Yamunotri Temple, Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand

Yamunotri Temple in Uttaranchal, perched at Bandar Poonch Parvat, is one of the four Char Dham Temples in the Char Dham Pilgrimage route in Uttarakhand or Chardham Yatra in Himalayas. Situated at an elevation of 3235 m above sea level, the Yamunotri shrine is the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas and is located opposite to the Gangotri Temple, which is the second temple visited in the Char Dham Yatra. Renowned for its thermal springs and glaciers, this temple is the first halt in the journey of India’s Char Dham pilgrimage.

Yamunotri Temple, Uttarakhand is built at the foot of Kalinda Parvata (14,505 feet) and is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna, the river Goddess. The temple of Yamunotri was constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal during the 19th century on the left bank of river Yamuna. The deity of Yamuna is carved from black stone and there is also a deity of Ganga Devi, who is White. The source of the river Yamuna is Yamunotri which originates from the Champasar Glacier, located on the Kalind Mountain at the height of 4421 m above sea level. This is a difficult trek and so the pilgrims offer pooja at the temple itself.

Yamunotri Temple History

According to the Hindu Puranas, Yamuna is the consort of Lord Shri Krishna. It is believed that the river first went round Shri Krishna before flowing down to earth as per the order of her Lord. The river came to be called as "Kalindi" as she touched the peak of Kalind. Then she flowed down the hills and reached the plains at Khandav Vana, which has been developed as Delhi city now.

Yamuna and Yama (Lord of Death) are believed to be the children of Lord Surya, the Sun God. Hence it is considered that taking a dip in the holy waters of the source stream of Yamuna is relieved of a painful death.

Places of Interest

Yamunotri Temple in Uttaranchal is flourished with a number of thermal springs which flow into numerous pools. The most important one is the Surya Kund or Suryakund. This is a tank full of boiling water into which rice and potatoes are dipped to be cooked and taken as ‘prasad’. This is first offered to the deity and then taken home. Devotees can also refresh here. This thermal spring is famous for its remedial properties and is named after Hindu God Surya, the father of Yamuna. Next is the Divya Shila, a rock pillar, which is to be worshipped before entering the temple. Saptarishi Kund, which is 10 km away, is a natural lake and a beautiful picnic spot.

Temple Timings

Yamunotri Temple opens from 6 am to 8 pm on Akshay Tritiya Festival day (April - May) and closes on Yama Dwitiya (the second day after Diwali Festival, November). Aarti timings of Yamunotri temple are from 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm and special pooja is organized in Yamunotri on the eves of Sree Krishna Janmashtami and Diwali.

How to reach Yamunotri

Nearest airport is Jolly Grant near Dehradun. The nearest railway station to reach Yamunotri Temple is at Dehradun (172 km) and Rishikesh (250 km). Bus services are available up to Hanuman Chatti, 13 km away from Yamunotri Temple. Ponies and porters are available from Hanuman Chatti to the temple.

Nearby Attractions

Jankichatti, located about 7 km, is noted for its thermal springs. Hanumanchatti, a 13 km trek route, is the confluence of Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna rivers. Sayanachatti, a picturesque site, is 21 km from Yamunotri. Chamba, a best summer retreat, is about 46 km from Yamunotri.

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