The stunning holy town of Gangotri is primarily popular for pilgrimage tour of Chardham Yatra but there are several other interesting and fun things to do and places to visit. If you are looking for some time off from the busy city life then visiting this remote destination on the hills of Garhwal Himalayas in Devbhoomi Uttarakhand will be the perfect idea. Replete with picturesque and untouched beauty there are several places waiting to be explored.
If you are planning on visiting this tranquil place then here are a few places of tourist attractions and fun activities to indulge in during your visit to Gangotri.
Tourist attractions in Gangotri:
Nestled amidst the jagged and lush green mountains of the Garhwal Himalayas this scenic destination is located on the banks of the holy river of Bhagirathi in the district of Uttarkashi. The place is less explored and still remains to be far from the hands of the loads of tourism and commercialisation. The sanctity of this sacred town that springs to life during the Chardham Yatra seasons has stayed intact. Although a small village the sheer tranquillity here is impeccable and should be experienced at least once in a lifetime.
Distance from Gangotri Temple – 25 km
This is another one of the most underrated and remote scenic villages of Uttarakhand. The ambience here is seeped in ancient spirituality, peace and tranquillity. A perfect destination for people with a creative bent or even for families looking to spend some time away from the commotion of the city life. Set against the backdrop of the ever-present snowy mountain peaks and the gushing river on one side this place seems straight out of a fairy tale book. Dotted with traditional settlements the stillness and peace of Dharali is refreshing.
Distance from the Temple –20 km
Situated within the serene town of Harsil, Mukhba is popular as the winter home for the presiding idol of Ganga Maa when Gangotri Dham shuts down for darshan to the pilgrims. Apart from its incredible spiritual value people also visit it for village and eco-tourism as well. The town is covered entirely in thriving and lush greenery with several small and humble ancient temples made out of deodar and brass. Visiting this place especially during the winter months is sheer bliss and extremely rejuvenating amongst the cool Himalayan breeze and the pristine snow-covered beauty.
Distance from temple –25 km
Gangotri National Park
Conserving an area of 2,390 sq. km. of lush deodar, rhododendrons and spruce forested area and lavish meadows, this wildlife sanctuary is popular all over India for its unique high altitude ecosystem and scenic beauty. This is primarily visited by people looking for a thrilling trekking expedition to the source of river Ganga, Gaumukh glacier, which is situated within the premises of this park. In order preserve its pristine and majestic beauty the park remains for visitors only from November to April. You will be able to experience the tranquil beauty which cannot be replicated anywhere else.
Distance from Temple –22 km
Things to Do:
Kalindi Khal Trek
This magnificent and testing trek will take you deep into the lap of the grand Himalayas which is located on the banks of the holy river Ganga. You will be greeted with the mesmerising grassland beauty of Tapovan and accompanied by the towering peaks of Shivling, Bhagirathi and Meru. This place ranks among one of the least explored and off beat trekking trails of Uttarakhand.This 15 day of journey will take you from Gangotri, Bhojbasa, Tapovan, Vasuki Tal, Khara Patthar, Sweta Glacier, Kalindi Base Camp, Arwa Tal and Badrinath.
Trekking and Camping at GAUMUKH GLACIER
This is one of the most soulful journeys which takes you up to the source of the holy river of Ganga. The entire Gangotri Gaumukh trek route is filled with loose mountain rocks which makes it a difficult journey so you should be prepared beforehand to face challenging trekking trails here. However, the resulting destination at the Gaumukh glacier which will be reached via some of the most scenic and pristine beauty of Tapovan, Chirbasa, Bhojwasa etc. the route has undulating ascents and descents but at you will be camping under the starry skies which will be an experience of a lifetime.
Expedition of Auden’s Col
If you are an extreme outdoor sports enthusiast this is probably one of the least explored expedition in India. This is a high mountain pass that connects the peaks of Jogin 1 and Gangotri 3. You will be required to be in your top-notch fitness condition and go with an accompanied guide. Your journey will commence from Gangotri and concludes at Kedarnath. The Pass is named after john Bicknell Auden who is credited with the discovery of this high altitude mountain Pass which also connects two glaciers namely, Khatling and Jogin. You will be making your way through narrow cliffs, moraines, large boulders and rough ridges. The views from here are stunning and picturesque ranges of mountain ranges like –Kedar dome, Bhagirathi group, Gangotri group etc.
Hiking to Dodi Tal
Dodi Tal is probably one of the finest high altitude clear water lakes in Uttarakhand which is also the home for the famous Himalayan trout known as Dodi. The hiking trip to the lake commences from Uttarkashi and takes you to the hamlet of Agora. From here the lake is 15 kms away and you can spend your time here amidst the scenic and beautiful nature. The wildlife here also has a unique composition of Deers, tigers, Himalayan goats among the lush greenery of cedars and oaks. You will be able to take a deeper look into the life style and traditions of the locals there during your trip since you will be making your way through these remote destinations. The place holds spiritual significance as well due to the presence of a really ancient temple to lord Ganesh since it is believed to be his birth place.