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Pilgrimage to Yamunotri, the birth place of the sacred river Yamuna, India
Road to Yamunotri
Yamunotri, at an altitude of 3235 metres in the Garhwal Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand, India, is the birthplace of the second sacred-most river in India, the Yamuna or Jamuna. Running 1370 km through Delhi, Vrindavan, Mathura & Agra the river Yamuna finally ends by joining the river Ganga or Ganges at Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Through the ages Hindus from all over the world regard a journey to the birthplaces of these two sacred rivers a highly rewarding pilgrimage.
The journey to Yamunotri starts at Haridwar at the base of the Himalayas. Yamunotri is about 220 km from Haridwar. Motorable road runs through beautiful mountains & valleys up to Janki Chatti(2595 metres). From there the pilgrims trek (or take ponies or pallanquins) for the rest 7 km of the mountainous track to Yamunotri. The trek is a bit tough, but the beauty of the mountains & the young river Yamuna is simply breathtaking.
At Yaminotri there are 3 hot springs, one of which named Surya Kund is very hot (190 degrees Fahrenheit). Pilgrims take a holy dip in the other (less hot!) hot spring & then worship the DIVYA SHILA, a small rock from the cracks of which water comes bubbling out (considered a source of the river). The actual origin of the river is from the Champasar glacier about 2 km from this place high up in the mountain Bandarpunch.
There is also a temple of the goddess Yamuna, considered to be the spiritual image of the river named after this goddess.
In Hindu mythology, Yamuna is the daughter of Surya the Sungod, & the sister of Yama, the god of death. A dip in this holy river is said to be capable of freeing a person from thye tormenting fear of death.