Situated on an elevation of 3,100 metres above sea level within the district of Uttarkashi, this place is popular as a Hindu pilgrimage town due to the presence of the gleaming white temple of Gangotri. The place is covered by vast expanses of uninterrupted lush greenery and an undulating terrain which is set against the backdrop of the snow covered Himalayan peaks. People not only go there as a part of their char dham yatra journey of Uttarakhand but it is also used as a base for trekking to the mouth of the holy river of Gaumukh along with other nearby excursion destinations. Lining this entire valley is the holy river of Bhagirathi which heads on from Devprayag and converges with the hoy river of Alaknanda. This place is filled with awe-inspiring historical and mythological account and has always been a focal point of interest among sages, seers and philosophers.
The history of this place goes back to the time of king Bhagirath when there was no river Ganga in this area. The story involves how king Sagar’s 60,000 sons once stormed into the humble hut of sage kapila, looking for the Ashwamedha horse, who was then in deep meditation. The sage was disturbed and enraged and killed all of his sons and cursed that their souls will not achieve salvation until their ashes have been immersed in the holy and heavenly river of Ganga. Later on, his grandson King Bhagirath decided to perform intense penance near the main temple of Gangotri on the Bhagirathi Shila in order to please goddess Ganga and asked her to descend from the heavenly realm to the earthly realm. The goddess was pleased and she decided to make her way to earth and cleanse the ashes of his ancestors. This provided the restless souls of his ancestors much-needed salvation. Ever since then the holy river of Ganga has been used to immerse the ashes of the deceased ones.
Construction of the Temple
The temple is located right next to the origin point of the holy river of Ganga and offers stunning views of the surrounding Garhwal Himalayan ranges. The current white marble temple was built by the great Nepalese general – Amar singh Thapa and has successfully withstood the test of time.
Opening And Closing Dates
Opening Dates: The kapat of Gangotri dham opens up During the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya which usually falls during the month of either late April or early May. The temple witnesses a huge turnout of devotees form across the world.
Closing Dates: The kapat shuts down for the season during the holy eve of Bhai Dooj which takes place during the months of either late October or early November.
Winter Abode: When the temple kapat is shut down for darshan the idol of the presiding deity is then shifted to its winter home in a temple in its nearby village of Mukhba where the goddess is worshipped throughout this time. The idol is brought down to the village amongst rhythmic traditional songs and dances.
Accommodation in Gangotri
01. Bhagirathi Sadan: Located in close proximity to the local bus stand this hotel offers a peaceful and a comfortable stay. Every room in this hotel comes with a 24 hour regular supply of running cold and hot water, an attached bathroom and even room service for the comfort of the guests. It also has big comfortable beds and a very helpful and pleasant set of staff who are ready to help.
- In case you are travelling in your own car or any other private vehicle the hotel offers safe parking spots for your convenience.
- You can dine on some delicious and delectable food items from the restaurant services here.
- You will be provided with spacious luggage storage where you can keep your luggage securely.
- A front desk that is made available here is trained to cater to all the needs and requirement of the Guests.
02. Dalmiya Mangalam Niketan: This multi-storied hotel consists of 8 impeccable rooms and are kept in a spick and span condition. Every room offers stunning views of the surroundings and offers its guests a comfortable stay option. Each room is also well equipped with an individual and clean bathroom and a comfortable bed with a cozy and warm blanket that will make your stay here extremely relaxing.
- Every bathroom in the rooms here presents the guests with 24 hours of running hot and cold water services.
- The beds are well made, cozy, comfortable and hygienic so that the guests feel a deep sense of relaxation during their stay here.
- You can avail the facility of a room service where you will be provided with top notch Services and ensure your comfort.
- You will be provided with a free and Safe parking space for your vehicle or your mode of transportation.
03. Shiv Seva Sadan: This hotel is located within the walking distance of the main temple of Gangotri dham making it an ideal choice for people on their char dham yatra of Uttarakhand. The entire hotel consists of 10 clean and hygienic rooms along with all the basic facilities like clean bedding and attached bathroom with 24 hours of running hot and cold water. The guests can also visit some nearby places of interest like Bhairon Ghati and Gaumukh glacier.
- In case you give some additional cost then the hotel will also arrange a pickup service for your convenience.
