Gangotri, Uttarakhand: Gangotri, one of the four Char Dham pilgrimage place, is a municipality in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, India. Perched on the Greater Himalayan Range at an elevation of about 3,750 meters, the city of Gangotri lies between 30°59′ north latitudes and 78°56′ east longitudes.
Gangotri is one of the famous religious places situated on the banks of the river Bhagirathi. It is the place from where the river Ganga originates. River Ganga which is also called as river Bhagirathi at the point of origin starts at Gaumukh in Gangotri Glacier situated at a distance of about 19 Km from Gangotri city. The topography of this region shows long stretches of snow-laden peaks of mountains, high ridges, rough glaciers, deep gorges, steep cliffs and narrow valleys.
The city got its name from the river Ganga which originates from this place and later on it passes through Devaprayag and merges into the river Alaknanda.
The city of Gangotri is around the Gangotri temple where Goddess Ganga is worshiped. Besides being a religious place, it also proffers with a perfect destination for nature lovers. The city provides a clear view of the snow laden peaks of Himalayas and free flow of the pure crystal clear water of the river Ganga. The city attracts tourists from all over especially those who believe in Char Dham Yatra and also those who adore a serene and pious atmosphere. Being at the high altitudes of Gangotri one can feel more close to God. As Gangotri lies at varying altitudes of 1800-7083 meters, it exhibits dense forests that span over an area of 2,390 sq km. and are rich in diverse biomes ranging from sub alpine conifer forests to alpine shrubs and meadows. These forest reserves that extend till the India-China Border and are well interconnected with Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and Govind National Park were later on declared as Gangotri National Park.
Hindi, Garhwali and English are the most spoken languages of this region. They believe in vegetarian food that reflects the pristine culture of the region. One can find such food in food joints or dhabas. Non-vegetarian food and alcoholic drinks are strictly prohibited in this region. One can buy ancient coins and woolens from local markets as the local memoirs.
Adventurous activities like river rafting, camping and trekking on Garhwal Himalayas are very popular at this place. In addition adventure activists also enjoy Skiing activities. Auli, Dayara Bugyal, Mundali, Kush Kalyan, Kedar Kantha, Tehri Garhwal, Bedni Bugyal, Chiplakot Valley, etc. are some of the popular skiing destinations around Gangotri.
Gangotri is also considered as the starting point of the Gangotri-Gaumukh-Tapovan trekking, Gangotri-Tapovan-Vasuki Tal trekking, Gangotri-Tapovan- Nandavan trekking and Gangotri-Kedartal trekking.
The nearest big town to Gangotri is Rishikesh, at a distance of about 234 Km.