The holy place overlooks the thundering river Bhagirathi and flows between the rugged mountains; Gangotri is the spiritual source of India's holiest river Ganga. Here Ganga known as Bhagirathi, who performed sacrament to bring her down from the heavens. It is believed that bathing in her waters brings liberation from all sins committed in the present and past birth .The actual source is ice cave of Gamukh.
According to the legend, a Suryavanshi king Sagar performed an Ahwamedh yagna; his sixty thousand sons were conquering the states the horse had crossed. Threatened by this the rain god Indra stoled the horse, and tied it to kapil muni;s ashram. Sagar's sons followed the horse into the ashram and were disrespectful to the seer, who cursed them and all sons were to ashes, the king beseeched the seer for forgiveness, but the curse could not be reversed, however, seer suggested that if the holy Ganga the river of heaven, were to come to earth, the touch of her waters would ensure the deliverance of the princes. Many descendents of sagar failed to their efforts to bring the holy Ganga to earth, until Bhagirath was born. He persevered in his prayers until Ganga agreed to come down from the heavens, but such was her power that her decent to earth would destroy it, so Bhagirath prayed to lord Shiva, who agreed to contain Ganga in his locks, from where he released few drops of her celestial waters for the benefit of mankind. The river thus flowed on earth, cleansing all that was impure in her path, and delivering the son of sagar from the curse.
History of Gangotri The great task of bringing the Ganga on earth started. Anshuman failed and so did his son Dilip, but the grandson Bhagirath was very determined who meditated at Gangotri. After several years of intense meditation, the Ganga descended from Heaven and remained in suspense in the coils of Shiva's hair. Now king Bhagirath meditated to propitiate Shiva.
Shiva being pleased released the Ganga as three streams-one of which came of earth in the form of the Bhagirathi, The Ganga's waters touched the ashes of the 60,000 sons and they rose to their eternal rest. The slab of stone on which King Bhagirath in believed to have meditated is called the Bhagirath Shila and is located near the temple of Ganga.
(18 km.) - the source of the Bhagirathi for a dip in its icy waters is dip in almost a must for pilgrims; and to the temple of Bhairavanath at Bhaironghati, (10 km.). GMVN Tourist Bungalow is located at Bhojbasa, about 14 km., from Gangotri, on the road to Uttarkashi, at the confluence of the Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi rivers.
Geographic Details of Gangotri
In summers: Cool during day and cold at night.
In winters: Very cold, about to
Rishikesh to Haridwar - 24 kms
Rishikesh to Chamba - 60 kms
Chamba to Tehri - 21 kms
Tehri to Dharasu- 36 kms
Dharasu to Uttarkashi - 28 kms
Uttarkashi to Harsil - 69 kms
Harsil to Gangotri- 22 kms