Uttarakhand Temples

Gangotri Temple Uttarkashi Timings, History, Puja

Gangotri Temple, a temple of religious significance in Hinduism, is located in the picturesque town of Gangotri, Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Ganga and is the highest and most important shrine. It is located at an altitude of 3,000 meters in the Great Himalayan Range on the banks of the Bhagirathi River. Gangotri is the source of the Ganges. This is the second stop of Char Dham Yatra. The Gangotri Glacier, also called Gaumukh, is the real source of the Ganges. It is a 19 km trek from Gangotri.

The sacred temple and its surroundings offer a panoramic view of the impressive Himalayas and the magnificent Ganges. The view is breathtaking in the morning at sunrise as the sun shines behind the Himalayas, spreading light and life to the area.

Gangotri is one of the four holy Dhans (Char Dham) of Uttarakhand, including Yamunotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath.  According to legend, this is where the Ganges originates from. About 300 years ago, a Nepalese General, Amar Singh Thapa, built this temple as a symbol of respect for the Goddess. Ganga Dussehra, Diwali, Akshaya Tritiya are the festivals celebrated at Gangotri Temple.

Gangotri Temple Timings:

Morning: 6:15 AM to 2:00 PM
Evening: 3:00 PM to 9:30 PM

Temple Arti Timings:

Mangala/Morning Aarti: 6:00 AM
Shayana/Evening Aarti: 7:45 PM in summers and at 7:00 PM in winters.

Gangotri Temple History:

Gangotri Temple was built by General Gorkha Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th century and then renovated by the royalty of Jaipur. According to Gangotri legend, Lord Indra, the supreme ruler of the gods, feared losing his throne when King Sagara decided to perform an Ashwamedha Yajna to announce his supremacy after killing the demons on the planet. Indra, therefore, captured King Sagara’s horse and hid it in an ashram where sage Kapil was meditating.

King Sagara and his 60,000 sons searched everywhere for the horse. When the sons found the horse in Sage’s ashram, they attacked the sage, but when the sage opened his eyes, he cursed all of them and they all perished in no time. King Sagara’s grandson, Bhagiratha, is said to have meditated and done penance to ask for forgiveness and moksha for his ancestors. Gangotri Temple is believed to be located near the Holy Rock or Bhagirath Shila, where King Bhagirath worshiped Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva knew that the earth would be devastated if Ganga descended with her strength. So he captured the Ganges in its locks and let it fall in five streams instead of one. Gangotri is believed to be where the Ganga descended from heaven when Lord Shiva released the mighty river from his hair to wash away the sins of King Bhagiratha. The place where Lord Shiva locked the Ganges is where a Shivling is now partially submerged in the water of the river near the Gangotri temple.

How to reach Gangotri Temple:

By Air:
Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport.
By Rail:
Rishikesh and Haridwar are the nearest railway stations to the temple.
By Road:
Gangotri is well connected by road to the main cities of Uttarakhand and Delhi. Buses are also available from Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Roorkee, Tehri and Hanuman Chatti. Pilgrims generally make Uttarkashi their base camp. The time it takes from Uttarkashi to Gangotri temple is about 4 hours drive.

Gangotri Address:

Uttarkashi District,
Uttarakhand – 249135.