Gangotri is a popular pilgrimage site located in Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand. The place is not only visited by a large number of pilgrims but also many adventure seekers, bikers and photography enthusiasts looking to spend some time in peace. So, whether you are a weary soul looking to reconnect with your ancient roots, a devotee seeking for God’s blessings, or simply a traveler looking for a simple getaway from the monotony of life, Gangotri is a perfect choice for everyone alike. Rooted deep in Hindu folklore, Gangotri offers pleasant sightseeing experience that will leave you mesmerized.
Without further ado, check-out these 17 places to visit in Gangotri that are a must-explore on your next trip to the holy city.
17 Best Places To Visit In Gangotri
Majority of the tourists visiting Gangotri are pilgrims who visit the famous Gangotri temple. However, there are few places to visit which have touristic appeal as well. Whether looking for religious sites or you are heading to Gangotri on an adventurous journey, the following are the most popular places to visit in Gangotri in 2021:
- Gangotri Temple – Dedicated To Goddess Ganga
- Dharali – Picturesque Hamlet
- Kalindi Khal Trek – Surreal Landscapes
- Maneri – The Beautiful Dam Site
- Gangotri National Park – Nature Lover’s Delight
- Gaumukh – Second Largest Glacier
- Jalamagna Shivling – Religious Visits
- Kedar Lake – For Adventure Enthusiasts
- Harsil – Impeccable Beauty
- Dodi Tal – Stunning Lake
- Auden’s Col – For Daring Expeditions
- Dayara Bugyal – Lush Green Meadow
- Kedartal Patangini Pass Trek – An Excursion To Old Ganga
- Tapovan – Famous Hot Springs
- Uttarkashi – Religious Expedition
- Vishwanath Temple – A Temple By Parashuram
- Surya Kund – Gorgeous Waterfall
1. Gangotri Temple – Dedicated To Goddess Ganga
The Gangotri temple is an impressive structure built with marble that soars 20 feet high, and is touted to be over 300 years old. This beautiful temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga, and was erected in the 18th century by Amar Singh Thapa – a Gurkha Commander. The Maharaja of Jaipur rebuilt this temple in the 20th century, and over 2.5 lakh pilgrims flock this temple every year. When in Gangotri, be sure to visit the temple and be a part of the impressive Aarti followed by the Ganga Aarti performed to thank the river goddess.
Timings: All Days – 6.15 AM to 2 PM and 3 PM – 9.30 PM
Tip: Since it is a religious place, maintain the sanctity of the place
2. Dharali – Picturesque Hamlet
There is absolutely no dearth of places to visit in Gangotri. After a long day of Gangotri sightseeing, head out to the picturesque hamlet of Dharali that is nestled right on the tranquil and serene bank of the pious river Ganga. This beautiful village sits at an altitude of 648 meters above sea level, and is surrounded by lofty trees of pine and deodar. There is no better place to stretch your tired feet and enjoy some fresh air. Also, the village is home to an ancient Shiva temple that is open all day.
Tip: When in Dharali, be sure to visit the apple orchards spread across the village and feast on the local Rajma delicacies.
3. Kalindi Khal Trek – Surreal Landscapes
Nestled amidst surreal landscape and spectacular scenic beauty, Kalindi Khal is an adventurous and challenging trek for the brave hearted. Though the strenuous walk up to the peak may take a few hours, you will be mesmerized at the enchanting views awaiting you atop. The trail is bewitching throughout, and as you trek through gushing streams, rolling alpine meadows, and lush green meadows, you’ll be accompanied by the pristine backdrop of the beautiful Himalayas.
Best Time To Trek:The best time for this trek is between mid June and early September
Tip: This trek commences from Gangotri and winds up with a visit to a holy temple in the Badrinath valley. The beautiful scenic ambience coupled with the peaceful ambience makes way for a once in a lifetime experience.
4. Maneri – The Beautiful Dam Site
If you are not running out of time, there are a number of scenic places to visit around Gangotri too. Maneri is one such tourist destination where the landscape is surreal and mesmerizing. Channelling waters across several kilometres, Maneri dam is the perfect place for a day picnic.
Distance From Gangotri: Maneri is just 92 kms away from Gangotri by road.
Tip: Carry along a fishing rod, and you may get lucky catching some Himalayan trouts that you can grill over a live fire to add some charm to your outdoor picnic.
