Gangotri is one of the derivation source of Holy River Ganga (Ganges), and one of the significant Char Dham pilgrimage in Hindu belief. The holy place of Gangotri is open with great ceremony and illustration in the April end on the favorable day of Akshaya Tritiya. An extraordinary Puja of Goddess Ganga is performed within the temple as well as on the bank of River Ganges. The temple closes on the major Hindu festival, Diwali when again the formal ritual is performed with a Puja.
The main source of the river is “Gaumukh” which is a glacier situated 19 km away from gangotri temple. Ganga river is the greatest and most consecrated river in world. The river itself begins at Gangotri which factually means Ganga Uttari or Ganga downward She came to be called Bhagirathi at her famous source. Couched in the wonderful Garhwal hills, Gangotri is at height of 3048 meters above sea level. It is on the northern most part of the state of UttraKhand and is very near the Indo-Tibetan border. It is around 250 km from Rishikesh and 105 km from Uttarkashi. The summers are moderately cool and winters are glacial cold, with rains in the months of May and June. For the devotee and tourists, the gates of the temple are open only in the months of May to November.
In antique time the river is called Bhagirathi and attains the name Ganga from Devprayag elapsed where Bhagirathi meets with Alaknanda form Ganga River. Gangotri is the home place of numerous ashrams, small shrine and temple. According to the legends, Goddess Ganges descended to the earth to pardon the sins of the humans and for the welfare of mankind to discharge them from sufferings; being pleased with the consideration of King Bhagirath; and so the name Bhagirathi is also known to the Ganges. Lord Shiva tangled the heavy waves of the river in his poisonous locks and since then the river is being measured so sacred and worshipped by the Hindu devotees. It is the Gangotri washbasin where we find the basis of the sacred river and is being channelized into dissimilar forms at different location forming different major confluences.