The Holy River Ganga; Gangotri Experience
The Himalayas, respected as the abode of the enlightened, have been a destination of great importance for spiritual seekers across the world. These imagistic mountains have been illuminating the seekers of health, peace and spirituality with new energy, enthusiasm and charm. As a result, millions of people around the globe have always felt a deep affinity for these sacred mountains.
Gangotri is a Hindu pilgrim town located in north at Kashi district of uttrakhand state of India. It is in grater Himalayan range, at a height of 3,415 m. Gangotri is the origin of Indian holy river “ganga” and in the one of the site of chardham pilgrim circit of hindus in india.The river is called “Bhagirathi”, but onwards devprayag where it meets alaknanda it is called “ganga”. The origin of river is “gaumukh” which is 19 km away from gangotri in Himalayan glacier. There is a single day travel to reach gangotri from near by popular locations like rishikesh, haridwar, yamunotri and dehradun. Compare to the yamunotri, gangotri has a good accessibility of bus, car and other transporting facilities. Gangotri is centerd by the temple of gange built by the nepali general “amarsingh thapa” in the early 18th century. The temple is under supervision of 'semval' family of pujaries and the aarti ceremony of the temple is quite impressive.
Gangotri is a northest most part of uttrakhand and very near the “indo-tibbetian” border. It is approximately 300 km from Dehradun, 250 km from Rishikesh and 105 km from Uttarkashi. Because of the freezing cold in most of the part of year, the temple’s door are only opened at months may to August for the tourists.
Why Ganga is also called by Bhagirathi ?
According to the old legend and ancient says, the ganga is a result of reward given by lord “shiva” to the king “bhagirath” for his penance. However, due to her pride, and the fact that the earth would be devastated if Ganga came down in her full force, Lord Shiva caught her in his locks The sacred stone near the temple denotes the place where Ganga first came down to earth. This is why Ganga is also called by the name of Bhagirathi.
Our Part of Story:
We start early around 6:00 in the morning from our resort Narayana, Rishikesh. It was wonderful to see sunrise in mountains and We really enjoy the moment. We have our tea and breakfast somewhere near Narendranagar and then keep riding. It was so beautiful and calm, the whole experience can divert your attention from other worldly things. We drive slowly and occasionally stop to feel the nature & have some snaps.
We cross Chamba, Tehri, Dharasu and reach Uttarkashi around 2 P.M. In between we took several breaks and done more photography. In Uttarkashi we fill our tank as they said there may not be Petrol pump ahead (and they were right). Harsil was 72 KM from Uttarkashi and we had around 4 hour before getting dark. Hence we start without any delay for Harsil around 2:30 PM. The road from Uttarkashi was very good up to some KM but thereafter the road was horrible in some of the places. We reach Bhatwari and the road was really getting worse than ever in some areas.
Though the road was in very bad shape but the view surrounding was amazing. We were surrounded by the snow cap mountains and we were thrilled. We cross Sukhi top, Sunagar and finally reach Harsil around 5:30 in the evening. It is a very beautiful and peaceful town and the small hotel (don't remember the name now) is also very neat and clean. But we got the problem of water supply. The room rate was a little bit at higher side that is 900/- per night for a small double bed.
After a small meal we set near some bonfire outside and had hot steaming tea. The wind was really chilly outside with temperature nearly 5-6 degree Celsius. But after a full day riding we enjoyed that great moment under the moonlight besides Ganga river with the snow white cap mountain shining surrounding us. After dinner we went to bed early and fall asleep listening to rhyme of Ganga River.