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Yamunotri: A Pilgrimage to the Source of the Yamuna

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Hi, I am Manoj Kumar, a writer for Trip Guru Go. Let me take you on a journey to Yamunotri Char dham yatra, one of the most revered pilgrimage sites in the Himalayas. Nestled amidst icy peaks and stunning landscapes, Yamunotri is the perfect blend of spirituality and adventure. Join me as we explore this sacred destination, its breathtaking beauty, and its rich cultural heritage. Yamunotri, one of the Char Dham, is a revered pilgrimage site in the Himalayas. It is known for its stunning landscapes, icy peaks, glaciers, and hot springs. Yamunotri is not only a holy destination but also a popular spot among trekkers and nature lovers.

Significance of Yamunotri

Yamunotri is one of the four most sacred Hindu pilgrimages, known as Char Dham, which includes Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. The Yamunotri Temple, dedicated to the Goddess Yamuna, attracts thousands of devotees every year. This temple is the starting point of the Char Dham Yatra, which runs from May to October. The journey starts from Yamunotri, proceeds to Gangotri, and finally reaches Kedarnath and Badrinath.

The Yamunotri Temple

The Yamunotri Temple is located in a narrow gorge near the source of the Yamuna River. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Yamuna, the second most sacred river in India after the Ganges. Pilgrims believe that a dip in the Yamuna can protect one from an untimely death. The temple is situated at an altitude of 3,233 meters above sea level and can be reached by a 3-kilometer trek from Janki Chatti.

History of Yamunotri Temple

Yamunotri Temple, located in the western Garhwal Himalayas, was built in 1839 by King Sundarshan Shah of Tehri. Before the temple, a small shrine existed at the site. The temple sits at an altitude of 3,235 meters near the source of the Yamuna River. Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal later reconstructed it. The deity inside is made of black marble. Nearby, the hot springs of Surya Kund and the sacred rock Divya Shila are significant sites. Devotees often cook rice and potatoes in the hot springs as offerings, and the cooked food is taken home as prasada. The Yamuna River is revered as a divine mother by Hindus.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Yamunotri is from April to June and from September to November. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and the roads are accessible. The temple remains open for darshan during this period.

Itinerary: From Yamunotri to Gaumukh

Day 1: Dehradun to Janki Chatti via Barkot

  • Distance: 180 km
  • Duration: 6 hours

The journey starts early from Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand. The drive to Barkot, a picturesque town on the banks of the Yamuna River, takes around four hours. After a lunch break in Barkot, the journey continues to Janki Chatti, a small settlement known for its thermal springs. Janki Chatti is the starting point for the trek to Yamunotri.

Day 2: Janki Chatti to Yamunotri

  • Distance: 7 km (trek)

The next morning, after breakfast and a dip in the hot springs, the trek to Yamunotri begins. The 7-kilometer trek takes around three hours, with several halts along the way. At Yamunotri, pilgrims can visit the Yamunotri Temple and the Surya Kund, a natural hot water spring. After prayers and offerings, the trek back to Janki Chatti begins. The night is spent in Barkot.

Day 3: Barkot to Gangotri

  • Distance: 180 km
  • Duration: 6 hours

The journey from Barkot to Gangotri starts early in the morning. After a lunch break at Uttarkashi, the drive continues to Gangotri, a significant religious site where the Ganga River originates from the Gangotri Glacier. The evening is spent exploring Gangotri and participating in the Ganga Aarti.

Day 4: Gangotri to Bhojbasa

  • Distance: 14 km (trek)
  • Duration: 4-5 hours

The trek from Gangotri to Bhojbasa begins early in the morning. This 14-kilometer trek passes through the Gangotri National Park, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Bhojbasa is a campsite located 4 kilometers short of Gaumukh. 

Day 5: Bhojbasa to Gaumukh

  • Distance: 4 km (trek)
  • Duration: 3 hours

The final leg of the trek to Gaumukh, the source of the Ganges, is a challenging but rewarding journey. The dramatic landscape and the sight of the snow-capped peaks make this trek a memorable experience. After reaching Gaumukh, the trek back to Bhojbasa and the drive to Gangotri begins. 

