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Gangotri Tourism And Travel Guide
23.7° C / 74.6° F
May to October
2 to 4 Days
Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun (250 kms)
Rishikesh Railway Station (234 kms)
A significant religious destination for Hindus, Gangotri forms one of the four 'Char Dhams' of Uttarakhand. Legend has it that the Goddess Ganga herself transformed into a river and blessed this land. The surrounding beauty of the Himalayas and dense forests is literally breathtaking. Tourism in Gangotri tends to thrive from May to November. The Gangotri area pretty much shuts down for the winter months here due to extreme conditions. To learn more what you can do in Gangotri on your visit or when and how to visit, check out this brief travel guide to help you navigate Gangotri.
How to Reach
Gangotri is very well connected by roadways. The drive is long but enjoyable. It is situated approximately 507 km from Delhi, making for an overnight drive. You can also drive up from Rishikesh or Dehradun.
The closest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, 256 km away. It is well connected by air to other cities in and around Uttarakhand. Multiple taxi and bus options are available from the airport to get to Gangotri.
The closest railway station is in Rishikesh, 234 km away from Gangotri. Rishikesh is easily connected by frequent train routes to other parts of the country. State and private agencies provide busses and cars to get to Gangotri from the station itself.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Summer (April – June):
This is the best time to visit Gangotri for all tourists, including adventurers and pilgrims. The climate is ideal and enables visitors to enjoy the natural splendour, winding hiking trails, as well as the flora and fauna. The temples are also mostly open during this time.
Monsoon (July – September):
The monsoon season lasts two months and can be quite unpredictable. Landslides aren’t uncommon and it is advised to check the weather prior to your travel during these months.
Winter (December – March):
Winter sees extreme weather conditions in Gangotri, and sub-zero temperatures hitting the region. The area tends to shut down for all tourists and visitors during these months. So winters are definitely not recommended.
Things to Do
Visit Gangotri Temple:
The Gangotri Temple was built by General Amar Singh Thapa in the 1800s, and today it attracts around 2.5 lakh tourists every year. The temple is open from May to October and must-visit if trekking up to Gangotri region.
Gangotri National Park:
Created in 1955, it is also known as Govind National Park. The unharmed landscape entices thousands of botanists and naturalists here every year. You will even find some rare animals wandering the forest.
Trek to Nelong Valley:
The landscape of the area is almost cold and desert like, offering views of the Tibetan Plateau. Nelong Valley is home to snow leopards, blue sheep and musk deer.
Kedartal is one of the most popular trek routes. The best time to take this up is from May to November, when the weather is relatively pleasant.
Although not really known for its shopping, visitors looking for small religious mementos will not be disappointed in Gangotri. The market areas provide all the basic everyday items. Idols of various Gods and Goddesses can also be found here, but nothing more to sink your shopaholic teeth into.
The food in the area is strictly vegetarian. Alcoholic drinks and non-vegetarian foods are both a strict no-no in the area. There are decent options for different cuisines in and around the markets, but don’t have very high expectations as this is a hill town, small, and very remote.