Gangotri Temple Uttarakhand Timings, History, Photos, Height

by Surojit Palmal
Gangotri Temple

Uttarakhand is one of the major sites of pilgrimage and every year a huge number of devotees visit there for spiritual reasons. Popular for the Char Dham Yatra and the famous temples there you will find a significant number of visitors here. From the extreme weather conditions to the beauty of nature, that location itself is one of the most exciting spots to visit. And for the devotees the location holds even more importance due to the presence of some of the most important sites of pilgrimage. One such important temple located there is the Gangotri Temple. Gangotri is one of the holiest locations and therefore a huge number of devotees visit here. Dedicated to Maa Ganga that is the holy river Ganges the Gangotri Temple Uttarakhand is one of the major shrines there. Gangotri holds special importance as the birth place or origin of River Ganga.

However other than the religious importance this location is also significant for being one of the most popular tourist destinations. The beautiful views, the enjoyable weather and the many sightseeing spots further makes this one of the most popular locations. Located in Uttarkashi, Gangotri is a small town and a spiritual town as well. The divine atmosphere is also something that attracts more people here. A long history and a lot of legends are associated with this temple in Uttarakhand as well. And the legends make this temple more important and it is therefore one of the revered shrines for the Hindus.

Keep on reading this article as here I will mention everything that you need to know about this temple in Uttarakhand. This will be a helpful article for you if you are planning a trip to the Gangotri Temple any time soon.

Gangotri Temple

Location: Gangotri, Uttarakhand

TimingsGangotri Temple timings are from 4 am to 2 pm and 3 pm to 9 pm on all days of the week

Mangala Aarti 6 am

Sandhya Aarti 7:45 pm in summer and 7 pm in winters

Entry fee: There is no entry fee

How to reach

By air

If you are travelling by air then the nearest airport to reach the temple is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. From there the distance of the temple is 266 km away. It would approximately take you around 8 hours to reach the location of the temple in Uttarakhand from the airport. The best option to travel from the airport to reach the temple would be to take a car or hire a cab. Buses are available on this route as well and you can opt for that to reach here as well.

By train

If you are travelling by train then the nearest major railway stations are in Dehradun, Rishikesh and Haridwar. These are the railway stations that are well connected to major cities and towns so you can reach any of these stations to reach the temple. From the Dehradun railway station the location of the temple is 236 km away. It would approximately take you around 8 hours to reach the location from the Dehradun station. However, from the Rishikesh railway station the location of the temple is 261 km. It would take you around a little less than 8 hours to reach the temple from Rishikesh. And from Haridwar railway station the location of the temple in Uttarakhand is 284 km away. It would take you around 8 hours and 40 minutes to reach the location from the Haridwar station.

From all these locations you will find regular buses to reach Uttarakhand so you can opt for that to reach there. Or else to reach there more conveniently you can opt for a car or hire a cab as well to reach the Gangotri Temple.

By road

You can travel to this location via roadways as well as there are motorable roads to reach the location. From destinations like Rishikesh, Dehradun, Tehri Garhwal and Uttarkashi you will get buses to reach the temple. Or else you can opt for a car or hire a cab as well to reach the Gangotri Temple easily. 


Best time to visit

The weather of this region remains cold at all times but the ideal time to visit here would be the summer months. From April to June it is the ideal time to visit the Gangotri Temple as the weather would be in check during this time. The summer season is the peak season for a visit here as well so if you are visiting here during this time be ready for the crowd as well. The next best time to visit here is from the months of September to October. This is also a time when the weather here remains pleasant so you can plan a trip during this time as well.

The monsoon season is not a recommended time for a visit to the Gangotri Temple though as heavy rainfall brings in a lot of difficulties here. The rainfall causes landslides in the area that makes a visit here very risky. So try to avoid visiting here during the monsoon months.

The winter season is not at all a recommended time for a visit to this temple as the weather gets too chilly during this time. Moreover due to excessive snowfall the roads to reach the temple remain blocked. From the months of November to March the situation continues. Also during this time the idol of the Goddess gets ready at the advent of winter season to leave for the Mukhyamath Temple in Mukhba Village. This temple is located 20 km downstream. The transfer takes place here on the day of Diwali and on the holy day of Akshaya Tritiya the Goddess is again brought back to the temple. So plan your trip accordingly to enjoy the best of the temple in Uttarakhand.

