The Ultimate Travel Guide: Top 17 Breathtaking Destinations to Explore in Gangotri for an Incredible 2023 Experience!

by operator

Located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, Gangotri is a renowned holy site that attracts not only pilgrims but also adventure enthusiasts, bikers, and photography enthusiasts seeking tranquility. Whether you’re yearning to reconnect with your ancient roots, seeking divine blessings, or simply looking for an escape from the mundane, Gangotri is the perfect destination for all. With its deep roots in Hindu folklore, Gangotri offers a captivating sightseeing experience that will leave you mesmerized.

Without further delay, let’s explore these 17 captivating places to visit in Gangotri on your next trip to this sacred city.

17 Best Places To Visit In Gangotri:

1. Gangotri Temple – A Divine Abode

2. Dharali – A Picturesque Village

3. Kalindi Khal Trek – Surreal Landscapes Await

4. Maneri – The Exquisite Dam Site

5. Gangotri National Park – A Nature Lover’s Haven

6. Gaumukh – Home to the Second Largest Glacier

7. Jalamagna Shivling – A Spiritual Retreat

8. Kedar Lake – For the Adventurous Souls

9. Harsil – Where Beauty Knows No Bounds

10. Dodi Tal – A Breathtaking Lake

11. Auden’s Col – Unleash Your Adventurous Spirit

12. Dayara Bugyal – Serene Green Meadows

13. Kedartal Patangini Pass Trek – An Expedition to the Ancient Ganga

14. Tapovan – Famous for its Healing Hot Springs

15. Uttarkashi – An Expedition to the Spiritual Realm

16. Vishwanath Temple – A Sacred Temple with Parashuram’s Blessings

17. Surya Kund – A Magnificent Waterfall

1. Gangotri Temple – A Divine Abode

The magnificent Gangotri Temple, made of majestic marble, stands tall at 20 feet and holds a history of over 300 years. This architectural gem is dedicated to Goddess Ganga and was constructed in the 18th century by Amar Singh Thapa, a respected Gurkha Commander. In the 20th century, it was rebuilt by the Maharaja of Jaipur. Every year, more than 2.5 lakh pilgrims pay their respects at this sacred temple. While visiting Gangotri, make sure to witness the grand Aarti ceremony, a heartfelt expression of gratitude to the river goddess Ganga.


Timings: Open every day from 6.15 AM to 2 PM and 3 PM to 9.30 PM

Tip: Ensure you maintain the sanctity of this holy place.

Must Read: Gangotri Glacier Trek – Embark on a Challenging Journey in the Mystical Land of the Himalayas

2. Dharali – A Picturesque Hamlet

Visit the enchanting village of Dharali, nestled amidst breathtaking landscapes.

There is an abundance of enchanting destinations to explore in the mesmerizing region of Gangotri. Following a day of delightful sightseeing in Gangotri, venture towards the scenic village of Dharali, nestled tranquilly on the banks of the holy river Ganga. Situated at an elevation of 648 meters above sea level, this picturesque village is surrounded by majestic pine and deodar trees. It provides the perfect opportunity to relax and breathe in the fresh air. In addition, the village houses an ancient Shiva temple that remains open throughout the day.

Dharali Uttarakhand

Opening Hours: Not applicable

Pro-tip: While in Dharali, make sure to visit the apple orchards spread across the village and indulge in the delightful local Rajma delicacies.

3. Kalindi Khal Trek – Awe-inspiring Landscapes

Nestled amidst extraordinary landscapes and breathtaking natural beauty, the Kalindi Khal trek offers an adventurous and daring experience for the courageous souls. Although the challenging hike to the peak may take several hours, the captivating views that greet you at the summit will leave you spellbound. The trail is constant source of enchantment, as you traverse through rushing streams, vast alpine meadows, and lush green fields, all accompanied by the pristine backdrop of the magnificent Himalayas.

Kalindi Khar Trek

Best Time to Trek: The optimal period for this trek is between mid-June and early September

Pro-tip: This trek begins from Gangotri and concludes with a visit to a sacred temple in the Badrinath valley. The serene atmosphere, combined with the awe-inspiring scenery, creates a truly unforgettable experience.

4. Maneri – The Beautiful Dam Site

For those with ample time, there are numerous scenic destinations to explore in the vicinity of Gangotri. Maneri is one such tourist spot, where the landscape is nothing short of surreal and mesmerizing. With its expansive stretch of water, the Maneri Dam makes for an ideal location for a day picnic.

Maneri Dam

Distance From Gangotri: Maneri is a mere 92 kilometers away from Gangotri by road.Pro-tip: Don’t forget to bring along a fishing rod, as you may get lucky and catch some Himalayan trouts, which you can then grill over an open fire to add a touch of charm to your outdoor picnic.

