Gangotri Temple is a splendid Hindu Goddess temple built for Sri Ganga Devi. It is also known as the Gangothri or the River Goddess temple of Ganga. It is the 2nd highest temple located in the Uttrakhand State and in the world. It is found at an altitude of 3048 meters above the mean sea-level. It is a heavenly place to see in this highest altitude with the Gaumuka Glacier and the origin of Baghi Rathi River which assumes the name Ganga at the meeting point of Deva Prayag. This temple is also in the center of these river origin point located at the Gangothri Nagara Panhchayat, Uttrakashi District of Uttarakhand State in India. This temple is opened for 6 month only, since the winter and autumn is filled with snows and heavy rains.
River Ganges is the holy river for the Hindus. It origin place is very important too. The Gangothri temple is a 10 KM away from this temple. Many Peoples as pilgrims visit the temple and the Gaumuka Glacier where the river originates. Pilgrims used to drink this holy water and carry it in small containers. The goddess of this temple is Maa Ganga, who is the daughter of the heavens. The Ganga water is the main source of prayer and peoples used to takes this glacier water in their hands and look towards the sun and whish for a healthy life to all by providing this holy water for ever to all peoples. Apart from river worship the pilgrims also visit this temple and offer prayers. Daily rituals happen in the 6 months open season in the summer and pre retreading monsoon times.
There are two mythical stories behind the flow of Ganga River and formation of Gannga Goddess here. It is believed in the ancient puranas (Ancient Hindu texts) that Lord Shiva meditated on these mountains and brought the Ganaga Rivers from the heavens to earth. There is another mythical story that a meditating Sage was disturbed by a 600 men army in these mountains and he burns them due to disturbing his long mediation. On seeing the ashes of these dead, he asked the goddess Ganga to flow over the ashes and get him washed away of his and their sins.
Gangotri Temple was built by Amar Singh Thapa, a supreme warrior in Asia in the 18th century AD. He built this temple in the Hindu-Nepali Architectural pattern in the Himalayas at 11,204 ft high mountain ranges. This is a pure white temple representing the color of goddesses. It is built of the granite stones found in the same mountain ranges. The entrance of the temple is found with a porches entrance which is having a pyramid tower. Beyond that a triangular structure is found with a conical type large dome surrounded by 4 small such dome on the edges of this temple. The Ganga Goddess is a small monolith carved sculptor. It is beautifully covered with golden plantings on the entire stone sculptor and looks very beautiful with chandelier lights naturally.
Navarathi festival is the main festival celebrated in with the closing ceremony of this temple on the onset of winter here. The Chota Char Dham pilgrim circuit taken by the Hindus does visit these temples from the month of May to October end. More the 10 lakhs pilgrims visit in these 6 months time. Apart from pilgrims it is also visited by the foreigners, who come here to trek and see the magnificent glacier which is the 2nd highest in the worlds after the Sachin Glaciers that also in the same ranges. From morning 5:30 AM to evening 8:30 PM the devotees are allowed to worship here. The daily morning, mid and evening rituals are witnessed by many pilgrims daily.
The temple is widely visited by devotees as it is the oldest and the most significant temples from religious point of view. Come here and seek blessing for happy and prosperous life by offering prayers and chanting mantras of hymns.