Day 6: Gangotri to Haridwar

  • Distance: 280 km
  • Duration: 8 hours

The return journey from Gangotri to Haridwar takes around eight hours. Haridwar is a significant pilgrimage site and a perfect place to conclude the journey.

What to Do in Yamunotri

  • Trekking: Several trekking routes are available in and around Yamunotri. The most popular is the 14-kilometer trek from Hanuman Chatti to Yamunotri. The Dodi Tal trek is also popular among trekkers.
  • Hot Springs: Take a dip in the natural hot springs at Janki Chatti and Surya Kund.
  • Temple Visits: Visit the Yamunotri Temple and other nearby temples.
  • Nature Walks: Enjoy nature walks and the scenic beauty of the surrounding mountains.

How to Reach Yamunotri

  • By Flight: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. From there, hire a cab or take a bus to Janki Chatti. View Flight Schedule
  • By Train: Regular trains to Haridwar and Dehradun are available throughout the year. From these cities, hire a cab or take a bus to Janki Chatti. View Train Schedule
  • By Road: Motorable roads end at Janki Chatti. From there, a 5-6 kilometer trek leads to Yamunotri. Ponies and palanquins are available for those who prefer not to walk. View Road Schedule

Nearby Destinations

  • Barkot: A picturesque town on the banks of the Yamuna River.
  • Harsil: A serene village near Gangotri, known for its apple orchards and natural beauty.
  • Gangotri: A significant religious site where the Ganga River originates from the Gangotri Glacier.


Yamunotri, with its stunning landscapes and spiritual significance, is a must-visit destination for both pilgrims and nature lovers. The journey to Yamunotri and beyond offers a unique blend of adventure, spirituality, and natural beauty, making it an unforgettable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Yamunotri?

Yamunotri is a sacred pilgrimage site in the Himalayas, known as one of the Char Dhams. It is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna and is believed to be the source of the Yamuna River.

When is the best time to visit Yamunotri?

The best time to visit Yamunotri is from April to June and from September to November. During these months, the weather is pleasant and suitable for travel.

How can I reach Yamunotri?

You can reach Yamunotri by road from Dehradun to Janki Chatti, followed by a trek of about 5-6 kilometers. Alternatively, you can take a flight to Dehradun and then proceed by road.

What are the main attractions in Yamunotri?

The main attractions in Yamunotri include the Yamunotri Temple, Surya Kund hot spring, and the scenic trekking routes around the region.

What should I pack for a trip to Yamunotri?

Pack warm clothing, comfortable trekking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and personal medication. It’s also advisable to carry some cash as ATM facilities are limited in remote areas.

Is Yamunotri safe for solo travelers?

Yamunotri is generally safe for travelers, but it’s recommended to travel with a guide or in groups, especially during the trekking portions of the journey.

What are the nearby destinations worth visiting from Yamunotri?

Nearby destinations include Barkot, Harsil, and Gangotri, each offering unique natural beauty and cultural experiences.

What are the accommodation options in Yamunotri?

Accommodation options in Yamunotri range from guesthouses and lodges in Janki Chatti to government-run guesthouses and campsites in Yamunotri and nearby areas.

Are there medical facilities available in Yamunotri?

Basic medical facilities are available in Janki Chatti and Barkot. However, it’s advisable to carry a basic first aid kit and any necessary medications with you.

What are the trekking options around Yamunotri?

Popular trekking options include the Hanuman Chatti to Yamunotri trek and the trek to Saptarishi Kund. These treks offer stunning views of the Himalayan landscapes and natural beauty.

Manoj Kumar

I am Manoj Kumar, an experienced SEO expert and also a traveller. I have launched Trip Guru Go, a trusted website for accurate information about travel destinations. Visit this site www.tripgurugo.com, which is its URL. I have over 11 years of experience as an SEO Manager and have learned a lot thing new destinations over the years. I combine my knowledge with my love for travel to provide reliable information and insight. Through Trip Guru Go, I shares with you valuable information about various destinations around the world. Which helps readers plan their adventurous trips with confidence. Trip Guru Go can be your go-to source for information about places to visit. Follow me on social media and my blog to read my latest posts and get useful travel tips.

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