5. Gangotri National Park – Paradise for Nature Enthusiasts

No trip to Gangotri is truly complete without a visit to the national park. Referred to as Govind National Park, this expansive and verdant area is believed to be the very place where Laxman stood watch over Lanka. It is renowned as one of the largest national parks in Uttarakhand and its untouched beauty draws numerous botanists and nature enthusiasts each year. This national sanctuary is home to a plethora of medicinal plants, which are utilized in the production of life-saving medications. Established in 1955, it covers an impressive area of 958 square kilometers and provides a habitat for elusive white leopards and an array of other captivating wildlife, flora, and fauna.

Gangotri National Park

Operating hours: The national park is open daily.

Travel tip: If you are traveling with young children, the dense green forests of Gangotri will be a refreshing and enjoyable retreat for them.

Recommended reading: Discover 17 remarkable places to explore in Uttarkashi that will revitalize your mind and soul.

6. Gaumukh – The Second Largest Glacier

Immerse yourself in the splendor of Gaumukh, one of the remarkable destinations to experience in Gangotri. This revered Hindu pilgrimage site and sought-after trekking destination requires a three-day journey from Gangotri. Nestled at an elevation of 13,200 feet, Gaumukh is renowned as the second largest glacier on the Indian subcontinent. The glacier’s snout, resembling the face of a cow, serves as the Bhagirathi River’s main source. Prepare to be captivated by the breathtaking vistas of ice, glaciers, and majestic landscapes that await you at Gaumukh.


Ideal trekking time: Pilgrims and trekkers can embark on the three-day Gaumukh trail from May to October.

Travel tip: Weary trekkers can find respite and rejuvenation at Bhojbasa before conquering the final four-kilometer stretch to Gaumukh.

7. Jalamagna Shivling – A Spiritual Journey

Jalamagna Shivling, an awe-inspiring attraction in Gangotri Dham, holds immense allure for both locals and tourists alike. This natural Shivling, located beside the Gangotri Temple, remains hidden during the summer season and only reveals itself during the winter months when the water level of the river drops. According to ancient tales, Lord Shiva held the river Ganges within his sacred matted locks at this very spot.

Operating hours: Not applicable.

Jalamagna Shivling

Travel tip: Not applicable.

Recommended reading: Embark on a divine vacation in ‘Devbhoomi’ and explore the temples of Uttarakhand.

8. Kedar Lake – A Haven for Adventurers

Attention adventure enthusiasts! Kedar Lake is a must-visit site nestled in the heart of Gangotri. Surrounded by majestic mountains, this serene lake offers an exhilarating experience.

If you are searching for peaceful spots in Gangotri, then Kedar Lake is a destination that will not fail to impress you! Situated at an elevation of 4425 meters above sea level, this trek is one of the most popular options in the region. If you are an adventure enthusiast in search of an exciting expedition, embarking on a trek to Kedar Lake will surely provide you with an unforgettable experience! This enchanting lake is among the most captivating bodies of water in Uttarakhand!

Operating Hours: Not applicable

Tips: Remember to hire a local guide for your trekking journey. 

The pristine Kedar Tal lake overlooked by Thalayasagar peak

Further Reading: 11 Breathtaking Lakes in Uttarakhand That You Must Explore

9. Harsil – Awe-Inspiring Beauty

Harsil is renowned for its awe-inspiring beauty, as this offbeat destination in Gangotri offers mesmerizing vistas. Nestled amidst the mighty Himalayas and embraced by lush tropical forests, accompanied by the soothing sounds of the Bhagirathi River, Harsil is undoubtedly one of the most captivating spots in Uttarakhand. Visitors can also explore apple orchards in this scenic village. If you’re planning a romantic getaway, Harsil is a must-visit destination. Additionally, if you’re interested in mountaineering in Uttarakhand, Harsil will not disappoint!

Operating Hours: Not applicableTips: It is advisable to avoid visiting during the monsoon season, as Harsil is prone to landslides.


10. Dodi Tal – Spectacular Lake

Dodi Tal is another magnificent lake in Gangotri. This destination is a haven for adventure enthusiasts, and you will come across numerous campsites during your visit. Located at an altitude of 3204 meters, Dodi Tal also offers the opportunity for fishing!

Operating Hours: Not applicableTips: Regardless of the season, it is advisable to carry warm clothing with you.

Suggested Reading: 17 Must-Visit Places in Badrinath for an Unforgettable Trip to Uttarakhand

Dodital Trek

11. Auden’s Col – For Adventurous Explorations

Another thrilling experience in Gangotri is a visit to Auden’s Col. This location is named after the renowned explorer John Bicknell Auden, who discovered this enchanting site in 1935. Embark on an adventurous expedition to witness the exquisite beauty of the Garhwal region.

Best Time To Trek: May to SeptemberTips: This demanding trek is suitable for experienced trekkers, so plan accordingly.

