Yamunotri is a significant destination among the Chota Chardham circuit and the source of the river Yamuna. The mythological associations which state that Yamuna is the daughter of Sun God and a sister os death God- Yamaraj, which is why tourists and pilgrims hail here in numbers. Yamunotri is nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas at a height of 3293 meters with a charming allure of natural beauty. This is also known as a land of sage Asti and is adored by undulant peaks, Himalayan glaciers, and thermal springs. It attracts the pilgrims, devotional kind of tourists as well as adventurers who seek thrill in activities around the region.
How to reach Yamunotri
By air– You can avail the helicopter services to reach Yamunotri. Travel via helicopter from Dehradun till Sahastradhara Helipad from where you will be escorted in a Palki. Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport at a distance of about 198km from Yamunotri.
By Road– Roads are connected till JankiChatti from where you will have to trek for about 4km or take the palanquins to reach the actual Yamunotri.
By Train– You can either reach up to Dehradun or Haridwar through train from where you will have to travel the further distance by road to reach Yamunotri.
Best Time to visit Yamunotri
May- June, and September-November make for the best months to visit the destination, along with the festivals such as Basant Panchami, Phool Devi etc.making your visit even more colorful and joyful.
Summers (April- July) With pleasant temperatures not crossing 20-degree Celcius, summers become the ideal time to visit Yamunotri.
Winters (October- March) The winters can get harsh with freezing temperatures falling as low as -7 degrees Celcius. This causes the roads to remain closed during the season.
Monsoon (July- September) cause havoc in the region causing frequent landslides and being prone to cloudbursts and torrential rainfall.
Guide to Yamunotri Trek
The trek to Yamunotri begins from Jankichatti which approximately at a distance of 5km. The trail is pretty well marked and easily locatable even during the winters. But it is highly not recommended to trek during the winters as there can be a high amount of snow present making it an unpleasant experience to trek during then.
There are good facilities such as water points, small sheds, benches after every 500 meters over the trail, especially during the season time. You can book a Pony/mule, Kandi, and Palki/Dandi at JankiChatti to reach the Yamunotri Temple.
Things to keep on mind before going on the trek-
- The temple remains open for Darshan is from 06:30 am to 07:30 pm, according to which you can plan your journey.
- Make sure to register yourself for the Yamunotri Yatra at counters available at towns of Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Dehradun in Uttarakhand.
- Carry appropriate clothing as the altitude is quite high making the winters very cold and summers pleasant to quite chilly for some during the evenings.
- Avoid visiting the region during monsoons as it is very much prone to mishaps such as cloudbursts, landslides, and others.
- Be cautious while trekking as the route can be steep at certain places and also crowded making it even harder to commute.
There are also other treks you can take up in this region apart from Yamunotri trek which includes –
This region is swarmed by tourists all round the year, it is frequently visited by the nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The region is filled with an exquisite wilderness of oak, deodar, rhododendron and pine forests around the lake. It makes for a perfect recreational platform like trekking, bird watching, nature walk, angling and boating.
This is a two-day trek from Dodital to Hanuman Chatti even for the beginners and novice trekkers. It passes through Darwa top which offers some spellbinding views of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges. It further continues a day’s trek to Yamunotri which is about 1,000 meters leading to the source of the Yamuna river. the major attraction of the trek is the Yamunotri temple along with which you shall also be visiting Ruinsara Lake, Dotital lake and Darwa top too. Summer makes up for the peak time to undertake this trek.
Highlights of the trek include
- The mesmerizing view of the Bandarpunch Peak from the Darwa top.
- Passing through the remote villages of Uttarakhand
- Ganesha temple and crystal clear lake of Dodital
- Yamunotri temple, a significant part of the Chota Chardham.
- Golden Himalayan Trout Fish.
The best time to take up this trek is Summers when the weather remains pleasant, offering a distinct view of the Himalayas adding on to which is the cool breeze blowing. Or the Post Monsoon when the serenity and beauty are at its best in the region when the place looks like heaven on earth.
Where does the trek begin
This trek commences from the northern region of Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. The highlight of which is the high altitude lake, Dodital surrounded by oak, pine, deodar and rhododendrons trees and a Ganesha temple. There are mythological connections associated with the place such as Lord Ganesh choosing it as his abode, which draws in a lot of attention of tourists. The lake is located at a height of 3024 meters offering an unparalleled view of the Himalayas.
Places to Visit in Yamunotri
This acts as an alternative base to the Yamunotri Trek after Hanuman Chatti and popular for the hot springs of the region. It draws many tourists for these particular reasons in specific. It is located at a height of 2700 meters, surrounded by huge mountains from all sides. While you are here admire the beauty of the gigantic mountains, relax in the hot springs and let lose the adventurer in you to explore the places around.
This is indeed the primary attraction of the region dedicated to the holy goddess Yamuna. The source of river Yamuna, this temple is an important part of the Chota Chardham Yatra in particular. It is nestled at a height of 3,293 m above sea level, in the Garhwal Himalayan region. The most sacred river in the country after river Ganga is believed to be pristine and cleanse you of all the impurities as you take a dip in the holy waters of the river. The location of the temple is at the foot of Kalind Mountain and by the side of the Banderpooch Mountain. This sight of the surroundings is alluring with lush mountain greenery and flowing river by your side.
This is a hot spring dedicated to the Sun god who is believed to be the father of Yamuna. The temperature of water in this hot springs is of 1900 Fahrenheit. Devotees cook rice and potatoes tied in a cotton cloth in these waters and offer it to the temple.
This is a rock pillar believed to be pure and sacred located beside the Surya Kund. This is another prime attraction of the region located at a height of 3000 meters.
A base for major trekking and trails of Himalayas also known for its profound scenic beauty. Located at a height of 2400 meters at a confluence of Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna River it is a hub for trekkers. The beautiful surroundings and the terrain of the region make it a great place for those seeking relaxation and adventure.
This is considered to be the actual originating point of Yamuna a natural lake at the height of 4421 meters. You will have to trek further 10km more from Yamunotri to reach this place and it is advisable to have a guided trek. You shall be coming across glaciers on this trek as well as some exotic birds of the region.
This is a lovely picnic spot with a number of thermal springs just off the Janki Chatti. The place is full of coniferous forest and Oak trees, with some of the beautiful waterfalls in-between. Kharsali houses an ancient 3-storied temple made of stone carvings and beautiful woodwork dedicated to Lord Shiva.