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Gangotri


Gangotri is a popular pilgrimage centre, which is located in the district of Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand. This place lies at an altitude of 3750 m above sea level in the Himalayan ranges. This place rests on the banks of River Bhahirathi. Gangotri is a holy site of both Char Dham and Do Dham Pilgrimage. According to mythology, Goddess Ganga in order to vindicate the sins of King Bhagirath and his predecessors transformed into a river known as Ganga. Lord Shiva took Ganga in his matted locks to save the earth from flooding. The source of the river Ganga or Ganges is Gaumukh which is located at a distance of 19 km from Gangotri. The river Ganga is known as Bhagirathi at its point of emergence.

The Gangotri temple, most important attraction, is believed to be built by a Gorkha commander, Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century. The temple was renovated by the Maharaja of Jaipur in the 20th century. This white marble structure has a height of 20 feet. The statue is brought to Mukhimath village for six months of winters and worshipped there. Gangotri is the highest temple of Goddess Ganga and one of the four dhams of Uttarakhand state. Made up of white marbles the temple is situated at an altitude of 3,048mts above sea level. Gangotri offers scenic splendours of the rugged terrains, gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow clad peaks. Gangotri remains opened from May and get closed on the day of Diwali festival as the idol of the goddess is carried to her winter residence at Mukhba.

Tapovan

Located at an altitude of above 4460 mts above sea level, Tapovan is a beautiful meadow that surrounds the peaks. Enriched with lovely flowers, a climb to this meadow sharpens the images of the surroundings peaks and ranges.

One can reach Tapovan from the point of Gaumukh glacier by trekking the pathway. This scenic meadow with breathtaking views of high Himalayan peaks and mountain range is indeed soul elevating. Lodged at an altitude of 4460 meters from sea level this enchanting meadow presents one with views of holy Shivling and comes studded with flowers of every kind. The trek route to Tapovan however is a difficult one and the help of an experienced guide could make the travel easier.

Submerged Shivling :

The Shivling which is submerged in river water is a magnificent sight which reinforces the power of the divine God. Mythology has it that Lord Shiva sat at this spot to receive Ganga in his locks. The submerged shivling is visible in the early winters when the water level goes down. 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 :

10 km from Gangotri. Astride to the Uttar Kashi and near the confluence of Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi rivers is situated, Bhagirathi. The temple of Bhairav Nath surrounded by thick forests is worth visiting. Bhairon Ghati is a picturesque location right at the confluence of River Bhagirathi and Jatt Ganga. One has to traverse a distance of 10 kms to reach Bhairon Ghati. Bhairon Ghati is the place where the famed Bhaironath temple stands amid a dense forest cover. To get to the temple you need to make a journey by road to Bhairon Ghati from Lanka and then cross the river Jahnavi, a shallow enough river which can be crossed easily by wading through the waters.

Gaumukh Glacier :

The Gangotri Glacier, situated at a height of 4238 mts, moves along the Gangotri track starting from Chaukhamba and finally merging into the Gaumukh. It is a known fact that the water of the Ganges is 100% pure in nature and contains absolutely no impurities. Gaumukh is the source of the River Ganga, 19 km from Gangotri. Gaumukh is situated at a height of 12,960 ft and has a breathtaking view of the ice covered mountains. One has to trek the mountain to reach Gaumukh.

The snout of famed Gangotri glacier is shaped like the mouth of a cow and thus called Gaumukh. It is perched at an altitude of 4238 meters above sea level and is a favorite trekking hotspot for adventure seekers. The trek to Gaumukh starts from Bhojwasa and offers adventure lovers with many opportunities to indulge in such as boulder hopping, rock climbing, glacier traversing. The region thrives with abundant flora and fauna. Sight of silver birch, blue pines, herds of blue mountain goats along with the roaring tumultuous Bhagirathi river issuing out of the Gaumukh glacier would fascinate you a lot.

 

Harsil :

Known as the camper’s bay of Uttarakhand, Harsil is an unspoiled village and a cantonment town. It is a favourite among tourists seeking peace and serenity in the lap of the Himalayas. Harsil is situated on the banks of Bhagirathi River at an elevation of 2,620 m above sea level, 25 km from the popular pilgrimage of Gangotri. Harsil has become popular in recent years with nature enthusiasts due to its picturesque location. Harsil is relatively untouched and offers panoramic views of the beautiful mountains.