Too dangerous hike of Auden’s Col Pass full of sudden fissures

12. Dayara Bugyal – Verdant Meadow

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Dayara Bugyal, a lush and verdant meadow situated at an elevation of 3950 meters. Nestled between the majestic peaks of Bandarpunch and White Peak, this destination is a paradise for adventurers. Embark on a thrilling trek starting from Barsu, where you will traverse dense oak forests and witness the snow-capped Himalayan peaks as you journey through Raithal village to reach this enchanting place.

Optimal Time for Trekking: May to NovemberTips: Combine your visit to Dayara Bugyal with a road trip to Gangotri Temple and Harsil for an unforgettable experience.

13. Kedartal Patangini Pass Trek – Exploring the Ancient Ganga

Dayara Bugyal Winter Trek

Immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of Kedartal Patangani Pass, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Himalayas. This extraordinary destination is adorned with picturesque landscapes that will leave you in awe. The lake, which is the source of the old Ganga River, known as Kedarganga, adds a mystical charm to the place. Vibrant flora and fauna and the melodious songs of birds will create cherished memories. This trek is among the top offbeat trekking spots in the Himalayas.

Optimal Time for Trekking: May to early NovemberTips: It is advisable to hire an experienced trekking guide for a safe and enjoyable journey. Don’t miss out on reading our article on Trekking In Uttarakhand 2022: The 22 Greatest Treks That Will Leave You Mesmerized!

Kedar Tal

14. Tapovan – Renowned for Soothing Hot Springs

Tapovan, another captivating destination in Gangotri, will mesmerize you with its picturesque sights. It is famous for its invigorating hot springs, frequented by tourists for their healing properties on various skin ailments. From here, you can admire breathtaking vistas of popular peaks, such as Nanda Devi and Dronagiri Chaukhamba. Serving as a gateway to Badrinath and the Valleys of Flowers, Tapovan has become a popular tourist hub.

Optimal Time for Trekking: May to June and September to NovemberTips: Reach Tapovan by trekking from Gaumukh to fully immerse yourself in its natural splendor.

Tapovan View

15. Uttarkashi – Spiritual Adventure

Uttarkashi, also known as the “Kashi of the North,” is a fascinating destination that should not be missed during your trip to Gangotri. This sacred land holds great significance for Hindus, housing four holy shrines based on Hindu mythology. Uttarkashi appeals not only to religious enthusiasts but also to adventure seekers, thanks to its majestic surroundings.

Visitation Timings: Not ApplicableTips: Adventure enthusiasts will find plenty to indulge in during their visit to Uttarkashi. For more solo travel ideas, check out our article on Solo Trip To Uttarakhand: 12 Places To Visit For The Ultimate “Me-Time”.

River of Uttarkashi

16. Vishwanath Temple – A Temple Established by Parashuram

The Vishwanath Temple, a renowned temple located in Uttarkashi, is said to have been founded by Parashuram and houses the Kedar Khanda of Skanda Purana. Subsequently, Maharani Khaneti renovated the temple in 1857. The Shiv Linga here stands at a height of 60 cm and has a circumference of 90 cm, attracting Shiva devotees from all around the globe. 

Opening Hours: Not AvailableTip: You can purchase puja items from the nearby shops if you haven’t brought any

ancient temple of India

17. Surya Kund – Breathtaking Waterfall

schwiki for Wikimedia

Surya Kund is a well-known pilgrimage site situated 500m away from the Gangotri Temple. It is famous for its stunning Surya Kund waterfall, which can be seen from an iron bridge. Pilgrims who visit the Gangotri Temple often visit the Surya Kund waterfall as well. The vibrant sound of the waterfall mesmerizes visitors, creating a wonderful spectacle. If you are traveling with your partner, exploring these kunds is one of the top activities for couples in Gangotri. 

Opening Hours: Not AvailableTip: To reach Surya Kund, you must first reach Gangotri Temple via NH 108

Further Reading: Top 22 Destinations To Visit In Uttarakhand In Summer To Beat The Heat

Although Gangotri is a revered tourist destination, this sacred place offers something for everyone. From enchanting trekking trails to lush green landscapes, there are numerous places to explore in Gangotri suitable for the whole family.So, why wait? Pack your bags and plan your Uttarakhand trip and head to Gangotri – a beautiful hill station that welcomes seekers of enlightenment, adventure enthusiasts, and devotees of the divine alike!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Gangotri

What activities should we engage in while in Gangotri?

There are numerous fascinating and spiritually significant activities to experience in Gangotri. The best among them include visiting the following attractions:

1. Gangotri temple

2. Pandava Gufa

3. Surya Kund

4. Gaumukh

5. Tapovan

6. Nandanvan

7. Bhairon Ghati

8. Harsil

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