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Timings : May - November: 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM

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Yamunotri Temple, Yamunotri Overview

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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History of Yamunotri Temple

The actual source of the holy river Yamuna is believed to be from the frozen lake and ice of the Champasar glacier, located 1 km upwards from this temple on the great Kalin Mountain. However, as it is not very easily accessible, the temple for devotees to pay their respect was built at this spot in the 18th century by Sudarshan Shah, the King of Tehri Garhwal. This location is considered one of the four important sites of the Chota Char Dham Yatra, an important pilgrimage for Hindus exploring the holy sites of this region of Uttarakhand. Due to the efforts of the locals and authorities, the temple has been able to withstand disasters like earthquakes, floods, and snow damage.

Architecture of Yamunotri Temple

The temple is made of granite stones, topped by a conical minaret, painted in the vibrant combination of pale yellow and bright vermillion. Within the temple lies the smooth black marble stone idol dedicated to the great Goddess Yamuna, the deitified personification of the sacred river Yamuna. Tourists and pilgrims visiting the temple usually adorn this structure with garlands as is practised. The Yamuna river flows at through a side of this temple. Outside, there are two natural springs on either side of the shrine, known as the Surya Kund and Gouri Kund. A stone walkway leads to the temple, with a large rock formation at the entrance known as the Divya Shila, where devotees pay their respects prior to entering the temple. Influences of the 19th century Nagar style of architecture can be seen as a result of renovations undertaken by the queen of Jaipur during this period.

Tips For Visiting Yamunotri Temple

1. The temple opens to visitors in the month of May every year on the Akshaya Tritiya day and remains open until Yama Dwitiya, the second day following Diwali, usually in the month of November.
2. The trip to this temple is a full-day journey from places like Dehradun, Rishikesh, or Haridwar. There is a reasonable amount of trekking involved, which is quite gorgeous but is also exhausting.
3. While there is no entry charge to the temple, use of horses and other modes of transport to substitute the long trek can incur charges.
4. When it is open, the Aarti ritual at the mandir occurs from 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

How To Reach Yamunotri Temple

To reach this holy site, one must trek approximately 14km from Hanuman Chatti. The Janki Chatti is relatively closer to the spot but is only connected by a motorable road from the Hanuman Chatti. Palanquins, ponies, and horses are available for rent from both these spots to the temple. Hanuman Chatti is well connected with the major cities of Uttarakhand like Rishikesh and Dehradun. The closest airport and railway station are both located in Dehradun, 172 km from this spot. Private taxis may also be hired from here to reach this location.

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