Amongst the most famous and pious pilgrim spots is the Yamunotri, situated in the midst of the beautiful and majestic Himalayas. Visitors say that the beauty of this shrine is breathtaking
irrespective of the number of times they have visited it. Hindus from all over the country travel here to pay homage to the origin of the River Yamuna that is in the opposite direction of the River Ganga. It has been said that this region is so calm and peaceful that there have been cases of foreigners travelling across the world to see it. Unlike the Gangotri, the glacier of this river is very difficult to reach. Due to this reason, Yamuna is worshiped as a deity at the foothills where the devotees take a dip the holy water to cleanse their souls. Situated 3150m above sea level, a Yamunotri 'yatra' rids you of all the worries and ensures a feeling of divine tranquility. Read on to learn more about the history and attractions.
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.
The temple was originally constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal in 19th Century. It is said that the temple of Yamunotri was built by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur in the last decade of the 19th century. In 1923 this was destroyed, with only the idols left, and was rebuilt. It was once again damaged in 1982. The deity is made of black marble. The Yamuna, like the Ganges, has been given the status of a divine mother for the Hindus who are responsible for nurturing and developing the Indian civilization.
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.
SIGHT SEEING & EXCURSION : -
Divya Shila : Near Surya Kund there is a slab of stone known as Dibya Shila or the slab of divine light. This slab is worshipped before puja is offered to Yamuna.
Surya Kund : There are a number of thermal springs in the vicinity of the temple which flows into numerous pools. The most important of these is Surya Kund is known for its very high temperature of 190° F. Pilgrim cook rice & potatoes here to offer to deity in the temple.
Hanumanchatti : Hanumanchatti is the last motorhead on way to Yamunotri & is the hub of activities in season. It is a place of confluence of Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna rivers, from where the trek to Dodital (3,307 m) starts. The trek from Hanumanchatti starts with a gentle climb and the 7 km trek through Phoolchatti & Jankichatti is most enjoyable as the path trails its way through wooded hills & meadows shaded with beautiful green, while the fragrance of the Himalayn trees & shurbs permeate the cool mountain etc.
Jankichatti : 216 km from Rishikesh, this is the last halting point en route Yamunotri. This is the place where all pilgrims have to return for the night halt, the same day because of the extremely limited accommodation options available at Yamunotri. The 6 km trek to Yamunotri from here is a steep climb & thus has to be started on early morning to return to Jankichatti for night halt, the same day. Ponies & dandies can be arranged a day before for negotiating the trek for those unable to cope with trek physically. The thermal springs here offer a spectacular sight and a refreshing bath for the pilgrims. Surroundings the place are lush valley with a profusion of confirms, rhododenrons, cacti & several species of Himalayan shurbs and one can enjoy panoramic view of the fabled snow-clad Yamunotri peaks.
Lakhamandal : This is a cultural and historical trek in the Jaunsar - Babar region, at the foothills of the stately Garhwal Himalayas. The tribes here, known as Jaunsaris, practice polygamy and polyandry. Lakhamandal is a large village on the banks of Yamuna, known for its temple ruins. The ruins at Lakhamandal give an indication that in the past it must have been a major temple town. Many believe that Lakhamandal is the same Lakhshagriha described in Mahabharat. Kaurava Prince Duryodhana had built a palace made of lac, in which he tried to burn the Pandavas alive. The villagers believe that there is a secret passage that emerges few kilometers downstream today in the center of the village there is a Temple dedicated to Bhagwati and Lord Shiva. In the temple complex stand two life size stone statues. Perhaps they are the Dwarpals of a much older temple. With the legend of Jay and Vijay, the Dwarpals at the gates of heaven. But most of the villagers believe the statues to be that of Bhima and Arjuna.
Area: 3165 mts.
Climate Summer: Chilly weather in summer.
Climate Winter: Temperature goes down below zero degree.
Clothing: Summer-Light woollens, Winter- Heavy woollens.
Languages: Hindi, Garhwali, English.