In the midst of giant deodars and conifers nestles the picturesque settlement of Gangotri at a height of 3140 meters. The word “Gangotri” exudes peace and divine love, and the visitors literally find it here. Here in the midst of towering mountains, where the air is cool and crisp and the sky is deep blue, everything looks cleansed and pure; and this is what Ganga has been doing to mankind for ages. Arriving here, the thoughts become pure, the spirit is rejuvenated and a dip in the river automatically cleanses the body and soul. Visitors begin to think of this world and life in a more benign and positive manner. This is what Ganga descended to this earth for. From Gaumukh to Devprayag, Ganga is known as Bhagirathi, and so far in these pages she has been so mentioned, but here at Gangotri she is being adored and worshipped as Ganga, because the name Ganga alone has relevance here. On the right bank of the river is the holy temple of Ganga, whilst on the left bank there are a few ashrams and dharamshalas. The temple of Ganga was originally constructed by the adventurous Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa of Nepal, who also appointed the Pandas of Mukhwa as the pujaris, and donated the entire forest land between Mukhwa and Gangotri to the temple as goonth (Goonth is the term used for land donated to the temple, the revenue from which is then used for the maintenance of the temple.). The temple was then maintained from the income of the goonth land. Prior to the Pandas of Mukhwa, when there was no regular temple at Gangotri, the Rajputs of Taknor are said to have been the pujaris of Gangotri. The existing temple is said to be one reconstructed by the Jaipur dynasty.