According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Ganga, the daughter of heaven, took the form of a river to absolve the sins of King Bhagirath’s predecessors, following his severe penance of several centuries. Lord Shiva received Ganga into his matted locks to minimize the impact of her fall. The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga from Devprayag onwards where it meets the River Alaknanda. On the right bank of the Bhagirathi is the temple of Gangotri dedicated to the Goddess. At an altitude of 3,042 m, a Gorkha Commander, Amar Singh Thapa, constructed the temple in the early 18th century AD. Gangotri remains close from November to April due to heavy snowfall and the Goddess retreats 12 km downstream to her winter abode to Mukhba. The origin of the holy river is at Gaumukh, which is further 18 km trek along the Gangotri glacier. The place got its name because of strong resemblance with the face of a cow.
The trekking route from Yamunotri to Gangotri is:
How To Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is at Jolly Grant in Dehradun, 226 km from Gangotri.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is at Rishikesh, 249 km from Gangotri.
By Road: Gangotri is well connected by surface network with Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and Delhi.