Yamunotri Dham, which is one of the four sites of the Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand, is famous being the source of Yamuna River. It is also the seat of goddess Yamuna, after whom the dham is probably named. Many pilgrims make the trip to the pious site of Yamunotri to get their wishes fulfilled and find redemption. Located on the left banks of the river Yamuna, the temple was built by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal.
Yamunotri Temple, which is popular for its thermal springs and glaciers, happens to be one of the most important stopovers on the itinerary of the Hindu pilgrims. The temple is perched at an altitude of 3293 meters above sea level.
Yamunotri tour is going to be a very riveting experience for the pilgrim as the temple is located very close to the Indo-Chinese border and is surrounded by the mountains which are offshoots of the Himalayas from all the sides. The glacier lake of Saptrishi Kund on the Kalindi Parbat is the real source of the river Yamuna. The whole region remains snow-laden during winter and it is always advisable to carry woolen clothes since the temperature falls below 0° Celsius; even during the summers, the weather is pretty cold.
The shrine of Yamunotri attracts thousands of devotees from across the world during the period from May to October. It is generally believed that the springs surrounding the Yamunotri temple has supernatural powers which is why pilgrims carry raw potato and rice which they dip in the hot spring and regarding them as Prasad from the Goddess Yamuna take them home.
The daughter of the Sun god, Surya and consciousness, Sangya the birthplace of the Yamuna is the Champasar Glacier (4,421 m) just below the Banderpoonch Mountain. The mountain adjacent to the river source is dedicated to her father, and is called Kalind Parvat, Kalind being another name of Surya. Yamuna is known for her frivolousness, a trait that she developed because, according to a common story, Yamuna's mother could never make eye contact with her dazzling husband.
Yamunotri Temple One of the major attractions located here is the Yamunotri temple, which is an ancient temple built in the 19th century by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur. This temple was destroyed twice once of by an earthquake in the year 1923 and again in the year 1982, due to some unknown reasons. This temple was dedicated to Yamuna, which is a very holy river for the Hindus. 1 km beyond the temple is the source of the river Yamuna, who is considered the sister of 'Yama'. Yamunotri temple is just 6 km below the glacier and 3,235 m above the sea level. The temple houses two silver idols that of Yama and Yamuna. Accommodation options near to the temple include small lodges, ashrams and guesthouses. The temple opens early in the morning at 6 am and closes at 8 pm evening during the Akshya-Tritya, which is from April to May. The temple remains closed throughout the winters as the deity is taken from here to the Kharsali village. Rituals such as Aarti are conducted from 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Special poojas are held here on the eves of Diwali and Janmashtami.
Hanuman Chatti 13 km from the region of Yamunotri in the hilly regions is Hanuman Chatti. Hanuman Chatti is also a popular trekking spot among the travellers. The hike from Hanuman Chatti to Yamunotri is very popular among the travellers. It is the commencement point of the trek to two popular destinations Yamunotri and Dodi Tal. Yamunotri is situated 13km from Hanuman Chatti which has to be covered by foot or on ponies. Jeeps are also available upto Janki Chatti which is 6km from Hanuman Chatti. Hanuman Chatti is the confluence of Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna River. You can purchase food items and raincoats from Hanuman Chatti.
Surya Kund Surya Kund is one of the most important thermal springs located near the temple of Yamunotri. The temperature of the spring is hot enough to prepare Prasad for offering into the temple in the form of rice and potatoes. Rice mixed with salt along with potatoes is tied up with muslin cloth to be dipped into this spring for the content to be boiled. This prasada is offered to the temple deity after which the remaining is taken back home by the devotee. The temperature of Surya Kund is estimated to be around 88o Celsius.
Divya Shila Divya Shila is a pillar located near to the Yamunotri temple and is visited by the devotees before entering the temple itself because as per the religious rituals, the devotees have to make poojas here before entering the temple.
Saptarishi Kund The actual source of river Yamuna is Saptarishi Kund which is about half-a-kilometer in diameter. One can see dark blue waters, blue slate stones, beautiful Brahma Lotus and soggy snow all around the region. Also Saptarishi Kund proffers with beautiful sight of undisturbed glaciers and magnificent visible peaks of Banderpunch. The trek up to Saptrishi Kund assuages out approximately to the bottom of the Kalind Parvat, the place where Yamunotri temple is situated. Saptrishi Kund and Sapt Sarover are situated near the origin the Yamunotri. Hot Saptrishi Kund is of an utmost importance to take bath. One can also see temples of Hanuman, Parshuram, Kali, and Rudra here.
Uttarkashi It is perched at an elevation of 1,352mts above sea level at a distance of 78kms from Hanuman Chatti. Uttarkashi is a picturesque spot well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand state. It is situated on the banks of the holy Bhagirathi River. Uttarkashi houses one of the reputed mountaineering institutes of India i.e. Nehru Institute of Mountaineering.
Altitude: - 3293 m
Summer: - Max. 20 degree C. / Min. 6 degree C.
Winter: - Sub-Zero
April to August: - Light woolen
Sept to March: - Heavy woolens
Language/Dialects: - Garhwali, Hindi & English
Best Season: - May to June and September to October.