Yamunotri
Overview
 
Yamunotri is the source of the Yamuna River and the seat of the Goddess Yamuna
Yami
In Vedic beliefs, Yamī is the first woman, along with her twin brother, Yama. The Rig Veda, in the tenth Mandala, contains a hymn in which they sing to each other. They were children of Surya, the Sun god, in his form as Vivasvat, and his wife Saranya. She is also known as Yamuna. Another name for...

 in Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

. It is situated at an altitude of 3293 metres (10,803.8 ft) in the Garhwal Himalayas
Himalayas
The Himalaya Range or Himalaya Mountains Sanskrit: Devanagari: हिमालय, literally "abode of snow"), usually called the Himalayas or Himalaya for short, is a mountain range in Asia, separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau...

 and located approximately 30 kilometres (18.6 mi) North of Uttarkashi
Uttarkashi
Uttarkashi, meaning Kashi of the north, is a holy town in Uttarakhand, India. It is the district headquarter of Uttarkashi district. Uttarkashi is situated on the banks of river Bhagirathi at an altitude of 1352 m above sea level. Uttarkashi is home to a number of ashrams and temples and also to...

, the headquarters of the Uttarkashi district in the Garhwal Division
Garhwal Division
Garhwal is the north-western region and administrative division of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand which is home to the Garhwali people. Lying in the Himalayas, It is bounded on the north by Tibet, on the east by Kumaon region, on the south by Uttar Pradesh state, and on the north-west by...

 of Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand , formerly Uttaranchal, is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Land of Gods due to the many holy Hindu temples and cities found throughout the state, some of which are among Hinduism's most spiritual and auspicious places of pilgrimage and worship...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. It is one of the four sites in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

'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.
Encyclopedia
Yamunotri is the source of the Yamuna River and the seat of the Goddess Yamuna
Yami
In Vedic beliefs, Yamī is the first woman, along with her twin brother, Yama. The Rig Veda, in the tenth Mandala, contains a hymn in which they sing to each other. They were children of Surya, the Sun god, in his form as Vivasvat, and his wife Saranya. She is also known as Yamuna. Another name for...

 in Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

. It is situated at an altitude of 3293 metres (10,803.8 ft) in the Garhwal Himalayas
Himalayas
The Himalaya Range or Himalaya Mountains Sanskrit: Devanagari: हिमालय, literally "abode of snow"), usually called the Himalayas or Himalaya for short, is a mountain range in Asia, separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau...

 and located approximately 30 kilometres (18.6 mi) North of Uttarkashi
Uttarkashi
Uttarkashi, meaning Kashi of the north, is a holy town in Uttarakhand, India. It is the district headquarter of Uttarkashi district. Uttarkashi is situated on the banks of river Bhagirathi at an altitude of 1352 m above sea level. Uttarkashi is home to a number of ashrams and temples and also to...

, the headquarters of the Uttarkashi district in the Garhwal Division
Garhwal Division
Garhwal is the north-western region and administrative division of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand which is home to the Garhwali people. Lying in the Himalayas, It is bounded on the north by Tibet, on the east by Kumaon region, on the south by Uttar Pradesh state, and on the north-west by...

 of Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand , formerly Uttaranchal, is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Land of Gods due to the many holy Hindu temples and cities found throughout the state, some of which are among Hinduism's most spiritual and auspicious places of pilgrimage and worship...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. It is one of the four sites in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

'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, about 1 km further up, is not frequented generally as it is not accessible; hence the shrine has been located on the foot of the hill. The approach is extremely difficult and pilgrims therefore offer puja at the temple itself.

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, has been elavated to the status of a divine mother for the Hindus and has been held responsible for nurturing and developing the Indian civilization.

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. 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.

History and legends

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 temple and the place opens 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 return 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.

The daughter of the Sun god, Surya and consciousness, Sangya the birth place of the Yamuna is the Champasar Glacier (4,421 m) just below the Banderpoonch Mountain. 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.

How to reach

Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant
Jolly Grant Airport
Jolly Grant Airport , also known as Dehradun Airport, is an airport serving Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India.-Overview:The airport is located about southeast of the city of Dehradun. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, the airport, after a runway extension to accommodate larger aircraft,...

.

Rail: The nearest railhead is at Rishikesh.

Road: The road to Yamunotri diverts from the Rishikesh-Gangotri road at Dharasu.

Important road distances : Hanumanchatti 13 km; Dharasu 107 km; Tehri 149 km.

Rishikesh to Yamunotri 222 km via Narendranagar 16 km, Chamba 46 km, Brahmkhal 15 km, Barkot 40 km, Sayanachatti 27 km, Hanumanchatti 6 km, Phoolchatti 5 km, Jankichatti 3 km and Yamunotri 6 km.

Geography

Yamunotri is located at 31.01°N 78.45°W. It has an average elevation of 3955 metres (12,975.7 ft).

Yamuna River

The actual source of Yamuna River lies in the Yamunotri Glacier, at a height 6387 metres (20,954.7 ft), near the Bandarpunch
Bandarpunch
Bandarpunch is a major peak of the Garhwal division of the Himalayas, in the Indian state of Uttaranchal. It literally means "Tail of the monkey" or "Tail of Hanuman" in Hindi. It's a twin peak: Bandarpunch-I & Bandarpunch-II...

 peaks in the Lower Himalayas
Lower Himalayan Range
The Lower Himalayan Range lies north of the Sub-Himalayan Range or Siwalik Range and south of the Great Himalayas. The height of the mountains varies between 1800 to 4600 meters. Millions of years of folding, faulting and overthrusting has led to the formation of these mountains...

