People crowd on the front steps of the Gangotri temple, in an attempt to bid adieu to the idol which is moving down to relatively warmer climes at Mukhba village. The women cover their heads and hold lit incense or joss sticks in their hands.
Murtis of Gangotri temple leave for their winter home! The temple is behind and as they turn this wall, that's the last of the presence of the idols at Gangotri temple for that year! They'll be back with much fanfare when the kapath opens next spring...
Swaying from one side to the other, the idols sit on a palki or palanquin, blessing devotees along the way as they make their long way down to Mukhba in the valley above Harsil.
The temple idols of Gangotri mandir make their way down for the winter months, in this important ceremony that is held at the temple, but one that is sparsely attended due to the cold season when few people live up in the high mountains! Watch this rare ceremony unfold before you. Never before seen on television or on the internet, this is rare footage!
At the beginning of winter, the idol at Gangotri temple is moved down, in a procession, to a lower village temple, near Mukhba. The mountains are barely frequented at this time of year, as everyone has moved down to lower heights due to the impending winter. A rare sight on an important occasion when the idol is being packed and prepared for the big move!
Gangotri temple in early winter, as the statue is moved down to a lower station. See rare customs and traditions of the Garhwali people, including women going into trances and the idol on a chariot being lowered onto the faithful, to bless them.
The Gangotri temple was built by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa, in the 18th century, is situated on the left bank of Bhagirathi. The temple is nested amidst the beautiful surroundings of deodars and pines.
It lies close to the the holy rock or the "Bhagirath Shila" where King Bhagirath had worshiped Lord Shiva. The Gangotri temple is dedicated to Go