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Uttarkashi is the gateway to the pilgrim route to Gangotri. Uttarkashi District was a part of the Tehri District till 1962. The beautiful small town is situated on the right bank of Bhagirathi at an altitude of about 1,550 m. In olden days Kedarnath was a 12 days' trek away, Gangotri 7 days, Yamunotri 5 days and Srinagar 6 days away. Nowadays, motorable roads go to most of these places. It is a modern town with facilities.
Uttarkashi is situated at a distance of 145 km from Rishikesh and at an elevation of 1158 m on the bank of river Bhagirathi, this picturesque town acquires importance because of very significant pilgrimage centres: Gangotri, Yamunotri.
Uttarkashi is one of the prominent cities of Uttaranchal. This is situated at a height of 1158 meters. In ancient times, Barahat was the popular name of this place. Uttarkashi is a link between Gangotri and Yamunotri and that makes this place far more significant. Here Ganga flows towards north (uttar), hence the name. Apart from being a famous pilgrimage, this city is gaining a new identity, as a centre of education, culture, and tourism.
There is elaborate description of Uttarkashi in Kedarkhand. It depicts Uttarkashi as the only pilgrimage where Lord Shiva stays wholeheartedly. And if anyone thinks Uttarkashi is different from Kashi, he will be punished in hell. Like Varanasi, there is a Manikarnika Ghat in Uttarkashi as well. Bathing in Manikarnika Ghat and offering food and water to departed relatives will keep their souls satisfied for thousand years. It is said that if someone dies within a particular range in Uttarkashi, he will be a liberated soul. Lord Shiva's glittering linga will keep this place beautiful forever
There are many kunds (spring of water) in Uttarkashi. Famous ones are Brahmkund, Rudrakund, Vishnukund, Suryakund and there is no dearth of ghats, but the important ones are Kedarghat, Trirotkacharya, and Manikarnika Ghat.
At a distance of 1.4 km from Uttarkashi is Laksheshwar Mandir. This place has been referred as Lakshagriha in Kedarkhand. In the later period, a beautiful Lakshagriha was there. It is the same house in which the Kauravas made the Pandavas stay. Even today one can see burning Lakha there. Goddess Shakti is present in that house.
The courtyard of Laksheshwar, bricks scattered over 15 acre of land, remind one of Mahabharata and the glorious past of Pandavas. Uttarkashi is also a place of strategic importance as it is close to China border.
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Chungi Barethi, Uttarkashi