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Gangotri Temple History, Significance, Facts & How To Reach

Gangotri Temple History
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The most hallowed location where Ganga, the flow of life, first touched earth is a scenic pilgrimage in the Himalayan hinterlands. Read this article to know the detailed information about Gangotri temple history, Gangotri Temple significance, and some interesting facts about Gangotri temple. If you want to visit this place, check out the Gangotri temple open date, the best time to visit Gangotri, and detailed guidance on how to reach Gangotri Dham.

Gangotri Dham

Gangotri Temple Open Date

Every year on the fortunate day of Akshay Tritiya, the sacred shrine of Gangotri Temple opens. Gangotri was inaugurated this year in the month of May. The Gangotri temple open date is May 3, 2022. On November 5, the Gangotri Temple will be closed. The deadline for 2022 will be announced soon.

Best Time To Visit Gangotri

The best time to visit Gangotri is Summers. During the month of March, the ice is melting and the weather is improving, but the region is still susceptible to snowfall. During the month of April, the temple kapat opens for darshan and remains open until the middle of June. The temperature ranges between 21 and 11 degrees Celsius on average.

Gangotri Temple History

Goddess Ganga, according to Hindu legend, took the form of a river to atone for the misdeeds of King Bhagiratha’s forefathers after a centuries-long penance. Lord Shiva took her into his matted locks to soften the blow of her fall. At her legendary source, she was given the name Bhagirathi.

After killing the demons on earth, King Sagar decided to hold an Ashwamedha Yajna to proclaim his dominance. The King’s 60,000 sons born to Queen Sumati and a son Asamanja born to the second queen Kesani were to accompany the horse on an unending voyage around the planet. Indra, the supreme ruler of the gods, feared losing his celestial throne if the ‘Yagya’ succeeded, so he grabbed the horse and tied it to Kapil Muni’s ashram, where he was deep in meditation.

The horse was eventually discovered tied beside the meditating Kapil by King Sagar’s sons. King Sagara’s 60,000 enraged sons assaulted the ashram of guru Kapil. The 60,000 sons had all died by the curse of guru Kapil when he opened his eyes. Bhagiratha, King Sagar’s grandson, is said to have pondered in order to appease the Goddess Ganga enough to wash his forefathers’ ashes and liberate their spirits, granting them nirvana or Moksha. This is the whole Gangotri temple history.

Gangotri Temple Significance

The Gangotri temple is among the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage locations, and it is located near a pillar known as “Bhagirath Shila,” where King Bhagiratha is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva to bore the Ganga’s descent. The water collected here is called Amrit (Nectar), and pilgrims and devotees collect it and take it home for sacred purposes. The Pandavas are also said to have undertaken the huge “Deva Yagna” here to atone for the deaths of their kinsmen during the legendary Mahabharata battle.

During the winter, as the water recedes, a natural rock structure in the shape of a Shiv Ling can be observed. Lord Shiva is said to have let Ganga run through his hair locks at this location. The highest river bridge in India, Lanka Pul, is located in Gangotri and can be seen from Bhairon Ghat.

Facts About Gangotri Temple

Some of the interesting facts about Gangotri temple are:

  1. The Gomukh glacier at Gangotri, which is 19 kilometers from the main Gangotri Temple, is thought to be the source of the Goddess River Ganga (Bhagirathi).
  1. Gangotri is encircled on all sides by mountains and is close to the Indo-China border. It is well-known for providing guests with calm and tranquility.
  1. All of the temples in Uttarakhand’s Chota Char Dham are more than 3000 meters above sea level. The four temples, including Gangotri, are closed for six months during the winter and open for six months during the summer.
  1. The Puranas include the most detailed descriptions of Ganga’s grandeur. According to all of the Vedas and Puranas, the Ganga is the most sacred river in the world, not just in India.
  2. There are excellent Yamuna-Ganga statues embellished with decorations in the temple grandeur. Nearby are also the idols of Devi Mahalakshmi, Devi Annapurna, Maa Saraswati, Bhagirath, and Adi Guru Sankaracharya.
  1. The Priests of Mukhwa were selected by Maharaja Amar Singh Thapa to worship at the Gangotri shrine. Before Mukhwa Priests, the Khas Rajputs of Taknor were Gangotri priests.
  1. Gauri Kund is a pool formed by a waterfall located a small distance from Gangotri temple, in the west direction of Bhagirathi.
  1. Kedar Ganga is thought to have originated from Kedartal, which terminates its autonomous existence in Gangotri and unites into Bhagirathi.
  1. A beautiful pond called Kedartal is located 7 kilometers from Gangotri (Kedar Pond).
  1. Bhairon Jhap Hill is located on the left side of the Bhagirathi River in Gangotri, to the left of the main temple.

How To Reach Gangotri Dham

Gangotri is only accessible by road and is located in the state of Uttarakhand. It is linked to Dehradun, which has excellent road, rail, and aviation links to other major cities. The following are directions that should different modes regarding how to reach Gangotri Dham:

By Flight

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun, which is 226 kilometers away. From the airport to Gangotri through Rishikesh, taxis, private cars, and state road transport buses are available.

By Railway

Rishikesh is the closest railway station, with connections to Dehradun and Delhi.

By Road

Gangotri has daily bus connections to Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun. From Rishikesh to Gangotri, jeeps and tempos are accessible.

Conclusion

The Chota Chardham Yatra circuit, which is held every six months in Devbhoomi Uttarakhand, includes Gangotri Dham. Visitors come from all over the world to see this unique temple devoted to the goddess Ganga. This place is loaded with tales from the ancient eras, and these stories & mythological accounts contribute to the mesmerizing attractiveness of this place, with the roaring Bhagirathi River finding its way from the side of the temple. 

From the minute you enter the temple’s boundary, you can sense the temple’s rich historical and mythological stories. It is said that a plunge in the water from this location will cleanse you of all your sins and offer you salvation. This was all about the history of Gangotri.

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