forms one of the four sites of the Chota Char Dham Pilgrimage. The sacred shrine of Yamunotri, source of the river Yamuna, is the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas, perched atop a flank of Bandar Poonch Parvat. The chief attraction at Yamunotri is the temple devoted to goddess Yamuna and the holy thermal springs at Jankichatti (7 km. Away).
The actual source a frozen lake of ice & glacier (Champasar glacier also known as Yamunotri 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.
The Yamunotri temple is on the left bank of Yamuna constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal. The deity is made of black marble. The Yamuna like Ganga has been elavated to the status of divine mother for the Hindus and has been held responsible for nurturing and developing the Indian civilization.
Close to the temple are hot water springs gushing out from the mountain cavities. Suryakund is the most important Kund. Near the Suryakund there is a shila called Divya Shila, which is worshipped before puja is offered to the deity. Devotees prepare rice and potatoes to offer at the shrine by dipping them in these hot water springs, tied in muslin cloth.
Rice so cooked is taken back home as prasadam.The pujaris of Yamunotri come from the village of Kharsali near Jankichatti. They are the administrators of the sacred place and perform religious rites well versed in Shastras.
Legend of Yamunotri -According to a legend, Sage Asit Muni had his hermitage here. Throughout his life he bathed daily in the waters of both Ganga and Yamuna. Gradually, unable to go to Gangotri during his old age, a stream of Ganga appeared opposite Yamunotri for him.
Another legend says that Yamunas supposed frivolousness was due to her mothers inability to look at Yamunas father, Lord Surya, in the eye due to his tremendous radiance. It is also said that if one bathes in the waters of Yamuna, the person ceases to die a painful death since Yamuna is the sister of Yama, the lord of death.
According to Hindu mythology, Surya, the sun god is the father of Yamuna, and Yama, the god of death. It is said that since Yamuna is the sister of Yama, anyone who who bathes in the river is spared a painful death. Book Tour Package to Yamunotri Temple