Gangotri YatraKapat Open - 13th May 2013 (Tentative)
The town of Gangotri is situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. A famous pilgrimage centre, Gangotri is the site of the 18th-century Gangotri temple, which was commissioned by General Amar Singh Thapa, one of the national heroes of Nepal and a key player in the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814-1816). Dedicated to the goddess Ganga, the temple - like the Gangotri area itself - remains inaccessible during the winter and is closed on Deepavali. The idol of the presiding deity is removed to a temple in the village of Mukhba about 20 kilometres away. A number of 'dharam shalas' have been built to accommodate the thousands of pilgrims who arrive here each summer. A stone known as the Bhagirathi shila near the Gangotri temple is believed to mark the spot where King Bhagirath meditated to bring the river Ganga down from heaven to wash away the ashes of his ancestors and ensure 'moksha' or salvation for their souls. The Ganga originates from the Gangotri Glacier (about 20 kilometres from the centre of town), and is known as river Bhagirathi in Gangotri. Only downstream at Devaprayag does it begin to be called 'Ganga' after meeting up with the river Alaknanda. The Gangotri-Gaumukh-Tapovan and Gangotri-Kedartal trekking and pilgrimage circuits originate from Gangotri. Gangotri has also given its name to the Gangotri National Park.
Dodi Tal, Gangotri
Amongst the various Hill stations of Northern India, Dodital, amid the high mountains with their enchanting snow-capped peaks and tall majestic oak, deodar and rhododendron trees, is an attractive paradise where one forgets oneself. Dodital, in Uttaranchal is famous for its crystal-clear lake that mainly attracts tourists to enjoy fishing. The Dodital Lake is famous for trout and Mahaseer fishing. Dodital is a paradise for enjoying, fishing, trekking, boating and bird watching. One can trek through terraced fields and beautiful woods to Lake Dodital but for more adventurous trek route, trek to Hanuman Chatti and move on further to Yamunotri from Dodital. According to one of the popular legends Lord Ganesha chose this place as his home. There is also a temple devoted to Lord Ganesha here. Vishwanath temple is located opposite the Shiva Trident. Its water is believed to possess a unique quality that freshen the skin.
Dayara Bugyal, Gangotri
The road to Dayara Bugyal branches off near Bhatwari a place on Uttarkashi-Gangotri road about 28 km from Uttarkashi. Dayara Bugyal, situated at a huge height of over three thousand meters above sea level, with scenic and charming view of the lovely Himalayas, has retained its beauty due to its unreachable heights untouched by human civilization. It is a place for nature lovers like a dream comes true. For the brave hearts able to bear extreme winters, the Dayara Bugyal is an excellent ski joint during the winters. Dayara Bugyal can be reached after a scenic trek of about eight kilometres from the village of Barsu or Raithal close to Uttarkashi-Gangotri road. The famous Sheshnag Temple enroute is an attraction of the trek. From Dayara, one can also trek down to Dodi Tal. During winters, Dayara provides excellent ski slopes over an area of twenty eight square kilometres.
Tehri was a former princely state of British India. Tehri, the meeting point of the rivers Bhagirathi and Bhilangna is the Capital of Tehri Garhwal. The district of Tehri Garhwal is one of the largest districts of state uttarakhand. Bhagirathi which runs through appears to divide the Tehri district into two. Tehri Garhwal has its own army and police force. Chandrabadani Fair, Surkhanda Devi Fair, Kunjapuri Fair, Lakhwar Mela are the important fairs of Tehri during the year. To provide Electricity for the Tehri region, a huge Dam project on the massive Bhagirathi River was planned. Due to the dam, the old Tehri Town submerged in water, which brought the idea of a model Town (New Tehri) to life. Nowadays model Town is reality and is Asia's most comprehensive Resettlement exercise. New Tehri is situated on the banks of the Dam the beauty of which makes an attractive tourist spot.
