It is the place from where originates the Ganges, one of the most sacred rivers of the Hindus. Tucked away in the Garhwal hills, Gangotri shrine draws in lakhs of tourists from all parts of the world every year. One of the chardham destinations, Gangotri lies at an elevation of 3,048 meter above sea level. Apart from devotees, the tourist spot is also visited by a good number of adventurers from around the world. Gangotri is located at a distance of 300 km from Dehradun in the state of Uttarakhand. The ideal time to pay a visit here is between the months of April and November while the temple remains open for devotees between May and November. Summers are cool and winters are freezing cold. If you are travelling here in winter, do remember to be equipped with necessary clothing's. It is advisable not to travel to Gangotri during monsoon months to avoid landslides.
Altitude: 3,042 mts.
Climate: Summer: Cool during the day and cold at night.
Winter: Snow-bound touching sub-zero.
Clothing: Summer-Light woollens, Winter- Heavy woollens.
Languages: Hindi, Garhwali, English.
HOW TO REACH US
Air: Nearest Airport is Jolly Grant, 17 kms form Rishikesh, and 24 kms Dehradun.
Rail: Nearest railhead is Rishikesh 248 kms, Haridwar 268 kms.
Road: Rishikesh 248 kms., Tehri 172 kms., Dharasu 129 kms., Yamunotri 224 kms., Mussoorie 247 kms.
Apart from being the nozzle of the Gangotri glacier, Gaumukh is also the source of the Bhagirathi River. The spot is held in high regard by the Hindus and can be reached either on foot or by taking a pony ride. Pilgrims arrive here to take a holy dip in the ice cold water. You should be aware in advance that Gaumukh offers no place for stay. However, you can plan your stay at Bhojbasa, just 2 km from Gaumukh. Or you can also choose to pitch your own tent on the riverbank.
The word 'Gaumukh' means having the shape of a cow's mouth. It is the place where river Ganga comes to life. Trekking proves to be much exciting for tourists visiting Gaumukh. The trekking route stretches over 16 km. The sight of glowing snow-capped peaks, azhure sky and dense birch pine forests make your trekking tour one of its kind.
Gaurikund & Devghat
A highly revered pilgrimage site, Gaurikund is dedicated to Lord Shiva's wife Parvati, also known as Gauri in different parts of the country. It occupies a place in the Garhwal Himalayas at an altitude of 6,000 ft above sea level. According to Hindu mythology, Gaurikund is the place where Gauri did penance to win over Lord Shiva's heart. Consequently, Shiva gave in and also admitted his love for Gauri (or Parvati) and they got married. There is a natural hot spring at Gaurikund having its associations with the Shiva-Parvati legend. Today, a part of the tank at Gaurikund functions as the bathing site for women devotees arriving here.
While devotees and pilgrims arrive at Gangotri, they do not miss a visit to Devghat, located closely. Surrounded by tall trees, it is the meeting point of two sacred rivers - River Kedar Ganga and River Bhagirathi. It is a bathing ghat and is very popular with visitors. Stay can be arranged at GMVN rest houses, guest houses and ashrams in Gangotri.