Thursday, 27 December 2012

Gangotri Temple - Ganga River Descended on Earth | Chardham Yatra, Uttarakhand, India

Gangotri - Where Ganga Descended on Earth


Gangotri Temple
This picturesque location in the hinterlands of the Himalayas is a highly sacred pilgrimage - spot where Ganga, the river of life, descended upon earth for the first time. According to mythology, Goddess Ganga, the daughter of heaven, took the form of a river to exonerate the wrongs of king Bhagirath's predecessors. This generosity was on the part of Ganga was a result of the king’s relentless penance for more than five centuries. Lord Shiva received the river into his matted locks to minimize the impact of her fall. As a consequence of this mythological association, she came to be known as Bhagirathi here. Situated 100 kilometers from Uttarkashi, Gangotri is at a height of 3048 meters, amidst mesmerizing surroundings, along the right bank of Bhagirathi.


Gangotri Temple
The temple was constructed in the early 18th century by a Gorkha Commander, Amar Singh Thapa. The existing temple is said to be the one reconstructed by the Jaipur dynasty.

Legend has it that King Bhagirath worshipped Lord Shiva, standing on a sacred stone. The stone lies near the temple. Another legend associates this stone with the Pandavas, who offered Dev Yajna to atone for the deaths of their own kinsfolk in the battle of Mahabharata.  The temple is an exquisite 20ft high structure made of white granite.

Sights to See :

Gangotri in Uttarkashi District is situated at the confluence of the rivers, Kedar Ganga and Bhagirathi Ganga. According to legend, Gangotri is the place where Goddess Ganga descended on earth as a reward for King Bhagirath's severe penance. The source of the river is at Gaumukh, 18 km south east of Gangotri along the Gangotri glacier.

Gangotri Temple:
The 20 feet high temple is made of white granite. It was built in the early 18th century by a Gorkha commander and later renovated in the 20th century. Accom:Shikhar Nature Resort (5 km from Uttarkashi on the way to Gangotri. Resvn: Tel: 01377 222221.


Kedar Ganga
Submerged Shivling:
A natural rock Shivling which, according to legend, is where Lord Shiva sat to receive the Ganga in his matted locks.

Chirbasa (9 km):
It is an excellent site for camping and the best viewpoint before Gaumukh. Accom: Dharamshalas and PWD Rest Sheds are available.

Bhojwasa (16 km):
Bhojbasa, 3 km from Gaumukh is situated at an altitude of 3,792 m. There are a few ashrams in Bhojbasa. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Bhojbasa, Dist. Uttarkashi.

Kedar Tal (18 km):
This enchanting lake is situated south of Gangotri at an altitude of 5065 m and it is a 18 km trek from Gangotri. Kedar Tal is also a base camp for treks.

Gaumukh (19 km):
At a height of 3892 m, Gaumukh is the source of the river Ganga. The trek from Gangotri to Gaumukh is gradual but beyond Gaumukh, one should venture only with proper gear and an experienced guide.

Nandavan/ Tapovan (25 km):
A difficult 6 km trek from Gaumukh along the glacier. Nandavan is the base camp for the Bhagirath peaks and offers a stunning view of the Shivling Peak, Tapovan is known for its exquisite meadows.

On Route Rishikesh-Gangotri

Narendra Nagar:

It commands a panoramic view of the Doon Valley and the river Ganga. Accommodation in the form of budget hotels available.

A picturesque place. The road bifurcates here for Mussoorie, New Tehri and Rishikesh. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Chamba, Dist. Tehri, Tel: 01376 255245.

New Tehri:
New headquarters of the district of Tehri Garhwal, lying on the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Bhilangana rivers.

An important pilgrim centre often equated with Varanasi or Kashi. Uttarkashi is connected by bus services with all major centres in the region. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Uttarkashi, Tel: 01374 222222, 222271. Shikhar Nature Resort, Garam Pani, Gawana.

Noted for its thermal springs and a close up view of the Himalayas.

Starting point for various treks in the region. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Harsil, Dist. Uttarkashi. Tel: 013773 232210

At an elevation of 2650 m and famous for the temple of Bhairavnath. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Bhaironghati.

How to reach Gangotri. :

By Air: Jolly Grant at Dehradun, 226 km away, is the nearest airport. Taxis, private cars, state road transport buses are available from the airport to Gangotri via Rishikesh.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, which is well connected to Dehradun and Delhi.

By Road: There are daily bus services from Gangotri to Rishikesh, Haridwar and Dehradun. Jeeps and tempos are available from Rishikesh to Gangotri.

Tourism Office:

Uttaranchal Tourism
103 Indra Prakash Building
21 Barakhamba Road
New Delhi.
Tel: 011 23350481/23712246
Fax: 23320109.

No comments:

Post a Comment