Gangotri Temple

Gangotri temple is situated in Uttarkashi district of Uttarkhand. The temple stands at a height of 3140 meters. Gangotri is the origin of River Ganges and the Ganges river is worshiped as a Goddess by Indian people.

History

The Gangotri temple is said to be built by the Gurkha general Amar Singh Thapa in 18th century. The history says that a Yagna (worship with fire) was made by the King Sagar to betray his supremacy after defeating all the demons in the earth.  To celebrate his victory he sent his horse for an peaceful journey around the earth accompanied by his 60,000 sons.

Gangotri Temple

On the other side, Lord Indra, the supreme leader of all the deities, got afraid that, if the yagna made by the King Sagar gets succeed, then the power of King would divest off his heavenly throne. To prevent from achieving the yagna, Lord Indra took away the horse and tied it in the ashram (a hermitage) of the Sage named Kapil, who was in a deep meditation.

When the 60,000 sons of King Sagar came in search of the horse, they found that the horse was in the hermitage of sage Kapil,and they started to attack the hermitage. The sage Kapil who was in the deep meditation got disturbed by them and in angry he cursed them to turn into ashes. And the sage said that they could be relieved from their sin only if the holy Ganga River touches their ashes. Due to the restless meditation by King Bhagirath (the grandson of King Sagar), towards Goddess Ganga, the daughter of heaven, the Goddess appeared in the form of a River to relieve them of their sin.

Fortes of Gangotri temple

The Goddess Ganga, the daughter of heaven has been worshiped as the main deity of this temple. And there is a mythology that to control the massive effect of river Ganga, Lord Shiva took up the river into His matted locks. And then only by the worship of King Bhagirath towards Lord Shiva to get the blessings of Goddess Ganga, Lord Shiva released the 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
  7. Alaknanda

The special feature of the temple is that there is a natural Shiva lingam rock at Gangotri, which got submerged under the water. The particular place is considered as a place where Lord Shiva took His holy seat when river Ganga levitated in His matted locks. However, the place Gangotri is a renowned source of Goddess Ganga, the goddess is later came to be called as Goddess Bhagirathi.The rock on which the King Bhagirath is said to have meditated towards goddess Ganga is known as Bhagirath Shila, located inside the temple premises.

Poojas

The temple will be opened for only six months (between April and November), and during the rest of the period, the temple will be covered with snow.

Poojas during summer
6.15 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.
3.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

Poojas during winter
6.45 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.
03.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.

Festivals

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

Transportation

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

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

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

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