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Yamunotri Dham

Yamunotri Dham is one of the four pilgrimage sites from Uttarakhand’s Chhota Chardham yatra, the other Dhams are Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. The shrine of Yamunotri Dham is devoted to goddess Yamuna, the first Dham out of four which is visited by the devotees first. The Yamunotri Dham is known as the origin of the second most sacred river in our country Yamuna, the first one which is considered the holiest is Ganga. Thousands of devotees come here at Yamunotri temple from all corners of the globe to take a glimpse and seek blessings from goddess Yamuna.

Yamunotri temple is situated in the Uttarkashi district of Garhwal region of Uttarakhand state, India. The shrine is situated at the altitude of 3185 meters away from the sea level. Yamunotri temple is nestled amidst the splendid Himalayas, and it holds a very significant and important place in the great Hindu mythology and Chardham Yatra circuit.

Yamunotri is a pivotal stop on the esteemed Chardham yatra route.Yamunotri is renowned for its thermal springs and glaciers, this holy site marks the origin of the sacred River Yamuna which is a lifeline for many communities across Northern India.

The origin of the Yamuna River is a frozen lake of ice and glacier, which is known as Champasar glacier or Yamunotri glacier, is located on the kalind mountain at the altitude of 4421 meters above sea level. It is about 1 km further up from the Yamunotri temple and is not accessible and that’s why devotees can not visit that and had to offer prayers at the temple of Yamunotri itself.

Yamunotri Dham : About and History of Temple

About the Yamunotri Temple

The temple of Yamunotri follows a blend of two different style which are traditional Garhwal and Tibetan architecture style. The temple has a tall gate which is the entrance point and the pilgrims’ entrance from this gate and reach in the assembly hall, assembly hall is the place where the devotees gather and perform rituals, offer prayers and wait in the queue to take a glimpse of the deity of goddess Yamuna.

The temple has a sanctum sanctorum “Garbhagriha”, the focal point of the temple which houses the deity of goddess Yamuna. Here the idol of Yamuna is being worshipped, prayers, bhog, aarti all of the rituals are offered here.

History of the Yamunotri Temple

According to Hindu mythology, Yamunotri is the birthplace of Yamuna River which is considered a goddess in Hindu religion. It is also believed that goddess Yamuna is daughter of Surya (The Sun God) and Sanjna (the goddess of consciousness) and the River of Yamuna was descended from heaven to earth to purify the land.

According to ancient legends, Yamunotri was also the abode for the famous saint Asit Muni who was a very revered sage whose presence anoint this pristine land. It is also believed that many famous saints stayed here for very long time and used to meditate and perform penance here at Yamunotri.

Over the time, The Yamunotri Dham evolved into a pretty important and sacred pilgrimage destination, visited by thousands of devotees every year.

The temple of Yamunotri was constructed and built around the 19th century by the queen of Jaipur Maharani Guleria.

Yamunotri Weather

The weather in the Yamunotri region changes frequently throughout the year due to high altitude and mountainous terrain.

Summer (End April – June): The summer months are considered as a very great time to visit this temple as the weather during summer remain very pleasant and delightful. The temperature ranges around 10 – 20 in this time span.

Monsoon (July – Mid-September): The monsoon season is not good time to visit the Yamunotri Dham as the region of Yamunotri encounter heavy rainfalls and it causes road blockage and occasional landslides.

Autumn (Mid-September – Early – November): The autumn is another good season to visit the temple and seek blessings as the weather during autumn remain very pleasant and the environment also feels very cozy.

Winter (November – April):In winter season the valley witness very chilly weather and the temple of Yamunotri remain closed during this. The temperature remains near 0.

Opening and the Closing of Yamunotri temple

The temple of Yamunotri is closed for now in winter season and going to open on the 11th May 2024 for the summer season in chardham yatra of 2024.

The gates of Yamunotri temple usually opens around late April or Early May, making the beginning of the Chardham Yatra season. The exact date of opening Yamunotri varies each year as it is determined by the Hindu calendar. Before the opening the priests perform rituals to welcome the goddess.

The closing day of the Yamunitri temple typically occurs around late October or Mid-november, before the beginning of peak winter season. Again, the closing date is determined by the astrological calculations and it is announced by the priests of Yamunotri Temple.

Pooja Ceremonies at Yamunotri temple

Pratah Aarti (Morning Aarti): Performed in the early morning to mark that the temple is open for devotees to visit.

Parikrama: The devotees can also perform circumambulation around the temple complex to please the goddess Yamuna and seek blessings.

Yamuna Pooja: The special Pooja is also being conducted many times throughout the year, especially on some festivals like Yamuna Jayanti.

Sandhya Aarti: Performed during the evening to show the gratitude towards the goddess and seek blessings from here. Devotes can also witness this aarti and can also attend this ceremony.

Other Sightseeing places nearby Yamunotri Dham

There are several places around Yamunotri Dham the visitors can explore. Some of those are mentioned here:

Mussoorie: Mussoorie is a very popular hill station and is in the route to Yamunotri Dham. Tourists might consider this to explore.

Lakhamandal: This also a very famous place to visit, this place is connected to the epic Mahabharat. Pilgrims can also take this in their list to explore.

There are more places to explore which are: Surya Kund, Divya Shila, Janaki chatti, Hanuman Chatti, Dodital lake, Barkot, etc.

How to reach Yamunotri Dham

The devotees have to reach at Haridwar/Rishikesh/Dehradun first to start the tour to Yamunotri, after reaching Haridwar/Rishikesh/Dehradun pilgrims have to hire a local cab or also can take a bus to Janakichatti and have to halt for night and can start the trek to Yamunotri on next day.

By Air: The nearest airport to Yamunotri temple is Jolly grant airport of Dehradun which is 210 kms away and there are several cab available for Yamunotri visit.

By Rail: The nearest railway stations from Yamunotri temple are Haridwar railway station which is approximately 250 kms away, Rishikesh railway station is 240 kms, and Dehradun railway station is 180 kms away, after reaching at any of these, the pilgrims have to take a local cab or bus to visit Yamunotri temple.

By Road: The main cities which are the base to start Yamunotri yatra are well connected to most of the big cities of northern India. Pilgrims can come here from their own vehicle and can start the Yatra to visit Yamunotri temple.