5. Gangotri National Park – Nature Lover’s Delight
No visit to Gangotri is complete, without a visit to the national park. Also known as Govind National park, this expanse of lush green is said to the place from where Laxman kept a vigil over Lanka. It is one of the biggest national parks in Uttarakhand and the virgin beauty of this national sanctuary attracts several hundred botanists and nature lovers annually. Home to a number of medicinal plants that are used to make life saving drugs, this national park was founded in the year 1955. It spans over 958 sq kms and is said to be a home to white leopards and many other exotic wildlife, flora, and fauna.
Timings: The national park is open on all days
Tip: It is a great respite if you are traveling with young kids, who would love to spend every minute in the dense green forests of Gangotri.
Suggested Read: 8 Places To Visit In Uttarkashi To Refresh Your Mind & Soul
6. Gaumukh – Second Largest Glacier
Gaumukh is one of the many places to visit in Gangotri that is a revered Hindu pilgrimage site and a popular trekking destination. It takes 3 days from Gangotri to Gaumukh that is perched at a height of 13,200 feet and is said to be the second largest glacier of the Indian subcontinent. The Gaumukh snout that resembles the face of a cow is the source of Bhagirathi River. The views from Gaumukh will leave you awestruck and transport you to an enchanted world of ice, glaciers, and majestic views.
Best Time To Trek: The 3-day trail to Gaumukh is open to pilgrims and trekkers from May to October.
Tip: Weary trekkers can halt at Bhojbasa and rejuvenate themselves before trekking through the last 4 km stretch to Gaumukh.
7. Jalamagna Shivling – Religious Visits
Jalmagna Shivling, which remains out of sight during summer, is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Gangotri Dham. According to locals and pilgrims, this natural Shivling beside the Gangotri Temple is visible to the eyes only during the winter, when the river’s water level goes down. As per the legends, Lord Shiva held the river Ganges in his matted locks at this very sacred spot.
8. Kedar Lake – For Adventure Enthusiasts
If you are looking for serene places in Gangotri then Kedar Lake is one such place that won’t disappoint you! It is located at an altitude of 4425 meters above the sea level and is amongst the most popular trek here. If you are an adventure freak and looking for some interesting expedition in this area then a trek to Kedar Lake will surely make you have the best time! This is amongst the most enchanting lakes in Uttarakhand!
Tips: Don’t forget to take a local guide with you.
9. Harsil – Impeccable Beauty
Harsil is known for its impeccable beauty as this offbeat place in Gangotri is known for offering mesmerizing views. Perched amidst Himalayas and surrounded by tropical forests with refreshing sound of River Bhagirathi makes this place the most captivating spot in Uttarakhand. You can also visit apple orchards in this village. If you are on a romantic holiday then you must surely visit this place. If you are looking for mountaineering in Uttarakhand then this place won’t disappoint you!
Tip: Avoid visiting in monsoon as Harsil is always in danger of landslides
10. Dodi Tal – Stunning Lake
Another beautiful lake in Gangotri is Dodi Tal. This place is truly a delight for adventure enthusiasts and you will see numerous camps on your visit to this place. Perched at an altitude of 3204 meters, you can even indulge in fishing at this spot!
Tip: Make sure to carry warm clothes irrespective of the season you are traveling in
11. Auden’s Col – For Daring Expeditions
Another most enthralling experience in Gangotri is a visit to Auden’s Col. The place is named after the world renowned trekker, John Bicknell Auden who discovered this captivating site in the year 1935. You can go on an adventurous expedition to this place and glance at the exquisite beauty of Garhwal region.
Best Time To Trek: May to September
Tip: This long trek is for experienced trekkers, therefore plan accordingly
12. Dayara Bugyal – Lush Green Meadow
Dayara Bugyal is a lush green meadow that is perched at an altitude of 3950 meters. It is located between the peaks of Bandarpunch and White Peak and is truly a delight for adventurers. You can take a trek to this place which starts at Barsu. You will be surrounded by dense oak forests and snow-capped Himalayan peaks as you pass through Raithal village to reach here.
