Gangotri Yatra or the pilgrimage tour to the Gangotri temple is one of the four prominent and holy temple tours (Chardham Yatra) as per Hinduism. Usually, Gangotri temple opens on Akshya Tritya day (during the last week of April or the first week of May). The temple opening is preceded by a special Puja of Ganges both inside the temple as well as on the river bank. It is believed that the Goddess retreats to Mukhwa, her winter abode.
The dates for opening of Shri Gangotri Temple has been announced by the priests.
The Gangotri Temple will be open on 28 April, 2017.
This shrine dedicated to River Ganga along with Badrinath, Kedarnath and Yamunotri forms part of Chardham yatra. The pundits in the temple closes Gangotri temple on Diwali after performing ceremony amidst a row of oil lamps. The shrine remains closed during the peak winter season from November to April. Special puja is done on Janamshtami, Vijaydashmi and Diwali.
The Gangotri shrine is closed to the public for winter on Bhai Dooj with vadic chanting. This signal the start of the closure of the Char Dham shrines in Uttarakhand for the winters season.
The idol of Goddess Ganga is taken to nearby village of Mukhba where she is worshipped during winters till the reopening of the main shrine. With this, the shrine located at an altitude of more than 10,000 feet above sea level in Uttarkashi district will reopen to public in April-May next year as the area remains snow-bound during winters.