Yamunotri Dham is the temple located in Yamunotri or the origin of the river Yamuna and a residing place of Goddess Yamuna. Situated in the Uttarakhand state of India, this temple is the first Dham among the four Chota Char Dhams of Uttarakhand. The other three Dhams or pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand are Kedarnath, Badrinath, and Gangotri.
In this post you will come to know about all the details of this temple, how to reach there, safety precautions to be taken, where to stay, itinerary, and much more.
History and Mythology of Yamunotri Temple-
According to the beliefs of Hinduism, Goddess Yamuna is the sister of Yamraj, the God of Death. And, Surya or the Sun is the father of Goddess Yamuna in Hindu mythology.
Another belief prevalent in society is that a saint name Asti Muni lived here in solitude and used to bath in both rivers, the Ganga and the Yamuna as a ritual. During the last days of his life, he was unable to perform the ritual, so River Yamuna appeared opposite to River Ganga in this place to keep his ritual unhindered.
The architecture of Yamunotri Temple-
The present-day temple has a yellow and brown structure that has an idol made of black marble dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. Another sculpture of white marble dedicated to Goddess Ganga is also situated in the main sanctum.
The temple is small in size and has a tower-shaped structure at its top that is yellow colored with red and brown borders.
Location of Yamunotri-
Yamunotri temple is situated in Uttaranchal or Uttarakhand State of India, in the Uttarkashi district of Gharwal Himalayas. This majestic temple known for its elegance in the whole world is situated at the base of the mountain that has glacier from where River Yamuna originates. The approximate altitude of the temple from the sea level is around 3,291 meters or 10,797 feet.
Near the Bandarpoonch peaks of Himalayas, lies the Yamunotri Glacier which is the actual source of the River Yamuna. The approximate distance of Yamunotri Dham temple from Uttarkashi is 129 kilometers. The distance of Yamunotri Dham from the major areas nearby is – 213 km from Haridwar, 204 km from Rishikesh, 164 km from Dehradun, 350 km from Kedarnath, 406 km from Badrinath, 227 km from Gangotri, and about 382 km from the National Capital Delhi.
How to Reach There-
Rishikesh Railway Station at a distance of about 202 kilometers from Yamunotri Dham, is the nearest railway station. It has good connectivity to other parts of the country and state.
Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun is the airport that is nearest to the Yamunotri Temple and is at a distance of about 187 kilometers.
Janki Chatti is main base from where the trekking for Yamunotri temple starts and it is also the last stop for the coming vehicles. After this spot, roads are not present and only path for trekking exists. Parking is available at Janki Chatti and the charges are INR 100 per vehicle per day.
From Janki Chatti, the trekking to the temple is of about 5-6 kilometers and devotees reach Yamunotri temple from Janki Chatti by various means like walking or by horses, palkis, and pitthus.
Trekking to the temple from Janki Chatti is an affair of around 2-3 hours at normal pace with some intervals in between the journey.
The estimated time for Rishikesh to Janki Chatti journey is 8-9 hours by bus or taxi.
The charges for the journey by horses is around INR 1300 per person from Janki Chatti to Yamunotri one way
While the charges for the palki start from INR 4000 from Janki Chatti to Yamunotri temple both ways, rest it depends on the weight of the person.
Places to Visit Nearby-
It is located about 6 kilometers down the mountain from the main Yamunotri Temple is the starting point of the trek to Yamunotri Temple. It is the last stop for the coming vehicles and also has a huge capacity for accommodation of devotees.
Garud Ganga, Ganesh Ganga, and Naag Ganga are the three water streams that emerge above the hills near the Yamunotri temple. These three water streams flow below the glaciers and finally merge into the River Yamuna. Generally, trekking to these places is not advisable as it is risky to walk over the glaciers.
Divya Sheela is present near the main Yamunotri temple and is worshipped before devotees go to worship Goddess Yamuna.
A bath into this kund is considered as a rite before going to worship Goddess Yamuna in the temple. Also, it is believed that devotees get rid of their skin diseases and pains by taking a dip in this pure source of hot water.
This hot water source has boiling water and people cook rice and potato in this kund to offer them to Goddess Yamuna as prasad. It is the most significant kund around the temple
Kharsali village is the place where Goddess Yamuna is worshiped after the Yamunotri temple is closed in the month of November. All the rites and rituals are performed here for six months and the Yamunotri valley remains as a no-man land during these months. This village is the Seat of Goddess Yamuna in Winters and is also known as Khushimath.
Where to Stay?
Various hotels and guest houses are available in Janki Chatti and you can select the one which is suitable to your budget.
Rates of rooms are from INR 800- INR 4000 depending on the season in which you are visiting. They are pretty high in the peak season of May-June.
Limited guest houses and ashrams are available near the main temple, so try to stay in Janki Chatti.
Time to Visit-
Entry for the temple is opened for the visitors in the last week of April or by the first week of May, every year on the day of Akshay Tritiya. A huge number of people visit here to show their faith in Goddess Yamuna as soon as the entry starts. This process continues for about six months and then, the entries to the temple are closed around November, on the second day after Diwali or the Bhaiya Dooj for the next six months.
The timings of the temple are from 6 am to 8 pm and the timings for the Arti in the evening are from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm every day.
Try to visit there in the months of May-June to avoid the monsoons of the months of July-August.
Ensure to start your journey to Yamunotri from Janki Chatti in the early morning so that you can get back safely by the evening. Limited or No accommodation facility is available in Yamunotri so try to get back to Janki Chatti on time.
Watch your head at places where rocks are coming outward from the mountains and way is narrow during the trekking to the temple.
There is very steep trekking at some places so patients of asthma and other diseases should consult to doctor before going on their journey to the temple.
Glaciers are found near the temple but don’t step over glaciers in excitement as it could result in mishaps like slipping and stucking in the ice.
Do carry necessary items that are required during the journey-
- Warm clothes Raincoats
- First Aid and Necessary Medicines
- ID cards
- Trekking shoes
The voice and the sight of fast-flowing Yamuna river stream rejuvenate the heart and soul from deep inside and a feeling of serenity comes.
So, have you been there? Comment below and share your experiences…
Location on Map-