A view infront of Gangotri Maa Ganga Temple
A view infront of Gangotri Maa Ganga Temple

Gangotri Maa Ganga Temple is located in Uttarkashi district of Uttarkhand. Gangotri is the origin of River Ganges and this river is worshipped as a Goddess in India. The Gangotri Maa Ganga Temple stands at a height of 3140 meters, made of white granite, dedicated to the Goddess Ganga. This temple is built by the Gurkha general Amar Singh Thapa in the early 18th century. The Gangotri Maa Ganga Temple is also be opened for only six months (between April and November), during the rest of the period, the temple will be covered with snow.

The mythology is that a ’Yagya’ (worship with fire) was made by the King Sagar to proclaim his supremacy after defeating all the demons in the earth. And he sent his horse for an undisturbed journey around the earth accompanied by his 60,000 sons. Lord Indra, the supreme ruler of the gods, was feared that if this Yagya gets succeeded, the power of King Sagar might be deprived of His heavenly throne. And so Lord Indra took away the horse and tied it in the ashram of Sage Kapil, who was in a deep meditation.

When the 60,000 sons of King Sagar found the horse in the Sage Kapil’s ashram, they started to attack the ashram in angry. The sage Kapil who was in meditation got disturbed by them and he turned them into ashes. And the sage said that they could be free from their sin only if the holy Ganga River touches their ashes. Due to the continuous meditation of King Bhagirath (the grandson of King Sagar), Goddess Ganga, the daughter of heaven, came down to Earth in the form of a River.

An aerial view of Gangotri Maa Ganga Temple
An aerial view of Gangotri Maa Ganga Temple

Specialty

The Goddess Ganga is the main deity worshipped in this Gangotri Maa Ganga Temple. It is said that to control the immense effect of river Ganga, Lord Shiva received the river into His matted locks. And by the worship of King Bhagirath, Lord Shiva released river Ganga from His locks in seven streams. The seven streams of river Ganga are:

  1. Bhagirathi
  2. Jahnvi
  3. Bhilangana,
  4. Mandakini,
  5. Rishiganga,
  6. Saraswati and
  7. Alaknanda
An image of Goddess Ganga
An image of Goddess Ganga

There is a natural Shiva lingam rock in Gangotri, which is submerged under the water, which is considered as a place where Lord Shiva sat when the river Ganga levitated in His matted locks. As the place Gangotri is a renowned source of Goddess Ganga, She is later came to be called as Bhagirathi. The rock on which the King Bhagirath is said to have mediated is known as Bhagirath Shila, which is situated near to the temple.

Dharshan Timings

In summer

  • 6.15 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.
  • 3.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

In winter

  • 6.45 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.
  • 03.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.

Pooja Timings

  • Mangalaarti – 6.00 a.m.
  • Sandhya Aarti – conducted at 7:45 p.m. during summer and at 7.00 p.m. during winter.

Festivals

  • Janmashtami – August or September
  • Diwali – October or November
  • Vijaya Dasami – September or October
By Road

Gangotri is well connected by road to Rishikesh, Dehra Dun, Haridwar and Delhi.


By Train

The nearest railway station is located in Rishikesh, about 249 kms.


By Air

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun, situated about 226 kilo meters from Gangotri.

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