The holy place overlooks the thundering river Bhagirathi and flows between the rugged mountains; Gangotri is the spiritual source of Indias holiest river Ganga. Here Ganga known as Bhagirathi, who performed sacrament to bring her down from the heavens. It is believed that bathing in her waters brings liberation from all sins committed in the present and past birth .The actual source is ice cave of Gamukh.
According to the legend, a Suryavanshi king Sagar performed an Ahwamedh yagna; his sixty thousand sons were conquering the states the horse had crossed. Threatened by this the rain god Indra stoled the horse, and tied it to kapil muni;s ashram. Sagars sons followed the horse into the ashram and were disrespectful to the seer, who cursed them and all sons were to ashes, the king beseeched the seer for forgiveness, but the curse could not be reversed, however, seer suggested that if the holy Ganga the river of heaven, were to come to earth, the touch of her waters would ensure the deliverance of the princes. Many descendents of sagar failed to their efforts to bring the holy Ganga to earth, until Bhagirath was born. He persevered in his prayers until Ganga agreed to come down from the heavens, but such was her power that her decent to earth would destroy it, so Bhagirath prayed to lord Shiva, who agreed to contain Ganga in his locks, from where he released few drops of her celestial waters for the benefit of mankind. The river thus flowed on earth, cleansing all that was impure in her path, and delivering the son of sagar from the curse.