. It crosses the states of Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand , formerly Uttaranchal, is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Land of Gods due to the many holy Hindu temples and cities found throughout the state, some of which are among Hinduism's most spiritual and auspicious places of pilgrimage and worship...

, Haryana
Haryana
Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

, Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

, Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is a state in Northern India. It is spread over , and is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Punjab on the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on the south, Uttarakhand on the south-east and by the Tibet Autonomous Region on the east...

 and later Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 before merging with the Ganges at Triveni Sangam, Allahabad
Allahabad
Allahabad , or Settled by God in Persian, is a major city of India and is one of the main holy cities of Hinduism. It was renamed by the Mughals from the ancient name of Prayaga , and is by some accounts the second-oldest city in India. It is located in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh,...

.

Yamunotri temple

Yamunotri temple is situated in the western region of Garhwal Himalayas at an altitude of 3235 metres (10,613.5 ft) in Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand , formerly Uttaranchal, is a state in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Land of Gods due to the many holy Hindu temples and cities found throughout the state, some of which are among Hinduism's most spiritual and auspicious places of pilgrimage and worship...

. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna
Yami
In Vedic beliefs, Yamī is the first woman, along with her twin brother, Yama. The Rig Veda, in the tenth Mandala, contains a hymn in which they sing to each other. They were children of Surya, the Sun god, in his form as Vivasvat, and his wife Saranya. She is also known as Yamuna. Another name for...

. The Yamunotri temple is a full day's journey from Uttarakhand's main towns — Rishikesh, Haridwar
Haridwar
Haridwar is an important pilgrimage city and municipality in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, India...

 or Dehradun
Dehradun
- Geography :The Dehradun district has various types of physical geography from Himalayan mountains to Plains. Raiwala is the lowest point at 315 meters above sea level, and the highest points are within the Tiuni hills, rising to 3700 m above sea level...

. The actual temple is only accessible by a 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) trek from the town of Hanuman
Hanuman
Hanuman , is a Hindu deity, who is an ardent devotee of Rama, a central character in the Indian epic Ramayana and one of the dearest devotees of lord Rama. A general among the vanaras, an ape-like race of forest-dwellers, Hanuman is an incarnation of the divine and a disciple of Lord Rama in the...

 Chatti and a 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) walk from Janki Chatti; horses or palanquins are available for rent. The hike from Hanuman
Hanuman
Hanuman , is a Hindu deity, who is an ardent devotee of Rama, a central character in the Indian epic Ramayana and one of the dearest devotees of lord Rama. A general among the vanaras, an ape-like race of forest-dwellers, Hanuman is an incarnation of the divine and a disciple of Lord Rama in the...

 Chatti to Yamunotri is very picturesque with beautiful views of a number of waterfalls. There are two trekking routes from Hanuman Chatti to Yamunotri, the one along the right bank proceeds via the Markandeya Tirth, where the sage Markandeya
Markandeya
Markandeya is an ancient rishi from the Hindu tradition, born in the clan of Bhrigu Rishi. He is celebrated as a devotee of both Shiva and Vishnu and is mentioned in a number of stories from the Puranas...

 wrote the Markandeya Purana
Markandeya Purana
The Markandeya Purana is one of the major eighteen Mahapuranas, a genre of Hindu religious texts. It is written in the style of a dialogue between the ancient sage Markandeya and Jaimini, a disciple of Vyasa.-Contents:...

, the other route which lies on the left bank of the river goes via Kharsali, from where Yamunotri is a five or six hours climb away.

The original temple was built by Maharani Guleria of Jaipur
Jaipur
Jaipur , also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3.1 million....

 in the 19th century. The current temple is of recent origin as earlier constructions have been destroyed by weather and the elements. There seems to be a confusion as to who built the temple of Yamunotri. However according to sources, the temple was originally constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal.

It is located at an altitude of 3235 metres (10,613.5 ft) approximately. A little ahead is the actual source of the river Yamuna
Yamuna
The Yamuna is the largest tributary river of the Ganges in northern India...

 which is at an altitude of about 4421 metres (14,504.6 ft) approximately. Two hot springs are also present at Yamunotri offering relief to tired hikers at a height of 3292 metres (10,800.5 ft), Surya Kund, has boiling hot water, while Gauri Kund, had tepid water suitable for bathing The temple opens on Akshaya Tritiya
Akshaya Tritiya
Akshaya Tritiya, also known as Akha Teej is a Hindu and Jain holy day, that falls on the third Tithi of Bright Half of the pan-Indian month of Vaishakha....

(May) and closes on Yama Dwitiya (the second day after Diwali, November). Lodging at the temple itself is limited to a few small ashram
Ashram
Traditionally, an ashram is a spiritual hermitage. Additionally, today the term ashram often denotes a locus of Indian cultural activity such as yoga, music study or religious instruction, the moral equivalent of a studio or dojo....

s and guest-houses. Ritual duties such as the making and distribution of prasad
Prasad
Prasād is a mental condition of generosity, as well as a material substance that is first offered to a deity and then consumed...

(sanctified offerings) and the supervision of pujas (ritual venerations) are performed by the Uniyal family of pujaris (priests). Unique aspects of ritual practice at the site include hot springs where raw rice is cooked and made into prasad.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK