Yamunotri Tour In India
 
 
     
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Yamunotri Tour In India
Yamunotri Tour In India
 
Yamunotri Tour In India

Yamunotri, the source of the Yamuna River and the seat of the goddess Yamuna, is one of the four sites in India's Char Dham pilgrimage. It is the western most amongst the Chardham and is visited first on a Chardham trip. The temple itself stands on the foothill of Kalinda Parvata (parvata means hill) close to a thermal springswhich refreshes the pilgrims before they offer prayers in the shrine. However, the actual source of Yamunotri is a lake, 12 kilometres from here with the name of Saptrishi Kund. A difficult guided trek will bring you here. Most pilgrims offer prayers at the shrine itself, since the trek is very difficult to take.

Legend

According to Hindu mythology, Surya, the sun god is the father of Yamuna, and Yama, the god of death. It is said that since Yamuna is the sister of Yama, anyone who who bathes in the river is spared a painful death. Another legend says that the lonesome place of Yamunotri was once the home to Asit Muni.

The Temple

The actual temple is only accessible by a six kilometer walk from the town of Hanuman Chatti and a four kilometer walk from Janki Chatti (horses or palanquins are available for rent). The hike from Hanuman Chetty to Yamunotri is very picturesque with beautiful views of a number of water falls. The temple situated here close to the thermal springs is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. The temple was constructed in 1839 by Tehri Naresh Sudarshan Shah. However, since the place is highly prone to earthquakes, the temple has been damaged several times. It was built again in 19th century by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur. Even after that the temple has been renovated and reconstructed quiet a few times. Inside the temple is an idol of Goddess Yamuna carved in black stone that is mainly worshipped. Lodging at the temple itself is limited to a few small ashrams and guesthouses. Ritual duties such as the making and distribution of prasad (sanctified offerings) and the supervision of pujas (ritual venerations) are performed by the Uniyal family of pujaris (priests). Unique aspects of ritual practice at the site include hot springs where raw rice is cooked and made into prasad.

Other Attractions

Close to the temple is this hot water spring called Surya Kund, Surya or Sun being the mythological father of Yamuna. People not just refresh here but also make prasada for offering. Some potatoes or rice with a pinch of salt are tied in a muslin cloth and dipped in the spring for few minutes, they come out boiled. And after being offered to the deity, they are taken home as prasada. The temperature of the springs is as high as 88 degrees. The presence of a hot water spring surrounded by snow capped peaks reinforces one's faith in the divinity of the place.

This is the source of Yamuna but being a little difficult to access, few people go there and most offer their prayers in the temple itself. A twelve kilometre difficult trek route will take you to Saptrishi kund. A natural glacial kund, the trek upto Saptrishi kund eases out around the base of Kalinda parvat. Dark blue waters, slate stones on the banks, and a rare variety of lotus adorning the water, Saptrishi Kund is a sight to behold. Trip to Saptrishi Kund requires you to be acclimatised for at least one day at Yamunotri and a guide to take you.

Location and Climate

Yamunotri, at a height of 3235 mts above the sea level, comes under Uttarakhand district,  a full day's journey from Uttaranchal's main towns — Rishikesh, Haridwar or Dehradun.. The shrine of Goddess Yamunotri is perched on the western flank of mighty Banderpunch peaks (6135 mts) which are snow covered throughout the year. The trek to Yamunotri is very exhausting, usually taking 6 hours or more. The sacred river of Yamuna originates from Yamunotri glaciers on the western edge of the Bandarpoochh peak (6,315 m).

 Himalayan weather is capricious and quickly changeable. If it is sunny, daytime temperatures could be in the 70s or the low 80s, but if it is cloudy, they might be in the 50s.  Night temperatures can easily be in the 50s, or even the 40s. To prepare for such temperature swings, bring or purchase pieces of clothing that can be layered as the temperature rises or falls. Shawls, hats, sweaters, vests, and other warm clothing are readily available in the markets.  Bring appropriate footwear for walking, since you will be doing plenty of this.   Running shoes are better than boots, since they are lighter.

Transport

The closest airport from Yamunotri is Jolly Grant airport close to Dehradun, 196 km from Gangotri.

The nearest railhead from Yamunotri is Dehradun (172 km). Rishikesh (213 kms) is also an alternative.

Buses are available for Hanuman Chatti which is 14 kilometers from Yamunotri from Rishikesh, Haridwar and other important places in Uttaranchal. Important road distances are Rishikesh to Yamunotri 222 kms via Narendranagar 16 kms, Chamba 46 kms, Tehri 21 kms, Dharasu 42 kms, Bhramkhal 15 kms, Barkot 40 kms, Phoolchatti 5 kms and Jankichatti 3 kms.

 
Yamunotri Tour In India
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