If you are wondering how to reach Gangotri for a fun expedition or a pilgrimage, travelling there may be challenging. Still, it will be an experience that you will cherish forever. You can reach Gangotri by different modes of transport. But before we delve deeper into how to reach Gangotri by road, air, or rail, let us first learn about Gangotri itself and its mythological association. 

About Gangotri

Gangotri is nestled in Uttarakhand state and is a revered pilgrimage destination for Hindus. Every year, lakhs of devotees from around the country visit here to bow their heads to Goddess Ganga and see the origin of the sacred Ganga River, aka Ma Ganga. 

The whole of India bows in reverence to and worships the Holy River Ganga. Gangotri is the place where the river originates. So, it is natural that Gangotri is considered a sacred site, and many devotees from all over the country come here to see the Ganges in its purest and most pristine form.

Apart from being a popular religious site, it is also a picturesque haven. If you are a quintessential nature lover or an adventure seeker ready to go on a trekking expedition without batting an eyelid, this place is your mecca. 

The Holy River Ganga's point of origin, Gangotri or Gangotri Dham, is part of the Chhota Char Dham yatra, which includes the Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath temples. The main attraction here is the Gangotri Temple, dedicated to Goddess Ganga. 

Just as fascinating and holy as the river, its origin has an interesting legend associated with it. According to Hindu legends, Goddess Ganga descended on earth after Lord Shiva released her from his hairlocks. 

Another interesting aspect of the Holy Ganga River is that its actual point of origin is 19 km away from Gangotri. It originates from Gaumukh glacier as the Bhagirathi River and acquires the name Ganga at Devprayag Dham, where it meets the Alaknanda River. 

Travelling to Gangotri by Air

If you are wondering how to reach Gangotri or are unsure which airport is nearest to Gangotri, you would be happy to know that travelling to Gangotri by air is quite easy. The closest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, about 260 km away. 

Since Dehradun is a popular tourist destination in Uttarakhand, it is well-connected by flight to all parts of the country. Many airlines operate regular flights to and from Dehradun. Once you reach Dehradun, from the airport, you can either take the state government run bus to Gangotri or if you want to travel more comfortably, and discover the local attractions along the way, you can book a private taxi. 

Travelling to Gangotri by Road

Gangotri is the only destination in the Chota Char Dham Yatra that is easy to reach. You can go directly to Gangotri by Road. Regular government and private bus services run from Delhi, Rishikesh, Uttarkashi, Haridwar, and Dehradun to Gangotri. It is the easiest and most affordable way to reach Gangotri. 

If you are travelling in your vehicle from another state, driving to Gangotri will be one of the best experiences ever. Uttarakhand is a scenic place, and the landscape is just awe-inspiring everywhere you turn! 

When you drive up to Gangotri, you enjoy magnificent views on both sides. The lush greenery and towering snow-clad peaks in the distance shining bright under the sun's rays are a sight to see!

Travelling to Gangotri by Rail

Uttarakhand has well-established rail connectivity, and the different junctions connect it to all parts of India. No matter where you live in India, you will surely find a direct train to one of the cities in Uttarakhand. If not, and you are wondering how to go to Gangotri by rail, you can travel to Delhi and, from here, switch trains to reach Rishikesh. 

The Rishikesh station is about 250 km away. Once you get off here, you can take local transport right outside the station. You can take a bus or taxi. The journey takes about 12 hours, but rest assured, you will love it, and it will be an experience in itself. 

Best places to visit near Gangotri

When you go on a holiday to see the holy Gangotri, don't miss the opportunity to explore other stunning attractions nearby. If you are not sure where to go, here are some of the best places to visit near Gangotri that you must include in your itinerary. 

Surya Kund

Surya Kund is a stunning waterfall just about 500 metres from Gangotri Temple. After you seek the Goddess' blessings, head out here and take in the magnificent view. The highlight of this waterfall is that every time water falls into the kund or a natural pond, you can see a beautiful rainbow when the sun is shining bright. 

Apart from its surreal beauty, the waterfall also holds religious significance. As per beliefs, Goddess Parvati bathed here, paying homage to the Sun God. 

Gaumukh

One of the most sacred spots in India, Gaumukh is the source of the holy Bhagirathi River, and it is also known for being the second-largest glacier in India. The place remains open between May and October and receives scores of tourists and devotees. 

Dharali

If you are keen to explore something non-religious, Dharali is a wonderful place to visit near Gangotri. Known for its apple orchards and red bean cultivation, the landscape here is surreal. Also, the village is home to an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, which is believed to be where King Bhagirath meditated to get the River Ganga flowing into the earth from heaven. 

Dodi Tal

Dodi Tal is another popular tourist attraction near Gangotri. It is a stunning lake surrounded by snow-clad mountains and is known for its Himalayan trout. The lake is located about 3200 metres above sea level and is a popular resting and camping site for trekkers. 

Pandav Gufa

Gufa literally translates to a cave. It is an ancient natural cave believed to be the place where the Pandava brothers from the legend of Mahabharat meditated on their way to Mount Kailash to atone for their sin of killing a cow. Reaching the cave requires trekking through the mountains, and the trail is lush with greenery and scenic views. 

Harshil

Harshil is a tiny hamlet and one of the lesser-known tourist spots near Gangotri. Nestled amidst the Himalayan Mountain ranges, Harshil has a peaceful and tranquil setting, providing a perfect gateway to seek solitude. 

A dense cover of Pine and Deodar trees engulfs the village and the holy River Bhagirathi flows through it. Also, there are many apple orchards in the region, making it a perfect family holiday destination. 

Best Time to Visit Gangotri

If you are planning to visit Gangotri, you must know about the right time to visit. Gangotri is only open for six months in a year, from May to November. However, the best time to visit is between May and June, as the weather remains pleasant during this time of year. 

Also, you must know that since the birthplace of the Holy Ganges is located at a high altitude in the laps of the mighty Himalayan Mountain ranges, the area remains cold throughout the year. So, pack appropriate warm clothes to keep yourself protected from the chill. It is best to avoid going to Gangotri during the monsoon months, i.e., from July to August, as the area is prone to landslides. 

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