The spectacular Gangotri Dham is located at the picturesque district of Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand. Perched at an elevation of 3,100 m, this pilgrimage hotspot is divine and mystical. Gangotri Dham is part of the Chota Char Dham Yatra, making it quite a popular pilgrimage spot.
Gangotri Dham is nestled amid the stunning Himalayan range and rolling meadows with picture-perfect blue skies that make this place so heavenly and magical.
While most people visit the Gangotri Dham come to visit the lovely temple, others come to witness the roaring waters of River Ganga, coupled with the awe-inspiring sight of the Himalayas.
The holy river of Ganga makes this place even more pious and holy, making it a truly divine place. You can also visit Gaumukh, from where Ganga originates. This azure glacier looks mesmerizing, as the Ganga River gradually takes birth from the Gaumukh.
The Legend Behind The Holy River
Legend suggests that River Ganga did agree to come down to the earth after Bhagirath prayed relentlessly. However, the Goddess was so aggressive, that her descent could have submerged the whole earth. Thus, to ensure this doesn’t happen, Lord Shiva caught River Ganga in his flowing locks.
Seeing this, Bhagirath decided to meditate again. Lord Shiva was impressed by his devotion and decided to let Ganga go in the form of three rivulets. One of those streams is the Bhagirath- which now flows beside the Gangotri Temple.
Ganga has been worshipped for time immemorial, which makes this river holy in the Hindu religion. Many believe that embarking on this Yatra will free them of their sins, and they will attain moksha. If not for religion, the stunning location is surely a pull for tourists.
Opening Dates For The Gangotri Yatra
Gangotri Yatra, like the other Chota Char Dham Yatras, is currently closed for the winters but will reopen again when the snow starts to melt away and gives way to green meadows. The temple usually opens on Akshaya Tritya day, which is the last week of April or the first week of May.
For 2023, the tentative opening date is 22 April 2023.
Before the Gangotri Temple is officially opened, a traditional puja takes place. The puja takes place inside the temple as well as at the river bank.
During the winter season, Goddess Ganga is kept at Mukhwa, which is her official winter abode. The procession wherein the Goddess is taken to her winter abode is magnificent and filled with colours and spirituality. There is also a ceremony when the Goddess is rough back to Gangotri, and that ceremony is even more thrilling and festive. You should try to attend this ceremony in our Char Dham Yatra if you can.
The Gangotri temple opens its doors for the flocks of devotees around 6:15 am. You can visit the temple from 6:15 am to 2 pm, and from 3 pm to 9:30 pm.
The beautiful Gangotri Temple is as humble as the Goddess it is dedicated to. The Gangotri Temple radiates a lovely spiritual glow, that charms you, as the serene locales do the rest. There is something so divine and magical about the location. You will find yourself just admiring the bounties of nature and the holy river located beside the temple for hours.
Inside the temple, you will find a little silver idol which represents Goddess Ganga. After you explore the temple and offer your prayers, come out and relish the wonder outside. The place is truly magnificent, as the stunning Himalayan range embraces the little temple. The rushing waters of Bhagirathi by the side makes everything so much more exciting. Pilgrims also take a dip in the azure waters of the river before visiting the shrine. They believe that this will cleanse their sins and make them pious again.
This stunning temple is the perfect ode to the holy river of India. Ganga has truly blessed the people in India, and it is no doubt that the goddess is held at the highest regard. It is enchanting to see this temple standing tall, as the Himalayas provide for the perfect backgrounds, and pilgrims slowly line up singing the most melodious chants and hymns. The atmosphere itself is breathtaking and you might even find yourself entering into a trance- such is the power of this place.