Gangotri Dham Yatra Travel Guide 2021

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Bhagirathi River

Gangotri Dham Yatra 2020 Travel Guide

Gangotri Temple

   Millions of Indian worship and bow their heads in front of Ganga the most pious river of India. Ganga is considered as Moksha Dayini means that it sets one free from clutches of birth and rebirth. Indians have deep faith in this holy river knows as Ma (mother) Ganga. From birth to death filling the heart with devotion numerous religious ceremonies are performed on its bank. Indian ancient scriptures and holy books have numerous tales and stories about the origin of the Ganga to Earth. In Varah (पुराण) Puraan it is said that – ‘गां गतां’ means river Ganga flows from heaven towards the earth. The place from where it comes to earth is revered as Gaumukh & place where the Temple of ma Ganga is located is worshipped as Shri Gangotri Dham. Yamnotri Dham, Gangotri Dham, Shri Kedarnath Dham along with Shri Badrinath Dham together completes the Chardham Circuit of Uttarakhand. After having darshan of Ma Yamuna at Yamnotri Dham pilgrims headed to the second yet religiously among most auspicious pilgrim of Shri Gangotri Ji. This Gangotri Dham Yatra 2020 Travel Guide will provide you complete information about Gangotri Dham Yatra.

       Gangotri town is located in the municipality of Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand 105 Kms from Uttarkashi. It falls in Greater Himalayan Range and is the second Dham among Chardham Yatra circuit which is also renowned as Chota Chardham. This religious Hindu town is situated on the bank of river Bhagirathi. On meeting at Devprayag Sangam Bhagirathi with Mandakini together derives names as Ganga. It is 285 kms from Haridwar and is a hilly drive of around 10 hours.

In Padm Puraan’s Shristi part describing the importance and feature of Ganga and is said:-

‘क्क नमो गंगायै विश्वरूपिण्यै नारायण्यै नमो नमः।’

Meaning:- Lord Vishnu guides and leads all the Gods and Ma Ganga to Vishnu. Further it is said that Ganga as Mandakini in Heaven, as Ganga on Earth and as Bhagwati constantly keep flowing in Pataal (beneath the earth)

1. Legends

bhagirath legend of gangotri

     Legend of Shri Gangotri Dham and bringing Ganga to earth goes back when King Sagar performed an Ashvamedh Yagya. Indra dev ( God of rain ) seeing the grand Yagya and fear of losing his throne by King Sagar took the Yagya horse and tied in Kapil Muni’s Ashram. King Sagar’s 60000 sons were accompanying the horse and when they found him missing they started searching him. When they found the horse in Kapil Muni’s Ashram they got very angry and used false words against the Muni. Kapil Muni was in deep meditation at that time and on hearing the wrong words he became furious and turned all the 60000 sons of King Sagar into ashes. He cursed them their souls will not find salvation until the ashes will wash away in water of Ganga. To seek salvation for their ancestors King Bhagirath (Grandson of Sagar) performed meditation for centuries to descend Ganga on Earth and finally succeeded.  Since then the people have been immersing the ashes of their deceased relatives into the holy water of River Ganga.

2. History Of Gangotri Temple

old pic of gangotri temple
Gangotri Temple in 1983 ( img src - )

     On the height of 3000 meters from sea level a Grand Temple of Ma Ganga at Gangotri Dham is a place of fascination with the pilgrims.  It is situated on the left bank of the Bhagirathi river. The temple was built by Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century. The temple is of white marble and has an Idol made up of Gold of Ma Ganga.  The temple remains open six months for Darshan and six months remains closed during winter due to heavy snow-fall.  During winter the Idol of ma Ganga brought down to Mukhuwa village near Dharali.  The main Shrine temple is situated close to Bhagirath Shila (Rock where King Bhagirath worshiped Lord Shiva). Pilgrims take the holy water of Bhagirathi with them.

3. Gangotri Dham Temple Darshan Timing

Morning 6:15 am to 2:00 pm 

Evening 3:00 pm to 9:30 pm

    Shri Gangotri Temple Opens for Darshan and Pooja every morning from 06:15 AM to 2:00 PM during Yatra season and from 03:00 PM to 09:30 PM in the evening. Every day priest of Shri Gangotrii Ji perform the Mangal Aarti in the morning from 6:30 am to 7:30 am. Evening Shayan Aarti helds every day from 6:30 pm to 7:30 PM after which the door of the temple is closed for Pilgrims.

4. Opening & Closing Dates of Shri Gangotri Dham Temple in 2020

Chardham Destination Opening Date Closing Date
Yamunotri Temple Sunday 26th April 2020 (Tentative) Monday 16th Nov 2020 (Tentative)
Gangotri Temple Sunday 26th April 2020 (Tentative) Tuesday 17th Nov 2020 (Tentative)
Kedarnath Temple Wednesday 29th April 2020 Tuesday 17th Nov 2020 (Tentative)
Badrinath Temple Thrusday 30th April 2020 (Tentative) Closing day is decided by the priest of Temple on Vijaydashmi

   The Holy shrine of Gangotri Dham opens on the Akshay Tritya which usually falls on either the last week of April or the first week in May and closes for Darshan on Bhya Dooj after Diwali.

The Tentative Opening date of Gangotri Dham in 2020 is on Auspicious day of Akshay teerth i.e. on 26th April. The probable Gangotri Dham Temple closing Date is on 16th November, on the day of Bhya Dooj.

