Legends of Gangotri
As has been mentioned, Gangotri is believed to be the place where the Ganga first came down to earth to wash away the sins of his predecessors after Bhagiratha did severe penance. According to tradition, Shankaracharya installed idols of Bhagirathi, Yamuna and Lakshmi here. There is a great slab of stone in the bed of the river dedicated to Bhagirathi whose efforts are said to have brought Ganga down from the heavens. Bhagiratha is said to have prayed at Gangotri to save his relatives. Also, the Pandavas are said to have visited this place to atone for the sin of killing their relatives in the Battle at Kurukshetra. At this point, the Ganges River flows north giving the adjoining village the name of Gangotri.
Gangotri lies in the Utarkashi district in the state of Uttarakhand. It lies at a great height in the range of the greater Himalayas. The town lies built around a temple of Goddess Ganga known as the Gangotri temple. Many pilgrims travel to Gangotri to offer their prayers. It is possible to reach Gangotri in a day's travel from Rishikesh, Haridwar or Dehradun. If it is accessed after visiting Yamunotri, which is the first site in the Char Dham pilgrimage, it will take two days to reach Gangotri. More pilgrims visit this site as, unlike Yamonotri, it can be easily accessed by car and bus.