Yamunotri, the source of the Yamuna River and the seat of the Goddess Yamuna, is one of the four sites in India's Char Dham pilgrimage. The sacred shrine of Yamunotri, source of the river Yamuna, is the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas, perched atop a flank of Bandar Poonch Peak (3615 m) & situated opposite to Gangotri. The actual source a frozen lake of ice & glacier (Champasar glacier) located on the kalind mountain at the height of 4421 m above sea level, about 1 km further up, is not frequented generally as it is not accessible and hence the shrine has been located on the foot of the hill. The tiny Yamuna has icy cold water and its absolute innocence and the infantile purity heightens that deep feeling of reverence, Yamunoyri for the devout.
Yamuna temple is devoted to the godess Yamuna (River). The temple of Yamuna is on the left bank of Yamuna constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal This temple was built in the 19th century by a descendent of the Jaipur royal family. It is said that this temple was destroyed twice by landslides and was reconstructed again in the 20th century. Inside the temple is an idol of Goddess Yamuna carved in black stone that is mainly worshipped.
Places to visit :
Surya Kund : Surya Kund is the most important and sacred thermal spring of Yamunotri amongst the cluster of thermal springs in the vicinity of the temple which flows into numerous pools. The pool is named after Surya or the sun god, the father of Yamuna. It has a temperature of almost 190 Degree F. Pilgrims tie rice and potatoes in a cotton cloth, and immerse it in the water to be cooked. The water is so hot that the prasad gets cooked within no time.
Divya Shila : A rock pillar, worshipped before entering the Yamunotri Temple.
Janki Chatti : It's 5 km from Yamunotri, it is noted for it's thermal springs , where tourists can enjoy a refreshing bath.
Hanuman Chatti : It's 13 km from Yamunotri. The confluence of Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna rivers,from where the trek to Dodi Tal (3,307mt)starts.Route:Rishikesh-Barkot -Hanumanchatti-Yamunotri. Hanumanchatti -Darvatop -Dodital-Agora-Uttarkashi-Rishikesh.Porters and ponies are available at Hanumanchatti.Rates are fixed by District Magistrate before the start of every Yatra season.
Saptarishi Kund Lake : This kund is situated 10 kms away from yamunotri. This is the actual place where Yamuna rises and an extremely difficult journey covered with ice. The water of the glaciers gathers in this lake. On the banks of the lake are naturally carved slate stones. The rare Brahma Lotus grows here. It is a beautiful picnic spot as well.
Altitude : 3,235 mts.
Climate : Summer - Cool during the day and cold at night. Min 6°C & Max 20°C. Winter - Snow-bound. Touching sub-Zero.
Clothing : Summer - Light woolens. Winter - Very heavy woolens.
Languages : Hindi, Garhwali and English
Best Season : May to June and September to October
Air : Jolly Grant is the nearest Airport, 196 km from Yamunotri via Dehradun.
Train : Rishikesh (213 Km) and dehradun (172 km) are the two railheads.
Road : Yamunotri is connected by a motorable road with Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Dehradun, Hardwar and other hill stations of Garhwal. Some important road distances are Rishikesh (230Kms), Hardwar (260 Kms).