is a town and a Nagar Panchayat (municipality) in Uttarkashi
district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Gangotri is a
Hindu pilgrim town on the banks of the river Bhagirathi and
origin of River Ganges. It is on the Greater Himalayan Range,
at a height of 3,100 metres (10,200 ft).
According to popular Hindu legend, it was here that Goddess
Ganga descended when Lord Shiva released the mighty river
from the locks of his hair.
Gangotri Temple - Mandir - Dham
Gangotri, the origin of the River Ganges and seat of the goddess
Ganga, is one of the four sites in the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage
circuit. The original Gangotri Temple was built by the Nepalese
general Amar Singh Thapa.
The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires
the name Ganga (the Ganges) from Devprayag onwards where it
meets the Alaknanda. The origin of the holy river is at Gaumukh,
set in the Gangotri Glacier, and is a 19 km trek from
Places to visit near the Gangotri Temple - Mandir
Bhagirath Shila is believed to be the holy rock where King
Bhagirath prayed to Lord Shiva.
Pandava Gufa, located 1.5 km from Gangotri, is the place where
the Pandavas are believed to have meditated and rested en
route Kailash. Pilgrims will have to trek up to the Pandava
In the pilgrimage journey of Chota Char Dham, Gangotri is
often visited after Yamunotri (located on the western region
of Garhwal Hills). Pilgrims generally make Uttarkashi as their
base camp. The time taken from Uttarkashi to Gangotri temple
is about 4 hours by road.
Historical relation of Gangotri Temple - Mandir - Dham
According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Ganga took the form
of a river to absolve the sins of King Bhagiratha's predecessors,
following his severe penance of several centuries.
According to this legend, King Sagara, after slaying the demons
on earth decided to stage an Ashwamedha Yajna as a proclamation
of his supremacy. The horse which was to be taken on an uninterrupted
journey around the earth was to be accompanied by the King's
60,000 sons born to Queen Sumati and one son Asamanja born
of the second queen Kesani. Indra, supreme ruler of the gods
feared that he might be deprived of his celestial throne if
the "Yajna" (worship with fire) succeeded and then took away
the horse and tied it to the ashram of Sage Kapila, who was
then in deep meditation.
The sons of the King Sagara searched for the horse and finally
found it tied near the meditating sage. Sixty thousand angry
sons of King Sagara stormed the ashram of sage Kapila. When
he opened his eyes, the 60,000 sons had all perished, by the
curse of sage Kapila. Bhagiratha, the grandson of King Sagar,
is believed to have meditated to please the Goddess Ganga
enough to cleanse the ashes of his ancestors, and liberate
their souls, granting them salvation or Moksha.