Introduction (GANGOTRI) It is the man's requirememt to worship the Gods or tos fulfill his desire for adventure, Gangotri is an ideal location. Gangotri, the origin of the sacred river Ganges, attracts tourists in huge numbers every season. To discover the daunting rivers and attempts to reveal the mysteries of the natural world are rare sights here. Along with the thrill of exploring nature, what one experiences here is the aura that India is famous for. GANGOTRI - LOCATION Located in the hills, Gangotri is at an altitude of 3048 meters above sea level. Gangotri is situated in the northern part of the state of Uttaranchal and is very near the Indo-Tibetan border. It is approximately 300 km from Dehradun, 250 km from Rishikesh and 105 km from Uttarkashi. The summers are cool and winters are very cold, with rains in the months of May and June. For the tourists, the gates of the temple are open only in the months of May to November. GANGOTRI - MYTHOLOGICAL PAST According to legends, Lord Shiva rewarded King Bhagirath after his penance and Ganga came down to earth. However, due to her pride, and the fact that the earth would be devastated if Ganga came down in her full force, Lord Shiva caught her in his hairs. It was then proclaimed that Goddess Uma or Parvati, would bathe in the Ganges daily and only then would she descend on the earth. The sacred stone near the temple denotes the place where Ganga first came down to earth. GANGOTRI - PLACES TO VISIT The shrine of Gangotri is around three centuries old. Renovated in the 20th century and is a 20-feet high structure of white granite. During the winters the statue is taken to Mukhimath village where it is worshipped. There is a natural rock Shivling as well. It is called the Jalamagna Shivling. This is the place where Lord Shiva received Ganga in his locks. Visible only during winters. GANGOTRI - SITES NEARBY The famous site nearby is the Gaumukh glacier, which is at an altitude of 4200 meters above sea level. It is the geographical origin of the Ganges and is at a distance of 18 km from Gangotri uphill. The Ganges is called the Bhagirathi at this place. From Gangotri is Cheedvasa is at the distance of 28 kms. Bhojvasa, is at a distance of 22 km, and is an ideal camping site. Nandanvan is a 6-km trekking route along the glacier and gives a glimpse of the Shivling. Across the Gangotri glacier is the Sylvan Tapovan, which is known for its verdure encircling the base of the Shivling peak. From here, one can go to Vasuki Tal, Kalindikhal, at a height of 5590 meters to reach Badrinath. While going towards Uttarkashi, at a distance of 9 km from Gangotri, is the Bhairon Valley, at the confluence of the rivers Bhagirathi and Jat Ganga and is famous for its temple dedicated to Bhairavnath. Also on the same route is Dayara, at a distance of 90 km from Gangotri via Bhatwadi, which is a newly developed snow sports complex. At a distance of 53 km from Gangotri is the place known for its hot water springs, Gangnani, which is at an altitude of 1855 meters above sea level. From Gangotri at a distance of 100 kms is the spot of Uttarkashi. It is known for its Vishwanath and Kuteti Devi temples. Maneri, at a distance of 108 km from Gangotri, is a powerful electricity station. At a distance of 18 km from Gangotri is Kedartal, which serves as a base camp. There is a nearby lake called Dodi Tal. Harsil is 25 km from Gangotri and is at a height of 2620 meters above sea level. It is well known for its resorts. Sat Tal or the seven lakes is wonderful sight and is near the village Dharali (20 km). GANGOTRI - WHAT TO DO Besides pilgrimage, Gangotri is a favorite pastime for the adventure. It is an site for trekking and river rafting also. The beaches, and surroundings provide the perfect ambience to experience thrill and leisure. At a distance, one can spot deers,monkeys and leopards. The house of the sadhus add to the touch of spirituality. There are many exotic trekking tracks in the Garhwal hills. The trekking from Gangotri follow the trail of the Bhagirathi River. Before reaching Gaumukh, there are several pilgrim stopovers and one can get food and necessities there.
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