Located on an elevation of 4,421 metres above sea level within the lush greenery of the Garhwal Himalaya region of Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand this temple as the name suggests, is dedicated to goddess Yamuna. This is one of the rare temples in India that is dedicated to this goddess, and it is also an extremely crucial part of the char dham yatra of Uttarakhand. Sitting delicately on the flank of a ridge against the backdrop of the cascading waterfalls and rolling green meadows, this temple is the starting point of the char dham yatra here. Surrounded by a number of naturally occurring thermal hot water springs the source of this river is the Champasar glacier which is inaccessible due to its narrowness. The idol of the presiding deity is made out of black marble and is visited by a throng of devotees every year. The temple was constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal during the 1839 century and was then rebuilt by Maharani Guleria of Jaipur during the 19th century. The temple offers a magnificent and a colorful contrast to its normally green and brown surroundings. Ever since its establishment by the great saint Adi Shankaracharya this place has attracted a huge throng of tourists from far and wide who are in search of spirituality.
History of the Temple
There are two most popular legends related to the establishment of this temple which are as follows:
- As per the religious Hindu legends, Goddess Yamuna is the daughter of Surya dev or sun god and Saranyu who is the goddess of consciousness along with being the sister if Yama – the god of death. This is the reason why the people believe that offering their prayer to goddess Yamuna will also garner them the blessings from the other gods as well. The devotees also make it a point that taking a holy dip in the water of river Yamuna because they think that doing so will ward off the fear of mortality or death.
- Another legend tells the tale of a prolific sage of his times, Asit Muni, who lived his entire life as a hermit in these regions. Every day as a rule he used to take bath in both the holy rivers of Ganga as well as Yamuna. As he grew older his age-related problems did not allow him to travel to these two places every day. The river gods were pleased with the sage small streams of rivers Ganga and Yamuna appeared opposite to each other in front of the sage and in close proximity to the river Yamuna.
Opening and Closing Dates
The temple just like every other dham of Uttarakhand remains shut down for 6 months and is operational for the remaining 6 months with the dham yatra traditionally goes from west to East i.e kick starting from Yamunotri dham and commencing at Kedarnath.
Opening Dates: Just like most of the dham sites of Uttarakhand, Yamunotri dham opens up on the holy eve of Akshaya tritiya that generally takes place either during the end of April or the beginning of May.
Closing Dates: With the onset of the winter months the temple kapat shuts down for darshan during the auspicious day of Bhai Dooj, after Diwali, which takes place during the months of either late October or early November.
Winter Abode: During the winter time when the temple becomes inaccessible to the pilgrims for darshan, the idols of the presiding deity is shifted to its winter home in a temple that is locate in Kharsali at a distance of just 20 minutes of walking distance from the main dham of Yamunotri. Devotees continue to offer their prayer and rituals to the idol here as a part of their winter char dham yatra.
Accommodation Facilities in Yamunotri
01. Yamunotri Cottages: Situated in the pristine region of Janki Chatti, this resort sits majestically against the snow clad Himalayas and beautiful meadows. The rooms at this cottage offers the guests an opportunity to stay in well-furnished rooms that will provide you with the experience of the ultimate Swiss tents, with attached washrooms.
- The dining facility here offers multi-cuisine dishes that are pure vegetarian along with a seasonal drink upon the arrival of the guests.
- The spacious dining halls allow you to enjoy a lavish buffet style of meals.
- On a daily basis for the entire duration of your stay you will be provided with a bottle of mineral water.
- Along with an efficient laundry service you will also be able to get the services of a doctor on call in case of any medical emergencies.
02. Durga Resort: Situated in Syana Chatti in close proximity to the main temple if Yamunotri the resort offers its guest to stay under comfortable situations along with some basic amenities. Every balcony in this pristine hotel offers some of the most magnificent views of the surrounding Himalayas.
- Every room in the hotel is fitted with the latest basic amenities like double beds, tables and bottled water bottles.
- Every washroom in the hotel comes with running hot and cold water.
- In case you decide to travel by road in your own car then you will be provided with a safe and secure parking lot inside the premises.
- To offer extreme comfort and leisure you will be provided with an efficient room service.
03. Yamunotri River Bank Resort: Located at a distance of just 25 kms from the main temple of Yamunotri this river bank resort is set amongst the perfect tranquility of the area. This place is the perfect opportunity for you to just kick back, relax and even do some yoga activities to achieve some peace of mind. The tents here are of luxurious nature and allows you to have a comfortable stay.
- You have the accessibility to travel to the nearby villages for rejuvenating yourself like Kharsali, Lakhamandal, Moli and Purola.
