Hindu Holy Place - Gangotri
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India is the land with multiple religions and is a country of God fearing people.People start for the pilgrimage from one place to another and perform pooja etc.to wash away all their sins.There are many holy places in India and the main such places are shown here in the following table.
Gangotriis the seat of the goddess Ganga,is one of the four sites in the Char Dham pilgrimage.It is the source of the river Ganga and the river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga from Devprayag onwards where it meets the Alaknanda.
This small town was built up by Gurkha General Amar Singh Thapa in the late 18th or early 19th century.The ritual duties are conducted by the Semwal family of pujaris.
This is centered around a temple of the goddess Ganga.The temple is closed for tourists,on every Diwali day till May. The idol of the goddess is placed at Mukhba village, near Harsil,in this period.
The aarti ceremony at the Gangotri is especially impressive, as is the temple, a stately affair that sits on the banks of the rushing Ganga. Adventurous pilgrims can make an overnight 18 km trek to Gaumukh, the actual current source of the river Ganga.
As per the legend,the King Sagar,defeated the demons on earth and decided to perform Ashwamegh Yagna to prove his supremacy.The horse of the yagna was to be accompanied by the King's 60,000 sons.
Indra, the king of the gods was afraid that he might be deprived of his celestial throne if the 'Yagna' was successful.Hence he took away the horse in the custody of Sage Kapil,who was then in deep meditation.
The sons of the King Sagar,after severe search, found the horse,tied near the meditating sage and they attacked the ashram.Sage Kapil opened his eyes and the 60,000 sons had perished by the curse of sage Kapil.
Bhagirath,the grand son of King Sagar, is believed to have meditated,here, to bring down the Ganga to cleanse the ashes of his ancestors and liberate their souls, granting them salvation(Moksha). The Bhagirathi 'Shila' is located near the temple of Ganga where the holy Ganga first descended on earth from heaven.
After the penance for several years of Bhagirath,the Goddess Ganga transformed in to a river to absolve the sins of Bhagirath's ancestors.Lord Shiva received Ganga into his matted locks to minimize the impact of her fall.
Attractions In Gangotri
The river Ganges is believed to have touched earth at this spot.Thi temple of 18th century,dedicated to Goddess Ganga,is situated near the sacred stone where King Bhagirath penanced for several years for Lord Shiva.
The Shivling of natural rock which is submerged in the river, is a wonderful sight. It is said that,Lord Shiva positioned himself at this spot to receive the river Ganga in his matted hair locks.In the early winters when the water level goes down,the shivling can be seen.