One of the Dhams of Chhota Char Dham yatra, Yamunotri is revered as the origin of the Yamuna River. Nestled in the laps of Garhwali Himalayas, at the height of 3,293 meters above sea level, Yamunotri has natural elements to fascinate visitors with its views and spiritual charm.
Surrounded by undulating peaks, thermal springs, and Himalayan glaciers, it is a sacred home of sage Asti. Hindu devotees believe that a dip in the holy water of Yamuna can make death painless as it is the sister of God of Death, Yamaraj. From the pilgrims to the ones looking for a romantic destination and from adventure seekers to backpackers, Yamunotri in Uttarakhand appeals to all sorts of travelers.
The best time to visit Yamunotri is between the months of September and November. The weather remains cold all through the year, while the winter season is the most difficult. A visit during the Basant Panchami and Phool Devi festivals gives a peek inside the most colorful and joyful side of Yamunotri.
The holy temple of Gangotri was constructed by the King of Tehri, Naresh Sudershan Shah in 1839. Later on, the temple was reconstructed by the Maharani Gularia Devi of Jaipur in the late 19th century because a massive portion of it was damaged by an earthquake.
Situated 3 kilometers away from Yamunotri, Janki Chatti is famous for its hot water springs where people go to take a dip in the warm waters.
It is the major highlight of Yamunotri situated at a height of 3,030 meters on top of the Kalinda Parvat. The temple was built in the late 19th century housing a silver idol of the deity wrapped in garlands. A 6 kilometers long trek leads to the temple which is dotted with ratan jot, a herb that cures eye diseases.
13 kilometers from Yamunotri, Hanuman Chatti is situated on the foothills of Surya Kund. It is popular for boasting the confluence of Yamuna and Hanuman Ganga rivers. Numerous small temples are scattered all over the place.
It is believed that Sun God is the father of Goddess Yamuna and this hot water spring is dedicated to the same god. The water temperature of this spring remains at 1900 F. The visiting devotees often bring rice and potatoes wrapped in a cloth to cook in these waters.
Yamunotri is a remote area that is not directly connected to the rest of the country. Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airbase that connects Yamunotri with the rest of India. Joshimath is the nearest railhead from Yamunotri. Taxis and buses are easily accessible from both, airport and railway station.
Yamunotri has no dedicated airport but the nearest one is in Dehradun known as Jolly Grant Airport which is 198 kilometers away from the destination. Helicopter service, buses, and taxis are available from Dehradun to Yamunotri.
No train leads directly to Yamunotri but Rishikesh railway station is the nearest railhead from Yamunotri which is 211 kilometers away from the destination. The remaining distance can be covered by local buses and private taxis.
Yamunotri is not connected with any road directly; however, the nearest road stop is 122 kilometers away from Janki Chatti, known as Uttarkashi. From Janki Chatti, only 4 kilometers remain to cover by trekking up to the temple. Horses and palanquins are available at Janki Chatti for a ride to the temple.
The temperature in Yamunotri remains cold and chilly, so don’t forget to pack warm clothes. It is situated in a remote area where few government facilities are available hence, travel responsibly and keep the place clean.