The Ganges descended on the ground at the base of the Shivalinga Peak. At the origin of this huge river is Bhagirathi, the name of this river is named after that great ascetic (yogi) Bhagiratha, on whose insistence Ganga left heaven and came to earth. The river, named after the confluence of the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers in Devprayag, and then becomes Ganga.
There was no temple in Gangotri Dham in ancient times. Here there was a stage near Bhagirathi Shila where idols of deities were kept for three to four months of the year and these idols were brought from different villages of Shyam Prayag, Ganga Prayag, Dharali and Mukhaba etc., then later they were returned to the same villages.
Every year, between the months of May and October, lakhs of pilgrims come here to visit the Ganges Maia. The fallen holy temple of Gangotri remains completely snowed in winter. Therefore, on the holy festival of Akshaya Tritiya (April-May), the doors of the temple open and the doors are closed on the day of Deepawali (October-November).