Gangotri is popular as a town for Hindu Pilgrimage instead of a tourist spot, but now everything has changed from the past few years. There was a time when tourist only visits this place as a pilgrimage site, but now travelers, especially adventure seekers and bike riders, explore the place. The steep climb, along with a scenic drive from Rishikesh to Gangotri is what makes this place a dream destination for adventure enthusiasts. Gangotri, being a religious destination, is filled with a majority of pilgrims who visit Gangotri shrine to seek blessings. There are many more places to enjoy during your trip to Gangotri and which should not be missed at all. Below we have listed for you 11 best places to visit during your Gangotri trip :
Gangotri temple is a remarkable structure constructed with marble and is of 20 feet high. This is considered as one of the beautiful temples devoted to Goddess Ganga and was rigid in the 18th century by a Gurkha Commander, Amar Singh Thapa. In the 20th century again it was reconstructed by Maharaja of Jaipur. More than 2,5 pilgrims from all over the world visit this impressive temple. Being a part of Aarti in Gangotri temple which is performed to thank the river goddess is one of the must doing the task during Gangotri trip. It is a 20 feet high temple built with marble and where the priests performed many rituals. The Jalmagna Shivlinga here, which remains absorbed in water all through summer is one of the main attractions which should not be missed.
Gangotri National Park
Trip to Gangotri will be incomplete if you miss out visiting Gangotri National park. T is also well known as Govind national park and is the place from where Laxman kept a vigil over Lanka. The mesmerizing beauty of this national park attracts visitors from all over the world; it also includes several hundred botanists as well as nature lovers. The park was founded in 1955, and it covers 956 sp km and is an abode to many medicinal plants that are used to make life-saving drugs.
Gaumaukh is one of the best places to visit during Gangotri trip and is considered as a revered Hindu pilgrimage site and is also one of the famous trekking destinations. Approximately it takes about three days from Gangotri to reach Gaumaukh. It is located at the height of 13,200 feet and is known to be the second largest Glacier of the Indian subcontinent. The Gaumukh itself means the face of the cow and is the source of Bhagirathi River. The fantastic and beautiful views from Gaumukh will leave you with unforgettable memories and will take you to the world of glaciers, ice as well as majestic views. The place holds a lot of significant in Hindu Mythology and many tourists and devotees come here to take a dip in the icy cold water. You can also reach here by trek from Gangotri.
Maneri Dam is constructed on the Bhagirathi River and is a concrete dam considered as one of the beautiful places to visit on your trip to Gangotri. The dam is all surrounded by patronizing mountains as well as lush green alpine meadows. It is the most charming place to relax your mind and soul and is famous for day trips as well as picnics. Maneri Dam diverts the River Bhagirathi water into a tunnel and supplies to Tiloth Power Plant and Maneri Bhali Hydroelectric Project.
Kedar Tal is located 15000 feet above sea level and is situated about 18 km from Gangotri. And you can reach here all the way through a different mountain trail. The lake is popular for its crystal clear water and also the sight of it with the thalayasagar peak in the background. The place is also the base camp for Trekking to Thalayasagar, Bhrigupanth and Jogin. It is one of the popular trekking destinations and Kedar trek being one of the moderate treks in the Garhwal Himalayan region.
Harsil is considered as the perfect getaway for all those who want to enjoy in peace as well as solitude. The place is nestled in between the Himalayas as well as a dense cover of pine and deodar along with River Bhagirathi. It is a complete package of vacation and is adorned with apple orchards also. It is situated about 72 kilometers ahead of Uttarkashi on Uttarkashi Gangotri road and is one of the romantic places to visit. The place is considered as a perfect and hidden jewel of Uttarakhand, which offers ample scope for people looking for serenity. It has become prevalent among traveler enthusiasts as well as nature lovers.
Gangnani is one of the few small towns about 46 km from Uttarkashi on your way to Gangotri. It is considered as an ideal destination for the spiritually inclined and for those who are seeking for peace of mind and soul. It is a perfect spot for meditation and is a perfect retreat for nature lovers. The place is famous for its thermal water springs and is also considered as the ideal place for rejuvenation. This thermal spring is known as Rishikund and majority all devotees take a holy dip in this natural water spring before heading towards Gangotri.
Bhaironghati is located in the Uttarkashi district and is a small settlement at the juncture of Jagh Ganga as well as Bhagirathi. Here is the temple of Bhairav Nath surrounded by lush, dense forest and what makes travelers easy to reach Jahanvi River on foot. Visiting this temple is a must after visiting the famous Gangotri temple. the charm of the place is due to the trees, which is so dense that it seems like a forest. Just after Bhironghati is a small town known as Lanka Chatti which is a must visit the place as it has Asia’s highest bridge which is over Jhanvi River.
Surya Kund is a famous spot near Gangotri temple in Uttarkashi and is a revered pilgrimage spot where all pilgrims those who visit temple also explore this. Here Surya Kund waterfall is the must visit the place to pay obeisance to the Sun God. It is situated on the one side of an iron bridge and on the other side of same iron bridge Gauri Kund is located. Surya Kund waterfall has its own charm as the fall from a height of the Bhagirathi River makes a spectacular scene for the visitors.
Tapovan is a well-known tourist spot and is a base camp for Shivlinga Peak in Uttrakhand hills. Tapovan is the combination of two words, i.e. tapas means penance and vana means forest. The trek is one of the most popular treks worldwide amid pilgrims as well as avid trekkers. The area is full of streams, meadows and flowering plants. It is considered as one of the best high altitude meadows in India . also Gaumukh – Tapovan trek is said to be the most gratifying treks in the country. All the way through this trek, one will pass through many glaciers counting Meru Glacier, Gangotri Glacier and Kirti bamak Glacier. The trek, as well as the site of tapovan, offers many excellent views of Nanda Devi range.
Nelong valley is considered as the best-kept secret of Uttarkashi, Uttrakhand situated near the Indo China border and also offers a view of Tibetan Plateau. The valley is a like a cold desert which is unique in itself due to its segregation. From Bhairo ghati, it takes about 25 km ride all the way through the forest by forest department vehicle to reach Nelong valley. The place not only has charming landscapes but also is an abode to several important wildlife species such as snow leopard, Himalayan blue sheep and musk deer. The valley also has some earlier infrastructure like Gartand Galion wooden bridge and Lal Devta temple.
Gangotri is one of the best Indian destinations which has something to offer to everyone. This holy and sacred place also offers beautiful trekking trails and lush green landscapes. The best time to visit Gangotri is amid the months of April to June as the gates of the famous Gangotri temple open during these summer months. Apart from visiting the above-listed places in Gangotri,, you should also not miss out trekking and camping here which will offer you many memorable experiences.