Gangotri, Photo: Jitendra Jayara

Gangotri

Gangotri Dham

Gangotri is a small town centered around the temple of Gangotri temple and is one of the holy places among the four Char Dhams. It is the highest and the most important temple of river Ganga which is worshiped as a Goddess in India.

The origin of the holy river is at Gaumukh, set in the Gangotri glacier that can be accessed by a short 19 km trek from Gangotri. But according to Hindu mythology, Gangotri is the place where river Ganga descended from heaven when Lord Shiva released the mighty river from his luscious locks.

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Gangotri Temple Opening Date for 2024

The Gangotri Temple traditionally reopens on the auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritiya, typically in the months of April or May, and closes during the Diwali festival after remaining accessible for six months throughout the summer. Due to heavy snowfall in the region, the Gangotri temple remains closed during the winter season.

In 2024, Akshay Tritiya will fall on 10 May 2024 so it is most likely that the Gangotri Temple will reopen on 10 May 2024 which will also mark the commencement of Char Dham Yatra 2024. Official confirmation regarding the exact opening dates is expected to be announced in February 2024.

Gangotri Temple Opening and Closing Dates for 2024

Gangotri Dham Temple Opening date for 2024: The temple of Gangotri Dham will be opened for pilgrims on 10 May 2024 on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya which marks the beginning of Char Dham Yatra 2024. The Yamunotri Temple also opened same day..

Gangotri Dham Closing Date 2024: The closing date of Gangotri Dham will be 02 Nov 2024, a day after Diwali. Last year temple Gangotri was closed for pilgrims on 14 Nov 2023. The deity of Gangotri will be placed at Mukhba Village near Harsil during winters.

A beautiful view of the Gangotri valley covered with snow during March. Sharad Sud

Gangotri is a perfect place to enrapture in the serenity and sanctity as the place has a picturesque landscape. With the snow-clad Himalayas located in the vicinity and the Bhagirathi River flowing in eternity at this heavenly place, one can feel close to God in the blissful aura of Gangotri. One can pay obeisance at the Gangotri temple which stands at an altitude of 3,415 meters above sea level. Gangotri offers scenic vistas of rugged terrains, gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow-clad peaks. 

Gangotri is also the starting point for some trek routes like Tapovan, Bhojwasa, Gaumukh, Gangotri glacier, Gangotri national park, Shivling peak, etc. Some of the popular tourist attractions in and around Gangotri town are the Gangotri temple, Bhagirath Shila, Pandava Gufa, Tapovan, Bhairon Ghati, the Gaumukh glacier, and the submerged Shivalinga. 

More About Gangotri

Gangotri along with the Yamunotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath forms the Chota Char Dham which is an important pilgrimage place of the Hindus. Like other Chota Char Dhams, the Gangotri temple also closes during the winter season. During which the idol of the goddess is shifted to Ma Ganga temple in Mukhba village, about 20 km downstream. The town Gangotri remains open from May and gets closed on the occasion of Diwali festival. 

There are many Shops which sell prasads and light weight cans to carry water from Gangotri after Darshan. Holy Ganga water is pure and used in poojas or offering in temple. There are Ashrams and few hotels located on the other side of temple for tourists and pilgrims accommodation.

Ganga River and Gangotri Dham

Gangotri is one of the origin sources of Holy River Ganga (Ganges), and one of the important Char Dham pilgrimage in Hindu Religion. The main origin of the river is “Gaumukh” which is a glacier located 19 km away from gangotri temple. Ganga river is the longest and most sacred river in world.

Gangotri is located at an altitude of 3100 meters above sea level, on the banks of Bhagirathi river.

Note: It is said that at the time of construction of temple Gaumukh Glacier was here but receded to it's present location due to global warming.

Gangotri during Winters

The Temple of Gangotri Dham is closed during winters, you can check the closing and opening dates here. Winter seat of Gangotri is located in Mukhwa. Know more about Winter Char Dham Yatra, Mukhba Tourism.

Gangotri Travel News

22 May 2024
More than 1.38 lakh Pilgrims visited Gangotri Dham

In past 12 days of opening, over 1.38 lakh devotees have visited Gangotri dham this year.

25 Apr 2024
Chardham Yatra witnesses record-breaking registration of 15 Lakh participants in 10 Days

The Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand is set to commence on May 10, and even before its initiation, a record-breaking number of devotees have registered. According to the tourism department report, 494,129 registrations have been recorded for Kedarnath, 414,260 for Badrinath, 265,110 for Gangotri, 243,982 for Yamunotri, and 21,804 for Hemkund Sahib.

