Mythological RelationAccording 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.
According to this legend, King Sagar, after slaying the demons on earth decided to stage in Ashwamegh Yagya as a proclamation of his supremacy. The horse which was to be taken on an uninterrupted journey around the earth was to be accompanied by the King’s 60,000 sons born to Queen Sumati and one son Asmanjas born of the second queen Kesani. Indra, supreme ruler of the gods feared that he might be deprived of his celestial throne if the ‘Yagya’ (worship with fire) succeeded and then took away the horse and tied it to the ashram of Sage Kapil, who was then in deep meditation. The sons of the King Sagar searched for the horse and finally found it tied near the meditating sage. Sixty thousand angry sons of King Sagar stormed the ashram of sage Kapil. When he opened his eyes, 60,000 sons had perished by the curse of sage Kapil. Bhagirath, grand son of King Sagar, is believed to have meditated to bring down the Ganga to cleanse the ashes of his ancestors and liberate their souls, granting them salvation or Moksha. The Bhagirathi ‘Shila’ is located near the temple of Ganga where the holy Ganga first descended on earth from heaven.
Get inAirport : Jolly Grant, Dehradun 226 km.
Railhead : Haridwar, 230 km.
Road : Well connected to Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and Delhi.
Important Road Distances : Dharasu ( 129 km), Yamunotri (224 km) Mussoorie ( 247 km), Tehri ( 172 km)
- Nandavan Tapon (24 km )- An arduous trek along the left bank of the Gangotri Glacier leads to scenic Nandanvan – the base camp for the Bhagirathi peaks, that offers a panoramic view of the surrounding Shivling peak. A trek across the snout of the Gangotri Glacier across the right bank leads to Tapovan known for its beautiful meadows that encircle the base of the Shivling peak. There is also a route from Tapovan across the Gangotri glacier to Nandanvan. From Nandanvan, one can trek further along the Kalindi Khal to Badrinath, which is a extremely difficult trek and has to be done with sufficient preparation.
- Uttarkashi ( 99 km) – An important pilgrimage centre, situated at an elevation of 1,150 mts. above sea level on the bank of river Bhagirathi. Some of the important temples worth visiting are – Vishwanath temple, Ekadash Rudra temple, Gyaneshwar temple and Kuteti Devi Temple. Nearby is the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. Every year, during the ‘Magh Mela’ ( January 14 ), people visit Uttarkashi to take a holy dip in Bhagirathi along with the image of their village deity
- Kedar Tal ( 18 km) – An enchanting lake, 4425 mts. above sea level against the splendid backdrop of mighty Thalaiyasagar peak. Accessible through a rough mountain trail, it is the base camp for trekking to surrounding peaks. The trek to Kedartal needs a local guide.
- Gaumukh ( 18 km)- The snout of the Gangotri Glacier and the source of the Bhagirathi river. Pilgrims trek upto the sacred spot on foot or on ponies to take a holy dip in the ice-cold water.