Located at an altitude of 3180 meters in the Himalayan mountain range of Uttarakhand is the shrine of Yamunotri. Yamunotri is of paramount importance to Hindu pilgrims and is famous for its thermal springs and glaciers. Yamunotri is a part of the much revered Chardham yatra which includes Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath as well. Yamunotri is the source of the Yamuna river which is regarded as holy in Hindu religious texts. A temple dedicated to Yamunotri exists in the western Garhwal region of Uttarakhand at an altitude of 3,291 metres. This temple was built in the early 19th century by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur.
The actual source a frozen lake of ice & glacier (Champasar glacier) located on the Kalind mountain at the height of 4421 m above sea level, about 1 km further up, is not frequented generally as it is not accessible and hence the shrine has been located on the foot of the hill. The approach is extremely difficult and pilgrims therefore offer pooja at the temple itself.
For the tourist Yamunotri has several places to offer apart from the actual temple in the near vicinity. So if you are going there, what all should you plan to see?
The main attraction at Yamunotri is the temple dedicated to Goddess Yamuna and the holy thermal Sulphur springs, almost 7 km away at Jankichatti. The trudge from Hanuman Chatti to Yamunotri is very pleasing with striking visions of number of cascades.
Saptarishi Kund is often regarded as the origin of river Yamuna. Saptarishi Kund is located at an altitude of 4421 meters. With a rare display of the Brahma Lotus which is only found in the Himalayan ranges and water banks full of pebbles Saptarishi Kund is a visual treat to your eyes. However before going here it is extremely important that you spend a day at Yamunotri ensuring familiarization to the climatic conditions. The ascent to Saptarishi Kund is roughly 1000 meters in a vertical climb and not a cake walk! One can get spectacular alpine meadow views of the glacial lake on Kalinda Parvat which are absolutely surreal!
There are a number of thermal springs in the vicinity of the temple which flows into numerous pools. The most important of these is Surya Kund.
It is a powerful rock pillar located near the Surya Kund, Divya Shila presents a ethereal feeling to the devotees. It is conventional that all the devotees should make poojas here at Divya Shila before they enter Yamunotri.
13 km from Yamunotri, the confluence of Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna rivers from where the trek to Dodi Tal (3,307mt)starts. A six hours climb through the lustrous meadows and the woody hills enjoying the aromatic fragrance of the Himalayan shrubs provides one with sheer amusement.
Kharsali presents exciting surroundings and lovely ambiance to the picnickers. A quaint with lots of thermal springs and pretty cascades, Kharsali is one of the most renowned tourist location in this region. A mind-blowing meadow where Oak and conifers trees surrounds the environ, Kharsali presents natures beauty at its zenith.
It is a small town located on the way to Yamunotri, just 49 kilometers away. Barkot have one of the ancient temple and ideal for meditation.
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