Yamunotri is the source of the Yamuna River and the seat of the Goddess Yamuna . It is situated at an altitude of 3,293 meters (10,804 ft) in the Garhwal Himalayas and located approximately 30 kilometers (19 mi) North of Uttarkashi, the headquarters of the Uttarkashi district in the Garhwal Division of Uttarakhand, India. It is one of the four sites in India’s Chhota Char Dham pilgrimage. The sacred shrine of Yamunotri, source of the river Yamuna, is the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas, perched atop a flank of Bandar Poonch Parvat. The chief attraction at Yamunotri is the temple devoted to the Goddess Yamuna and the holy thermal springs at Janki Chatti (7 km. Away).
The actual source, a frozen lake of ice and glacier (Champasar Glacier) located on the Kalind Mountain at a height of 4,421 m above sea level, ,
The daughter of the Sun god, Surya and consciousness, Sandhya the birth place of the Yamuna is the Champasar Glacier (4,421 m) about 1 km further up from the temple, just below the Banderpoonch Mountain. It is not frequented generally as it is not accessible; hence the shrine has been located on the foot of the hill, where the pilgrims offer their puja. a
The mountain adjacent to the river source is dedicated to her father, and is called Kalind Parvat, Kalind being another name of Surya. Yamuna is known for her frivolousness, a trait that she developed because, according to a common story, Yamuna’s mother could never make eye contact with her dazzling husband.
According to the legend ancient, sage Asit Muni had his hermitage here. All his life, he bathed daily both in the Ganges and the Yamuna. Unable to go to Gangotri during his old age, a stream of the Ganges appeared opposite Yamunotri for him.
The Yamunotri Temple
The temple of Yamuna, on the left bank of the Yamuna, was constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal. The deity is made of black marble. The Yamuna, like the Ganges, is worshipped as a divine mother for the people here, and has been held responsible for nurturing and developing the Indian civilization.
The temple and the place open every year on the auspicious day of the Akshaya Tritya, which generally falls during the last week of April, or the first week of May. The temple always closes on the sacred day of Diwali in mid-October – first week of November, with a brief ceremony. The temple staff, returns to their villages and for the rest of the time the valley is gripped in no-man silence and covered with a white sheet of snow. With the melting of the snow next summer, the temple re-opens to the blissful happiness of thousands of visitors again.
Close to the temple are hot water springs gushing out from the mountain cavities. Surya Kund is the most important kund. Near the Surya Kund there is a shila called Divya Shila, which is worshipped before puja is offered to the deity. Devotees prepare rice and potatoes, tied in muslin cloth, to offer at the shrine by dipping them in these hot water springs. It has a temperature of almost 190 Degree F. Rice so cooked is taken back home as prasadam. The pujaris of Yamunotri come from the village of Kharsali near Janki Chatti. They are the administrators of the sacred place and perform religious rites. They are well-versed in the Shastras.
It’s 5 km from Yamunotri, it is noted for its thermal springs , where tourists can enjoy a refreshing bath.
It’s 13 km from Yamunotri. The confluence of Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna rivers, from where the trek to Dodi Tal (3,307mt)starts.