Yamunotri Temple a Sacred Destination for Nature Lovers

  • Home
  • Blog
  • Yamunotri Temple a Sacred Destination for Nature Lovers
Yamunotri Temple a Sacred Destination for Nature Lovers
  • Admin
  • 10 March 2023

Yamunotri temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Yamuna, located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, India. It is one of the four holy shrines of the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage circuit, which also includes Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath.

The temple is situated at an altitude of 3,293 meters (10,804 feet) above sea level, near the source of the Yamuna River. According to Hindu mythology, Yamuna is the daughter of the Sun god and the sister of Yama, the god of death. The river Yamuna is a sacred river in Hinduism, and it is believed that taking a dip in its holy waters can wash away sins and purify the soul.

Importance of the Yamunotri temple darshan for Hindu pilgrims

For Hindu pilgrims, the darshan (sight) of the Yamunotri temple and the holy waters of the Yamuna River are of great spiritual significance.

Here are some reasons why:

Purification

The river Yamuna is believed to be a symbol of purity, and taking a dip in its holy waters is said to cleanse the body and soul of sins and impurities. Pilgrims visit the temple to take a dip in the river and seek forgiveness for their wrongdoings.

Blessings of the goddess Yamuna

The goddess Yamuna is worshipped as a divine mother who provides nourishment and sustenance to all living beings. It is believed that offering prayers to her and seeking her blessings can bring prosperity, good health, and happiness.

Fulfillment of wishes

Many pilgrims visit the temple with specific wishes and desires in mind, such as the birth of a child, success in business, or recovery from an illness. It is believed that the goddess Yamuna can fulfill these wishes if the pilgrim prays with sincerity and devotion.

Connection to Hindu mythology

The Yamunotri temple is associated with several legends and stories from Hindu mythology, such as the tale of Yamuna being the daughter of the Sun god and the sister of Yama, the god of death. Pilgrims visit the temple to connect with these stories and deepen their understanding of Hinduism.

How to reach Yamunotri temple

Yamunotri temple is in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, India, and is situated at an altitude of 3,293 meters (10,804 feet) above sea level, near the source of the Yamuna River.

Here are some ways to reach the temple:

By Air

The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 210 km away from Yamunotri. From there, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the temple.

By Train

The nearest railway station is the Dehradun railway station, which is about 172 km away from Yamunotri. From there, one can take a taxi or a bus to reach the temple.

By Road

Yamunotri is well connected to major cities in Uttarakhand by road. The nearest town is Barkot, which is about 46 km away from the temple. From Barkot, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the temple.

Trekking

The final 6 km to the Yamunotri temple is a trek that starts from the town of Hanuman Chatti, which is about 13 km away from Yamunotri. The trek is moderate in difficulty and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Popular routes and modes of transportation

Delhi to Yamunotri

The most popular route is from Delhi to Yamunotri via Dehradun or Haridwar. From Delhi, one can take a train or a bus to Dehradun or Haridwar, and then take a taxi or a bus to Yamunotri.

Dehradun to Yamunotri

Dehradun is the nearest city with an airport and a railway station. From Dehradun, one can take a taxi or a bus to Yamunotri.

Haridwar to Yamunotri

Haridwar is another popular starting point for the Yamunotri Yatra. From Haridwar, one can take a taxi or a bus to Yamunotri.

Rishikesh to Yamunotri

Rishikesh is a popular starting point for the Char Dham Yatra, which includes Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. From Rishikesh, one can take a taxi or a bus to Yamunotri.

Trekking to Yamunotri

The final 6 km to the Yamunotri temple is a trek that starts from the town of Hanuman Chatti, which is about 13 km away from Yamunotri. The trek is moderate in difficulty and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The most common modes of transportation to reach Yamunotri are taxis, buses, and private cars. It is important to note that the temple is only accessible during the summer months, from May to November, due to heavy snowfall in the winter months. During the winter, the temple is closed, and the area is covered in snow, making it inaccessible to visitors.

History and architecture of the temple

The temple's history dates to the 18th century when it was built by the Garhwal king, Raja Pratap Shah. However, the temple's origins can be traced back to the 7th century, when the sage Ashtanga established a shrine to worship the goddess, Yamuna.

The temple's architecture is typical of the region, with a wooden facade and a slate roof. The temple's entrance is decorated with intricate carvings and paintings depicting the goddess Yamuna and other deities. The main shrine houses a black marble idol of the goddess Yamuna, which is believed to have been installed by the sage Ashtanga.

Customs and rituals observed during darshan

Visiting the Yamunotri temple is an important spiritual experience for many Hindus. Here are some customs and rituals that are observed during darshan:

Bathing in the Yamuna River

It is believed that taking a dip in the holy Yamuna River can wash away one's sins and purify the soul. Visitors to the temple often take a bath in the river before entering the temple.

Offering prayers and offerings

Visitors offer prayers and offerings to the goddess Yamuna at the temple. Flowers, fruits, and sweets are commonly offered, and some visitors also offer coins or cash as a donation to the temple.

Tying a sacred thread

Visitors can also tie a sacred thread, called a "mouli," around their wrist as a symbol of their devotion to the goddess Yamuna.

Circumambulating the temple

It is customary to circumambulate the temple in a clockwise direction before entering the inner sanctum to offer prayers to the goddess.

Chanting mantras

Visitors may also chant mantras or recite prayers while standing before the goddess's idol.

Aarti

The aarti ceremony, in which lamps are lit and offered to the deity, is performed twice daily at the temple. Visitors often participate in the aarti ceremony to offer their devotion to the goddess.

Trekking to the temple

Many visitors trek to the temple from the nearby town of Hanuman Chatti. The trek is a spiritual journey and involves walking through scenic valleys and forests.

Importance of taking a dip in the holy Yamuna River

Taking a dip in the holy Yamuna River is an important ritual for many Hindus who visit the Yamunotri temple. The river is one of the seven sacred rivers in Hinduism and is believed to have purifying properties that can wash away one's sins and cleanse the soul.

Hindus believe that bathing in the Yamuna River can help them achieve moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death. It is believed that the river is blessed with the divine energies of Lord Krishna, who is said to have spent his childhood on the banks of the Yamuna. The river is also believed to be the physical embodiment of the goddess Yamuna, who is worshiped as a deity in many parts of India.

Taking a dip in the Yamuna River is believed to have both physical and spiritual benefits. The water of the river is medicinal and is believed to cure various ailments. It is also believed to have a cooling effect on the body, making it a popular spot for tourists and locals alike during the hot summer months.

Saptarishi Kund and Divya Shila

Saptarishi Kund

Saptarishi Kund is a glacial lake located at an altitude of 4,421 meters above sea level, about 10 km from the Yamunotri temple. The lake is named after the seven sages or rishis in Hindu mythology, who are said to have meditated here. The water of the lake is believed to be sacred and is said to have medicinal properties. Visitors to Saptarishi Kund often undertake a trek to the lake, which is a challenging but rewarding experience.

Divya Shila

Divya Shila is a rock pillar located near the Yamunotri temple. It is believed to be a sacred rock that was brought from the mountains by the gods themselves. Visitors to the temple often offer prayers and make offerings to the rock, which is believed to be a symbol of the goddess Yamuna's divine power.

Other places of interest in the Yamunotri area

Apart from the Yamunotri temple, there are several other places of interest in the Yamunotri area that visitors can explore. Here are some of them:

Janki Chatti

Janki Chatti is a small town located about 7 km from Yamunotri temple. It is the starting point of the trek to Yamunotri and is also famous for its hot water springs.

Hanuman Chatti

Hanuman Chatti is a small town located about 13 km from Yamunotri temple. It is the last motorable point on the way to Yamunotri, and visitors need to trek from here to reach the temple. Hanuman Chatti is also known for its natural beauty and trekking trails.

Barkot

Barkot is a picturesque town located about 49 km from Yamunotri. It is known for its scenic beauty, apple orchards, and ancient temples. Visitors can also explore the nearby Kempty Falls and Yamuna Bridge.

Dodital Lake

 Dodital Lake is a freshwater lake located about 60 km from Yamunotri. It is surrounded by dense forests and is known for its scenic beauty and tranquility. Visitors can trek to the lake or hire a local guide to explore the area.

Kedarkantha

Kedarkantha is a mountain peak located about 92 km from Yamunotri. It is known for its trekking trails and stunning views of the Himalayas. The trek to Kedarkantha is a moderate trek and is suitable for both experienced trekkers and beginners.

Best time to visit Yamunotri temple

The best time to visit Yamunotri temple is during the summer months, which run from May to June and from September to November. During this time, the weather is pleasant and the temperature ranges from 10°C to 30°C, making it ideal for trekking and other outdoor activities.

The monsoon season, which runs from July to August, should be avoided as the region experiences heavy rainfall, landslides, and flash floods, making it difficult to trek and reach the temple.

During winter months, from November to April, the temple is closed due to heavy snowfall and harsh weather conditions, making it inaccessible.

Precautions to be taken during the visit

Here are some precautions that visitors should take during their visit to Yamunotri temple:

Altitude sickness

The temple is located at an altitude of 3,293 meters above sea level, and visitors may experience altitude sickness. It is recommended to acclimatize yourself by spending a day or two in a nearby town or village before starting the trek to the temple.

Weather

The weather in the Himalayas can be unpredictable, and sudden changes in weather can occur. Visitors should carry appropriate clothing and gear for the season.

Trekking

Visitors need to trek to reach the temple, and the trek can be challenging, especially for those who are not used to high altitude and steep climbs. It is recommended to hire a local guide who is familiar with the trekking route and to carry enough food and water supplies.

Wildlife

The Yamunotri area is home to several wildlife species such as Himalayan black bears, leopards, and musk deer. Visitors should avoid trekking alone, especially during early morning and late evening hours when these animals are active.

Significance of the temple for Hindu devotees

The Yamunotri temple holds immense significance for Hindu devotees as it is one of the four sacred shrines of the Chota Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand, India. It is believed that a pilgrimage to the Char Dham Yatra is a way to attain Moksha or salvation.

The temple is also associated with the story of the sage Asit Muni, who spent his life meditating in the area. It is believed that he was granted a boon by the goddess Yamuna, who appeared before him as a beautiful maiden. As a result, devotees offer prayers to Yamuna and seek her blessings for prosperity, good health, and happiness.

Final thoughts and recommendations for those planning a visit

A visit to Yamunotri temple can be a unique and spiritual experience for those interested in exploring India's rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. Here are some final thoughts and recommendations for those planning a visit:

Plan

It is recommended to plan your trip well in advance, especially during peak season when the temple can get crowded. Book accommodations, transportation, and trekking guides in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles.

Carry essential items

It is essential to carry appropriate clothing, footwear, and gear for the trek, including warm jackets, comfortable shoes, and trekking poles. Additionally, carry a first-aid kit, water bottle, and snacks for the trek.

Respect local customs

Visitors should respect local customs and traditions, dress modestly, and avoid smoking, drinking, and littering in the temple premises.

Acclimatize

Visitors should spend a day or two in nearby towns or villages to acclimatize themselves to the high altitude before starting the trek.

Hire a guide

It is recommended to hire a local guide who is familiar with the trekking route and the surrounding areas to ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.

Explore Packages By Destination