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About Yamunotri

About Yamunotri Dham

On the western side of Garhwal Himalayas, in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, lies the holy place of Yamunotri. About 3,293 metres above the sea level, Yamunotri stands proudly with its enormous mountain peaks, glaciers and gushing waters of Yamuna. River Yamuna, the second most sacred river of India, originates in Yamunotri, making it one of the pilgrimage sites in the Chota Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand.

The venerated goddess Yamuna is said to be the daughter of Sun and twin sister of Yama (the god of death); in Vedas, Yamuna is called Yami (lady of life). A bath in the sanctified waters of Yamuna is said to cleanse all sins and protect from untimely or painful death. Such strong associations in Hindu mythology place Yamuna Devi (goddess) in high ranks of divinity.

The Yamunotri temple opens in the month of April/May at the onset of the summer season and closes for winters in the third week of November. The idol of Goddess Yamuna is then carried to Kharsali Village where the pilgrims can pay homage to the deity for 6 months.

Places to Visit in Yamunotri

 

Surya Kund

Surya Kund is one of the most important thermal springs located near the temple of Yamunotri. This hot water spring gets its name from Yamuna River which is considered to be the offspring of Surya, believed to be the father of Yamuna. The presence of this thermal spring bordered by snow-covered mountain peaks adds to the divine significance of the place.

Surya Kund serves as a holy place. The temperature of Surya Kund is estimated to be around 88°C. Pilgrims prepares Prasad out of potatoes or rice mixed with salt and ties it in a cloth. Then it is dipped into the hot spring where it gets boiled. This Prasad is offered to the temple deity after which the remaining is taken back home by the devotees.

Kharsali

Kharsali is a little village located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. Situated at an elevation of 2675 m above the sea level, Kharsali is known as the home of Goddess Yamuna during winters when the Yamunotri Shrine becomes inaccessible due to heavy snowfall.

The place is a popular picnic spot among the travellers because of its natural surroundings covered with natural springs and waterfalls. Kharsali also houses the oldest Shani Dev Temple of India. The idol of Goddess Yamuna is kept at the Shani Dev Temple during the winter season. The temple is a three-storied structure made up of stones, wood and mortar. The temple has withstood several earthquakes and other natural calamities since ages. It is believed that the temple was built by the Pandavas. The Bronze idol of Lord Shani Dev is kept here along with the Chaaya, the Sangya and Nag Devta.

 

Saptrishi Kund

Saptarishi Kund is the original source of Yamuna River fed by Champasar Glacier situated in the upper parts of the massif created by Bandarpunch Mountain. It is an ideal place for trekking near Yamunotri for 2-3 days.

Saptrishi Kund is about a half km in diameter, and its water is dark blue in color, The water of the nearby glaciers gathers in this lake. On the banks of Saptrishi Kund Lake, there are naturally created slate stones. The rare Brahma Lotus grows here. It is believed that seven great Rishis Kasyapa, Atri, Bharadwaj, Viswamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, and Vasistha performed penance at Saptrishi Lake in ancient times. The Saptrishi Kund is located amidst magnificent and enchanting surroundings of the lofty rock strewn glaciers. This scenic spot lies at an altitude of 4421 m.

 

Bali Pass Trek

Bali Pass Trek is one of the least explored treks in the Indian Himalayan region that connects Har Ki Dun Valley with Yamunotri. It is one of the best and tough treks in Uttarakhand.

Bali Pass is situated at an elevation of about 4,800 m in the Garhwal Himalayan region and was an old route from the Tons river valley to the Yamuna river valley. It continues to attract trekkers during the monsoon season when the snow melts and the pass is approachable. The pass is more approachable from the Har Ki Dun valley as the gradient is small. The Bali Pass trek commences from Sankri, which is approximately 153 km from Mussoorie and 130 km from Yamunotri by road.

 

Janki Chatti

Janki Chatti is a small town located on the way to Yamunotri Temple in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. Janki Chatti is perched at an elevation of about 2650 m above the sea level and is famous for its many hot water springs. Taking a dip in the hot water from these springs is considered very sacred, before visiting the Yamunotri. This area encompasses the last village in the region and the pilgrims are provided with moderate accommodation facilities here. The town is surrounded by mountains offering scenic views.

Janki Chatti town is very famous among tourists who travel to the region of Yamunotri during Char Dham Yatra and most pilgrims take a night halt. Previously the starting point of the trek to reach Yamunotri was Hanuman Chatti but now jeeps are available up to Janki Chatti.

 

Hanuman Chatti

Hanuman Chatti is a small hamlet on the way to Yamunotri in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. Located at the confluence of the Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna Rivers, Hanuman Chatti used to be a halting place for pilgrims during their Char Dham Yatra. Hanuman Chatti lies at an altitude of 2400 m and it is a serene place offering good accommodation facilities. The river side scenic beauty at Hanuman Chatti acts as a perfect place to experience nature and countryside.

There are many small temples in the region, the most noteworthy temple is the one dedicated to Hanuman. Within the interiors of the temple there is an impressive image of Lord Hanuman carrying a mountain.

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