- If you are in immediate need of medical attention then the hotel will provide you with doctor on call.
- You can not only avail the services of laundry and dry cleaning but you will also be provided with the service of ironing.
- The 24 hour of front desk service here will proved you with assistance whenever needed.
01. Hotel Shivalik: This hotel is situated in the scenic village of Harsil which is a popular pilgrimage town for pilgrims on their way to Gangotri. This hotel is situated at a mere distance of 23 kms from the main temple of Gangotri and consists of 20 hotel rooms. All the rooms here comes with an attached, clean bathroom, comfortable beds and carpeted floors.
- You will be provided with an indoor car parking where your vehicle will be parked securely.
- If you want to have a fun relaxation time then you can also ask the hotel staff to create a bonfire for you.
- There is also a restaurant inside the hotel offering delicious food items and a varied menu.
- In case you need immediate medical assistance then you will be provided with a doctor immediately through the ‘doctor on call’ service.
02. Himalaya Hotel: Located in the tranquil town of Harsil this is one of the most popular cheap and budget hotels in Gangotri. Every room is clean and consists of either double or triple beds for the convenience of the guests. This humble hotel offers not only a scenic view but it also allows you to have a comfortable stay.
- You will be provided with the services of a delicious in house restaurant that will serve you a range of food items on the menu.
- The staff here is extremely helpful and willing to take care of all your needs and requirement at any hour of the day and will accommodate you duly.
- The hotel is also in close proximity to a small river stream where you can spend your time in a leisurely manner.
- You can also avail the services of bonfire here inside the premises you can spend some time by the fire and warm up.
03. Char Dham Camp In Harsil By Leisure Hotel: If you want to stay in close proximity with the natural surroundings then spending your days and nights here is a good option. This budget camping destination allows you to have the perfect blend of spirituality and peace. The bathrooms are clean and the food that is served in the spacious and clean dining room here is delicious.
- The tents here are spacious, all weather proof and offer a sense of luxury.
- Every tent comes with a set of attached sparkling clean and hygienic bathroom where you will be provided with running hot and cold water.
- The camps have an emergency box of first aid as well as oxygen cylinders which can be utilized when the time is right.
- There is also a well-structured set of activities lined up like Aarti activities, religious discourses etc.
- You can avail the facilities of STD / ISD conferencing options in case you want to stay connected.
01. GMVN Bhaironghati: This guesthouse remains open for tourists only during the months of May to November when there is an influx of tourists to Gangotri dham. This bungalow does not have the facility of electricity since they believe in preserving nature and in place of which a generator is provided that works from 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm and for the remainder of the time the guests are provided with a kerosene lamp.
- Every guest will be provided with a continuous supply of hot water in their attached washroom since they believe in offering you a convenient stay option.
- The guesthouse offers a complete restaurant facility along with a delicious range of food in the menu.
- Every guest will be provided with a secure and safe parking facility to accommodate your vehicle.
- Every room here consists of all the basic amenities and is priced at affordable rates.
02. Gmvn Bhojwasa Tourist Rest House: This has to be one of the cheapest and budget accommodation options here. The rest house offers a dormitory style of stay here where the entire hall is lined on both sides with beds that are comfortable, cozy and warm. There is a bathroom and washroom here which offers the guests with a constant supply of running hot and cold water for 24 hours.
- In case you require immediate medical assistance you will be required with a doctor on call which will be of your help.
- This rest house also comes with a restaurant that serves a delicious menu of a wide range of pure vegetarian food.
- The beds are clean and the bathrooms are hygienic that makes the guest’s stay here memorable.
- This rest house is only functional during the summer months when the snow has melted away and the char dham yatra has opened up.
03. Gmvn Gangotri Tourist Rest House: The main temple of Gangotri is located at a mere distance of half a km from this rest house. Other tourist places that are accessible around here are Gauri Kund and Surya Kund which are considered to be of immense religious significance. The rooms here are incredibly spacious and sparkling clean and allow you to stay here in complete comfort.
- You can choose from 8 deluxe rooms which come with an attached set of clean bathroom.
- Every bathroom is provided with a 24 hour of running hot and cold water service.
- To fulfill your food needs you will have the option of choosing from a pure vegetarian menu available at the restaurant.
- You will also be provided with free parking services that will keep your car in a safe and secure spot.