25 Apr 2024
Per Day Limt for Gangotri Dham has been set to 11000 registrations
02 Mar 2024
Snowfall Update - Snowfall in Chardham, Harsil on 02 Mar 2024

Around 6 inch snowfall recorded in Harsil on 02 Mar 2024. There has been snowfall in Harsil along with Char Dham in Uttarakhand and other high altitude. Though the Badrinath temple is closed for winters, the opening date of Badrinath has been announced.

20 Feb 2024
Uttarakhand Snowfall Update 20 Feb 2024

Snowfall was reported on Monday in regions such as Kedarnath Dham, including Madmaheshwar, Tungnath, Chandrashila, etc. Additionally, light snowfall was observed in tourist spots like Chopta, Dugalbitta and in Deoriatal. 

The phenomenon extended to Gangotri and Yamunotri Dham, Harshil Valley, and other high-altitude areas of Uttarkashi. Despite the snowfall, road movements remained unaffected at present.

Visit Gangotri News Archive for more news

Activities in Gangotri

Trekking: Perched at an elevation of 3,000 meters, Gangotri shrine is nestled amidst the imposing lush green hills as the river Ganges flows beside the shrine. There are many places in the vicinity where one could trek and enjoy the mesmerizing Himalayan views.

Pilgrimage: Gangotri shrine is one of the four revered Char Dham in Uttarakhand and is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. Every year, thousands of devotees visit the Gangotri temple to seek blessings from the Goddess Ganga for a happy and fulfilling life.

ShoppingSince Gangotri is a revered place, there are many shops which sell religious idols of deities and other devotional items. One can buy local handicrafts such as shawls, woolens, religious paintings and Tibetan artifacts at Gangotri.

Gangotri Travel Tips

  • Maintain the sanctity of the place by refraining from alcohol and non-vegetarian food. 
  • The weather at Gangotri remains chilly throughout the year. Carry ample woolens when visiting the region.
  • Traveling to Uttarakhand in monsoons is a little risky as the region witnesses road blockages due to frequent landslides. The best time to visit Gangotri is from May-April and September-October.

Staying in Gangotri

Being a revered pilgrimage for Hindus, Gangotri has various types of accommodations – ranging from luxury hotels to budget guesthouses to Dharamashala's. In addition to that, they also have camping accommodations for tourists and pilgrims. The government has also set up GMVN guesthouses. During the peak season, Gangotri is flocked with pilgrims and finding a place to stay is difficult.

Gangotri Food Guide

There are plenty of restaurants and roadside food stalls in Gangotri where north Indian vegetarian food is served along with a few popular Chinese dishes. Since Gangotri hold deep religious values for devotees, alcohol and non-vegetarian food is banned in and around Gangotri. Apart from that one can find eating options at the hotels which have an in-house restaurant.

History of Gangotri

The sacred Gangotri town is built around the holy Gangotri shrine, having it as the epicenter. The aboriginal Gangotri temple was built in the early 18th century by the mighty Gorkha General, Amar Singh Thapa and was later rebuilt by the Maharaja of Jaipur.

Mythology about Gangotri

There are two mythological tales associated with Gangotri, the first one states that King Sagar, the great grandfather of King Bhagirath wanted to extend his empire, for which he performed the 'Ashwamedha Yagya'. When he was busy in performing the Yagya, his horse was let loose to roam freely across the empire. When the soldiers were unable to locate the horse, the 60,000 sons of King Sagar were asked to find it. While searching for the horse, the sons of King Sagar came across a place where sage Kapila was meditating and noticed that the horse was tied next to him. They interrupted sage Kapila's meditation and accused him of stealing the horse. 

Sage Kapila who was pot boiled turned all the 60,000 sons of King Sagar into ashes, cursing them to attain heaven only when the ashes will come in contact with the holy water of river Ganga, (which used to flow only in the heaven). Therefore, King Bhagirath did a serious penance to please river Ganga so that his ancestors could achieve ‘moksha’ or salvation. The penance lasted for more than 1,000 years and King Bhagirath was able to appease the holy river Ganga, to come down to Earth from the heavens above. 

While the other legend states that responding to the King Bhagirath’s prayers, Ganga agreed to come down to Earth, also warning that her rapid downpour will annihilate the Earth. Therefore, Lord Shiva held the soaring river Ganga in his luscious locks to save the entire mankind. It is believed that the site where Jalmagna Shivlinga lies is the place where Lord Shiva received the Goddess Ganga in his locks. When the river Ganga started flowing on Earth, the Gangotri temple was erected to shelter her.

