Coordinates: 30°59′38″N 78°56′28″E / 30.994°N 78.941°E / 30.994; 78.941
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Gangotri is located in Uttarakhand
Location in Uttarakhand, India
Gangotri is located in India
Coordinates: 30°59′38″N 78°56′28″E / 30.994°N 78.941°E / 30.994; 78.941
Country India
3,415 m (11,204 ft)
 • Total606
 • OfficialHindi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Vehicle registrationUK

Gangotri is a town and a Nagar Panchayat (municipality) in Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is 99 km from Uttarkashi, the main district headquarter. It is a Hindu pilgrim town on the banks of the river Bhagirathi – the origin of the river Ganges. The town is located on the Greater Himalayan Range, at a height of 3,100 metres (10,200 ft). According to a popular Hindu legend, the goddess Ganga descended here when Shiva released the mighty river from the locks of his hair.

Bhagirathi River and Himalayas in Gangotri, Uttarakhand


Ganges River[edit]

Gangotri is one of the four sites in the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. It is also the origin of the Ganges river and, per Hinduism, the seat of the goddess Ganga. The source of the Ganges river is the Bhagirathi River, originating from the Gangotri Glacier.[1] Once the river confluences with the Alakananda River at a town called Devprayag it finally acquires the name Ganga (the Ganges).[2]

Near the river is a stone where King Bhagiratha performed penance to Shiva in order to bring the Ganga down to earth and absolve the sins of his ancestors.[3] According to another legend, Pandavas performed the great 'Deva Yajna' here to atone the deaths of their kinsmen in the epic battle of the Mahabharata. Hindus believe that performing the ancestral rites on the banks of Bhagirathi frees the spirit of the ancestor from the cycle of rebirth and a holy dip in its waters cleanses sins committed in the present also past births.[4]

Gangotri Temple[edit]

The original Gangotri Temple was built by the Nepalese general Amar Singh Thapa and later restored in the 19th century.[3] The temple is closed from Diwali day every year and is reopened on Akshaya Tritiya.[5] During this time, the idol of the goddess is kept at Mukhba village, near Harsil. Ritual duties of the temple are supervised by the Semwal family of pujaris. These pujaris hail from Mukhba village.


According to the 2011 census of India, there are total 47 families residing in Gangotri. The total population of Gangotri is 110 out of which 97 are males and 13 are females. The literacy rate of Gangotri is 99.1%. The entire population of Gangotri identifies as Hindu.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kaushal, Sujay (2012). "A journey to the source of the Ganges". Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 10 (2): 105–106. JSTOR 41480008 – via JSTOR.
  2. ^ Bhargava, Devendra Swaroop (1987). "Nature and the Ganga". Environmental Conservation. 14 (4): 307–328. JSTOR 44518054 – via JSTOR.
  3. ^ a b Lochtefeld, James G. (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M. Rosen. p. 240. ISBN 978-0-8239-3179-8.
  4. ^ "Gangotri Dham – The Origin of River Ganges | RitiRiwaz". 4 December 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  5. ^ Gangotri Dham[1][2][3][4]
  6. ^ "Census: Population: Uttarakhand: Gangotri | Economic Indicators | CEIC". Retrieved 14 May 2022.

External links[edit]