INDIA CROSSING THE RIVER GANGES Gangotri is a very nice town and is fairly popular with foreigners; many who have come to make the trek to Gaumukh; or further. Unlike most of the other towns on the Char Dham route; it is a nice place to stay for a while. The Bhagirathi River rushes by and is extremely loud; giving the place a peaceful atmosphere. Gangotri is located about 250km from Rishikesh and 230km from Yamunotri. The bus trip via Tehri and Uttarkashi from Rishikesh takes 10 to 12 hours. At Gangotri the Kedar Ganga River merges with the Bhagirathi River at Dev Ghat; which is next to the main bridge; on the other side of the river from the temple. There is a falls called Sahasradhara about 100m below this confluence. Just before the falls the river squeezes itself into a narrow gorge about one metre wide. The actual source of the Ganges is Gaumukh; a hard 19km climb from Gangotri. Bhagiratha is said to have prayed at Gangotri to save his relatives. The Pandavas are said to have visited this place to atone for the sin of killing their relatives during the Kurukshetra war. At this point the Ganges River flows north; giving this village its name; Gangotri; which means “Ganga turned north.” Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita; Of flowing rivers I am the Ganges.