Gangotri Temple in Himalayas is part of the Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand. It is located in Uttarkashi. Gangotri Temple architecture is influenced by Katyuri style and it has five small shikhars of 20 feet height. The shrine faces east and the first rays of sun falls on it.
The sanctum sanctorum is built on a raised platform and has murtis of Goddess Ganga, the main deity, Goddess Yamuna, Mahalakshmi, Annapurna, Saraswati and Bhagirath. A murti of Adi Shankaracharya is also found here.
Legend has it that King Bhagirath performed intense austerities here for 5500 years to bring Ganga down from heaven so that she can wash away the sins of his ancestors.
Four other small shrines are located in the vicinity of the Gangotri Temple and they are dedicated to Shiva, Ganesha, Hanuman and Bhagirathi.
Ganga is known as Bhagirati at the source and later takes the name Ganga after the confluence with Alakananda River at Devprayag.
The first aarti in the temple is performed at 6:00 AM.
Devotees can perform pindadaan and tarpan here.
The evening Aarti is known as Gandharva Aarti and involves rhythmic chanting to the music of conch, bells and tongs.
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