15 Best Places to Visit in Gangotri and Yamunotri

Are you the person who loves natural beauty? Then Gangotri and Yamunotri will charm you undoubtedly. Yamunotri is one of the spots in the Chota Char Dham in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. In general it is a place that is praised for its natural beauty. Plus it is well-known for pilgrimage sites where you will sense a kind of peace.

A wide range of tourists visits this place to experience such tranquility. For those who get bored with the busy and hassle life, this place is the best treat to fill your hunger of peace.

1. Gangotri Temple

Gangotri is considered the birthplace of the River Ganges, although the Bhagirathi River will not be called Ganga until Devprayag, where it joins with another sacred river, the Alaknanda River. The origin of the river is in Gaumukh, at the base of the Gangotri glacier, 19 km upstream from the Gangotri temple.

2. Bhojbasa

Gangotri to Bhojbasa (3800 m) is an easy walk (13 km trek). Continue along the scenic trail that initially passes through a dense forest of cedars before emerging into the wide and deforested valley. Then it goes to a small isolated forest of pines. From Gaumukh, source of the Ganges, the scenery is fascinating.

3. Gangnani

Go to Gangnani, which is hardly an hour from Gangotri towards Uttarkashi. There is a hot water spring in Gangnani. Cheap accommodation is also available there. Enjoy in the hot waters of Gangnani which will drive away all the pain in your legs.

4. Bhaironghati

Gangotri glacier is the beginning of bhagirathi River which then flows down from gaumukh farther downstream (20km) towards a small town of gangotri and its famous temple. From bhaironghati gorge bhagirathi flows like a silver ribbon as it cuts across higher Himalayas.

5. Harsil

Towns on the way to Gangotri are amazing. One of the untouched places in Uttrakhand is the picturesque Nelong valley near the Indo china border. At 11000 feet the valley is a cold desert. The valley has a similar landscape as that of Ladakh. Famous Harsil township is one of them. Also, it comes under Gangotri National park so there are chances of experiencing wildlife and nature views.

From Uttarkashi the road climbs in a dive on a curve and the roaring Bhagirathi always gives company. It takes three hours to get on another hard road to the town of Harsil, where you can visit a temple and perform the ritual of bathing in the cold waters of the Ganges.

Gartang Gali is not exactly a bridge. It is a path that has been cleaved out of a sheer rock face by cutting it and wedging thick wooden plank into it to create a path broad enough for people, goat sheep, and mules to walk over. This path was once a part of the route from Tibet into the Uttarkashi valley where traders used to come to exchange salt, wool, and leather goods in exchange for oil, spices, etc.

It is indeed a marvel to behold as it hangs over a deep gorge with the planks only wedged in a few inches into a niche cut into the sheer rock face and hanging over the valley. The 150 year old path is now fully restored and traversable, which is why it has now been opened to the public. Also, the travel restrictions into the Nelong Valley - where this bridge is situated, have been partially lifted which is why it is now accessible.

6. Dharali

The Selku festival is an agricultural celebration that takes place in the Dharali village. It is a set of ancestral rites that have more to do with the paganism of the Himalayan peoples than anything else. Its calendar is lunar, so the beginning coincides with the full Moon.

Like all peoples and cultures, the fascination with fire is present. The night of the beginning of the party is all followed by games with firebrands, torches and mallets of firewood, where the young people of the town and the region, demonstrate their skills and courage in the manipulation of fire. Later they dance around the fire, in a very communal link.

The main object of the celebration will be observed quickly. It is a strange totem covered with silks and beads, which dances from the hand of men (only them) in another strange and ritual dance.

7. Submerged Shivling

Submerged in the river, this natural rock Shivling is the place where, according to mythology Lord Shiva sat when he received the Ganga in his matted lock. It is visible in winter months when water level decreases.

8. Gangotri Glacier

The source of the first drops of water from the Ganges River is located in the Gomukh Glacier, in the Garhwal Mountains within the Gangotri National Park. Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri, is the name of the four sacred temples found within the National Park.

9. Surya Kund

There are a Number of thermal springs in the vicinity of the temple, which flows into numerous pools. The most important of these is Surya Kund.

10. Janki Chatti

The place called Janki Chatti is located at the distance of 7 km and it is popularly known for the thermal springs. In this place, you can stay and take some rest.

11. Kharsali

Within one km distance, the Kharsali village is located that consists of the three-storied temple and it is built by means of stones. Actually, it is Shiva temple that is situated in the way to praise Lord Shiva who is sculptured in the form of Someshwar.

Also in the 10 km distance Saptarishi Kund is located and the lake over there is completely ices. There you can see an ancient temple as well. Likewise, Yamunotri Tourism offers lots and lots of interesting places to visit to make stun. The Saptarishi Kund is high above the temple, a glacial lake in Kalindi Parvat.

The ascent is more than 1,000 vertical meters and is not easy to access. In the crystal clear waters of the lake, find the reflection of the Chaukambha and Neelkanth peaks.

12. Divya Shila

A rock pillar, worshipped before entering the Yamunotri Temple.

13. Shani Dev Temple

Yamunotri is the place where the Yamuna River originates in the Garhwal Himalayas. In general, Yamunotri is considered as one of the top sacred places in Uttarakhand. There are lots of pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand and Yamunotri is the notable and popular one. This place is well-known for the thermal springs and glaciers.

In Winters when the place is inaccessible at that time the temple gets closed and the idol of Yamuna is brought down to Kharsali village of Uttarkashi and kept in the Shani dev Temple for next six months.

14. Hanuman Chatti

Yamunotri is a moderate difficulty level trek. It is more like vaishno Devi route.Being more natural than that. It is easily approachable from Haridwar.

You can go by your car or a bus till hanuman chatti and from there the trek of 14 kms start. Surrounded by lush green environments, the trek is beautiful and breath taking. The route is easy to moderate and takes around 6–7 hours to reach yamunotri temple. You can also get mules and paalkies if you cannot walk that much.

15. Yamunotri temple

At an altitude of 3293 meters, Yamunotri is located in the Uttarkashi district. Yamunotri is near the Bandarpunch Mountain that is located at an height of 6315 m. It is 278 km from Dehradun, 236 km from Rishikesh, 176 km from Chamba and 21 km from Sanya Chatti.

The most attractive one in Yamunotri is Yamunotri temple. This temple was built by the Maharani Gularia of Jaipur in the 19th century. It is located at a distance of 3030 meters that is 6km above from the glacier. The reason for the establishment of the river is to praise the Yamuna River that resembles the silver statue.

Most of the tourists visit this place to clean the sins that they did in their lifetime. Yamuna river is the actual beauty of nature. Here hot water pool is located that is usually availed to prepare Prasad for the visitors of the temple. The Prasad is rice and boiled potatoes that are tightly packed in the cloth bags.
Kalyan Panja