The Mythology and Stories Behind Gangotri Dham
How many of you have heard about the story behind Gangotri Dham? Do you know how Gangotri came into existence? Have you ever been to Gangotri and still not very clear why it’s so famous? In this article, we will try to explain the facts behind the history of Gangotri Dham and the mythology behind it!
Located at a distance of 150 kilometers from Uttarkashi, in Uttarakhand lies a temple complex named as Ganga The temple complex comprises three temples namely Bhagirathi Temple and Gangotri Temple. All these temples are dedicated to River Ganga. All two temples have their own historical significance and share a connection with Goddess Ganga or River Ganges. With several myths connected to it, Ganga is worshiped by many people around the world.. Here we will be discussing about some of them..
History of Gangotri Dham
Gangotri Dham, also known as Gangotri, is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to the Goddess Ganga and is located in the Garhwal Himalayas at the Gangotri Glacier near Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand in India, ganga river originates from this place.. The temple houses an image of Ganga in the form of a rock formation under the ice. The Gangotri glacier is also considered to be one of the holiest places and sacred temples dedicated to Mother Ganga, who according to Hinduism, descended on Earth from heaven and settled here at this location.
According to Hindu legends, the most sacred of all rivers, Ganges (or Ganga), descended from heaven to earth at Gangotri, when Lord Shiva released the mighty river from his locks. The actual origin of the river is at Gaumukh in the Gangotri glacier, 19 km away from Gangotri and is accessible by trekking.
Gangotri Dham was built by Gorkha commander Amar Singh Thapa in the early 18th century.
The present temple was rebuilt by the royal family of Jaipur.
The source of the river Ganga is at an altitude of 4,225 meters in the Gangotri Glacier, about 24 km from here. Gangotri Dham is dedicated to Ganga Maiyya. 20 lakhs of devotees come here every year between the months of May to October to see the Gangotri Dham.
Mythology behind Ganga river (Bringing the Ganges to Earth)
According to mythology, King Sagar handed over the kingdom to Anshuman and went to Uttarakhand to do penance with the aim of bringing Ganga from heaven to earth, thus doing penance for him. He died. Dilip’s son’s name was Bhagirath. When Bhagiratha grew up, Dilip also followed his ancestors but he also failed to bring Ganga.
“Finally, Ganga was pleased with Bhagiratha’s penance and asked her to ask for a boon. Bhagiratha said with folded hands that Mother! You may please descend on earth for the salvation of my sixty thousand ancestors. On this Ganga said Vatsa! I am yours. I will surely come to earth after obeying, but no one can tolerate my velocity except Lord Shiva. So please please Lord Shiva first. Hearing this, Bhagirath did severe penance to Lord Shiva and pleased with his penance, Shiva ji Standing on the top of the Himalayas to stop the velocity of the Ganges. Ganga ji fell straight from heaven on the hair of Shiva ji. After this, Bhagiratha brought Ganga ji after him to the ashes of his ancestors, due to which he was saved. After saving the ancestors of Bhagiratha, Ganga ji fell into the ocean and the sea that had been soaked by Agastya Muni was again filled with water.
Best time to visit the Gangotri Dham with map
When you travel to Gangotri dham from Delhi, you must have a plan to travel there by road. The best time to visit is during May -August. Weather in these months is not too cold and not too hot. In other months due to snowfall, it may be difficult for you to reach there by road.So, plan your trip accordingly.
Gangotri Dham Yatra Route
Gangotri is located at an altitude of 3048 mts in the Himalayas of Uttarakhand, India. Gangotri is situated in the northern part of Uttarkashi District and very close the Indo-Tibetan border. It is approximately 300 km from Dehradun, 250 km from Rishikesh and 105 km from Uttarkashi.
Gangotri Popular Road Route Map :
Route 1 (Via Haridwar) : Delhi → Haridwar → Rishikesh → Narendranagar → Tehri → Dharasu Bend → Uttarkashi → Bhatwari → Gangnani → Harsil → Gangotri
Route 2 (Via Dehradun) : Delhi → Dehradun → Mussoorie → Chamba → Tehri → Dharasu Bend → Uttarkashi → Bhatwari → Gangnani → Harsil → Gangotri
How to reach Gangotri from Delhi, Haridwar and other cities.
The journey from Delhi to Haridwar by bus/cab takes 6 to 7 hrs. Once you reached Haridwar, then Gangotri is 290 km away from Haridwar. You can book a Taxi or Bus from Haridwar to Gangotri. There are also local buses available from Haridwar ISBT which is 100m away from Haridwar Railway Station.
Places to visit near the Gangotri Temple
Bhagirath Shila is believed to be the holy rock where King Bhagirath prayed to Lord Shiva.
Pandava Gufa, located 1.5 km from Gangotri, is the place where the Pandavas are believed to have meditated and rested en route Kailash. Pilgrims will have to trek up to the Pandava Gufa.