It is situated at a distance of 10 kilometers from Gangotri. Bhairon Nath Temple, cosseted by verdant woods, can be reached through the road going from Lanka to Bhairon Ghati. On the way, the tourist has to cross through Jahanvi River.
It is an alluring tourist destination where there is a submersed Shivling made up of natural rock. According to the fables and legends, this is the place where Lord Shiva received the river Ganges into his tresses.
This mesmerizing place is well known among the tourists for its charming thermal springs and the compelling panorama of snow capped Himalayan peaks. It is a perfect spot for nature lovers, devotees and those searching for the serenity of the mind.
Pandava Shila is an ancient tourist attraction that can be reached after a 1.5 kilometers of a trek from the Gangotri. The scenic site of Pandav Shila is said to be the region where the Pandavas, on their way to Kailash Dham, did the meditation.
Bhagirath Shila is the rock on which King Bhagirath meditated to bring Goddess Ganga on earth. This rock (Shila) is positioned near the sacred Gangotri Temple.
What is the best time to visit Gangotri Dham?
The best time to undertake Gangotri Yamunotri Do Dham Yatra is from May to October (Except Monsoon).
How to get there?
For a sacrosanct, tranquil and immaculate experience of Char Dham Yatra, a tourist should not deprive himself of the above-mentioned tourist attractions around Gangotri. For the pilgrims and sightseers, these tourist charms are no less than the Garden of Eden!