Gangotri – Retreating Glacier

The sacred river Ganges (Ganga) holds a special place in the hearts of every Indian. According to Hindu mythology Goddess Ganga transformed herself into a river to dissolve the sins of King Bhagirath’s forefathers. To reduce the impact of her fall, Lord Shiva gathered Ganga into his matted locks.

The river Ganges originates from the Gangotri glacier. It is situated in the Uttarkashi dustrict of Uttrakhand in Gharwal Himalaya.

Gaumukh is the terminus of the Gangotri Glacier and the source of Bhagirati – one of the headstreams of the holy river Ganges. Currently the Gangotri Glacier is 30.2 km long and between 0.5 and 2.5 km wide.

Since the year 1780, the Gangotri Glacier has been receding, although studies show its retreat quickened after 1971. It is one of the largest glacier in the Himalaya and a major source of water for the holy Ganga. Over the last 25 years, Gangotri Glacier has retreated more than 850 meters with a recession of 76 meters from 1996 to 1999 alone.

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Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons


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