Uttarkashi, the land of holiest of pilgrimages of Hindus, Gangotri and Yamunotri, bordered by a range of snow capped peaks on the northern side, situated at a distance of 145 kilometres from Rishikesh and altitude of 1158 metres holds distinctive importance in Uttaranchal. It has the origin of two holiest rivers of India, Ganga and Yamuna on the bank of river Bhagirathi within the bounds of its land. Owing to its deep rooted religious connection, the hill district is also known as 'Devbhumi' -the land of gods and goddesses. Important temples of Uttarkashi include that of Lord Vishwanath, Durga and Hanuman, Laksheswar, Parshuram, Dattatrya, Annapurna, Bhairav and Ekadashrudra. Places to visit include Nehru Mountaineering Institute; hot springs at Gangnani, Tiloth Dam, and Maneri Bhali Dam etc Adventure sports White Water River rafting, Uttarkashi is known for its excellent trekking tracks of Nachiketa Tal and Dodi Tal and mountaineering.
The unique source of the sacred river Ganges is Gangotri glaciers. Gaumukh is where the waters of Ganga trickle down from the glaciers. In the distant past it probably appeared like a cow's mouth that's why the sages called it 'Gaumukh'. From Gangotri we move along the beaten track towards Chirbasa, which is on the tree line. From here, we can get a clear view of the Bhagirathi Peak. Located in the hills, eighteen kilometres downstream from Gaumukh is Gangotri. It is an important pilgrim site located at 3,048 metres above sea level. For tourists looking for peace and adventure Tapovan is an ideal location. It is located on an altitude of 4463metres above sea level. It is base camp for shivlinga peak in uttaranchal hills. One can have a nice view of bhagirathi peaks from Tapovan meadow. Every year this place has been visited by thousands of tourist.
Uttarkashi is a place that can easily captivate any wanderlust mind with its terraced hills, lakes, springs waterfalls and a snowline for perfect backdrop. It is a trekker's paradise and a pilgrim's dream come true. Situated about 13 kms close to Uttarkashi enroute to Gangotri, Maneri is the latest tourist attractions around Gangotri at a distance of thirteen kilometres from Uttarkashi and ninety two kilometres from Gangotri. The main attraction here is the dam built across river Bhagirathi where the water is channelled to turbines through an eight kilometres long tunnel built at Tiloth at Uttarkashi. The Central Electricity Authority has given techno-economic clearance to the 304-MW Maneri Bhali stage II hydro-electric power project in Uttar Pradesh. Lake at Maneri has added to the charm of the place. The lake is the creation of the dam. The colour of cold water is amazingly beautiful and a dip is irresistible.
Ganges is the holiest river in India and its source, a sacred pilgrimage for devout Hindus. To its source at Gaumukh, the snout of river Ganges, the trek follows the Ganges. This is the present source of the Bhagirathi River and the Snout of the Gangotri glacier. Legend is that Goddess Ganga descended here from heaven after prolonged penance of King Bhagirath. It is held in high respect by the devotees who do not miss the prospect to have a holy dip in the bone chilling icy water. The 18 km distance from Gangotri haste is covered on foot or by ponies. The trek is easy and many people come back to Gangotri the same day. Porters and ponies are available for excursions to Gaumukh and other trekking routes at Gangotri. 14km from Gangotri there is a Tourist Bungalow at Bhojbasa, where lodging and other facilities are available.
Gangotri is the picturesque pilgrimage in the hinterlands of the Himalayas is the most sacred spot where Ganga touched earth for the first time. Gangnani is a small town situated in Gangotri. Gangnani is situated at a short distance of about thirty seven kilometres from Maneri, enroute to Gangotri. At a distance of 55km from Gangotri, famous for its thermal springs and close-up views of famous mountain peaks, Gannani's peaceful and tranquilising environment provides an ideal setting for meditation. It is an ideal place to meditate because of the quietness that prevails here. So pure is the air and the surroundings that one leaves this place totally charged and rejuvenated. The hot water spring here called Rishikund where one can have a refreshing bath for the pilgrims going to Gangotri. Gangnani also leads the way stretched at a distance of 12 kms to another place worth visiting, called Bhatwari.
