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The most sacred of all rivers is the Ganga.The Ganga symbolizes purity. It washes away all sins. It is compared to a mother goddess which presides through all the stages of life: from birth to death. The river is believed to have been born out of Vishnu's big toe. It is said to flow through the skies (like the Milky Way).These are but a few of the myths about the Ganga, whose temple is situated on the right bank of the Bhagirathi, right in the middle of the tiny village Gangotri, 3140 metres above sea level, where the sun filters through the branches of giant deodars and conifers in a mesmeric display of light and shade.The Ganga legend tells us all about King Sagar's 60,000 sons who were reduced to ashes and about King Bhagirath's'tapasya'to Shiva who appeased and brought them back to life.The stone slab on which Bhagirath meditated is called the Bhagirath Shila and it is located near the Temple of Ganga which was built by the Gorkha General, Amar Singh Thapa.
The holy shrine of Gangotri is situated at an elevation of 3200 metres above sealevel. It is linked by a good motorable road. The distance is about 248 kilometres from Rishikesh.A number of Ashrams are located on the other side, some of them provide accommodation for visitors.