Yamunotri Temple, Uttarakhand

Location : 5 km from Janki Chatti Dedicated to : Goddess Yamuna

Altitude : 3, 200 metres above sea level Built in : 7th century

Opened on : 9th May 2019 Closing on : On the holy day of Bhai Dooj

Yamunotri Dham is situated in the district of Uttarkashi and sits right on the source of the river Yamuna. Famous especially for its naturally occurring thermal hot springs this place is technically from where the yatra journey commences. The temple is set against a backdrop of lush green majestic mountain ranges and cascading silver waterfalls. After the shutting down of its Kapat during the holy occasion for bhai dooj the idol of the presiding deity here which is in the form of a glistening black rock to its winter abode in Kharsali where the pilgrims continue to worship the goddess even during the off season.

About the Temple :

Yamuna that originates from the Champasar Glacier which is located at a distance of around 1 km from the main temple of Yamunotri is believed to have been the birth place of the daughter of the sun god Surya and consciousness Sangya. The temple in itself is very brightly coloured and constructed in a very simple and humble manner with a tall bright red conical ceiling and comprising of every element present in a typical Hindu temple in India. The mountain face just adjacent to the temple is named Kalind Parvat as a dedication to the father of the river since it is one of the many names of Surya. The journey to the temple itself is very scenic, beautiful and dotted with mesmerising sights of waterfalls, wide open skies and amazing greenery all around you.

History of the Temple :

As the name and location of the temple suggests that this temple is dedicated to goddess Yamuna. It is set against the backdrop of the Bandarpunch Parvat and has a history of being destroyed twice in the past due to weather conditions and the currently standing structure is said to have been constructed in the 18th or 19th century. According to the ancient legends a sage called Asit Muni had his hermitage here. As a part of his ritual he used to take a bath every day in both the holy rivers of Ganga and Yamuna. As he grew old he was unable go on the journey so two different streams of ganga and Yamuna appeared in front of him as an ode and he continued to take his holy baths here. Hence the temple is built on the place where the sage used to reside and perform puja.

How to Reach :

You will be following this basic route map during your yatra for Yamunotri – Rishikesh – Narendra Nagar – Chamba – Tehri – Dharasu – Barkot – Hanuman Chatti – Janki Chatti – Yamunotri

By Flight – The nearest airport for Yamunotri is located in Dehradun which is the jolly grant airport and lies at a distance of 210 km from the main temple of Yamunotri. There are regular flights from Delhi for Dehradun making commute easier. From outside the airport you can hire cabs to reach the temple directly till Janki Chatti. This cab fare can be in between Rs. 3,000/- to Rs. 5,000/- depending on the car you choose and the people travelling.

By Train – The nearest railway station for Yamunotri is also situated in Dehradun which is the Dehradun Railway station and is situated at a distance of 172 kms from the main temple of yamunotri. This is one of the most cost effective and secure ways of reaching Yamunotri the railways station caters to a number of trains from different parts of Indian cities.

By Road – The roads leading up to Yamunotri are all very well connected and there should be no inconvenience in your travel plans for Yamunotri Dham. You can get buses from Rishikesh to Janki Chatti which is the final road head for the temple. From here you will be required to walk for around 5 kms. You may choose to hire a palki or a pony service for further convenience and to save up on time to return without any hassle.

Weather and Climate Information :

Winter (October to April) – Yamunotri remains entirely covered in snow and inaccessible during these winter months. All sorts of temple and travelling activities remain halted for the season and the temperature is also inhospitable for example it goes to as low as below 0.

Summer (May to June) – – This is the peak season in tourism in Yamunotri darshan since the entire region becomes free of snow and the temperature also rises making the environment serene and comfortable for travel. Although it may be comfortable and relatively warm in the morning the night will be cold and chilly so remember to carry woollen clothing even during your summer travels.

Monsoon (July to Mid - September) - These months mark the monsoon season in this Garhwal region. This is not considered to be the most appropriate time for travel since the region remains covered in heavy rainfall and showers which makes the place susceptible to unexpected to landslides and even some flooding. Travelling is not completely shut down but it may be a safety hazard. However if you do get a day or two window of sunshine then you must go for it. The crowd recedes during this time.

Best Time to Visit - The summer time of April to June are the best time to go for a visit. The weather is nice, comfortable and pleasant which makes travelling very easy and positive. This is also the time when the pilgrim footfall is at its peak and you will experience some bus jams or some other discomfort but all in all your journey will be worth it.

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