Gangotri is the second stoppage of the Char Dham Yatra, and it is situated in Garhwal Himalayas at an elevation of 3048 meters. The Gangotri shrine is seen as the spiritual source of Hinduism’s most sacred river, “The Ganges,” and is considered the country’s holiest river. According to Hindu mythology, the Ganga, the stream of life, was granted as a reward to King Bhagirath for severe penance, and the river is worshipped as a deity. The Gangotri Temple was built by a Gorkha General Commander Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century and is situated on the left bank of the Bhagirathi river. This beautiful temple was renovated in the 20th century by the ruler of Jaipur. The temple is nestled amidst the beautiful surroundings of deodars and pines. It lies close to the holy rock or the “Bhagirath Shila,” where King Bhagirath had worshiped Lord Shiva.

Gangotri Temple

The pujaris and brains belong to the village of Mukhwa. The water from Gangotri is carried to offer to Lord Shiva. Fortunately, it is believed that water has nectar in it and will soothe the throat of Shiva, who gulps the poison. Due to its high altitude and location, Gangotri Dham remains open to the devotees for a brief period of six months, the end of April or beginning of May is chosen for the opening of the portals of this sacred Hindu Shrine in Uttarakhand as the snow melts, and the temperature starts to become bearable. Therefore, the best time to visit Gangotri is between April and November. April to mid-June and October to mid-November are best. Gangotri Temple opens in the morning from 6:15 am to 2:00 pm, and the evening timings are from 3:00 pm to 9:30 pm.

Around Gangotri:

Submerged Shivling: There’s also an “underwater shivling,” which is believed to be the site where Ganga descended into the matted locks of Lord Shiva. Dividing it into seven streams, Lord Shiva saved earth from the massive force of Devi Ganga. The submerged shivling is perhaps the most sacred spot where Ganga, the stream of life, touched mother earth for the very first time.

Bhairon Ghati: It’s a temple of Bhairav Nath amidst thick forests, 10 km downstream from Gangotri and situated near the confluence of Jadh Ganga and Bhagirathi rivers. Now, moving about 3 km from Bhairon Ghati, one can reach Lanka Chatti to witness one of the highest river bridges in the region that is the bridge over River Jhanvi.

Gaumukh: It’s an enchanting lake surrounded by majestic peaks. At the location of an 18 km trek from Gangotri, the Gangotri Glacier is situated at 4238 meters. The water of the Ganges is 100% pure in nature and contains absolutely no impurities. The source of the river Bhagirathi is also considered the trustworthy source of the river Ganga.

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