The Yamunotri Temple dedicated to Goddess Yamuna is present in the Uttarkashi district of the state of Uttarakhand near the Indo-China border. The Yamunotri Temple is a first stop of the Chhota Char Dham Yatra of the State of Uttarakhand. The other three stops being Gangotri, Badrinath, and Kedarnath.
The temple is opened for public viewing on the Akshaya Tritiya (usually occurs in May) and is closed on the event of Yama Dwitiya which falls on the second day after Diwali. In architectural terms, the temple is constructed in the Nagar style. The temple is built with Granite stones that have been obtained from the surrounding mountains.
What is the history of Yamunotri Temple?
The history of Yamunotri Dham has connections with sage Asti Muni. The Sage took bath daily in both the River Ganga and the Yamuna during his early life. However, as he started growing old, he was unable to reach Gangotri to take a dip in Ganga.
Impressed by his belief, Goddess Ganga emerged as a stream next to River Yamuna to assist the Sage in continuing his daily rituals. According to beliefs, Tehri Naresh Sudarshan Shah constructed the original Yamunotri Temple. An earthquake in the region destroyed the temple.
However, Maharaja Gularia of Jaipur rebuilt the Yamunotri Temple in the latter half of 19th century.
What is the significance of Yamunotri Temple?
The significance of Yamunotri Temple is that various Puranas mention that taking a bath in Yamuna washes away one’s sins and grants them a place in heaven. Moreover, devotees believe that the color of the river is black because it absorbed the pain of Shiva after the death of Sati.
It is considered a must for all the pilgrims to cook a handful of rice and potatoes in a muslin cloth at the hot water sulphur spring of Surya Kund. This is considered as a “Prasadam” which is meant as a spiritual cleanser. The temple has a main conical shaped minaret under which the main deity of Goddess Yamuna presides. The idol itself is made of polished ebony marble with detailed carvings. She is sitting atop a turtle, the representation of Goddess Yamuna in ancient scriptures.
A white stone idol of Goddess Ganga stands beside her. All the offerings are made to a silver form of Goddess Yamuna. The silver idol is a representation of the original stone idol. The idol is about 1 feet tall and has four arms. Yamunotri Temple is one of the Char dham yatra destinations of Uttarakhand.
What are the timings of Yamunotri Temple?
Here are the timings of Yamunotri Temple:
|Open||6 AM||8 PM|
|Afternoon Break||12:00 PM||2 PM|
|Morning Aarti||6:30 AM|
|Evening Aarti||7:30 PM|
What is the dress code for Yamunotri Temple?
Even though the Yamunotri Temple opens during summer, the region experiences cold weather. Pilgrims should wear and carry sweaters, jackets, woolen socks, scarves, and gloves (especially for children). It is advised to keep an Umbrella in hand while taking a tour of the Char Dham Yatra destinations in Uttarakhand.
What are the festivals celebrated at Yamunotri Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Yamunotri Temple are:
- Basant Panchami – The day of Basant Panchami indicates the arrival of Spring as well as end of the Winter months. The festival is takes place with the arrangement of various colorful cultural programs and offerings of Poojas by the common people to the deity. The people also wear customary yellow colored dresses and accessories on this day.
- Phool Dei – This festival occurs on the first day of March. Young girls and children of the community visit and gift the neighboring houses with a bag or a plate of flowers, rice, jaggery, and coconut. People consider it as a goodwill gesture.
- Olgia – The unique festival occurs in August and commemorates the harvesting season and abundant agricultural produce. It is also popular as the Ghee Sankranti. People adorn their forehead with Ghee and consume also Dal Chappatis with Ghee.
How to reach Yamunotri Temple?
Here’s how to reach Yamunotri Temple:
- Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. It is present 210 km away from the temple.
- Train: The nearest railway station is Dehradun (175 km) followed by Rishikesh (200km).
- Road: Buses are available from major cities in Uttarakhand like Rishikesh, Dehradun, Tehri, Barkot etc to Yamunotri Temple.
Where to stay near Yamunotri Temple?
Some of the places where one can stay near Yamunotri Temple are:
- Yamunotri Cottages: This cottage in Yamunotri offers a breakfast facility to its guests during their stay. Yamunotri Cottages provides a television with cable connection, direct-dial phone, air-conditioner, make-up mirror, newspaper, tea/coffee maker, welcome amenities, doctor-on-call, ensuite bathroom with hot and cold running water, bottled drinking water as well as a wardrobe.
- Durga Resort: This accommodation in Yamunotri has 12 well-maintained and spacious guestrooms. Some in-room amenities include drinking water and attached bathroom with hot as well as cold running water supply. Durga Resort also has various facilities that include a luggage storage space and parking area. Additionally, conveniences like room service and laundry are also available.
- Hotel Classic Hill View: The hotel has 24 rooms, each of them with bottled drinking water, min-bar,television, wardrobe as well as complimentary toiletries.
What are some temples near Yamunotri Temple?
Some of the temples near Yamunotri Temple are:
- Lakhamandal: The historic place is located 71 km away from Yamunotri. This place holds significance in the great Mahabharata epic. Devotees also believe it to be the place where Duryodhana built a lac palace for Pandavas and planned to kill them by burning it to the ground.
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Uttarkashi: It is one of the most sacred temples in Uttarakhand, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is present on the banks of river Bhagirathi and is one of the Char Dham Yatra destinations within Uttarakhand. Further, the Shiva lingam here is 56cm in height and has a tilt towards South.
- Shani temple: The temple is located at the picturesque town of Kharsali. The temple is for the God of Saturn or Shani Devta. Also, the temple is an old three-storey structure. Shani resides in the uppermost floor of the shrine. He is the brother of Goddess Yamuna. This is also the temple where the Goddess stays during the winter months.
- Laxminarayan Temple: The temple is located at Barkot. As the name says, the temple is for Lord Vishnu. Also, devotees believe that the Pandavas built it themselves.