20 January 2010

Uttarkashi - The Kashi of Uttarakhand

Uttarkashi is situated at an elevation of 1158 m, on the bank of river Bhagirathi. This is an important pilgrim center equated with Banaras of Kashi, in divinity. The town is situated between Varuna and Assi streams, with ghats bearing the same names as those in Kashi. The temple of Lord Vishwanath is located here, alongwith other important temples like Shakti Mandir, Kuteti Devi, Kali Mata etc.

Places to Go in Uttarkashi

Nachiketa Taal

Nachiketa taal is located at a distance of nearly 32 kms from Uttarkashi. Nachiketa taal is a trek of 3 Kms from  Chaurangikhal. It is a beautiful place with a lake surrounded by a dense forest. Most of the local people prefer to visit this place frequently on holidays. Especially in winters people from Uttarkashi visit this place to enjoy the experience of snowfall. During winters (December to March) this place is mostly covered with snow. TNachiketa taal is called so after the name of the Saint Nachiketa who is believed to be the creator of this lake. Various trekkers prefer to stay near the lake - Nachiketa taal for few days and thus carry their own tents and other necessary things.

Gangani is noted for its thermal springs, where one can take a bath for relaxation and rejuvenation. Its is a small paradise with a spectacular view and tranquil surroundings, offering peace and solitude. Pilgrims heading towards Gangotri usually takes a bath at this divine thermal spring of Garhwal before going to Gangotri and in the return trip as well.

Getting its name from Hari Shila temple, harsil is situated at a distance of 73 Kms from Uttarkashi on the way to Gangotri. this sylvan hamlet is famous for its natural beauty. Situated amidst the incredible beauty of mountain peaks at 2620 m, it is a quite resort to discover the undiscovered stretch of green grassy land and enjoy the surrounding. More details on Harsil can be found at my detailed post on this glorious place at Harsil - The Nature's Blessings.

On the way to Gangotri, Bhairowghati is the place to stay and enjoy the mountain landscape. A temple dedicated to Bhairow Devta is visited by scores of pilgrims, for he is the lord of the gateway to Gangotri.

9 Kms from Gangotri, Chirwasa is a beautiful site. This popular camping site offers glimpses of the glaciated heights of Gaumukh. 14 kms further from Gangotri, Bhojwasa is famous for its Bhojpatra trees. The barks of these trees were used in the medieval ages to write on. Legend has it that the Veds and Purans of Hindu mythology have all been written on Bhojpatra from these forests. 

The Gangotri glacier, situated at an altitude of 4255 m, is nearly 24 Km in length and 6-8 km in width. It starts from beyond the Chaukhamba cluster of peaks in the neighborhood of Badrinath and extends as far as Gaumukh. It is generally accepted as the physical source of the holy river Ganga. It is held in high esteem by the devotees who do not miss the opportunity to have a holy dip in the bone chilling waters of the glacier.

Tapovan and Nandanvan
These two spot are situated opposite the Gangotri glacier, further up from Gaumukh. Nandanvan is the base camp of Bhagirathi peaks from where the visitors can have a superb view of the majestic Shivling Peak. the trek across south of Gangotri glacier leads to Tapovan, known for its beautiful meadows that encircle the base of shivling peak.
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