Did you know that river Ganga is known as Bhagirathi till the time it meets river Alkananda at Dev Prayag. In today’s discussion, we would discuss more about river Ganga. The history of its origin and the best time to visit the Gangotri Temple or Dham.
Gangotri Temple is situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, India. It is situated at an altitute of 3,100 meters and is unaccessible during winters due to weather conditions in the high Himalayan ranges where the temple is situated. Gangotri Dham is one of the four Dhams among the char dham yatra, the other three being, Kedarnath Dham, Badrinath Dham and Yamnotri Dham. You can click on each one these if you missed to read about any one of the Dhams.
The place where the river Ganga originates is called Gaumukh and is around 19 kilmeters trek from the Gangotri Temple. It is believed that King Sagara after killing the demons on earth decided to conduct an Ashwamedha Yajna to proclaim is supremacy. Looking at this Lord Indra feared that he would be deprived of his celestial throne. Lord Indra took away the horse and tied it to the ashram of Sage Kapilla who was in deep meditation at that time. King Sagara ordered his sixty thousand sons to find the horse of the Yagna. After they found out that it was in Ashram of Sage Kapilla, they went to release it. But the meditation of the Sage Kapilla was interrupted and as he looked up to the sons of the King Sagra, they turned into ashes. He cursed them that, they would not attain moksha until the ashes are washed by water of Holy water Ganga. River Ganga used to flow in heaven at that time.
The grandson of King Sagara, Bhagirath started praying to Ganga to come to Earth. After thousands of years, river ganga descended to earth and the ashes of sixty thousand sons were washed and they attained moksha.
As were discussed that the place where the river Ganga originates is called Gaumukh because it resembles a cow’s mouth. As the winters set in, the deities in the temple are transferred 20 kilometers down hill to Mukhyamath temple.
The best time to visit Gangotri is during summers from April till mid October. Gangotri is easily accessible by road and is around 500 kilometers from National Capital of New Delhi and around 270 kilometers from Rishikesh. The nearest Airport is Dehradoon (Jolly Grant Airport). And Gangotri temple is around 225 kilometers from Dehradoon.
Thanks for reading.
Har Har Mahadev.