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These are the 5 Best Places to Visit in Gangotri
Gangotri Temple, a religiously important temple in Hinduism, is located in the quaint town of Gangotri, Uttarkashi District in the Indian State of Uttarakhand. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga and is the highest and the most important shrine dedicated to the deity. The sacred temple and the surroundings offer a scenic view of the breathtaking Himalayas and the ever so gorgeous River Ganga. The sight is breathtaking in the mornings during sunrise as the sun shines from behind the Himalayas spreading light and life to the region.
Gangotri is one of the four sacred Dhams in Uttarakhand including Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath. Thousands of devotees from all over visit the glorious temple every year to seek blessings from Goddess Ganga. Perched at an elevation of over 3000 metres above sea level, amidst lush green hills with the captivating Ganga flowing by its side, the shrine is a cynosure. According to a legend, it is here that River Ganga originated. Around 300 years ago, a Nepalese General, Amar Singh Thapa built this temple as a symbol of respect towards the Goddess. The pleasant sacred vibe in the air is enough to explain why the temple is of such importance to one and all.
Gangotri Glacier Located in the Uttarkashi district of Garhwal Himalayas, Gangotri Glacier is considered as one among the most pious glaciers. Being the source of the sacred River Ganges, Gangotri Glacier is significant to Hindu pilgrims. The glacier is around 30 km in length and 4 km in width. A paradise for trekkers and adventure enthusiasts, this glacier is a renowned tourist hotspot.
Popularly known as Gaumukh, the terminus of the glacier resembles a cow’s mouth. Bordering China, this glacier also feeds River Bhagirathi. The trek to Gangotri Glacier is a legendry one and features an exhilarating trail. The route is challenging but it opens up to some of the most fascinating views of enchanting Himalayan Peaks like Shivling, Bhagirathi, Meru and many more. Gangotri glacier is one of the most intriguing natural wonder. Characterizing glacial troughs, crevasses, waterfalls, smooth rock walls and supraglacial lakes, it stands testimony to the beauty of creation. Trekkers in search of true bliss must head out for a trek to the Gangotri Glacier.
Surya Kund is a spectacular waterfall in Gangotri, located 500 metres from the Gangotri Temple. Suryakund holds religious significance as it is believed that Goddess Parvati used to take a bath here, paying homage to the Sun God. A rainbow is created every time water falls down into the kund while the sun in shining. The best time to visit Surya Kund is during the morning.
On the other side of the iron bridge in Gangotri lies Gauri Kund, another stunning waterfall. It can be reached through the walkway past the Tapovan Kunti and Dandi Kshetra ashrams.
When you go for the Kedar Tal trek, you will anticipate the excellent beauty of Gangotri in the best way. The route is not for the novice, especially, if you go there in the winters. However, the summer trek is good one, with ample floral beauty on both side of the trek route. Aspiring meadows on both the side of the route is having excellent art and craft, naturally maintained by nature, is going to greet you in all of your turns. So, you will never feel tired, although the route is tough and steep. Kedartal, the expanse of Kedar Ganga has ample mythological features.
One of the holiest lands in Uttarakhand, Gaumukh, or Gomukh, is the source of the holy Bhagirathi River. It is located 18km from Gangotri and is the second-largest glacier in India. Devotees throng it mainly for its serenity and pious mythological history. Gaumukh opens only between May to October and remains close for the rest of the year. The name Gaumukh breaks down to Gau- meaning cow, and Mukh – meaning mouth. The end of the Gangotri glacier is in the shape of a cow’s mouth, and hence the name Gaumukh.