It is the place from where originates the Ganges, one of the most sacred rivers of the Hindus. Tucked away in the Garhwal hills, Gangotri shrine draws in lakhs of tourists from all parts of the world every year. One of the chardham destinations,Gangotri lies at an elevation of 3,048 m above sea level. Apart from devotees, the tourist spot is also visited by a good number of adventurers from around the world.
Gangotri is located at a distance of 300 km from Dehradun in the state of Uttarakhand. The ideal time to pay a visit here is between the months of April and November while the temple remains open for devotees. If you are travelling here in winter, do remember to be equipped with necessary clothings. It is advisable not to travel to Gangotri during monsoon months to avoid landslides.
The great task of bringing the Ganga on earth started. Anshuman failed and so did his son Dilip, but the grandson Bhagirath was very determined who meditated at Gangotri. After several years of intense meditation, the Ganga descended from Heaven and remained in suspense in the coils of Shiva's hair. Now king Bhagirath meditated to propitiate Shiva. Shiva being pleased released the Ganga as three streams-one of which came of earth in the form of the Bhagirathi, The Ganga's waters touched the ashes of the 60,000 sons and they rose to their eternal rest. The slab of stone on which King Bhagirath in believed to have meditated is called the Bhagirath Shila and is located near the temple of Ganga.
All the cattle passed under his legs except Shiva, whom Bhim noticed. As Bhim bent down to catch hold of him, Shiva sank into the earth and only his back portion (the hump) was taken in Bhim's hand. Shiva being pleased with the determination of the Pandavas, exonerated them from their sin, gave them darshan and requested them to worship his hump. It is from that date the hump of Shiva worshipped in the Temple of Sri Kedarnath-in the conical Shiva pinda form.