5. When to Visit:

    The best time to visit Gangotri for Pilgrims and devotees is the Last week of April, May, July to Sept & October. Due to heavy snow-fall place becomes not approachable in winters. Monsoon further contributes to the fall in Temperature. Nowadays the advancement of accessibility has opened up the new scope to the visitor who would like to experience the snow and winter. Several guided winter treks and locations are in developing phases around the Gangotri region with support of local authorities and government.

6. How To Reach Gangotri:

gangotri temple route map

   Like other Dham of Chota Chardham Yatra 2020 sector  Yamnotri Dham, Kedarnath and Badrinath Dham the all-weather road project construction is also at its highest pace. The roads have become wider and broad, along with the main route several alternate road routes have been developed. The Government is giving full attention and making efforts to ease the travel ensuring safety measure. Gangotri Temple is around 105 kms from Uttarkashi & 25 kms from Harsil.

The highway from Delhi to Haridwar & Dehradun is broad and wide. From Haridwar one can reach Gangotri either Via Rishikesh or Dehradun as well. From Dehradun to Gangotri the total travel distance is around 242 Kms and took around 9 hours.

From Dehradun its goes via Mussoorie, Chamba, Chinyali Saur, Dharasu, Uttarkashi, Maneri, Bhatwari, Harsil & Finally Gangotri.

From Haridwar, the route goes to Rishikesh, Narendra Nagar, Khari, Chamba, Chinyali Saur, Dharasu, Uttarkashi, Maneri, Bhatwari, Harsil &  Gangotri. The distance from Haridwar to Gangotri is 285 Kms of appx 10 hours.

IMP Suggestion For the travelers who are on Chardham Yatra the route for next Dham i.e. Shri Kedarnath Dham diverted from Uttarkashi. Hence usually pilgrims make their halt around and the nearby small town of Uttarkashi like Naitala, Gangotri, Maneri, etc. Some guests also make their night stay at Harsil. However, it is always better to take stay nearby Uttrakashi because the drive to Shri Kedarnath is very long and hectic.

By Train: Nearest and major railheads are Haridwar & Rishikesh. One can take the train to Dehradun if anyone would like to travel from Dehradun. There are major trains from Pan India connecting to Haridwar. All trains pass from Haridwar either someone would like to go Dehradun or Rishikesh by train.

By Air: Jolly Grant Airport is the major airport for staring Gangotri Yatra. From Jolly grant airport Rishikesh is the nearest town which is around 20 kms & Dehradun is around 30 Kms. The airport has good number of flights connecting Delhi and during Chardham Yatra several flights start to operate from different major cities of India.

7. Accommodation

    There are several low to mid-range Hotels and lodges which guests can select  according to their comfort and budget. Yatris can find and book their hotels at main Town Uttarkashi, Naitala, Maneri, Bhatwari & Harsil.

8. Important Places to visit with Gangotri Dham Yatra

harsil mailestone marker

   Gangotri is nested in the shelter of mother nature with some of the rare natural wonders of its kind.

Gaumukh the prime and most important place is the source of river Bhagirathi and requires a trek of around 18 kms from Gangotri. We recommend to hire a Gangotri Dham Travel Guide for Gaumukh Trek for guiding the route and trek to Gaumukh.

Harsil is another wonderful destination to spend time in great peace.

Gangnani will rejuvenate your body and mind in its hot sulfur water springs.

Sattal – The place of seven natural lakes present a mesmerizing view of unexplored but enchanting Uttarakhand

Uttarkashi is among the most important town during Gangotri Yatra. Uttarkashi houses ancient Lord Vishwanath Ji Temple and several other temples. It is also an important stopover for Pilgrims heading toward Kedarnath after Shri Gangotri Dham Yatra.

9. Crucial Things To Carry During Gangotri Dham Yatra

     Gangotri temple is located in the greater Himalayan region and holds cold weather throughout the year. Prime time for Monsoon is from July to August but weather is unpredictable and could fluctuate anytime. Keeping a few pre-tour arrangements and things ready you can add on extra comfort and charm in your travel. A Pair of comfortable rubber long boots, an umbrella each, Raincoat, Torch with extra battery, woolen clothes, trekking pants, medicines if prescribed any, water bottle, Balm, sunglasses, Jackets, dry fruits and energy drink like ORS to avoid dehydration, gloves are some important articles which one must carry with them.

Less is always best hence try to keep your travel bag as compile you can consist of all the listed things to carry along with you. We wish for safe, comfortable and memorable Yatra to you.

For any information, guidance or feedback regarding the Gangotri Dham Yatra 2020 Travel Guide, you can comment us on below comment box. You can also give us suggestions if any on below comment box.  

Author Bio

Mr. Vikas Sharma holds (Masters in Tourism Management from BHU, Diploma International Tourism from KUK & Yogacharya from Uttarakhand ). He has more than a decade of work and writing experience in the field of Travel & Tourism in Top shot company of India. He developed his hobby of writing and is been engaged in writing fruitful content on travel, education, spirituality and yoga. 

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Deepak S Gwal · March 4, 2020 at 12:34 pm

Beautiful true information.

    planourtravel · March 7, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for your feedback Mr. Gwal

Paras · February 16, 2020 at 12:10 pm

Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

    planourtravel · March 7, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks for your valuable feedback Mr. Paras, look forward to have your feedback comments on our other blogs too.Thanks Again..

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