Located at a distance of 73kilometres from Uttarkashi, Harsil is a beautiful hill station to enjoy calmness and loneliness amidst the natural surroundings. Chirping of birds in the morning, colourful sun rays and smell of wild flowers in this small village is quite amusing. One of the most beautiful mountain resorts amidst the Kumaoun Himalayas, Harsil is the perfect destination. Nearby hill stations include Sattal, at a distance of seven kilometres, is a cluster of seven lakes which is surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful surroundings and Gangotri, Located 24 kms from Harsil On the banks of the River Ganges, is an important religious place for the Hindus. Harsil is also called as trekker's paradise with numerous trekking routes around offering bewitching splendour of nature. It has also distinction of being a major apple growing zone in the entire state. Foreign tourists are not allowed since Harsil is a cantonment area.
Situated at a distance of 2km from Harsil, Dharali is a small scenic last village on Indo-Tibetan border at a height of nine thousand feet posing as a picture that has come to life with apple orchards all around. The village also famous for red beans cultivation, Dharali is surrounded by pine trees, river Ganga gushing close by and a wonderful view of the majestic Himalayas. There is a belief that Bhagirath meditated in the village to get the Ganges out of the heaven to flow in to the earth where there is Shiva temple now. With views of snow-clad Himalayan peaks, deeply forested hill slopes, emerald green alpine meadows, offbeat quaint hamlets, silver streams gurgling down the mountain slopes, furious rivers hurtling down the valleys, sunsets and sunrises a riot of ethereal images. From sightseeing to long walks and soft treks to just unwinding are a soothing retreat.
Ekadash Rudra Temple, Gangotri
The pleasing pilgrimage in the hinterlands of the Himalayas is the most sacred spot where the stream of life Ganga, touched earth for the first time. According to mythology, Goddess Ganga - the daughter of heaven, manifested herself in the form of a river to absolve the sins of King Bhagirath's predecessors, following his severe penance of several centuries. Lord Shiva received her into his matted locks to minimise the immense impact of her fall. She came to be known Bhagirathi at her well-known source. At an altitude of 1,150 mts. on the banks of Bhagirathi, Uttarkashi is an important pilgrimage centre. While in Uttarkashi, visit the Vishwanath temple, Ekadash Rudra temple, Gyaneshwar temple and Kuteti Devi Temple. Shiva has eleven forms of Rudra. He has several names and avataras and various scriptures. However the eleven Rudras are worshipped in the Ekadasa Rudrabhishekam Pooja.
Kuteti Devi Temple, Gangotri
About 2 kms away from Uttarkashi is situated the temple of Goddess Kuteti Devi atop a hill called Hari Parwat, Situated on the banks of Bhagirathi, the temple of Kuteti Devi was built by the daughter and son-in-law of Maharaja Kota, after Kuteti Devi blessed them in dreams and guided them to discover three stones of heavenly nature. Gangotri is one of the four Dhaams of Garhwal and holy pilgrimages of Hindus the other three being Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath). Uttarkashi located in a wide stretch of the valley in Gangotri at a distance of ninety seven kilometres from Gangotri is an important pilgrimage centre equated with Varanasi, or Kashi, it is. Important temples in the town are Vishwanath Temple and Kuteti Devi Temple. Kuteti Devi is the main goddess of Kot Gram Khai in Uttarkashi. Legend says that Kuteti Devi is a rebirth of Durga.
Vishwanath Temple, Gangotri
Uttarkashi, the land of holiest of pilgrimages of Hindus, Gangotri and Yamunotri, bordered by a range of snow capped peaks on the northern side, located at a distance of one hundred forty five kilometres from Rishikesh and elevation of 1158 metres holds distinct importance in Uttaranchal. Owing to its deep rooted religious connection, the hill district is also known as 'Devbhumi' -the land of gods and goddesses. Important temples of Uttarkashi include that of Lord Vishwanath, Durga and Hanuman, Laksheswar, Parshuram, Dattatrya, Annapurna, Bhairav and Ekadashrudra. Vishwanath temple in Uttarkashi is one of the prime pilgrimage attractions in Uttarkashi. An ancient temple is said to be first built by Parasuram. Later, it was renovated by Maharani Khaneti, wife of Sudarshan Shah in 1857. The temple has a Shivling, sixty centimetres high and ninety centimetres in circumference. No one misses this holy shrine on their trip to Uttarkashi.