Uttarkashi

Many Hindus believe that Uttarkashi was revered as a sacred place earlier and was also the meditational grounds of several sages and hermits who found solace here. It has been cited in the epic Mahabharata, that a great sage by the name of Jada Bharatha performed a prolonged penance here and in the ancient time's Vedic language was highly used here in spoken and written forms.



Uttarkashi district was created on February 24, 1960 out of what then constituted the parganas of Rawain and Uttarkashi of Rawain tahsil of erstwhile Tehri Garhwal district. It sprawls in the extreme north-west corner of the state over an area of 8016 sq. kms. in the rugged terrain of the mystic Himalayas. On its north lie Himachal Pradesh State and the territory of Tibet and the district of Chamoli in the east. The district is named after its headquarters town Uttarkashi, an ancient place with rich cultural heritage and as the name suggests is the Kashi of north (Uttara) held almost as high a veneration as Kashi of the plain (Varanasi).

Both the Kashi of the plain (Varanasi) as well as the Kashi of north are situated on the banks of the river Ganga (Bhagirathi). The area which is held sacred and known as Uttarkashi, lies between the rivers Syalam Gad also known as the Varuna and Kaligad also known as the Asi. The Varuna and the Asi are also the names of the rivers between which the Kashi of the plain lies. One of the holiest Ghats in Uttarkashi is Manikarnika so is the one by the same name in Varanasi. Both have temples dedicated to Vishwanath.

Geography

Lying in the upper Himalayas, Uttarkashi contains within itself varying geographic environments ranging from snow free valleys and outer hills to the high peaks with perpetual snow and glaciers. The terrain runs into series of ridges and valleys. Each ridge leads to another coiling up in seemingly unending chains.Most of the terrain is mountainous consisting of high rise ridges, hills and plateaus and flat pieces of land are rare. The land in these areas is now in fertility due to large content of out crops of boulders and gravels. Made-up of alluvial soil, valley is a stream bed. Generally forests occur on the upper ridges that bound the valleys. On their sloping hill sides lie a chain of sparsely populated settlements interspersed with terrace cultivation.

Places of Interest

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Sri Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of the oldest and most sacred of temples in Uttarkashi, situated on bank of river Bhagirathi. The temple offers the spectacular view of river Bhagirathi along with the surrounding mountains. Due to its popularity it is also the part of many Char Dham Yatra Itineraries, which helps pilgrims to visit this temple along with the famous Char Dhams.

There are many shops selling puja items near the mandir entrance gate. So in case you have not brought any puja items with you then no need to worry of the same. You can easily get fresh flowers and pooja related items at nominal prices. This is the most important shrine of Uttarkashi and should not be missed if you are traveling to Uttarkashi or Gangotri.

Barsu Village

Barsu village is situated in Uttarkashi district amidst scenic surroundings. It is the starting point of the trek to Dyara Bugyal. There is a GMVN Guest House and some hotels in Barsu along with a couple of Village Home stay where you can stay. This village is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Gharwal Region. After 45kms drive from Uttarkashi you will reach here. The road to Barsu branches off near Bhatwari. Barsu is the base camp village for Dyara Bugyal and Gidara Bugyal Trek.

Maneri Dam

The Maneri Dam is a concrete gravity dam built on the Bhagirathi River located at Maneri about 5.3 millimeters east of Uttarkashi. This dam diverts the water into a big tunnel and feeds 90 megawatts about 1,20,000 hp run of the river Tiloth Power Plant. The power station is stage one of the Maneri Bhali Hydroelectric Project which was planned in the 1960s. The area around the dam sprawls with the natural abundance, which makes it a picturesque place to visit.

Gangotri

Gangotri is the highest temple of Goddess Ganga and one of the four dhams of Uttarakhand state. Gangotri is situated at an altitude of 3,048mts above sea level at a distance of 93kms from Uttarkashi. Gangotri offers scenic splendors of rugged terrains, gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow clad peaks. The place holds great importance amongst Hindus. Gangotri remains opened from May and get closed on the day of Diwali festival.

Harsil

It is one of the hidden jewels of Uttarakhand offering ample scope for nature and adventure lovers. Harsil is situated on the banks of Bhagirathi River at an elevation of 2,620mts above sea level. The distance from Uttarkashi to Harsil is 72kms. You can plan a short and easy trek to Sattal from Harsil.

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