Set amidst the stunning and vibrant green hills of the Garhwal Himalayas, is the home of goddess Ganga, Gangotri. The gleaming white temple marks the point of origin of the holy Bhagirathi River. The temple nestles comfortably among its serene surroundings and the gushing river on one end. Although very accessible nowadays, visiting Gangotri should not be taken lightly. Due to its location on the hills, Gangotri needs to be approached with proper planning and some precision.
Here are some important travel tips for Gangotri to make your pilgrimage as memorable as it can get:
Know When Is the Best Time to Visit
While travelling on the hills, timing is the most important factor that determines a good trip or a bad one. The best time to travel to Gangotri is from the months of May to early July. Make sure to avoid travelling during the monsoon months since this is the time when the entire hilly region remains susceptible to random floods and landslides. It is a dangerous idea to travel to the hills during the monsoon season. Even if you are travelling to Gangotri by helicopter or by road, it is important to first check and stay updated with the weather conditions.
Make Road Travel Comfortable
Travelling by road to Gangotri? Be sure to make the trip as comfortable as you can. The road trip can prove to be a lengthy one, especially during the peak Char Dham Yatra season when the roads are also jam-packed with pilgrims. To make the trip more comfortable you can carry tiny cushions to rest your head or hand, window screens to protect yourself from the harsh sun, etc. remember to take small breaks in regular intervals to stretch yourself out and walk around for a bit. Do not take these breaks lightly as they are very crucial in keeping your spirits high and ready to go!
This one is a no-brainer. Do not step out of your homes and to the hills, without a well-equipped first aid box. Make sure to include, anti-Diarrhoea medication, pain killer, anti-fever, Paracetamol, Dolo 650, Moov, Digene, Dettol, bandages, cotton and band aid. Expect your motion sickness problem on the hills to elevate since you will be travelling on high-altitude regions with narrow winding roads. Take an anti-motion sickness medication as well at least an hour before the road trip is expected to start. For extra caution you can carry sanitizer and paper soap as well.
Only Buy Bottled Water
Remember to always buy bottled water as the locally sourced water in and around the hills cannot be trusted. Bottled water like Bisleri, Himalayan or Aquafina guarantees the quality of drinking water. Local water can make many people sick which can turn lethal due to the altitude and almost no availability of good medical services. If buying water bottles everytime is not good for your budget then you can buy chlorine tablets from any medical store and a big camper bottle. This can be a life-changing money-saving hack for many.
Pack Up On Woolens
Gangotri is a hilly town. It is situated on a high altitude. While travelling to Gangotri make sure to pack on some good quality of woollen clothing. Even while travelling in the summer season when it is warm and comfortable to travel to Gangotri; it gets incredibly cold at night. The temperature drops dramatically after sunset. Be sure to pack at least a good jacket, Thermal Inner, Woollen Socks, Muffler, Shawl and earmuffs before heading to Gangotri.
Tourist Attractions around Gangotri
Gangotri is famous for its Gangotri Dham Temple as it is a major part of the Char Dham Yatra. There are many treks and hikes that go all around the Dham. Here are some attractions in and around Gangotri to make it more memorable and wholesome: Gaumukh glacier trek (trek up to the original glacier source of Ganga river in Gaumukh glacier); Harsil can be visited as a part of the winter vacation destination when it turns into a winter wonderland; Mukhba is the winter seat of Gangotri Dham Temple goddess etc. the unique water feature of Surya Kund is another one of the most interesting tourist attractions near Gangotri Dham. It is also the place where the Saraswati River can be seen disappearing under the mountain roots.
How to Reach Gangotri by Helicopter
If you are travelling with a senior citizen or anyone who is physically incapable of completing the trip on foot, then travelling to Gangotri by helicopter is the best option. This option can also be availed by people who have limited travel holidays since by road, this trip will take up at least 4 days while by helicopter it can be done in half a day or maximum one day, not more than that. Gangotri helipad is located 24 kms away from the main temple entrance and most of these helicopter service companies offer taxi services which are included in the price of the helicopter package to Gangotri.
These are a few things that you need to keep in mind while travelling to Gangotri for a memorable and spiritual holiday on the hills. Make every day here worth it and keep coming back for more!