Dedicated to the holy Goddess Yamuna, the Yamunotri temple is a prime attraction of the ancient town of Yamunotri, considered the birthplace of the sacred river Yamuna. It is one of the main sights for pilgrims undertaking the Chota Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage of Uttarakhand. The temple and the town are nestled high up, at an altitude of 3,293 m above sea level, within the western side of the grand mountain range of the Garhwal Himalayas. One will be entranced by the beautiful temple surrounded by the enormous mountain peaks, surreal glaciers and the exquisite water of the glorious river Yamuna.
The river Yamuna is considered the second most sacred river after the river Ganga. It is believed that the clear waters of this pristine river will wash away the sins of those who bathe in it and protect them from untimely and painful death. The river flows through a side of the temple, which houses a giant black marble stone idol of the great Goddess. Found at the foot of the Kalind Mountain and by the side of the Banderpooch Mountain, the surroundings of this temple combine the lush mountain greenery with the flowing river in the creek to provide an alluring sight indeed. Close to the temple lie natural hot springs gushing from the majestic mountains, an addition to this already picturesque spot making it worth the somewhat exhausting trek.
The actual source of the Yamuna river lies ahead of this site at an altitude of 4,421 m above sea level, requiring the visitors to trek up the mountain for a couple of kilometres. However, to witness the birthplace of one of the most magnificent and famed rivers of the country would definitely make this trip worth it.
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