Gangotri is the main religious places among the four Char Dham pilgrimage circuit, situated in Uttarkashi, is closely related to Goddess Ganga, the river that we know as Ganges. The shrine of Gangotri is situated at an elevation of 3048 mts, amidst sylvan surroundings, constitutes one of the most important pilgrimages for the devout Hindus and emits a highly pious aura.
According to mythology, Goddess Ganga, the daughter of heaven, manifested herself in the form a river to absolve the sins of king Bhagirath’s predecessors, following his severe penance of 5500 years. Lord Shiva received into his matted locks to minimize the impact of her fall. The river itself begins at Gangotri which literally means Ganga Uttari or Ganga descending She came to be called Bhagirathi at her legendary source.
The shrine of Gangotri is open with great ceremonies and illustrations in the April end on the propitious day of Akshaya Tritiya. A special Puja of Goddess Ganga is performed inside the temple as well as on the bank of River Ganges. The temple closes on the biggest Hindu festival, Diwali when again the formal ceremony is performed with a Puja.
Best time to visit Gangotri
The best time to visit the holy city of Gangotri is from April to June and September to November.
- Winter (November to March) is freezing cold with heavy snowfall which can disrupt your journey.
- Summer (April to May) is very pleasant with observed maximum never crossing 30°C and can get very cold at night. This is the best season for pilgrimage and sightseeing trips.
- Monsoon (late July – August) is accompanied by very heavy rainfall that makes it difficult to reach the temple.
How to Reach Gangotri
By Air: The nearest airport from Gangotri is Jolly Grant, which is located just 26 km from Rishikesh. From the airport, the travelers need to take either a taxi or the luxury buses to reach Gangotri.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is located at Rishikesh, about 249 kms away, from where one has to hire a cab or take a luxury bus to reach Gangotri. Rishikesh is not connected by fast trains and Kotdwar has very less number of trains. Thus Haridwar serves as the best railway station if you are visiting Gangotri by train. Haridwar is connected by many trains from all part of India.
By Road: Gangotri is easily accessible by road with most of the major cities of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and NCR region. It is located at a distance of 452 Km from Delhi & 229 Km from Rishikesh.