Gangotri temple is considered to be the second halt of the Char Dham Yatra located in North India. After this, the journey of Kedarnath, and Badrinath is undertaken and before this, the devotees go to the Yamunotri Dham. Gangotri is also famous for Ayurvedic and Medicinal plants.
It is located at an altitude of 3200m above sea level in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. Gangotri Temple is situated on the bank of river Bhagirathi river. At a distance of 24 km from Gangotri Mandir, Gaumukh is situated which is the source of India’s sacred river Ganga.
History of Gangotri temple
The construction of the Gangotri temple was done by Gorkha Commander Amar Singh Thapa at the beginning of the 18th century and later this temple was rebuilt by a royal family of Jaipur.
According to legends, when the Ganga touched the earth for the first time, that place was called Ganga Utri which later became known as Gangotri. Ganga is also named as Bhagirathi because the King Bhagirath had transmitted the Ganga to the Earth.
It is believed that offering Gangajal of Gangotri Dham to Shiva Temple in Rameshwaram gives relief to the throat pain of Shiva which occurred by drinking the poison during the Samudra Manthan.
Gangotri Dham opening date 2018
Four Dham gateways are closed during winter, they open for only 6 months. The opening date of Gangotri Dham in 2018 is 18 April 2018. The kapat of the temple opens on the day of Akshaya Tritiya and the Kapats of the temple is closed on the day of Diwali.
On the day of Deepawali, the Kapats of the temple are closed. After that, for the next six months, Maa Ganga is worshiped in Mukhba village of Uttarkashi.
The mythology of Gangotri temple
It is believed that there were 60000 sons of Raja Saggar who were heroic fighters. King Saggar organized an Ashwa Megh Yagya after killing the demons on earth. This yagya was a type of political yagya and it is used to be done by the emperor who ruled on the other kings.
Devraj Indra was not happy with the Yagya of Raja Saggar. Indra feared that if the Yagya of Raja Saggar was successful, his dominion over the earth would be diminished. By fearing it, Indra stole the horse of Yagaya and tied it to Kapil Muni’s ashram.
When Raja Sagar’s son reached the ashram of Kalip Muni while searching for Ashwa (Horse), and seeing the horse tied there, Raja Saggar started saying bad things to Kapil Muni. This made Kapil Mini distracted, and with his angry eyes, he burned the 60,000 sons of Saggar.
After this incident, the grandson of Saggar asked for forgiveness and asked for a remedy for liberation. Kapil Muni replied that after bathing in the Ganges, you can repent of the sins committed by your ancestors.
To bring Ganga from heaven to earth, Saggar’s grandson Anshuman did austerity but he failed. After Anshuman, his son practiced penance for many years, but he also failed to bring Ganga to the earth. In the end, Dilip’s son Bhagirath succeeded Shivaji’s hard penance and succeeded in bringing Ganga on earth. That is why Ganga is also known as Bhagirathi.
Best time to visit Gangotri Dham
Each year, the Gangotri Dham kapat opens in the month of April. May-June and September-November are suitable months for Gangotri Dham Yatra. Due to heavy snow in the winter months, the Kapat of the temple remains closed.
Take full information about the condition of the roads before doing yatra in the rainy season. It is common to have landslides in during the rainy season. Although the roads have been significantly improved by the Uttarakhand government, due to which the Char Dham Yatra has become even more convenient now.
Place to see near Gangotri
Nandanvan, Tapovan, Gaumukh, Surya Kun, Dharali, Harsil, Bharonghati.
Dehradun to Gangotri
How to Reach Gangotri Dham
How to Reach Gangotri by Air
The traveler cannot reach directly to Gangotri Dham through the airway. However, Gangotri and other three Dhams can be visited by the Char Dham helicopter service. The nearest airport fro Gangotri temple is Jollygrant airport which is 260 Km far from Gangotri. Daily flights are available from Delhi to Dehradun. The Jolly Grant airport is also well connected with Lucknow, Mumbai, Bengaluru etc. After reaching Dehradun one can take the bus from Dehradun or Rishikesh.
How to Reach Gangotri By train
Gangotri is not connected to the railway line. The nearest railway station form Gangotri is Dehradun which is 245 Km. Rishikesh railway station is 265 km far from Gangotri Dham. Dehradun railway station is well-connected with other major cities of India like Mumbai, Varanasi, Amritsar, Delhi etc.
How to reach Gangotri by road
The one and the only way to reach Gangotri is by road. Direct bus id available form Delhi Kashmiri gate to Uttarkashi. Direct buses are available to Uttarkashi from Rishikesh and Dheradun. After reaching Uttarkashi, Gangotri Bazar can be reached by local taxis.
Gangotri Travel tips
- Be sure to know the weather before you start the journey.
- Get information about road routes. There is a possibility of landslides in the mountains during monsoon season.
- Book the hotels in advance before starting your Yatra. It is very difficult to find hotels during the Yatra season.
- Take warm clothes with you. Due to its elevation, the climate here remains cold in summer.
- Do not consume any intoxicant during the Yatra.
- Ask the driver to drive with caution.
- Do not allow possibilities like a stampede in the temple premises.
- Cooperate to clean the temple premises.