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Gangotri Dham, is the birthplace of River Ganga and one of the most revered pilgrimages in India.

This holy destination, located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, is part of the famous Chhota Char Dham yatra, which also includes Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.

Gangotri is the easiest of the char dhams to reach by direct bus or taxi. It’s only 300 km from Rishikesh and 100 km from Uttarkashi. The main attraction here is the Gangotri Temple, dedicated to Ma Ganga. This temple is open for 6 months each year, from May to November. On Akshya Tritiya, the idol of Ma Ganga is shifted to the Gangotri Temple from Mukhbas (Mukhimath). On Bhai Dooj, the idol is returned to Mukhimath for the next 6 months. The temple is open from 4 AM – 9 PM, with Aarti Timing at 6 AM and 7:45 PM.

The original source of River Ganga is at Gaumukh, located 19 km away. You can access it through trekking from Gangotri. River Ganga is known as Bhagirathi as it originates from Gaumukh, and it acquires the name Ganga from Devprayag, where it meets the Alaknanda River.

But Gangotri isn’t just a religious destination; it’s also a place of natural beauty and grace. Located at a height of 3,100 meters on the Himalayan range, the mountains and altitude make this place extra special. It’s like the cherry on top of the holy sundae.

Legend has it that Goddess Ganga descended on earth after Lord Shiva released her from the locks of his hair. You’ll feel that connection with the divine when you come here for a religious tour.

Accommodation is available at various guest houses, lodges, and dharamshalas in Gangotri, with prices varying according to seasons. If you’re a foodie, there are some small eateries and restaurants in the main market, 1 km before Gangotri Temple. Just remember, this is a pilgrimage site, non-vegetarian food and alcohol are prohibited in Gangotri, so don’t expect to find a bacon burger joint or a brewery.

Before you get too excited, know that there’s a parking charge of INR 50 imposed by the Nagar Panchayat a few km before entering Gangotri. But hey, at least it’s not as expensive as parking in downtown Mumbai.

So come to Gangotri Dham and experience the spiritual and natural wonders it has to offer. Whether you’re a devotee or just someone looking for adventure, you’ll find something here that will make you say, “Ganga, you rock!”

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