Yamunotri, one of the char dhams of Uttarakhand, is the symbolic source of river Yamuna. The actual source is located at an altitude of 4421 mtr. which is located further ¾ km up on Kalind Parvat. The first Char dham pilgrimage is Yamunotri, which is 242 km from Rishikesh and includes 12 km trek (to and fro) on a single day. The devotees come here from all around the world for darshan and puja of Yamunotri. Yamuna here at Yamunotri is entirely different at her infancy flowing out from frozen cradle, slowly and gradually on small and big mountainous rocks and pebbles.
Here at Yamunotri, the water is crystal clear with its ethereal purity bubbling down along its river course. The same Yamuna when reaches Delhi and Allahabad can not be recognized due to addition of pollution and its immense size. At Yamunotri, the purity of Yamuna attracts the spiritual affinity of devotees.
The sage, Asit, had his hermit at Yamunotri. During his whole life time, he bathed daily in both Ganga and Yamuna rivers. In his old days, due to the blessing of Ganga, a small stream of Ganga appeared here for him. Since then, that stream is also worshipped here.
The Yamunotri temple is located on the foothill of Kalind Parvat on the left bank of Yamuna. Near to the temple, there are few hot springs gushing out at boiling temperature from mountain cracks. The impotant hot spring is Suryakund, which is worshipped before puja is offered to Yamuna. A hot water pool known as Jamuna bai kund the temple is said to have been constructed by a devotee during the turn of 18th – 19th century. A dip in this pool rejuvenates and refreshes the mind and the soul of devotees.
The temple was built by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri. The Goddess inside is made up of black marble, which is said to have been brought from Rajasthan by the Maharaja. Yamuna, like Ganga, is worshipped both in a temple as a deity and as a river in her actual form.
The Yamunotri puja is followed by the trek back to Sayanachatti, where pilgrims stay overnight. This pilgrimage journey is a lifetime journey with its unique experience of spiritual facet.
The priests of Yamunotri are the Pandas from the village Kharsali near Jankibaichatti. The entire administration to run the temple functions is in their hands. The opening date is generally on the auspicious day of Akshayatritiya, which is generally in the last week of April or first week of May.
The closing date of the temple is on the day of Deepawali with the worship of Yamuna.