Yamunotri is a sacred place for Hindu religion and is Mata Yamuna is believed to reside in Yamunotri. Yamuna River originates from Yamunotri. Yamunotri is located in Garhwal district in Uttrakhand at an elevation of 3293m. It is considered a holy place and one of the four destinations of Char Dham Yatra in India. There is a temple devoted to Yamuna Mata in Yamunotri along with a hot water spring at Janki Chatti.
The original Temple of Yamunotri was built by Maharani Guleria of Jaipur. The temple was rebuilt by Maharani in 19th century and the current temple is of new origin. The weather attributed most to the demolition of earlier construction. There is confusion about who built the temple of Yamunotri but as the sources say, the temple was constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal.
The actual source of Holy River Yamuna is a frozen lake of ice and glacier known as Champasar Glacier. The glacier is located at an altitude of 4421m on the Kalind Mountain. The holy shrine has been located on the foot hill as the actual site is inaccessible and offerings and prayers are done at the temple only. The hot spring of water located near the temple is known as Surya Kund. The Divya Shila near the Surya Kund is worshipped before the Pooja in the temple. Pilgrims prepare rice and potatoes tied in muslin cloth as offerings. The pujaris at Yamunotri temple come from the nearby village Kharsali.
Palanquins and even horses are available on rent from Hanuman Chatti to Yamunotri Temple. There are two routes to Yamunotri temple, one via Markendya Tirth and the other one via Kharsali. Markendya Tirth is famous because Markendya Purana was completed here by Sage Markendya.
The most ancient legend tells us about Sage Asti Muni. He bathed at Yamunotri all his life in the holy water of Yamuna and Ganga. He was unable to visit Gangotri because of his old age. The temple opens on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritya. Akshaya Tritya comes every year either in last week of April or first week of May. The temple remains closed from the day of Diwali. The temple area is a no-man land during the winters and is covered with blanket of white ice. The temple re-opens on Akshaya Tritya and witness thousands of pilgrims.
If you are planning to visit Yamunotri Dham, the following destinations might be of your interest