Yamunotri is one of the eminent pilgrimage destinations of India and the first stop-over for the char dham Yatra. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. Located at an altitude of 3,235 metres (10,614 ft) in the western region of Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand, the temple is about ten kilometres trek from the town of Hanuman Chatti, with a break in Janaki Chatti. It is surrounded by mountains on all the sides and is very close to Indo-China border. Due to extreme weather conditions, the construction of the temple was destroyed, so the present temple was rebuilt by some unknown person. The original temple was built by Maharani Guleria of Jaipur two centuries ago.
It’s real source is a frozen lake of ice, Sapt Rishi Kund and Champasar Glacier located on the Kalind Mountain at an altitude of 4,421 metres above sea level, approximately a kilometre from the Sulphur springs. Since the route to the glacier is very difficult and almost unapproachable for common pilgrims, the shrine has been located on the foot of the hill for the pilgrims to offer puja at the temple itself. The deity is made up of black marble.
There are hot water springs close to the mountain. Surya Kund is the most important Kund. Near to it, is a Shila called Divya Shila, which is worshipped before puja is offered to the deity or before devotees enter the temple. Devotees prepare rice and potatoes, tied in muslin cloth, to offer at the shrine by dipping them in these hot water springs. Rice so cooked is taken back home in the form of Prasad. The pujaris of Yamunotri come from the village of Kharsali near Janki Chatti. They are the administrators of the sacred place and perform religious rites. They are well-versed in the Shastras.
According to legend, Sage Asit Muni had his hermitage here. He used to bath daily in the waters of both Ganga and Yamuna, but during his old age he was unable to go to Gangotri. It is believed that a stream of Ganga appeared opposite Yamunotri for him.
Another legend says that Yamuna’s supposed frivolousness was due to her mother’s inability to look at Yamuna’s father, Lord Surya, in the eye due to his tremendous radiance. It is also said that if one bathes in the waters of Yamuna, the person ceases to die a painful death since Yamuna is the sister of Yama, the lord of death.
The Yamunotri temple opens on the auspicious day of the Akshya Tritiya, which usually falls during the last week of April or first week of May. The temple and the town close down due to extremely heavy snowfall on the blessed day of Diwali (in mid-October or first week of November). It reopens when the snow melts next summer. Since the region around Yamunotri remains cool even during summers, one is advised to carry some woollen clothes as well.
How To Reach:
Yamunotri lies at a distance of 236 km from Rishikesh, 21 km from Sayana Chatti, 278 km from Dehradun, and 176 km from Chamba. It can be reached on foot or on a pony from Janaki Chatti. If you ride on a pony, it will take around two and a half hours to reach Yamunotri. During bad weather, buses generally don’t reach Janaki Chatti and one has to get down at a place called Sayana Chatti. From Sayana Chatti, regular Jeep services to Janaki Chatti are available at reasonable prices.
Yamunotri Kapat opening date 2017: The Yamunotri temple gate will be opened on 28 April, 2017. Till then devotees are visiting winter seat of Yamunotri at Kharsali.
Yamunotri Kapat closing date 2017: The Yamunotri temple gate closing announcement will arrive soon.