UttarKashi – Birth place of River Ganga and Yamuna
Uttarkashi , a hill district in the state of Uttarakhand holds the grace of having the origin of rivers Ganga and Yamuna , the lifelines of India. Also known as the ‘Devbhumi’ (The land of gods and goddesses), Uttarkashi is the land of two famous Hindu pilgrimages namely ‘ Gangotri’ and ‘ Yamunotri’. Here the nature expresses itself in breath-taking variations from charming valleys, natural lakes, fountains and beauteous landscapes luxuriously decked with vegetation punctuated by streams, brooks and rivers to high rise awesome rocky ridges and mountains with snow-capped peaks. All this makes the district an utmost attraction for the pilgrims .From the religious point of view as well, it is considered important because the temple of Lord Viswanath is located here. A massive iron trident has also been erected here. A description of this temple has been given in the ancient text, the “Kedar Khand” (Skand-Puran).Uttarkashi also has a number of ashrams for the sanyasis and mendicants who occupy the banks of the holy river for penance and prayers.
Places of Interest
Gangotri is one of the Chardhams of the Uttrakhand . At a height of 3048 mts, Gangotri holds a mystic charm. Anyone who comes up till here can not remain untouched by the holy aura that hangs in the air of the place. Gangotri is of immense importance to Hindus since it is the source of the holiest of the Hindu rivers, river Ganga. 99 kilometres form Uttarkashi, blessed by mother nature, this picturesque pilgrimage is bound to be a lifetime experience for you. This is the place where the sacred water of Ganga touches earth for the first time. From here it begins its long journey of approximately 2500 kms, stretching across the Indian subcontinent, blessing people with its sacred water and fertile minerals in two countries, India and Bangladesh. It finally forms world’s largest and most fertile delta, Sunderban delta in Bangladesh.
Yamunotri, at a height of 3235 mts above the sea level, comes under Uttarakhand district. One of the Chardhams, four pilgrimages of India, Yamunotri is the source of river Yamuna. It is the western most amongst the Chardham and is visited first on a Chardham trip. The shrine of Goddess Yamunotri is perched on the western flank of mighty Banderpunch peaks (6135 mts) which are snow covered throughout the year. The temple itself stands on the foothill of Kalinda Parvata (parvata means hill) close to a thermal springs. The trek to Yamunotri is very exhausting, usually taking 6 hours or more. The thermal springs refresh pilgrims before they offer prayers in the shrine. However, the actual source of Yamunotri is a lake, 12 kilometres from here with the name of Saptrishi Kund. A difficult guided trek will bring you here. Most pilgrims offer prayers at the shrine itself, since the trek is very difficult to take.
Vishwanath Temple –
Vishwanath temple in Uttarkashi is one of the prime pilgrimage attractions in Uttarkashi around 300 mts from the local bus stand. An ancient temple, it is said that it was first built by Parasuram. Later, it was renovated by Maharani Khaneti, wife of Sudarshan Shah in 1857. The temple has a Shivling, 60 cms high and 90 cms in circumference. No one misses this holy shrine on their trip to Uttarkashi.
Shakti Temple –
This temple is just opposite Vishwanath temple. A big Trishul in this temple is the centre of attraction. The trishul is 6 metres in height and 90 cms at the bottom. Different people hold different views about the trishul, it is widely believed that the trishul is made of iron in the upper part and copper in the lower part. The epics say that this trishul was thrown at devils by goddess Durga.
Getting there and Around
By Air –
Nearest airport is Jollygrant, 162 km.
By Rail –
Nearest railway station is at Rishikesh, 145 km.
By Road –
Uttarkashi is well connected by motor able road to Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar and other major towns of the state and region.
There are many private hotels available at Uttarkashi .Some of these are Hotel Bhandari,Bhandari Annexe , Hotel Kapoor,Hotel Amba,Hotel Neelkanth and many more.
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