Overview of Gangotri Temple

Overview of Gangotri Temple
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

The Gangotri Temple in Uttarakhand is one of the major shrines for Hindus and it is also one of the Chota Char Dham in Uttarakhand. As the birthplace of River Ganga the town is a sacred town and a major site of pilgrimage as well. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga or Maa Ganga. Here the river Ganges originates from the Gangotri Glacier also known as Gaumukh. This temple is located at a pristine height of 3100 meters and offers a magnificent view. With pine and deodar trees the surroundings of the temple look beautiful. Furthermore it offers a beautiful view of the Himalayas along with the Ganges flowing by. Every year a huge chunk of devotees visits this temple to seek blessings from the Goddess. The temple dates back to the 18th century and Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa, the living lion of Nepal built this temple.

Gangotri is a small town located in Uttarkashi but because of the important shrine it is one of the most popular locations to visit. According to legends Goddess Ganga came down to earth so that she can cleanse the sins of the ancestors of King Bhagirath. Therefore from a mythological point of view as well as a spiritual point of view it is one of the most important temples to visit.

The Ganga Devi Pooja is the main pooja of the temple that takes place on the Ganga Saptami Day. With chanting of mantras and stotras the Ganga pooja takes place. And it attracts a good number of visitors to the Ganga temple during that time. Other than this other important festivals here are the Ganga Dussehra, Akshaya Tritiya, Diwali etc.


Gangotri Temple History

Gangotri Temple History
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Many mythological tales and legends are associated with the Gangotri Temple that makes it an important and significant temple. According to one such legend the great grandfather of King Bhagirath performed Ashwamedha Yagna to attain supremacy. According to this yagna a horse will be left uninterrupted on a journey across empires. Lord Indra was however scared of losing his empire if the yagna was completed. So he stopped the horse and tied it in the Ashram of Sage Kapila. At the ashram, sage Kapila was deeply meditating. However the 60,000 sons of King Sagara were on a duty to find that horse. Finally one day they found the horse tied next to the sage where he was meditating. But they interrupted his meditation and as soon as sage Kapila opened his eyes the 60,000 sons turned into ashes by the sage’s curse.

He went on to curse them further saying that their soul will find Moksha only when their ashes will come in contact with the holy water of Ganga River. Therefore to set their souls free King Sagara performed atonement for 1000 years to please Goddess Ganga. And it was then that Devi Ganga descended to earth as she was pleased with his devotion.

There is another legend related to this temple and that is Ganga was a free spirited woman. According to legend she took birth from the Kamandulu or water vessel of Lord Brahma. As per some other legend Devi Ganga came down to earth and married King Shantanu. She had 7 sons which she threw on the river one by one. But when it was the turn of the 8th son, King Shantanu saved him. This son was Bheeshma who played an important role later in the holy epic Mahabharata.

Architecture of Gangotri Temple

The Gangotri Temple is a single formation temple made with white granite. You will not find any carvings or any engravings on the temple walls that make it look different. The temple has a height of about 20 feet and you can notice a distinct style of North Indian architecture. The entrance of the temple goes through a Sabha Mandapa and that further leads to the Garbhagriha. The Gangotri Temple inside is the main section of the temple. And the sanctum sanatorium houses the idol of Goddess Ganga. In front of the Garbhagriha there is a Mandapa. And this is the location where all the devotees gather for puja rituals and aarti.

Wrapping Up!

So that was all about the Gangotri Temple Uttarakhand and now you can surely plan a trip to this temple. From the location to the significance everything about this temple would make your visit worth it. So whenever you are in Uttrakhand make sure you are definitely visiting the Gangotri Temple there. You can check out the Gangotri Temple photos to check out the pristine environment there. So when are you planning a trip to the Gangotri Temple? Let me know if this article on the Gangotri Temple is helpful for you in planning a trip.

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