Yamunotri Dham – Source of Goddess Maa Yamuna

Yamunotri India is the land of religion and spiritualism where several religious legendary sagas rule the mind, body and soul of the people. The great Himalayas are regarded as the abode of Gods. The scenic beauty of this land is wonderful with deep green valleys, glades and ravines mesmerize the whole world. Glaciers of Himalayas are the major source of all the rivers of India. River Yamuna commences from Yamunotri. At this holy place, sister of Shani and Yama, daughter of Surya, Devi Yamuna is worshipped in this holy place. During the Chardham tour, this is one of the pilgrim destinations.

yamunotri-dham
Yamunotri Temple

Yamunotri is the abode of Asit Muni and primarily known for the hot water springs having medicinal properties. As a religious belief, people tie potatoes in a piece of cloth and dip in the boiling water. These boiled potatoes are the ‘Prasad’ of this holy shrine.

Devotees reach the holy shrine via Rishikesh and followed Hanuman Chatti which is positioned at 213 Km by road. Yamunotri is just 13 kms away from Hanuman Chatti. People also opt for pony ride as well as Palanquin.

Customs & Values of Yamunotri Pilgrimage

Yamunotri is a sacred place of pilgrimage place for the Hindus. The famous shrine of Devi Yamuna is built at the emerging point of waters of this river in Tehri Garhwal region of the Himalayas. Yamunotri has its origin in the Champasar glacier. It starts from the border peak of Bandar Poonch glacier. The place is one out of the other four destinations mentioned in the Char Dham itinerary. According to mythology Yamuna is daughter of Surya, the Sun God. She is the sister of Shani Dev, ruler of the planet Shani known as Saturn in the English language. Her other brother is the god of Mrityu/death; he is none other than the great Yama. In Shrimad Bhagavad she is mentioned as one of the wives of Lord Krishna.

Yamuna is the second river which is worshipped by people of India. Those who cannot go to the banks of Ganga for performing religious ceremonies, they perform them on the banks of Ganga.

Yamuna is also famous as the Krira Sthal of Bal Krishna. Lord Krishna used to play on the banks of Yamuna with his friends and elder brother Balarama. It is on the banks of Yamuna that he lost his ball and jumped into the poisonous waters of the river not only to get the ball but also do rid Yamuna off the poisonous Kaliya Nag who lived in it with his many queens and other courtly nags. This is the river which flows along Vrindavan. Vasudeva had crossed the foaming waters of the river to reach Gokul with his little new born son. The river had given way to the worried father even though it was swollen with rain water.

River Yamuna separates Delhi from UP. Many big cities can be found on the banks of this holy river. It meets Ganga and Saraswati at Prayag in holy Sangam. It is also known as Shyama because of its dark waters. Incidently Shyama is another name of Lord Krishna.Asit Muni inhabited the land of Yamunotri in ancient times. Today people visit the many hot springs near Yamunotri temple to get cured of skin diseases or to enjoy the fun of getting potatoes boiled in the hot waters of these springs. Trekkers enjoy trekking in the region. The place abounds in natural beauty. There is tranquility and peace around the whole area. This is a perfect spot to meditate.

Spiritual Fact of Yamunotri

Yamunotri is the origin point of River Yamuna. The waters of this river are as holy as those of River Ganga. Some say Ganga and Yamuna are sisters, but there are others who believe them to be good friends. Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet at Prayag, the place is known as ‘Sangam’ and is located in the city of Allahabad in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. A dip in the holy river is supposed to cleanse one off all sins. Yamuna is worshipped as a river Goddess. The temple shrine at Yamunotri is dedicated to this river Goddess who is inscribed on a black stone and decked up with garlands. At one time Asit Muni resided at this place. The holy land is colored with religious hue.

yama-and-yamuna
Yama and Yamuna

According to mythology Sun God is the father of three children. All the children have their own special position in the cosmos. Shanidev is the angry god who rules over the planet Saturn. God of Death is Yama his brother. Yamuna is sometimes known as Yami also. Wife of Surya could not withstand the heat that emanated from her husband. She kept a shadow of herself in the palace before coming down to earth. Sun God took the shadow to be his wife. After the birth of his children the truth unfolded before the God. Sun God left Sandhya to search for his wife on the earth. After finding her he took her back to the palace. Surya Kund at Yamunotri is dedicated to Sun God.

