Gangotri, located in the state of Uttarakhand, India, is a revered pilgrimage site for Hindus and a picturesque destination for nature enthusiasts. Situated at an elevation of 3,100 meters (10,200 feet) in the Garhwal Himalayas, Gangotri is not only a spiritual hub but also a haven for those seeking tranquility amidst stunning landscapes. Here are some places you must visit in Gangotri:
Gangotri Temple: The Gangotri Temple, dedicated to Goddess Ganga, is the holiest shrine in Gangotri. Constructed in the 18th century by Amar Singh Thapa, the temple is a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus. The sacred Bhagirathi River, originating from the Gangotri Glacier, flows in front of the temple, adding to its spiritual significance.
Gangotri Glacier: A trek to the Gangotri Glacier is a must for adventure enthusiasts. This glacier is the source of the Ganges River and is surrounded by majestic peaks. The trek offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and is an opportunity to witness the raw beauty of the Himalayas.
Gaumukh: Gaumukh, translating to 'cow's mouth,' is the snout of the Gangotri Glacier and a revered spot for pilgrims. The trek to Gaumukh is challenging but rewarding, providing mesmerizing views of the glacier and the surrounding peaks. It is a perfect place for meditation and reflection.
Submerged Shivling: Near the Gangotri Temple, there is a natural rock Shivling (phallic form of Lord Shiva) submerged in the Bhagirathi River. According to Hindu mythology, this Shivling is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva received Ganga in his locks. Pilgrims offer prayers at this sacred site.
Pandava Gufa: Pandava Gufa, also known as Pandav Cave, is believed to be the spot where the Pandavas, characters from the Indian epic Mahabharata, meditated during their exile. The cave is located near Gangotri and involves a trek to reach. The serene surroundings and historical significance make it a notable attraction.
Surya Kund: Surya Kund is a thermal spring near the Gangotri Temple, where pilgrims take a holy dip before entering the temple. The water is believed to have medicinal properties, and the experience is considered purifying both spiritually and physically.
Kedartal: For those seeking more trekking adventures, Kedartal is a glacial lake situated at an altitude of 4,912 meters (16,113 feet). Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, the lake is crystal clear and reflects the surrounding mountains, creating a mesmerizing sight.
Bhujbasa: Bhujbasa is a scenic destination on the trek to Gaumukh, known for its lush meadows and breathtaking views of the Bhagirathi peaks. It serves as a resting point for trekkers and is an ideal spot to appreciate the beauty of the Himalayan landscape.
Tapovan: Tapovan, meaning the 'forest of penance,' is an alpine meadow surrounded by snow-clad peaks. It is a trekker's paradise and offers panoramic views of the Shivling peak. The place is also associated with meditation and spiritual practices.
Dayara Bugyal: If you have time for an extended trek, Dayara Bugyal is a high-altitude meadow with stunning views of the Himalayas. During the winter, the meadow transforms into a snow paradise, attracting adventure enthusiasts for skiing and snowboarding.
Uttarakhand is a state located in the northern part of India. It was formed on 9 November 2000 as the 27th state of India. The state is known for its scenic beauty and is often referred to as the "Land of the Gods" due to the presence of numerous Hindu temples and pilgrimage centers. The state has a total area of 53,483 square kilometers and is bordered by Tibet in the north, Nepal in the east, and the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh to the south and Himachal Pradesh to the west. Dehradun is the capital of Uttarakhand.
The temple is one of the four dhammas in Uttarakhand. It was constructed by The General of Gorkhao, Amar Singh Thapa, king Madho Singh of Jaipur in the 18th century. The main campus has statues of Ganga, Lakshmi, Parvati etc.