Thursday, 27 December 2012

Yamunotri Temple - The Cradle of Yamuna | Chardham Yatra, Uttarakhand, India

Yamunotri - The Cradle of Yamuna


Yamunotri Temple
The Yamunotri shrine is a figurative source of River Yamuna. Perched atop a flank of the Bandarpoonch peak (3615 meters), it is the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas. It is situated directly opposite to Gangotri. The definitive source of the river is a frozen lake and a glacier (Champasar Glacier) is located on the Kalind mountain at the height of 4421 meters. To reach this point one would have to climb one more steep kilometer further. As such this path is not easily accessible; therefore the existing shrine was built at the foot of the mountain.  Yamuna is a very tiny stream here with icy cold water and her absolute innocence and the infantile purity overwhelms the devotees with reverence.

As narrated in myths, this place was the chosen retreat of Sage Asit Muni. Taking daily baths in both the sacred rivers i.e. Ganga and Yamuna, was a mandatory chore in the routine of the pious soul. As the sage grew older it became more and more difficult for him to go to Gangotri and maintain his routine. To assist the avid worshipper, it is said that a tiny stream of Ganga appeared opposite Yamunotri. From then on, a thin stream coming out of the rocks nearby is regarded and worshipped as Ganga by the devotees.

According to another Hindu myth, 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 bathes in the river is spared a painful death.

The Yamuna temple was constructed by Maharaja Partap Shah of Tehri Garhwal. Inside the temple there is an idol of Goddess Yamuna made of black marble. Generations of Hindus have elevated Yamuna, like Ganga to the status of divine mother of the Indian civilization.

Close to the temple are several thermal springs which flow into numerous pools. The most important of these is Suraj Kund known for its very high temperature. Devotees prepare rice and potatoes tied in Muslin cloth, to offer at the shrine by dipping them in these hot water springs. Rice thus cooked is taken back home as prasad. Near Suraj Kund there is a slab of stone known as Divya Shila or the slab of divine light. This slab is worshipped before any puja is offered to Yamuna.

The trek to Yamunotri is truly spectacular, dominated by a panorama of rugged peaks and dense forest. From Rishikesh, a 220 kilometers journey by road takes one to Janki Chatti. From here it is a 5 kilometers trek to Yamunotri. The trek can be covered on foot or on ponies. Palanquins and porters are also available on hire.

Sights to See

Yamunotri, the western most shrine in the Garhwal region, is situated at an altitude of 3,322 m. The shrine is reached by a trek of 14 km from Hanuman Chatti, the nearest roadhead. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. The origin of the river Yamuna is at the Champasar Glacier, near Yamunotri.

Temple of Yamuna
The temple is a simple structure and the idol of Goddess Yamuna is in black marble. The temple was built between 1892 and 1893 and was destroyed twice due to earthquake after which it was re-built.

Divya Shila: A rock pillar, worshipped before entering the Yamunotri temple.

Surya-Kund: Near the temple of Goddess Yamuna there are number of hot springs. The most important of these is Surya Kund.

On route Rishikesh - Yamunotri
Route from Rishikesh to Chamba (same as in Rishikesh - Gangotri route) Dharasu:
The road bifurcates here for Gangotri and Yamunotri.

For the nature lovers, Barkot offers every charm in its forests, mountains and valleys. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Tel: 01375 224236.

A small village nestling in a forest on the banks of the Yamuna. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Sayanchatti.

Hanuman Chatti:
Set in very beautiful surroundings, at the confluence of the Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna rivers. The 14 km trek to Yamunotri starts from here. Accom: (GMVN) 01375 2233371.

This is the last halting place on the Yamunotri route. Accommodation is very limited at Yamunotri, hence pilgrims return to Jankichatti, which is just 7 km from Yamunotri. Jankichatti is
also famous for thermal springs. Accom: Tourist Bungalow (GMVN).

How to Reach Yamunotri

By Air: Jolly Grant is located about 96 km from Yamunotri, the nearest railhead.

By Rail: Dehradun is located at a distance of 172 km and Rishikesh at a distance of 213 km from Yamunotri, the closest railhead

ByRoad: From Dharasu, Tehri, Rishikesh and Dehradun you can easily reach Yamunotri.

Tourism Office:

Uttaranchal Tourism
103 Indra Prakash Building
21 Barakhamba Road
New Delhi.
Tel: 011 23350481/23712246
Fax: 23320109.

1 comment:

  1. Best Blog for chardham Yatra is the most Platonic journey of India. In this Journey pilgrims visited four shrine places Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath.Uttaranchal Tourism Offering - Chardham India Tour Packages , Chardham Yatra.