Online Encyclopedia

GANGOTRI

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 452 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GANGOTRI, a celebrated place of Hindu pilgrimage, among the Himalaya Mountains. It is situated in the native state of Garhwal in the United Provinces, on the Bhagirathi, the chief head-stream of the Ganges, which is here not above 15 or 20 yds. broad, with a moderate current, and not in general above 3 ft. deep. The course of the river runs N. by E.; and on the bank near Gangotri there is a small temple about 20 ft. high, in which are images representing Ganga, Bhagirathi and other figures of mythology. It dates from the early part of the 18th century. The bed of the river adjoining the temple is divided off by the Brahmans into three basins, where the pilgrims bathe. One of these portions is dedicated to Brahma, another to Vishnu and the third to Siva. The pilgrimage to Gangotri is considered efficacious in washing away the sins of the devotee, and ensuring him eternal happiness in the world to come. The water taken from this sacred spot is exported by pilgrims to India and sold at a high price. The elevation of the temple above the sea is 10,319 ft.
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