Harsil is an ideal if you are looking for an andrenaline rush. The Bhagirathi River serves well to the village and tourists also chose to visit the nearby region of Gangotri during their trip to Harsil. Tourists also visit the village of Dharali located on the banks of the River Ganga which is widely known for its beautiful apple orchards. The Shiva Temple at Dharali is its prime attraction.
Kuteti Devi Temple :

The temple of Goddess Kuteti Devi is situated atop a hill called Hari Parwat, about 2 kms away from Uttarkashi. The temple is also approachable from Dehradun after traveling a distance of 192 kms. Situated on the banks of Bhagirathi, the temple of Kuteti Devi was built by the daughter and son-in-law of Maharaja Kota, after Kuteti Devi blessed them in dreams and guided them to discover three stones of heavenly nature.

It is on this spot that they decided to build the temple and dedicate it Goddess Kuteti Devi, also known as a form of Goddess Durga. Kuteti Devi is believed to be the main deity of the Kot Gram Khai in Uttarkashi.

Gangnani :

Gangnani is a small town situated 46 kms from Uttarkashi on the route to Gangotri. Gangnani is an ideal destination for the spiritually inclined and those seeking peace of mind. Being a perfect spot for meditation, Gangnani acts as an ideal retreat for the nature lovers who are exploring the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand state. Gangnani affords stunning mountain views surrounded near Gangotri.

Famous for its thermal water springs, Gangnani is a perfect place for rejuvenation. The thermal water spring at Gangnani is called Rishikund. Most of the devotees take holy dip in this natural hot water spring before heading towards Gangotri. Gangnani also leads the way stretched at a distance of 12 kms to another place worth visiting, called Bhatwari. A temple dedicated to sage Parasara, father of Veda Vyas lies in Gangnani.
 

Vishwanath Temple :

Sri Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of the oldest and most sacred of temples in Uttarkashi, situated on bank of river Bhagirathi. The temple offers the spectacular view of river Bhagirathi along with the surrounding mountains. Due to its popularity it is also the part of many Char Dham Yatra Itineraries, which helps pilgrims to visit this temple along with the famous Char Dhams.

There are many shops selling puja items near the mandir entrance gate. So in case you have not brought any puja items with you then no need to worry of the same. You can easily get fresh flowers and pooja related items at nominal prices. This is the most important shrine of Uttarkashi and should not be missed if you are traveling to Uttarkashi or Gangotri.

Gangotri Hill Station :

Gangotri is a famous hill station as well as the sacred destination for visitors. It is nestled in Uttarkashi at an elevation of around 3000 meters above the sea level. It is a place where the pious river Ganga originates. The place is encircled by the enchanting hills of Garhwal. The beautiful scenic views, peaceful ambience, and spectacular landscape entice many tourists from various geographical locations of the world to visit here. It is certainly an ideal destination for the tourists to rejuvenate their mind, body and soul. Gangotri is also the best place for the visitors looking for solace and inner peace. The place creates an awe among the tourists.

Gangotri Kedar Tal Trek :

Kedar Tal sited at an altitude of 4912 from sea level in the Gangotri area of Garhwal Himalayas. One gets to see astounding views of the Greater Himalayan peaks such as Thalayasagar (6904 mts), Bhirgupanth (6772 mts) and Jogin Group of peaks. The pea green lake formed by the melting of Kedar glacier gives birth to the Kedar Ganga, a tributary of river Bhagirathi, considered as Lord Shiva’s contribution to Bhagirathi. One can observe Bharal (blue sheep), Goral, Himalayan black bear and a great variety of birds during this trek. Though a bit challenging at times, the completion of the trek offers some very rewarding moments.

Pandav Gufa :

This Gufa or cave, once upon a time the dwelling place for Pandavas, is set amid a dense forest cover. One has to trek a distance of 1.5 kms from the Gangotri base camp to reach this spectacular cave. Myths hold that while going to Kailash, Pandavas halted in this cave for some time and meditated.



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