The Giri Ganga Temple

Giri Ganga is a very beautiful and mesmerizing place hidden near Kharapathar in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. The Giri Ganga temple and Kuppar Bugyal are one of the hidden gems in the Himalayas. Unlike the other tourist places in Shimla, Giriganga is very less crowded and full of nature. There is an ancient temple and a Dharamshala (a place used to stay by visitors owned by the temple) in Giri Ganga.  Other than these, there are no concrete buildings nearby. The temple is situated in the middle of a dense but beautiful jungle. The road ends near the Dharamshala as you can also see in the picture below. There is a small ground which is used as a parking place by people coming to the temple. From the Giriganga temple, there is a trekking trail that goes all the way to the Kuppar peak.

Giri ganga temple
Giri Ganga Temple & nearby Dharamshala (right of the screen)

Kuppar Peak | Kuppar Bugyal

Kuppar Peak or Kuppar Bugyal is a small meadow situated above Giri Ganga. It is fully visible from Kharapathar village. Kuppar peak is one of the lesser known meadows in Himachal Pradesh. There is no road to Kuppar peak. The only way to reach Kuppar Bugyal is by trekking all the way up from Giri Ganga temple. The Kuppar Bugyal trek is an easy trek, which takes around 2-3 hours from Giri Ganga. The hiking trail to Kuppar peak goes through a dense forest full of extremely beautiful scenery. The Kuppar trekking trail hits you by suprise when you start seeing small meadows in the middle of the forest. You’ll feel much deeply connected to nature when you are on the Kuppar Bugyal trek.

Kuppar Bugyal trekking Trail

Giri Ganga - Origin of the name.

An Ancient sage wanted to create a place in Himachal Pradesh, having the same energy & power as Kashi. For this he chose the Nirmand village of Shimla district in Himachal Pradesh. With this though he and some of his accompanying Sadhus were carrying the sacred “Ganga Jal” in their “Kamandals” (Vessels used in ancient times by sadhus) from Haridwar. They were following the ancient path with goes through the “Nagan Valley” in Shimla. Giri Ganga Temple and Kuppar Bugyal also lie in this ancient path. Although, this path is one of the most dense pine forests in Himachal Pradesh. The Kuppar Bugyal is a beautiful meadow on top of a peak and therefore the Sages chose to rest at this place. During this time, the Ganga Jal they were carrying accidentally spilled on the ground. There immediate reaction and first words were “Giri Ganga” which means Ganga spilled/fell. A stream of water was formed and it was hence named the Giri Ganga river. The place was named after this stream and a temple was built at the bottom of Kuppar mountain. 

After this incidence, Giri ganga was considered a very holy place and full of energy. The local dieties started visiting this place with the followers and slowly it became popular. There is a small pool of water locally called a “Kund” near the Kuppar peak. There is an ancient temple in Giriganga, which is said to be built during the 13th century as per the archaeological survey of India. This is very interesting, as it is believed that there was no civilization nearby during that time. The beautiful architecture of the Giri ganga temple, makes you wonder who would have built this temple complex and what kind of technology was used. 

 

Myths around the building of the Giriganga temple.

As per a popular local myth, the Giri ganga temple complex was built by the Pandavas. It is said that the Pandavas stayed in this area for some time during there exile period. During this period, they built the temple in Giri Ganga and used to worship here. This places seems like a perfect hideout for them as it is not visible from anywhere until you reach here.

Ancient Routes through Giriganga & Kuppar Peak

The whole Giriganga &  Kuppar area is route for the Gaddi and Gurjar tribes. These tribes use this ancient route to herd their cattle and sheep. The grass on the high meadows of Kuppar peak is said to be healthy for the livestock.

This ancient path also leads to Yamunotri in Uttrakhand. Further it leads to Badrinath and Kedarnath and Giri Ganga was a popular stop among the devotees. It is only after the main road was built Giri Ganga became a hidden place once again.

How to reach Giri Ganga?

In order to reach Giri Ganga, you can follow one of the two available routes:

Via Shimla:

  • Delhi to Shimla by car or Volvo (344 Kms approx). Around 7 to 8 hours journey.
  • Shimla to Kharapathar by car or local HRTC bus (78 kms approx). Around 2-3 hours journey.
  • Kharapathar to Giri Ganga by car or Hike (6 kms approx). Around 1/2 an hour by car or a 2 hours hike.

Via Uttrakhand

  • Delhi to Dehradun by car or Volvo via Saharanpur (246 Kms approx). Around 5 hours journey.
  • Dehradun to kharapathar by car or bus via Tiuni (210 kms approx). Around 7-8 hours journey.
  • Kharapathar to Giri Ganga by car or Hike (6 kms approx). Around 1/2 an hour by car or a 2 hours hike.
 

Places to visit near Giriganga

  • Kuppar Peak.
  • Hatkoti Temple.
  • Chanshal Pass.
  • Pabbar Riverbank.

We hope you liked this article on Giri Ganga temple and Kuppar peak.  If you would like a camping experience in Giri Ganga, we can arrange that also. Simply send us your enquiry either from the homepage or via an email on hello@beinghimalayan.com.

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