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     Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath constitute the Char Dhams, the holiest of shrines in the Himalayas. The perennial river, Ganga, is the symbol of India's culture and civilization. Called Goddess Ganga, it first descended to the earth from the heaven at Gangotri. It is said that to reduce the impact of the fall, Lord Shiva allowed the river to fall through his locks of hair, where after it emerged as four streams. The river that emerged from Yamunotri was called Yamuna, the one from Gangotri as Ganga, that from Kedarnath as Mandakini and the one at Badrinath was called Alaknanda. Surya Kund is a thermal spring near the Yamunotri shrine. Another site, Divya Shila, is a rock pillar worshiped before entering the shrine. Jankichatti is three km before Yamunotri. It has several thermal springs one can take bath. Hanumanchatti, 13 km before Yamunotri, is on the road to Yamunotri. This is the last bus point. Horses and ponies are available. Here is the confluence of Hanuman Ganga and the Yamuna rivers. Didi Tal can be reached from here on foot or pony. Saptarishi Kund is also a site near Yamunotri but difficult to reach.

How to reach Yamunotri: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant between Rishikesh and Dehra Dun. The nearest rail head is at Rishikesh. and the nearest bus point Hanumanchatti, 13 km before the shrine. Rishikesh to Yamunotri by road the distance is 222 km and from Barkot to the shrine it is 40 km. The Rishikesh-Yamunotri Road bifurcates at Dharasu, the other going to Gangotri. Alternately, the shrine can be reached via Mussoorie and Barkot (see map);

Altitude: 3,235 mts;

Climate: In summer cool during daytime and cold at night, in winter the place is snow-bound.

Clothing: Light woollens in summer and very heavy woollens in winter.

Languages: Hindi, Garhwali and English.

Accommodation: Only dharamshalas are available at Yamunotri. There is a Government guest house at Jankichatti, 3 km before the shrine.

Food: Only dhabas (local eating places) are available. Non-vegetarian food and alcohol are prohibited in Yamunotri.

Season: The Yamunotri temple is closed from November to May.







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