Yamunotri is the place where the river Yamuna originates from the Himalayas and flows down to the plains of North India and meets river Ganga at Allahabad ( Prayagraj ), it is situated at the height of 3293 meters from the sea level, the actual source is the Champasar glacier in the Bandar Punch range in the Kalind mountain at 4421 meters above the sea level one km further up, it is difficult to reach their, the temple is at the foot hill. The main Idol of Ma Yamunotri is of a black stone in the shrine which is on the left bank of the river, before paying visit in the temple, there is a hot water spring the Surya Kund where pilgrims first take bath and offer their puja at the Divya Shila then pays respect to the Ma Yamunotri in the shrine, the Yamuna is given a status of Ma ( mother) equivalent to river Ganga.
The Asit Rishi who use to take daily bath in the river Ganga and Yamuna had his hermitage here, he in his old age and weakness was finding it difficult to reach Gangotri a stream of Ganga appeared here for him. Another legend associated is that Yamuna is daughter of Sun God Surya and his consort Sangya gave her the birth here, the Kalind Parvat is next to the source of the river, Kalind is also one of the name of Surya .
The temple opens on Akshya Tritya of Vikram Samvat ( the Hindu Calendar) every year which falls somewhere end of April and first half of May every year.
Best Time to Visit
One can visit upon the opening of the temple till the closing date which is Yam Dwitiya of Vikram Samvat, the two days after Depawali but the best time is April till June or till the start of monsoon, then best time is September mid till October, during the monsoon there is a danger of land slides, broken roads and flooding of water streams on the way and one may have to be stranded for days to wait for roads to open.
Where to Stay
There are guest houses and dharamshalas at Jankichatti from here the Yamunotri is 6 km trek, the good hotels and Swiss tent accommodations are available at Barkot which is about 50 km before Jankichatti.
Kharsali is the winter seat of Ma Yamunotri , it is also the oldest temple of lord Shani Dev, lord Shanidev is also brother of Ma Yamuna
How to reach here
There are Buses and trains available up to Hardwar or Rishikesh connections from all over India, one can also reach Dehradun by air onward journey could be performed by buses, cars and jeeps , opening of Helicopter service is a big relief for old age people, it is available till Kharsali which is about a kilometer from Jankichatti, from here onward one can walk the 6 km trek , hire a mule or a palki carried by a porter or a pitthu who carries the person in a basket on his back.
Distance Delhi to Rishikesh 230 km
Rishikesh to Barkot 170 km
Barkot to Jankichatti 50 km
Jankichatti to Yamunotri 6 km
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