Some Rajasthani pilgrims taking a dip into the Ganges in Gangotri.
The Water is cold there. The first village you encounter after coming down from the sources of the ganges is Gangotri.
Gangotri, the source of the river Ganges and seat of the goddess Ganga, is one of the four sites in the Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga from Devprayag onwards where it meets Alaknanda. The origin of the holy river is at Gaumukh, which is further 18 km trek along the Gangotri glacier.
Gangotri can be reached in one day's travel from Rishikesh, Haridwar or Dehradun, or in two days from Yamunotri, the first site in the Char Dham circuit. More popular and important than its sister site to the east, Gangotri is also accessible directly by car and bus, meaning that it sees many more pilgrims than Yamunotri.
This small town is centered around a temple of the goddess Ganga, which was built by the Gurkha General Amar Singh Thapa in the early 18th century. The temple is closed on the Diwali day every year and is reopened in May. During this time, the idol of the goddess is kept at Mukhba village, near Harsil.