first stopover for the Char Dham Yatra is the westernmost shrine
of Yamunotri in the Garhwal Himalayas. Dedicated to Goddess yamuna,
it is perched atop a flank of the Bandar Poonchh peak (3.165 mts.
Above sea level) and is situated opposite to Gangotri. The shrine
attracts devotees in large numbers from May to October.
Yamunotri is the source of the revered river yamuna which originates
from the Champasar Glacier lying 1 km ahead of the shrine, at
an altitude of 4,321 mts. Pilgrims do not frequently visit the
source of the river as it is not easily accessible.
Yamunotri finds a special mention in the Hindu mythology. According
to a legend, this secluded hilly spot was the home of an ancient
sage, Asit Muni. Among the major attractions of Yamunotri are
hot water springs nearby. Devotees prepare rice and potatoes to
offer at the shrine, by dipping them in these hot water springs,
tied in muslin cloth. The trek to Yamunotri is spectacular, dominated
by a panorama of rugged peaks and dense forest.
How to Reach:
Jolly Grant, 196 Kms. From Yamunotri via Dehradun
Rishikesh, 219 kms. & Dehradun, 172 kms.
Dharasu, 107 Kms. Tehri, 107 Kms. Rishikesh, 213 Kms. & Dehradun,
From Rishikesh, a 205 kms. Journey by road takes one to Hanumanchatti.
From here, the remaining 14 kms. Trek is covered on foot or on
ponies. Palanquins, Horses and porters are also available on hire.
Pass Kempty falls 75 kms. On the Mussoorie - Yammnotri road lies
Lakhamandal. Legend has is that the Kaurvas made a shelter house
and conspired to bum the Pandavas alive here.
One of the important thermal springs known for its very high temperature
of 190 f. Pilgrims cook rice and potatoes here to offer to deity
in the temple.
A huge rock pillar venerated before entering the Yamunotri Temple.
Jankichatti (6 Kms).
The theral springs here offer a spectacular sight and a refreshing
bath for the pilgrims.
Hanumanchatti (14 Kms.)
The confluence of Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna river forms the starting
point for the scenic Dodi Tal trek. (Rishikesh - Barkot - Hanumanchatti
- Yamunotri - hanumanchatti - Darvatop - Dodital - Agora - Uttarkashi
- Rishikesh). Porters. Ponies and Palanquines are available for
the journey to Yamunotri. Their rates are fixed by District Magistrate
before the start of every Yatra season.
Sayanachatti (18 Kms.)
A scenic spot along the bank of river yamuna that makes a lovely
sight enrouted the trek up to Yamunotri.
Chamba (158 Kms)
A sylvan spot on way to Tehri that offers an excellent view of
the Himalayan peaks. Situated at an altitude of 1,676 mts. Above
sea level, Chamba is an ideal summer retreat.