Set amid tall deodar and pine forests at the head of the Bhagirathi gorge, 248km north of Rishikesh at 3140m, Gangotri is the most remote of Garhwal’s Char Dham and the last place to stock up on supplies before heading up to the high altitudes. The jeep drive from Uttarkashi is breathtaking – in more ways than one – as it winds high above the Bhagirathi and crosses one the world’s highest bridges, over the gorge near Lanka. Although the wide Alaknanda, which flows past Badrinath, may have a better technical claim to be the main channel of the Ganges, Gangotri is for Hindus the spiritual source of the great river, while its physical source is the ice cave of Gaumukh on the Gangotri Glacier, 14km further up the valley. From here, the River Bhagirathi begins its tempestuous descent through a series of mighty gorges, carving great channels and cauldrons in the rock and foaming in whitewater pools.

 

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
13 tips for backpacking India

13 tips for backpacking India

Whether you’re hurtling along in a rickshaw, eating fantastic curries, kicking back on the backwaters or hiking in the mountains, backpacking India will alwa…

15 Aug 2017 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month