Yamunotri Temple

Yamunotri Temple, Uttarkashi: Tickets, Tours, Address, Yamunotri Temple Review: 5/5

Yamunotri Temple
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More than 3 hours
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Very good

Mumbai (Bombay), India27 contributions
Pilgrimage to 4 Holy Places ( Charr Dham)
Oct 2019
As the names refer to 4 distinct Holy Places of India , popularly known as "Char Dham" , destination of sacred temples of Hindus . However, it is open to all who have a pious and pure mind to visit and seek divine blessings of Supreme God.
Yamunotri is located on the western side of Uttarakhand state at a height of 3415 metres (i.e. 11,200 feet) above the sea level. It is about 230 KMs from Haridwar , deep into the Himalayas. Janaki Chatti is place from where you have to climb 6 KMs up hill. You can walk, take a pony, or a palki - four persons carrying you or in basket seat carried by local person. Charges vary for each mode and on weight of person. Climb takes nearly 3 hours normally if you take help of pony etc. otherwise on foot you may take 5 hours to reach the temple dedicared to Mother Jamani ( or Yamuna) . There is hot spring tank for bathing for men and separately for women. The temple has hot water sprouting and also cold water from river Yamuna . Source of river Yamuna is still 1.5 Kms up in the hills at a height off 4321 metres. Origin of river is from the Chamsar glaciers. It is very hazardous to climb to glacier point . Advisable to take guide with you for trekking. Yamuna is a very important river flows down the Himalayas and through Delhi and meets Ganges at Allahabad in Uttarpradesh State after flowing for 800 miles. To reach Yamunori from Haridwar , it takes two days with overnight halts at Barkot .
Next stop is Gangotri - Maa Ganga / Ganges flows down from the Glaciers which is located at disance of 26 KMs up in the Himalayas , known as "Go Mukh" , mouth of Ganges. This is now restricted entry and permission required to visit. Ganges is a one of the most turbulent river of the world and it is a source of immense livlihood of Indian population and flows from origin to sea at Bay of Bengal , travelling a distance of over 1500 miles. An estimated 500 million people live along the banks of river Ganges. Ganges at Gangotri is called Bhagirathi river , named after King Bhagirath who did pennance and sought Lord Shiva to hold Ganges on his head when it descended on the earth from heavens. There is a beautiful temple made of white granite of Maa Ganga and her golden idol is all pervasive, serene and living force of sacredness embodying river in its all glory. Mighty river is roaring , foaming white , icy cold water and devotees offer prayers . You should also visit Suraj Kund and Gauri Kund and see as Ganges drops through mountains, boulders, cascading and full of energy , vibrating , roaring downhill. Great to watch . There are rest houses , resorts etc. and a lot of saints abound this surrounding . Winter is severe and people leave this place around November and come back around May every year.
Kedarnath temple is located at a height of 3553 metres and it is 240 Kms. from Uttarkashi. One can reach Kedarnath on foot, pony etc. as well as by helicopter. On foot , you have to walk 13 KMs. and takes about 5/6 hours and you have to stay overnight . On a sunny day, one can reach Kedarnath in 6/7 minutes by helicopter , have 'darshan' -prayer at the temple and return the same day . It is one of the holiest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, constructed by Pandavas , more than 5000 years ago. Hump of "brishav" or buffalo, in the form black stone, is the "Shiva Linga" and it is housed in a squarish temple with great black stone pillars covering the structure. It is ancient and idols of all Pandavas , mother Kunti are erected , possibly later to honour their dedication to Lord Shiva. Exterior of temple which is visible from far off , was constructed by Adi Shankracharya about thousand years back. In 2013 flash flood, everything surrounding the temple washed away and nothing existed but holy Kedarnath stood there and it is reverential and glorious as it had been for Hindus for ages. Mention of Kedarnath is in Srimad Bhagavatam and Mahabharat by Rishi Ved Vyas and is a testimony of its existence at that time. Devotees sing praise of Lord Shiva by chanting " Jai Bhole Nath" and " Om Shivay Namah" .
Badrinath temple is about 280 KMs from Guptakashi and takes 9 / 10 hours with overnight halt at Joshimath. It is dedicated to Badrinath - a transcendetal form of Narayan/ Lord Krishna . Divine consort of Narayan , Maa Laxami was praying in ancient times and she needed a shelter overhead and badri flowers covered the site , hence the name Badrinath/ Badri Vishal ( Great Badri) . Present temple is about 180 years old, though its origin is beyond 5000 years . Srimad Bhagatam has vivid description of "Nar- Narayan Rishi" ( Man and Narayan as God Supreme prayed together in this holy place and two mountain peaks are referred as "Nar" and "Narayan" . There is place for yagna and one can do prayer with help of priest. It takes about one hour to complete yagna.
Mana - India's last village in the Northern region, visit is must , inorder to see habitants . As you climb up the mountain , you come across , cave of Lord Ganesha,and cave of Ved Vyas Rishi . Vyas recited slokas and Ganesh wrote the manuscripts of Mahabharata and later on inspired by Narada Rishi, Guru of Vyas, he wrote Srimad Bhagvatam , holiest scriptures having 18000 slokas ( verses) . Parched papers which stacked over 5326 years ( as on 2018) has deposits of dust stones and formed layers of stony books. Seeing is believing. Scriptures survived because verses were memorised and passed on to generation next and so on - in a tradition of " parampara" .
Origin of river Saraswati is also here at Mana and famous Bhim Pul - bridge of single stone lifted by Pandava Bhim for Draupdi to walk on to other side of the cliff. Road leads you to border between India and China.
It was a pilgrimage to holiest places of ancient times , though difficult and riskier but the "will" and confidence and above all abundance of faith in Supreme Lord Krishna , helped us to complete the journey in 11 days .
Single minded devotion to offer prayers at these temples will grant your wish come true.
Written October 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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