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Gangotri Overview

GANGOTRI DHAM

Gangotri Dham is one of the important pilgrimage sites for Hindus, located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, India. It is a sacred place associated with the source of the River Ganges, which is considered one of the holiest rivers in Hinduism. Here are some key points about Gangotri Dham:

Location:

  • Gangotri is situated in the Garhwal Himalayas at an altitude of about 3,100 meters (10,200 feet) above sea level.
  • It is part of the Char Dham Yatra, a pilgrimage circuit that also includes Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath.

Source of the Ganges:

  • According to Hindu mythology, Gangotri is believed to be the place where the River Ganges descended to the earth from the matted locks of Lord Shiva. The spot is called “Gomukh,” which means “cow’s mouth,” and it is the actual source of the Ganges.

Gangotri Temple:

  • The main attraction in Gangotri is the Gangotri Temple, dedicated to Goddess Ganga. The temple was built in the 18th century by Amar Singh Thapa, a Gorkha commander.
  • The temple is open to devotees only during the summer months, generally from May to November, because during winter, the region is covered with heavy snow.

Ganga Aarti:

  • Like many other sacred places along the Ganges, Gangotri also hosts a daily Ganga Aarti (ritual of worship with light) in the evening. Devotees gather on the banks of the river to witness this religious ceremony.

Trekking and Surrounding Areas:

  • The journey to Gangotri involves a trek from the town of Uttarkashi. The trek is picturesque, offering views of the Himalayan peaks.
  • Nearby attractions include places like Gaumukh (the actual source of the Ganges), Tapovan, and Bhujbas.

Pilgrimage and Tourism:

  • Gangotri is an important destination for Hindu pilgrims, and thousands visit the temple during the pilgrimage season.
  • The region also attracts nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts due to its scenic beauty and opportunities for trekking.

Accessibility:

  • Gangotri is accessible by road from Rishikesh and Uttarkashi. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, and the nearest railway station is in Rishikesh.

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