Gangotri Suggested Travel Itinerary (Day-wise Guide)

Day 1: Delhi- Haridwar / Rishikesh

Distance: 230kms
Time taken:
5-6hrs
Highlights: Har ki Pauri aarti in the evening, temple visits, local delicacies of Haridwar

The journey from Delhi to Haridwar is a smooth one and it will take around 5-6hrs to reach Haridwar. You can either board a train or take a bus to Haridwar. It is advisable to leave early so that you don’t miss the evening aarti at the shores of River Ganga (Har ki Pauri) in Haridwar. You will stay overnight at Haridwar and begin your journey early in the morning.

Note: If you are using public transport to travel then reach Rishikesh because it has plenty of buses and sharable jeeps option towards Uttarkashi or Gangotri. Also, you can book your train ticket to Dehradun too for more public transport options.

Day 2: Haridwar- Uttarkashi

Distance: 200kms
Time taken: 6-7hrs
Highlights: Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Vishwanath temple, Maneri Dam & Bhagirathi river

Post breakfast, begin your journey for Uttarkashi. The route to Uttarkashi goes via Chamba. You will start seeing the Himalayan peaks as you move ahead in the journey. You’ll have your lunch en-route Uttarkashi. The route is extremely scenic and you will have a pleasant journey. Explore Uttarkashi and visit India’s Nehru Mountaineering Institute.

Day 3: Uttarkashi- Harsil- Gangotri

Distance: 100kms
Time taken: 2.5hrs
Highlights: Wilson cottage, Sat Tal, Gangnani, Gangotri temple

You’ll have your breakfast at Uttarkashi and leave for Gangotri. You’ll have your lunch at Harsil and spend some time exploring the beautiful village. Visit Wilson cottage, Sat Tal and Gangnani (hot water spring). Post lunch you’ll leave for Gangotri which will take around 1 hour. You’ll ride through dense deodar forests with snow-capped mountains surrounding you.

Ganga river flowing through the Gangotri(the origin of the river Ganga) and temples situated on the bank of the Ganga river.  Mohan Singh

Situated on the banks of River Bhagirathi, Gangotri Temple will fill your soul with calm and peace. The picturesque location and the giant Himalayas encompassing the place makes it look surreal. You can pray here and explore the temple premises. You will return back to Uttarkashi the same day and stay overnight there after having dinner.

Day 4: Uttarkashi- Haridwar- Delhi

Distance: 430kms
Time taken: 12-14hrs

You’ll have your breakfast at Uttarkashi early in the morning and then leave for Haridwar. The journey passes through scenic landscapes and will provide you with the much-needed rest.

Try to find a seat on the window side as the cool breeze throughout the journey will freshen you up. You will have your lunch at Haridwar and leave for Delhi on the same day. You’ll reach Delhi by the night time and that’ll mark the end of your trip.

Gangotri Photo Gallery

A beautiful view of snow capped mountain peak as seen from Gangotri, Uttarakhand.
Ganga river flowing through the Gangotri(the origin of the river Ganga) and temples situated on the bank of Ganga river.
Bhojpatra trees looking past Bhagirathi peaks.The paper-like bark of the Bhojpatra tree was used in ancient times for writing Sanskrit scriptures and texts.
Temples in Gangotri, Uttarkashi.
Gangotri Dham
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Gangotri Questions

Namita Jain
17 Jul 2024
Q. Is there trekking involved to reach Gangotri temple?
A. No, Gangotri temple is approachable by road. You only need to walk approx 200 metres from the roadhead to reach the temple.
Charu Tripathi , 17 Jul 2024
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Akhil Rana
10 Jul 2024
Q. Is there direct bus service to Gangotri from Haridwar?
A. I m not sure but I suggest you take a bus/shared taxi to Uttarkashi from Haridwar or Rishikesh. There is regular bus/taxi from Uttarakashi to Gangotri. You can also get a direct bus service to Gangotri from Rishikesh which generally leave early morning.
Nirupan Dey, 10 Jul 2024
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Gangotri Weather

Check out the Gangotri weather report for July

Gangotri Weather in July

The minimun and maximum temperature in July in Gangotri is 13°C and 21°C respectively. The weather is generally hot and humid in July and you would feel cold throughout the day. Light Woolen clothes are recommended for Gangotri in July.

What is Gangotri famous for?

Gangotri is famous among tourist as Gangotri Temple, Base of Popular Treks and Expedition, Pilgrimage, Char Dham, Temple.

Gangotri is recommended destination for Family and Kids, Foreigners, Groups, Solo.

Gangotri is popular destination for following activities/ interests - Adventure, Base Camps (Trek), Char Dham Yatra, Pilgrimage, Temples.

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