The Yamunotri temple is located on the western side of the Garhwal Himalayas in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. The temple is located at 3,293 meters above sea level, Yamunotri, stands with its glaciers, enormous mountain peaks, and gushing waters of Yamuna. River Yamuna, the second most holy river of India, originates from Yamunotri, making it one of the holy sites in the Chota Char Dham yatra in Uttarakhand.
Surrounded by the Himalayas, Yamunotri temple is believed to be built by the King of Tehri, Naresh Sudarshan Shah in 1839. Yamuna River fell down from one side of the temple, which is the place of Goddess Yamuna in the form of a black marble idol. Ganga Devi sits on a white stone, by the side of Yamuna.
Moreover, the temple of Yamuna closes after Diwali, on Yama Dwitiya the second day after Diwali or Bhai Dooj. It is said that Devi’s winter address is Kharsali Village where she reaches in a palanquin and will remain for the entire period of winter. And on Akshaya tritya, in April or May, the goddess comes back to the Yamunotri temple again.
It is believed that the goddess Yamuna is said to be the daughter of the Sun and the twin sister of Yama, who is the god of death. In Vedas, this is mentioned that Yamuna is called Yami, the lady of life. A dive in the holy waters of Yamuna is said to wash all the sins of an individual and protect them from a painful death. with having such strong associations in Hindu mythology place Yamuna Devi goddess in high ranks of divinity.
However, the River Yamuna originates from the Yamunotri glacier which rises up to 6315 meters above sea level, and it lies at a steep slope just below the top of the Kalind peak, from where the Yamuna River falls down into the Saptarishi Kund and from there towards the southwards in a series of waterfalls. On the west side, there is Kalind Mountain which is located at Banderpoonch, is a dominant mountain in the central Himalayan area of Garhwal and divides the watershed of Yamuna from the Ganges, hence, coming out from Kalind mountains, the Yamuna River is also called Kalindi.
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According to the mythology, Lord Hanuman created a fire on his tail after burning down the Ravan’s Lanka in the hilly waters of Yamuna at Banderpoonch, which is why this mountain peak is called Bander (monkey) Pooch means tail meanwhile, the monkey’s tail. Another legend sees Yamunotri as the monastery of ancient sage Asit Muni, the Muni used to bathe in both the River Ganga and Yamuna, but in his old age times, he couldn’t travel to Gangotri because of an old age-related issue. After realizing his problem, a water stream of Ganga starts to flow beside Yamuna.
How to reach?
BY AIR- the nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport, Dehradun, to Gangotri. One can hire a private cab or take a bus.
BY TRAIN- Regular trains to Haridwar and Dehradun are available across the year.
BY BUS- the Motorable roads end at Janki Chatti and from there need to do a tough trek measuring up to 6/5 km to the holy shrine of Yamuna Devi. Buses and taxis are available from important places like Rishikesh, Uttarkashi, Dehradun, Tehri, and Barkot.