YAMNOTRI – The origin of River Yamuna

In the continuation of my last post “Scenic Spots on the way to Divine Yatra YAMNOTRI”. Next day morning we got up at 5 AM to get ready for the trekking of Yamnotri which is about 6 Km. from Jannki Chatti. It was still raining since last night so we were in the dilemma to go or not as our kids were also there with us. We decided to get ready and if rain stops we all would go other wise my Brother-in-law& I will leave. As it was quite difficult to go till Yamnotri temple when it was raining. By the time we got ready around 6 AM, my sister came to our room & informed that it stopped raining. We all felt happy as we were thinking that reaching so close to our destination we all won’t be able to have the Darshan of Maa Yamnotri but by Maa’s grace our wish was fulfilled & we all proceeded towards Yamnotri at 6.30 AM.


Introduction of River Yamuna

River Yamuna with a total length of around 1,370 kilometers, is the largest tributary of the Ganges in northern India. Yamuna is considered the most sacred among all the rivers as per Hindu mythology. It flows through the states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, before merging with the Ganges at Allahabad. The cities of Delhi, Mathura and Agra lie on its banks.

Yamuna River

The history says that, Yamuna is the consort of Lord Shri Krishna. Gokula, the divine abode of the Lord is the home of Yamuna. It is that, the river first went round Shri Krishna before descending down to earth as per the order of her Lord. River Yamuna came to be called as “Kalindi”as it touched the peak of Kalind. Then it descended down the hills and reached the plains at Khandav Vana which has been developed as Delhi city now.

Janki Chatti

YAMNOTRI is located at Uttarkashi district of Uttrakhand at a height of 3293 meters above sea level on the western range of Banderpunch Mountain surrounded by Himalayan which gives scenic view. On the way you will find river Yamuna & the falls. It is one of the holiest pilgrimages of Chardahm yatra. The temple is dedicated to river Yamuna.

Ready for Trek

According to the legends, it is the daughter of the Sun God, Surya and the sister of Yama, the God of Death. The Goddess is believed to have come down from the heavens to sanctify the world. According to ancient beliefs it is said that those who take a dip in the holy waters of the river do not fear death.

Source of Yamnotri

Yamuna is most revered river in India after Ganga. The best time to visit this place is during May to September . During winters the whole place is covered under the snow that time Yamuna is worshiped in Village kharsali. The priests of yamnotri comes from the same village Kharsali which is about 1 Km from jannki chatti. They are the administrators of the sacred place and perform religious rites.

Zig Zag Trek

According to the legend ancient sage Asit Muni had his hermitage here. All his life, he bathed daily both in Ganga and Yamuna. Unable to go to Gangotri during his old age, a stream of Ganga appeared opposite Yamunotri for him.

By the time we were enjoying tea Varnika & Swarika enjoying sitting near fire

The temple and the place opens every year on the auspicious day of the Akshaya Tritya, which generally falls during the last week of April, or the first week of May. The temple always closes on the sacred day of Diwali in mid October – 1st week of November, with a brief ceremony. The temple staff return to their villages and for the rest of the time the valley is gripped in no man silence and covered with white sheet of snow. With melting of snow next summer, temple re-opens to blissful happiness of thousands of visitors again.

Bhairav Devta Temple on the way to Yamnotri

There seems to be a confusion as to who built the temple of Yamunotri. However according to sources, the temple was originally constructed by King of Tehri , Pratap Shah in 1919. Some says the original temple was built by the Maharani Gularia of Jaipur in last decade of 19th century. The Yamuna like Ganga has been elevated to the status of divine mother for the Hindus and has been held responsible for nurturing and developing the Indian civilization.

Half way (last 3 kms Step trek)

The path are narrow and due care is necessary while treading on these paths especially while passing past to the moving ponies and dandies. The trek from Janki chatti to Yamunotri is steep. Though only six kilometer, is very strenuous. The natural beauty pays the dividends. Gradually large glaciers become apparent. Here from Bandarpoonch peak Yamuna comes out.

Yamnotri trek

Worth to see the following places

Yamnotri Temple : The Main Temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna , who is represented by a black marble idol.

Yamnotri Temple

Divya Shila : Out side the main temple near Surya Kund there is a shila called Divya Shila, which is worshiped before Puja is offered to Goddess Yamuna.

Divya shila

Surya Kund There are five kunds (thermal springs) known as SURYA KUND , TAPTH KUND , JAMUNA KUND, VISHNU KUND & BHRAM KUND.

Jamuna Kund

Tapth Kund

Surya Kund is is the most important kund , Devotees prepare rice and potatoes to offer at the shrine by dipping them in Surya Kund , tied in muslin cloth. Rice so cooked is taken back home as Prasad.

Surya Kund

Sapthrishi kund : The actual source of Yamuna , Saptrishi Kund lies above 10 kms ahead at an altitude of about 4221 meters above the sea leavel. The approach is extremely difficult hence pilgrims offer puja at the temple itself. Saptrishi kund is known for the rare Brahma Lotus.

On the way back towards jannki Chatti

After Darshan we reached Jannki Chatti & started our journey for Gangotri.

Jannki Chatti

Next post “Scenic spots on the way to Divine Yatra Gangotri” will be in next couple of days.

Swarika :-)

kahin dhoop Kahin Chaya yeh hai prabhu ki maya

HAPPY GHUMAKKARI !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • GSK says:

    Very nicely written post…Looks very nice place… How is road condition & staying options & cost ?

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Thanks Shalini for going thru the post & liking it.

      The Road condition is good. There are many Private hotels in the range of Rs. 500/- to Rs. 700/- & GMVN Hotels are slightly costly as compare to Private hotels (approx. Rs. 1200/-).