The original temple was damaged during an earthquake. Maharani Gularia from Jaipur got the temple renovated. Since then it has undergone many renovations from time to time. The temple exists in an earthquake prone region. Down the ages attraction for Yamunotri has not diminished.

Signification & Values of Yamunotri

The beautiful state of Uttarakhand is the land of one of the holiest shrines, Yamunotri. This immensely popular pilgrim spot is enclosed in the picturesque beauty of Garhwal Hills. This is one of the Char Dhams of India and has huge religious significance. Yamunotri is the abode of Goddess Yamuna and also the source of River Yamuna. The picturesque beauty of Yamunotri comprises of thermal springs, glaciers and scenic locales.

Yamunotri is one of the most popular tourist places of India. According to the old folk legends, Asit Muni, a sage used to live in this hilly spot. People believe that taking a dip into holy water of river Yamuna has an amazing healing and life saving effect, as Goddess Yamuna is the sister of God of Death, Yama.

Devotees please Goddess Yamuna by offering prayers and worshipping her to protect them from the God of Death.

Area, Population and Languages Spoken

This immensely scared Hindu pilgrimage positioned in the Uttarkashi, Garhwal Himalayas, birth place of River Yamuna also called Yamunotri. The scenic beauty of Yamunotri is awesome, whereas the river descends from Champasar glacier positioned close to peaks of Bandar Poonch and Srikantha.

  • Area: 1 sq. Km
  • Altitude: 3,235 Meters
  • Languages Spoken: Hindi, Garhwali and English
  • STD code of Yamunotri: 0175
  • Population: 246 in the year 1991

Best Time to Visit

It would be advisable to avoid traveling during Monsoon or Snowing. The ideal time to visit this scared place is May to October. Devotees usually travel during Basant Utsav which is celebrated in the month of January or February. Various other local festivals are also celebrated here, such as Phool Devi during the month of March and Oligia during August.

Markets

Feel the holy atmosphere and essence of puja along sacred environment in the local shops, as it comprise of God statues along with all other things needed for worshipping. These local bazaars are full of sweet shops and souvenirs for the travelers. Mouth watering local foods are available in the local restaurants. This makes the trip enjoyable for the travelers.

Distance from Major Cities

kharsali-village
Kharsali Winter Dham of Yamunotri [image source]
Kharsali is 1 km from Janak Chatti, which is a small highland village. Yamunotri is 7 kms from Janak Chatti. At Kharsali Lord Shiva is worshipped with the name of Someshwar.

From the Saptarishi Kund, Yamunotri is just 100 kms. The Kund is scared as it hosts the popular Brahma Lotus, Barkot is 49 kms from Yamunotri.

Hanuman Chatti is the starting point of popular Dodital l trek. This is the location where Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna water meets. Enjoy the scenic beauty of Kempty falls.

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Hanuman Chatti [image source]
How to Reach

Regular buses are plying from Rishikesh, Uttarkashi, Barkot, Dehradun, Haridwar and Mussoorie to arrive at Hanuman Chatti. Afterwards devotees need to start their journey on foot, palanquins or ponies. If you are coming from Dehradun to Hanuman Chatti then enjoy the scenic beauty of Kempty falls. To reach the nearest airport Jolly Grant to Yamunotri, you can also opt for private airliner. The airport is located at a distance of 70 kms from the sacred town.

Nearest Airport, Railway Station and Bus Stand
  • Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant in Dehradun positioned 196 kms from Yamunotri.
  • Nearest Railway Station: Dehradun Railway Station positioned 172 kms and Rishikesh 213 kms.
  • Nearest Bus Stand: From the Dharasu divergence end road route is connected to Yamunotri.
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