Saturday, 27 June 2015

Rishikesh to Gangotri

Rishikesh to Gangotri




The main town for Char Dham pilgrimage in Uttarakhand is Rishikesh. This town finds its name in religious texts for the beginning of Char Dham journey when there were only footpaths and no motor roads.  The Char Dham yatra used to get started from Haridwar and Rishikesh and in old days these yatras used to be once in a life time and as long as 1-2 months  rigorous journey. Even during these days, we can notice many Sadhus journeying by foot. After the construction of roads, Rishikesh became the main place to start the journey. The route for Gangotri and Yamunotri is common till Dharasu and a diversion leads to Gangotri from here.
The route :

Sl no.
Place
Altitude (mtr.)
Distance (km)
Progressive distance(km)
1
Rishikesh
340
-

2
Narendra nagar
1067
16
16
3
Chamba
1543
46
62
4
Chinyalisaur
970
73
135
5
Dharasu
1036
5
140
6
Uttarakashi
1158
28
168
7
Gangori
1219
4
172
8
Maneri
1372
6
178
9
Bhatwari
1677
19
197
10
Ganganani
1982
14
211
11
Sukhi
2744
18
229
12
Jhala
2439
7
236
13
Harsil
2591
6
242
14
Lanka
2652
13
255
15
Gangotri
3140
10
265
  
Best season : May to June and September to October.
Narendra nagar : This place is a small beautiful hill resort town. It’s a gradual climb of 16 km from Rishikesh. One can view Rishikesh town while moving upwards to this town. This town is famous for being once the capital of old State of Tehri Garhwal.
Chamba: This place is 46 km from Narendra nagar. From Chamba one can view Bandarpoonch and other snow peaks. Due to submergence of old route of Tehri town for dam, a new route has been constructed via Kamand. At Chamba, one can refresh himself by having tea / breakfast. The total distance from Rishikesh to Chamba is 62 km, and normally it takes 2 hours to reach Chamba  from Rishikesh.
Chinyalisaur: This town is an altitude of 970 mtr. and 73 km from Chamba. At this place one can halt for little break for refreshment as it is an average 2 and half hours continuous journey from Chamba. The sacred Bharirathi river touches this town and the Tehri Dam reservoir ends  here. The same Bhagirathi river becomes Ganga at Deo prayag confluence after merging with Alaknanda river.
Dharasu: This town from Chinyalisaur is at 5 km distance. At Dharasu, Khurmola rivulet meets Bhagirathi. From here two roads branch off to Gangotri  and Yamunotri. The road to Gangotri  is along Uttarakashi.
Uttarakashi: Uttarakashi is a border district with the headquarter of the same name. This place is located on the banks of river Bhagirathi. This place is famous for its historical monuments, temples, ashrams etc. The town has lot of hotels and rest houses for the tourists.   A lot of people stay overnight here before their departure for Gangotri.
Gangori : This is a small village 4 km from Uttarakashi on the route to Gangotri.
Maneri : This place is 10 km from Uttarakashi. A large barrage has been constructed here for Hydro-electricity production. This place is scenic, where one can halt for few minutes and enjoy the view of barrage surrounded by mountains.
Bhatwari : This town is 29 km from Uttarakashi. This town is also the block headquarter. One can also find a bridle path of olden days from here to Kedarnath. These days, this route is also used for Kedarnath trek.
Ganganani : This place is 43 km from Uttarakashi. During olden days, this place had a lot of importance as the people used to halt here for the overnight stay, but lost significance after motor road construction. There are hot water springs where one can take bath and relax.
Sukhi : This place is 61 km from Uttarakashi. The place being at an altitude of 2744 mtr. provides a magnificent  view of snow clad mountains. This place grows lots of seasonal fruits like apple, apricot.
Jhala : This place is 67 km from Uttarakashi and equally beautiful as other places along the route. At Jhala, the pine trees are abruptly replaced by deodars denoting a change in vegetation.
Harsil : Along the Gangotri route, 73 km  from Uttarakashi, the most admired place id Harsil. George Wilson, a Britisher settled here over a century ago who was allured by the beauty of this place. The Harsil apples were brought by him, when he fostered the apple plantation amongst local natives. To this day, the Harsil apples have a unique place in the market. The place has not been commercially developed but definitely has a potential.
Lanka : This place is 86 km from Uttarakashi. Lanka is connected to Bhaironghati by a bridge. Both Lanka and Bhaironghati are famous for their giant deodars. Small shops are available at both the places.

A new road has been construction, which shortens the route by 52 km via Suakholi and meets Chinyalisaur.

A short description of this new route is as follows:
Place
Altitude
Distance
Progressive distance
Dehradun
701


Suakholi
1925
50
50
Ritu ki Beli
1825
8
58
Alamas bend
1780
7
65
Bhawan
1600
6
71
Moryana
1500
15
86
Chinyalisaur
970
30
116
Dharasu
1036
5
121
Uttarakhashi
1158
28
149
Gangotri
3140
97
246

Gangotri : The name means where the Ganga descends on earth. At an altitude of 3140 mtr. this holy place has found a great importance in our religious texts and every sacred ritual and religious activities. The Ganga river is heart line of Indian subcontinent. After reaching here, a person gets spell bounded by the beauty and serenity surrounding him. The spiritual atmosphere here is serendipitous and charming. One should visit this place once in his life time to know the spiritual values in Hinduism.