      Due to the lack of good restaurants , food could be a problem. Its my suggestion , lodging could be done in any private hotels but for food prefer GMVN.

  • travellers says:

    Hi Mahesh,

    A great piece on Yamunotri indeed. The article gives an interesting insight into the mythological background.
    Can you please tell about accessibility of Janaki Chatti during Nov-Dec. How are the roads during that period?
    Congrats again for a fascinating write-up.
    Awaiting your next post.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Aurojit,

      Thanks for your kind words. Best time to visit the Char Dham is May-June or Sep. – Oct. , after Diwali the temples are closed.

  • Sahil says:

    Hi Mr. Mahesh ,
    Very nice informative post with great supporting pictures.


  • Ram Dhall says:

    Mahesh ji,

    Dhanya hain aap. Sitting at home, you have not only taken us for the “Sakshaat Darshan” of Yamnotri, the temples, the kunds, but have also so meticulously explained the mythological background and the traditions.
    And on top of it, the brilliant pictures have added to the beauty of the description.

    Thank you for sharing the experience.

    Your next post is being awaited.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Ram Sir,

      Thanks for your Golden words.

      Getting appreciation from you , matters a lot to me.

  • Ritu says:

    Dear Mahesh,

    The description is very informative and amazing just like the pictures. Written simply and precise.

    Your post is really helpful in planning out the trip. Awaiting more of your posts.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Ritu,

      Pleasure is all mine.

      If you think that my post will be helpful for planning the trip then I have done my job up to an extant.

      Next post will be in next couple of days.

  • Tarun Talwar says:

    Mahesh Ji,

    Thanks for the post. I heard the govt doesn’t allow trekking up to Yamunotri any more. is that true?

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Tarun,

      Government is not allowing trekking up to Goumukh because of Global warming, Now they are stopping around 3 Kms before Goumukh. Yamnotri no problem.

  • Wow! what a beautiful piece of article – informative with beautiful descriptions – and really very beautiful pictures.

    Tapth kund – Was the water hot there ? We can see some vapours there and also name seems to give a hint.

    Its a pleasure that the kids also get to enjoy the trek. BTW is it on the whole path that the trek been so well laid, with seemingly good tar road and railings.

    The only other thing that come to my mind is how dirty Yamuna becomes when it comes till Delhi. Somewhere there is a lack of will, else is it possible that the river remains dirty? I pity us, as I feel that we are responsible for making the rivers dirty whom we consider like our beloved Mother.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Manish,

      Thanks for linking the post.

      Yes there is hot water (Sulphere Water) in tapth Kund.

      Ya whole path is well laid with railing. My both the kids enjoyed trekking so much that they are charged for next year for Badrinath & Kedarnath ( 14 Kms. trek).

  • nandanjha says:

    Thank You Mahesh.

    for me the best part was getting the pics of the trek route :-). As you know, we were planing and the thought of doing the last 6 KMs trek sort of made us more anxious since my daughter is of 5 years.

    And big thanks for such a thorough and simple description of Yamuna. You are learning a lot from Professor :-)

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      pleasure is all mine.

      Don’t worry trek is good ,my six year old daughter (younger one) done very comfortably.

      Ya I am learning little bit from Professor Sab , Mr. Ram Dhall , You and some other ghumakkar friends. :-)

  • Onil Gandhi says:

    dear mahesh … what a trek I wish I too go for one…

    the pic “kahin dhoop Kahin Chaya yeh hai prabhu ki maya” is good.

    interesting read

    keep sharing

    onil gandhi

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Dear Onil,

      Thanks a lot for going through the post & liking it. I am working on my next post Scenic spots on the way to Gangotri, will be published max. by Sunday. I hope you will like it.:-)

  • praveen Chandola says:

    Very Nice post Sir. I miss Garhwal and tracking in Garhwal

  • Rajendra Tewari says:

    Bbahut sunder vyakhya kee hai aap ne, badhai- Maa Yamuna aap ko sukhi rakhen. Chardham Yatra main Yamnotri ke bare main longon ko kai tarah ki bhrantiyan hain aasha hai aap ka lekh unhe maa Yamuna ke Darshan ke liye prerit karega . Kharshali Goan main ek prachin panch manjila Shani Mandir hai jo Wood aur Stone se bana hua hain esamain koi Keel ( NAIL ) nahi lagi hai . Yamnotri Dham main uparmandir ke sath ek Hanuman Ji ka prachin Mandir hai , Jankichatti main Yamuna Ji ke kinare Ek Janaki Ji ka bahut sunder mandir hai. Punah badhai.

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Dear Rajendra,

    Thanks a lot for for your kind words.

  • i found this site from my friends website http://www.corbetttigerreserve.com and felt this is an amazing site. this article is so nice and pictures are ausome

  • Sishir says:

    Very nicely written Mahesh. Planning to go there soon. After rain in 2010, people say that the road has become pathetic after Dharasu.

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Thanks Sishir for liking the post. Plan your trip either in Mayt/June or Sep. /Oct..

  • SUPERB Maheshjee…………………………………………….

  • Raghav says:

    Dear Semwal ji

    I really would like to thank you because you have not even make it possible for those who couldnt visit such a beautiful ,peace religious place also they can understand the background of the place.

    Beautiful pictures ….really amazing.

    Raghav Dangwal

  • prem khanal says:

    thanks a lot for presenting many details about yamuna with its background and all. we aspect a lot many in future if you happen to visit any other places.

  • thanks for ur valuable guidance :) my parents are leaving for yamunotri and I wanted to know the details. very helpful post :)

  • Rawat R says:

    Very informative and nicely written. From road travel perspective, could not find much information in other other web source. Plan to go there sometime soon. Wish you do many more such journeys and enlighten others with your travelogue.

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