Top 10 Best Places to visit in Gangotri

Gangotri Dham, located in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, is not just a revered pilgrimage site but also a treasure trove of natural beauty, mythological significance, and adventure. Here are the top 10 places to visit in Gangotri, each offering a unique blend of spirituality and scenic splendor.

1. Gangotri Temple

Gangotri Temple is the focal point of the Gangotri Dham pilgrimage. Dedicated to Goddess Ganga, this 20-foot high white granite structure stands on the banks of the Bhagirathi River. Built in the 18th century by a Gurkha commander, the temple is deeply rooted in Hindu mythology. It is believed that King Bhagirath meditated here to bring the sacred river Ganga down to Earth to purify the souls of his ancestors.


  • The rock where King Bhagirath meditated.
  • The temple is open from May to November, drawing thousands of pilgrims annually.

2. Gomukh

Gomukh, which means “cow’s mouth,” is the snout of the Gangotri Glacier and the source of the Bhagirathi River, which later becomes the Ganga. This glacier is situated about 18 kilometers from Gangotri and is a popular trekking destination. The trek to Gomukh is known for its challenging paths and stunning views of the Himalayas.


  • Start of the sacred Ganges River.
  • Scenic views of Shivling Peak, Bhagirathi Peaks, and other lofty mountains.
  • A key point in the Gaumukh-Tapovan-Nandanvan circuit trek.

3. Harsil

Harsil is a serene and picturesque valley located 25 kilometers from Gangotri. Known for its apple orchards and the purity of its environment, Harsil offers a tranquil retreat away from the bustling pilgrimage sites. According to legend, the valley got its name when Lord Vishnu turned himself into a stone to mediate an argument between the rivers Jalandhari and Bhagirathi.


  • Beautiful landscapes and apple orchards.
  • Shooting location of the famous Bollywood film “Ram Teri Ganga Maili.”
  • Nearby attractions include the Harsil waterfall, now named after the film’s actress, Mandakini.

4. Tapovan and Nandanvan

Located at an altitude of 14,640 feet, Tapovan is a meadow known for its spiritual significance and stunning natural beauty. It is accessible via a 20-kilometer trek from Gangotri, passing through the Gaumukh Glacier. Tapovan is popular among trekkers and sadhus (holy men) who come here for penance and meditation. Nandanvan, situated further from Tapovan, offers even more breathtaking views and is an extension of this trek.


  • Panoramic views of the Garhwal Himalayas.
  • Beautiful rocky terrains, serene streams, and lush meadows.
  • A starting point for several high-altitude treks.

5. Kedartal

Kedartal, also known as Shiva’s Lake, is a high-altitude lake situated at 4,912 meters above sea level. This pristine lake, surrounded by the majestic Thalaysagar and Brigupanth Peaks, is one of the most challenging trekking destinations near Gangotri. The trek to Kedartal is arduous but rewarding, offering spectacular views of the snow-clad mountains and verdant valleys.


  • A challenging trek that tests endurance and skill.
  • Breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks.
  • Opportunities to spot wildlife such as the Himalayan black bear and blue sheep.

6. Submerged Shivling

The Submerged Shivling is a natural rock formation in the Bhagirathi River that remains submerged under water for most of the year. It becomes visible only when the water level drops, typically during the winter months. According to legend, this is the spot where Lord Shiva received the Ganga in his locks.


  • A unique natural phenomenon with spiritual significance.
  • Best viewed during the winter when the water level recedes.

7. Pandav Gufa

Pandav Gufa (Pandava Cave) is an ancient cave located about 1.5 kilometers from Gangotri. According to legend, the Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata meditated here during their journey to Kailash. The cave offers a serene environment and panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks.


  • Historical and mythological significance.
  • Scenic trek to the cave with stunning vistas.

8. Bhagirath Shila

Bhagirath Shila is the rock where King Bhagirath is believed to have meditated to bring the Ganga to Earth. Located near the Gangotri Temple, this site is of immense spiritual importance to Hindu pilgrims.


  • Close proximity to the Gangotri Temple.
  • Integral part of the mythological story of Ganga’s descent to Earth.

9. Gangnani

Gangnani is known for its thermal water springs, making it a popular spot for pilgrims to take a holy dip before proceeding to Gangotri. The hot springs are believed to have therapeutic properties. Gangnani also houses a temple dedicated to sage Parasara, the father of Veda Vyasa.


  • Soothing thermal springs.
  • Scenic views of snow-capped peaks.
  • Ideal for relaxation and rejuvenation.

10. Nelong Valley and Gangotri National Park

Nelong Valley, located 9 kilometers from Gangotri, offers a unique landscape reminiscent of Ladakh. This high-altitude desert area is part of the Gangotri National Park and is home to various wildlife species, including snow leopards, musk deer, and Himalayan blue sheep. The valley is accessible for tourists but requires a permit.


  • A stark and beautiful landscape with a desert-like environment.
  • Rich in wildlife and part of the Gangotri National Park.
  • Perfect for wildlife safaris and nature exploration.

Practical Tips for Visiting Gangotri

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Gangotri is from May to June and September to October. The temple remains closed from November to April due to heavy snowfall.

How to Reach:

  • By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, 295 kilometers away.
  • By Rail: The nearest railway stations are in Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun, about 280 kilometers from Gangotri.
  • By Road: Gangotri is well-connected by road, and regular bus and taxi services are available from Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun.

Accommodation: Gangotri offers a range of accommodation options, from budget lodges to mid-range hotels. Popular choices among hotels in Gangotri include Hotel Mandakini, Hotel Bhagirathi Sadan, and Ganga Niketan Hotel.

Travel Tips:

  • Dress modestly and respect local customs and traditions.
  • Check weather conditions before planning your trip.
  • Maintain the sanctity of the place by avoiding alcohol and smoking.
  • Book accommodation in advance, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons.


Gangotri Dham and its surroundings provide a perfect blend of spirituality, natural beauty, and adventure. From the revered Gangotri Temple to the challenging treks of Gomukh and Kedartal, each destination offers a unique experience. Whether you seek divine blessings, thrilling adventures, or serene landscapes, Gangotri has something to offer for every traveler. Plan your visit to this sacred land to immerse yourself in its spiritual aura and natural splendor.

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