The Source of Yamuna River
Yamunotri Dham is one of the major pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand which comes first in the Char Dham circuit. It is located in the Uttarkashi district at a height of 3,293 metres above sea level. Yamunotri temple is believed to have been built in 1839 by the ruler of Tehri, Naresh Sudarshan Shah, in the midst of the Himalayas. Yamunotri shrine stands out beautifully in the backdrop of lush green forests and giant mountain peaks with the holy river “Yamunotri ” gushing by its side. The breathtaking location of the shrine is enough to fill pilgrims’ hearts and souls with tranquillity and solace. Now let’s have a look at other major attractions near Yamunotri that you can explore after visiting the shrine:-
A black marble statue of Goddess Yamuna adorns the temple, which is devoted to her. Naresh Sudarshan Shah, the king of Tehri, built the Yamunotri Temple in 1839. In the 19th century AD, the Maharani of Jaipur Gularia Devi rebuilt it after an earthquake severely damaged a significant amount of the temple. The Yamunotri Temple is constructed from granite stones, and its top is dominated by a yellow conical tower with exquisite crimson borders.
1. Hanuman Chatti – Hanuman Chatti is situated at the convergence of the Yamuna river and the Hanuman Ganga. It is a tranquil location with ample options for accommodation. Travellers visit Hanumanchatti because it is a popular trekking destination in the area as well. Other than the trek to Yamunotri, Hanumanchatti’s most famous trekking expedition is to Dodi Tal and Darwa Top.
2. Saptrishi Kund – Saptrishi Kund is a high-altitude lake and the original source of the Yamuna River. Champasar Glacier, which is half a kilometre long and bordered by stony glaciers and is located in the highest reaches of the mountain range formed by Bandarpunch Mountain, feeds water to the lake. The Saptrishi Kund is situated in the stunning and alluring backdrop of the towering glaciers covered in scattered rocks.
3. Bali Pass Trek – The Bali Pass Trek begins from Sankri Base Camp, the starting point for around twenty-five other treks in Uttarakhand, and concludes at Yamunotri or Jankichatti. The thrilling Bali Pass leads from Yamunotri to the Har Ki Dun valley and is almost a complete exploration. It travels via the Tons-Ruinsara River confluence, the unspoiled tranquillity of the Ruinsara Valley, and the verdant meadows of Devsu Thach.
4. Divya Shilla – The “Slabs of Divine Light” or “Divya Shilla” is a religious pillar located near the Yamunotri temple. According to Hindu beliefs, devotees must first worship the Divya Shilla before entering the Yamunotri shrine. Pilgrims must first take a bath at the pious Surya Kund, cleanse themselves and cook the prasad made of potato and rice in the hot water ‘kund.’ After this, first, offer the prasad and perform puja rituals at Divya Shilla and then move forward to Yamunotri temple.
5. Kharsali – The “Winter Abode of Goddess Yamuna ”, Kharsali is a small village situated in the district of Uttarkashi in the state of Uttarakhand. It is just 6 km from the Yamunotri Temple. Because of its beautiful landscapes, which include picturesque waterfalls and natural springs, this village is a prominent vacation spot among tourists. Also, Kharsali is the home to one of India’s famous “Shani Temple”. It is the place where “Goddess Yamuna” is kept during winters from November to April.
6. Surya Kund – Surya Kund is a thermal hot water spring near Yamunotri Dham. It is the most significant hot water spring near the temple. Surya Kund got its name from the Yamuna River, which is believed to be the daughter of the god Surya. Pilgrims come to this hot spring to freshen themselves after a long trek and prepare “prasad” for the temple offerings. The prasad is ready by putting a mix of potato and rice wrapped in a muslin cloth and then drowning it in the thermal spring to boil.
May and June are the ideal months to visit Yamunotri. As the weather is vibrant and happy, aspects of Yamunotri may be seen by visiting during the Basant Panchami and Phool Devi festivities
By Air: The closest air base connecting Yamunotri with the rest of India is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. 198-kilometre-distance airport from the destination.
By Rail: By Train, Yamunotri is 211 kilometres away from Rishikesh, the closest railhead as there are no trains that go directly to Yamunotri.
By Bus: Yamunotri does not have a direct road connection, however, the closest road stop, Uttarkashi, is 122 kilometres from Janki Chatti. One needs to trek 5 km further from Janki chatti to reach Yamunotri Temple.