Gangotri Temple in INDIA
Gangotri Temple is the place of the origin of the holy River Ganges, drawing thousands of pilgrims every year. Gangotri is the earthly throne of Goddess Ganga and is one of the four sites of the sacred Char Dham circuit. It is situated at an altitude of 3,753 m (about 12,313 ft). The ‘new-born’ river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga from Devprayag onwards, where it meets the Alaknanda River.
Ganga originates at Gaumukh in the Gangotri Glacier which is a 19 km trek from Gangotri. Gangotri gives the excitement of conquering nature combined with a person’s spiritual awakening.Location
Gangotri Temple, constructed in the 18th Century, is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. Near the temple is located a sacred stone where King Bhagiratha is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva. Ganga is believed to have touched earth at this spot. The temple is a beautiful 20 ft high structure made of white granite. Gaumukh is about 18 kms is the proboscis of the Gangotri Glacier and is the source of the Bhagirathi River.
According to an ancient legend, Lord Shiva was very happy with King Bhagiratha’s penance and took Ganga in his matted hair before she came down to earth. This supposedly broke her pride of being a celestial river and instilled a sense of helping humanity in her. It was then negotiated that Goddess Uma or Parvati, Shiva’s wife, would have her daily bath in the Ganges and only then would she descend on the earth.
The sanctified stone near the Gangotri temple denotes the place where Ganga first came down to earth. Since it was due to the efforts of Bhagiratha that Ganga came down to earth, she spiritually became his daughter. Hence the river is also called by the name of Bhagirathi (Bhagiratha’s daughter).
Gangotri Temple How To Reach
Gangotri Temple – By road, one has to take NH 94 from Janaki Chati to Dharasu via Hanuman Chatti, Phool Chatti and Barkot. From Dharasu, Nh 108 leads to Gangotri via Uttarkashi. From Janaki Chatti, Gangotri is about 215 Km. Gangotri is well connected by motorable road with other major destinations of the region like Rishikesh (249 Km), Uttarkashi (100 Km) and so on.