Gangotri Dham, located at the height of 3,100 meters (approx.) on the Himalayan range in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, holds a very special place in the hearts of Hindus. It is one of the four sacred and important pilgrimage sites of Chota Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand. Amid all the natural beauty and grace which the mountains and altitude of the place affords, what makes Gangotri one of the holiest places is its intimate connection with River Ganga (the Ganges).
Ganga Maa (mother), the much revered deity of Hindus, originates from the Gangotri glacier at Gaumukh which is some 18 km from the Gangotri town. It is said that Goddess Ganga came to earth in order to wash away the sins of King Bhagirathi’s ancestors. From the folds of mythology till the present time, Ganga River has always been a sacred source of purity for the mankind. Coming to Gangotri for a religious tour is not only a religious duty but a spiritual calling too.
ORIGIN OF THE GANGA RIVER
Going by the legends, it is said that King Sagara, the great grandfather of King Bhagirath slayed the demons on earth. In order to proclaim his supremacy, he decided to stage an Ashwamedha Yagna. During the yagna, a horse was supposed to be let loose to go on an uninterrupted journey across empires. In the course of events, Indra the supreme ruler feared that he might be deprived of his celestial throne if at all the yagna got complete. Using his celestial powers, he took away the horse and privately tied it in the ashram of Sage Kapila, who was seated in deep meditation.
As soon as King Sagara’s agents realized that they had lost track of the horse, King allotted his 60,000 sons the task of tracing the horse. While the king’s sons were on a hunt for the lost horse, they came across the spot where Sage Kapila was meditating. They found the horse tied next to him, out of fierce anger they stormed the ashram and accused the sage for stealing the hoarse. Sage Kapila’s meditation got disrupted and out of fury he turned all the 60,000 sons into ashes just with his powerful glance. He also cursed that their souls would attain Moksha, only if their ashes get washed by the holy waters of River Ganga, which was then a river, seated in heaven. It is said that Bhagirath, the grandson of King Sagara in order to free his ancestors performed rigorous penance for a 1000 long years to please Ganga to come down to the earth. Finally his efforts bore fruit and River Ganga was pleased by his devotion and was ready to descend to earth.
Gangotri is located at an altitude of 3048 mts in the Himalayas of Uttarakhand, India. Gangotri is situated in the northern part of Uttarkashi District and very close the Indo-Tibetan border. It is approximately 300 km from Dehradun, 250 km from Rishikesh and 105 km from Uttarkashi.
Gangotri Road Route from Delhi
Route 1 (Via Haridwar) : Delhi → Haridwar → Rishikesh → Narendranagar → Tehri → Dharasu Bend → Uttarkashi → Bhatwari → Gangnani → Harsil → Gangotri
Route 2 (Via Dehradun) : Delhi → Dehradun → Mussoorie → Chamba → Tehri → Dharasu Bend → Uttarkashi → Bhatwari → Gangnani → Harsil → Gangotri
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