Yamunotri is a place of extreme religious importance and an essential pilgrimage for the Hindus. The shrine of Yamunotri is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna, the famous river. It is also a part of the ‘Char Dham’ yatra in Uttarakhand and the yatra starts by visiting this place first. Yamunotri is also famous for its hot water springs and glaciers. The most famous of these glaciers is Champasar glacier, popularly known as Yamunotri Glacier, the water source of river Yamuna. This is located on the Kalind Mountain at an elevation of 4421 m above sea level, 1 km uphill from the temple complex. This is not frequently visited by many as the approach is extremely difficult and therefore, the pilgrims pay homage at the temple itself.
According to the legend, Asit Muni, a sage used to reside here. The temple was built by the Queen of Jaipur, Maharani Gularia in the 19th century. This was reconstructed by King of Tehri Garhwal, Maharaja Pratap Shah.
The temple at Yamunotri opens for only about seven months of a year (mid-April to early November) when the sun enters the zodiac sign of Aries and it is closed when the sun enters Scorpio.
Height: 3291 m
Climate: Yamunotri remains cut off from other parts from mid November to mid-April due to heavy snowfall. Heavy woolens are required during this time. In summers, light woolens are recommended during daytime and heavy woolens are suggested at nights.
Getting There & Away: How to reach Yamunotri
Phool Chatti is the nearest accessible point for the vehicles and from here, one has to trek for 8 kms which goes through a paved path. Phool Chatti to Janki Chatti is a 5 kms trek and from here, Yamunotri is about 3 kms more. Ponies and Palanquins are also available from Phool Chatti which can be booked through the pre-paid booths. Phool Chatti is well connected to all major cities of northern India.
Rail: Dehradun is the nearest railhead, situated at a distance of 182 kms.
Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun, at a distance of 182 kms.
Tourist Attractions in Yamunotri
Yamunotri Temple: The main attraction in Yamunotri is the temple dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. The deity here is made of black marble. The river Yamuna is represented in the form of an idol made of silver, covered with garlands.
Saptarshi Kund: This Lake with bluish waters and pebbly banks lies just beside the Yamunotri Glacier and is considered as the origin of the river. Saptarshi Kund offers delightful scenery of the Himalayan peaks and also a rare display of the Brahma lotus.
Surya Kund: Around the main temple, there are a number of hot water springs; the most famous among them is the Surya Kund.
Divya Shila: This is a huge rock pillar near the Surya Kund. It is the practice that the pilgrims make offerings (pooja) here, before entering the Yamunotri temple.
Hanuman Chatti: This place is 5 kms before Phool Chatti and can be visited by vehicles. This place is situated at the confluence of the Hanuman Ganga River and Yamuna and has a number of temples. It is also the point from where the trek to Dodi Tal (3307 m) starts.
Kharsali: A beautiful meadow surrounded by coniferous trees, Kharsali is one of the most famous tourist locations in this region. Dotted with numerous hot springs and with exciting scenic beauty, this place presents a lovely ambience for the picnickers.
Barkot: This small town, just before 49 kms from Yamunotri, is full of ancient temples and ideal location for meditation.