Distance from Rishikesh to Gangotri: 224 Km
How to reach Gangotri from Rishikesh, Uttaranchal
From private Taxi or Car:
From Rishikesh take NH58 for Shivpuri – Turn left on Tehri Road - Take NH94 - NarendraNagar - Chamba - Tehri - Dunda - Uttarkashi - Gangotri
Take bus from Rishikesh to Gangotri in early morning, so that you can reach Gangotri by evening. There are lot of roadways and deluxe buses running to Uttarkashi and Gangotri.
The revered shrine of Gangotri, situated at an altitude of 3,200 mts. about sea-level amidst sylvan surroundings, constitutes one of the most important pilgrimages for the devout Hindu.
The Shrine of Gangotri opens during the last week of April or the first week of May, on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya. The temple opening is preceded by a special Puja of Ganga both inside the temple as well as on the river bank. The temple closes on the day of Diwali followed by a formal closing ceremony amidst a row of oil lamps. It is believed that the Goddess retreats to Mukhwa, her winter abode (12 km downstream).
Best time to Visit Gangotri:
The best time to visit Gangotri is between May-June and September-November. Due to heavy rainfall in the area, visitors may face difficulty reaching the temple during monsoon season (late June to Aug). The temple usually remains open from last week of April to 2nd week of November.
The weather in Gangotri during summer is cool during the day and cold at night. And in winters it is Snow-bound with temperature touching to sub-zero.
Places to Visit in Gangotri
- Gangotri temple: The 18th century’s temple dedicated to Goddess Ganga is located near a sacred stone where Kind Bhagirath worshipped Lord Shiva. Ganga is believed to have touched earth at this spot. According to another legend, Pandavas performed the great ‘Deva Yagna’ here to atone the deaths of their kinsmen in the epic battle of Mahabharata. The temple is an exquisite 20 ft. high structure made of white granite.
- Submerged Shivling: The natural rock Shivling, submerged in the river, is an amazing sight reinforcing the power of the divine. According to mythology, Lord Shiva sat at this spot to receive the Ganga in his matted locks. The shivling is visible in the early winters when the water level goes down.
- Nandavan Tapovan: An arduous trek along the Gangotri Glacier leads to scenic Nandanvan - the base camp for the Bhagirathi peaks, that offers a panoramic view of the surrounding Shivling peak. A trek across the snout of the Gangotri Glacier leads to Tapovan known for its beautiful meadows that encircle the base of the Shivling peak.
- Kedar Tal: An enchanting lake, 4425 mts. above sea level against the splendid backdrop of mighty Thalaiyasagar peak. Accessible through a rough mountain trail, it is the base camp for trekking to surrounding peaks. The trek to Kedartal needs a local guide.
- Gaumukh: The snout of the Gangotri Glacier and the source of the Bhagirathi river. Pilgrims trek upto the sacred spot on foot or on ponies to take a holy dip in the ice-cold water.
- Bhairon Ghati: Situated towards Uttarkashi, it is known for the temple of Bhairav Nath, surrounded by thick forests.
- Harsil: Located in the mountain district of Uttarkashi is the sylvan hamlet ( 2620 mts. above sea level ), known for scenic landscapes and delicious apples. Sat Tal or seven lakes, nearby ( 2 kms.) are a not-to-be-missed attraction.
Where to stay in Gangotri:
A number of Ashrams along the banks of Bhagirathi, Tourist Rest House, PWD Inspection House, Forest Rest House are available. Dharamshalas, Guest Houses and Private Hotels also ensure convenient accommodation.
Only local eating places (dhabas) are available. Non-vegetarian food and alcoholic drinks are prohibited in Gangotri.