Best Time To Trek: May to November
Tip: You can make a road trip to Gangotri Temple and Harsil while traveling to Dayara Bugyal
13. Kedartal Patangini Pass Trek – An Excursion To Old Ganga
Nestled in the heart of Himalayas, Kedartal Patangani Pass is one of the most stunning places in Gangotri. The place is blessed with scenic landscapes that are truly delightful. The lake is the source of Kedarganga which is also known as the old Ganga River. The place is also home to vibrant flora and fauna and the mesmerizing sounds of birds with surely make your day a memorable one! This is amongst the best offbeat trekking spots in Himlayas.
Best Time To Trek: May to early November
Tip: Hire an experienced trekking guide
14. Tapovan – Famous Hot Springs
Tapovan is another beautiful place to visit in Gangotri and is known for its picturesque sites. The place is famous for hot springs and is frequently visited by tourists due to its medicinal properties to improve skin diseases. You can catch beautiful glimpses of popular peaks here including Nanda Devi and Dronagiri Chaukhamba. The place serves as a gateway to Badrinath and Valleys of Flowers also making it a popular tourist hub.
Best Time To Trek: May to June and September to November
Tip: Tapovan can be reached by trek from Gaumukh
15. Uttarkashi – Religious Expedition
Uttarkashi literally means ‘Kashi of the North’ and this beautiful Devbhoomi is worth exploring on your trip to Gangotri. It is a significant religious site for Hindus and comprises four holy shrines according to the Hindu mythology. Uttarkashi is the most visited religious place of this area, however, it lures adventure freaks also with its majestic surroundings.
Tip: A great place for adventure freaks as well
16. Vishwanath Temple – A Temple By Parashuram
Vishwanath Temple, an iconic temple located in Uttarkashi, is believed to be established by Parashuram and is home to Kedar Khanda of Skanda Purana. Later, the temple was renovated by Maharani Khaneti in the year 1857. The Shiv Linga here is 60 cm tall and its circumference is 90 cm, drawing the Shiva devotees from across the world.
Tip: Shops sell puja items near the mandir so don’t worry if you have not brought any puja items
17. Surya Kund – Gorgeous Waterfall
Surya Kund is one of the famous pilgrimage spots located at a distance of 500m from the Gangotri Temple. Famous for its Surya Kund waterfall, one has to cross an iron bridge to have splendid views of the waterfall. Pilgrims visiting the Gangotri Temple also visit Surya Kund waterfall. The vibrant sound of the fall is truly mesmerizing and a wonderful scene for the visitors. If you are travelling with your partner, exploring these kunds is one of the best things to do in Gangotri for couples.
Tip: To reach Surya Kund, one has to reach Gangotri Temple by NH 108
Though Gangotri is a revered tourist destination, this holy and sacred place has something to offer to everyone. From beautiful trekking trails to lush green landscapes, there are many places to visit in Gangotri for the entire family. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, and plan your trip to Uttarakhand , and head out to Gangotri – a beautiful hill station that welcomes nirvana seekers, adventure enthusiasts, and God lovers alike!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Gangotri
What should we do in Gangotri?
There are numerous interesting and religious things to do in Gangotri. The best amongst them is visiting the following places:
1. Gangotri temple
2. Pandava Gufa
3. Surya Kund
7. Bhairon Ghati
When should we visit Gangotri?
Gangotri remains cold throughout the year, however, the best time to explore the true beauty of Gangotri is from April to June and September to October.
How far is gomukh from Gangotri?
Gomukh is located at an altitude of 4255 meters which is nearly 18 kilometers from Gangotri.
How can I reach Gangotri?
The closest railway station to Gangotri is located in Rishikesh. Both the places are located at a distance of 250 kilometers and are well-connected through road. You can either board a bus to Gangotri or hire a taxi from Rishikesh to your destination.
Can we go to Gangotri by car?
You can surely go to Gangotri by car or any other private vehicle. If you are heading to Gangotri by car from Rishikesh then the entire journey will take 8 to 11 hours. You can take a halt in between at Uttarkashi before reaching your destination.
How can I go to Gangotri from Haridwar?
There is no direct flight or train between Haridwar and Gangotri. The most comfortable and affordable way to reach Gangotri from Haridwar is through road. You can either hire a taxi or board a bus from Harrawala to Gangotri.
Is Gangotri Glacier melting?
Yes, Gangotri Glacier, the largest glacier in the Bhagirathi River watershed is continuing to get thinner and its tributary flow is declining significantly due to thick debris cover that hugely insultes the ice.
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