- There is a multi-cuisine dining facility here which provides you with fulfilling and delectable vegetarian delicacies like south Indian, Gujarati and Garhwali foods.
- Every room comes with facilities like shower, TV, private bathroom, fan, running hot and cold water etc.
- Along with the vital facility of doctor on call there is also the crucial facility of internet accessibility as well as a secure parking facility.
01. Hotel Ganga Yamuna Tourist Complex: Situated at a mere distance of 15 kms from the main dham of Yamunotri every hotel in this hotel complex comes with a balcony that offers some of the most mind-blowing views of the surroundings. This hotel consists of 27 immaculate rooms spread across two floors. The hotel offers some of the most panoramic views of the surroundings.
- Every room at this hotel comes with a desk and a private bathroom along with a running hot and cold water.
- The beds are well made, hygienic and comfortable with warm and cozy blankets and pillows that will make you feel like you are just at home.
- Every guest in the hotel comes with a proper luggage storage facility where they can store their luggage and extra baggage.
- The hotel also serves as a base for further treks and hikes to the nearby tourist attractions of not only the Yamunotri temple but also the Dodital Lake and Kharsali.
02. Hotel Himdarshan: From Dehradun railway station this hotel is situated at a distance of 138 kms in Barkot which is an important pilgrimage town for people visiting the holy Yamunotri dham. Each room at this hotel comes with a comfortable bed, a spacious wardrobe and a completely equipped bathroom with toiletries complete with running hot and cold water supply.
- The hotel comes with a restaurant that serves a delicious range of food items from its purely vegetarian menu.
- You will be provided with a safe and secure car parking service in case you are travelling in your own mode of transportation.
- You will be able to avail the room service facilities that function as an add on feature and allows you to have a luxurious stay at this hotel.
- The 24-hour front desk service here caters to all your needs and requirement at any time of the day and lets you have a stay that is comfortable and tension free.
03. Aditya Palace: Situated in the holy pilgrimage town of Barkot close to the main temple of Yamunotri, this hotel offers a comfortable and a deluxe stay at a budget price. In order to make your stay comfortable every bed in the rooms here comes with a warm and cozy set of bedding. The attached washroom here is also neat and hygienic along with 24 hours of running hot and cold water.
- There is an ample parking space available which allows you to park your vehicle in a safer manner.
- The hotel offers restaurant facilities along with a range of menus that savours your taste buds.
- There is an efficient room service facility available which allows you to have a luxurious stay under comfortable surroundings.
- Every room comes with an LCD TV and the service of a doctor on call along with a 24 our electricity back up service.
Government Accommodation Facilities
01. Gmvn Janki Chatti Tourist Rest House: This budget government rest house serves as the base camp for the trekking further to Yamunotri dham. This place is the middle point of the trekking journey to Yamunotri and can now be accessed via shared jeeps and cabs. The rooms here are extremely comfortable and are loaded with the basic amenities.
- The hotel allows you to travel to some nearby sightseeing destinations where you can have a closer look at the village life.
- This rest house comes with a restaurant offering some delicious vegetarian food items that is flavourful and delectable.
- In case you need some immediate medical attention then you will be able to avail the doctor on call service here.
- Every room here comes with an attached bathroom which offers both hot and cold running water.
02. Gmvn Hanuman Chatti: This government rest house is considered to be a cheap accommodation facility which provides a comfortable stay option to the pilgrims travelling to Yamunotri dham. You can choose from the options of either economy or dormitory service for your stay period. Each room is clean, hygienic and carefully sanitized to offer you a pleasant stay.
- Every room comes with an attached washroom which serves 24 hours of running hot and cold water.
- You can also avail the facility of room service which will give you a feeling of luxury at the best rates.
- The rest house also comes with a completely vegetarian restaurant offering some delicious range of food items.
- The bedding and mattresses provided in both rooms as well as dormitories are clean, comfortable and warm.
03. Gmvn Phool Chatti: As the name suggests Phool Chatti consists of and incredible collection of fragrant flowers that is filled in this area and this GMVN rest house allows you to have a soulful and a pleasant stay here. At the cheapest prices you can stay in luxurious and comfortable conditions without any hassles. If you are looking to rejuvenate at the cheapest rates then this is the place to be.
- Every room comes with a hygienic and clean attached washroom which gives the continuous supply of hot and cold water.
- There is also a restaurant available here offering delicious vegetarian food items that is extremely delicious.
- You can go on some sightseeing expeditions of the nearby villages and tourist hot spots of religious relevance.
- You will be able to choose from staying at either a deluxe bedroom or a dormitory option which is in fact even cheaper than the room itself.