Our trip in brief:
Day 1: The 4 of us started from Delhi by road to reach Uttarkashi in the evening. Welcome by Mr Tilak Soni with awesome food including chai and pakodas at his den in Uttarkashi. Night stay at Hotel Shivlinga.
Day 2: Easy start at 10 am to Harsil Valley and Dharali. Harsil is a village on the way to Gangotri, 73 km from Uttarkashi. At a height of 7860 ft from sea level, Harsil is a cantonment area on the banks of Bhagirathi river. Dharali is a hamlet situated along the river and known for its apple orchards. Dharali is ahead of Harsil and has a beautiful river line. The Shiva Temple is a must see and one can climb down to the river from there.
The 4 of us and Mr Soni started from Uttarkashi for Dharali. The phone signals went away in 20 minutes from Uttarkashi. Away from the world, we were making our own world. And with the first sign of snow, we knew the fun coming ahead. We put on brakes at Dharali and got on the enormous snow patch to play, to fight like kids, to run in the snow, to hit each other with snow balls. The 5 kids and their eyes of the tigers.
Night stay: We stayed at Dharali, thanks to Mr Soni. The village has many hotels but all were closed due to off- season. Mr Soni arranged for a hotel and ensured a fabulous night with bonfire and star gazing. Other option to stay is GMVN Harsil which is opened throughout the year. The night was called at 6'o clock with sun setting. The next 4 hours went away along the fire side in- between endless chatter and laughter. With no phone signals and no one else in the village but the 5 of us, we made a night to remember.
Day 3: We woke up to a heavy snow fall. O Boy! what a feel! Totally out of paradise. With morning tea and full vigour and a Big Thank to the Almighty for such a spectacular morning, we started for Gangotri. About 8 kms from Gangotri, we had to take a U turn because of hard ice on the road. A 4X4 would have managed. We did feel bad but weather and road conditions can always alter the plans in mountains. We head back for Uttarkashi at ease with frequent stops for playing in the snow. By evening we reached back and Mr Soni again treated us to sumptuous food and hospitality at his den. Night stay at Hotel Shivlinga.
Day 4: Non-stop journey from Uttarkashi to Delhi with one halt at Rishikesh for food.
How to reach Gangotri?
By road: Delhi- Modinagar- Muzaffarnagar- Roorkee-Haridwar- Rishikesh- New Tehri- Uttarkashi- Gangotri.
By Train: Last railway station at Rishikesh. Ahead on road.
Airport: Nearest at Dehradun. Ahead by cab on road.
Distance: 450 kms between Delhi and Uttarkashi. Time taken: 10-12 hours depending upon the traffic, weather, breaks taken on the way.
Uttarkashi to Gangotri: 98 kms. 2-2.5 hours.
Where to stay in Gangotri in winters?
Hotel Shivlinga at Uttarkashi. Nice & clean hotel with all the basic facilities.
GMVN Tourist Rest House at Harsil. Basic facilities available. GMVN is the only option for tourists that is opened throughout the year.
Else, connect with Mr Tilak Soni for a customised trip.
- Gangotri is a very famous Yatra Dham for devotees.
- Season time: April end/May beginning to Diwali in Oct/Nov. The idol of the Hindu River Goddess Ganga (Ganges) is brought down from the shrine at Gangotri in the upper Himalayas after Diwali and kept at 'Mukhba' village near Harsil. It remains there throughout the winter when Gangotri is snowbound and inaccessible.
- For winter treks and trips to Gangotri, travellers pay their respect from the outside of the temple. Vehicles go till Gangotri. During season time, there are many tourist lodges and home stays near the shrine.
- Gangotri during season time: One day travel from Uttarkashi- Gangotri- Uttarkashi.
The last time I visited Gangotri was in April, just before the Dham opened for Yatris. It was a memorable experience then and a memorable experience now. Gangotri photos of both the trips bring back enormous memories.
* A special thanks to Mr Tilak Soni from Where Eagles Dare to make this trip possible and bring back memories for a lifetime.
Have you been to Gangotri Or any of the Dhams? Have you liked this travelogue? Do let us know in the comments below...
This blog was originally published on Let's Expresso by Tanya Sachdev.