Yamunotri Temple Guide - Pooja Timing, History

The highly spiritual site of Yamunotri is placed in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. It is one of the rich sites in Chota Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand. Yamunotri Dham houses the sacred temple dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. What makes this place heroic is that one of the most sacred rivers of Hindu religion, Yamuna emerges from here. The thermal springs gushing out of mountains found here hold medicinal significance.

About Yamunotri Temple

Yamunorti temple sits at an elevation of 4,421 above sea level. The high snow peaks, fresh streams and glaciers encloses this holy shrine. Thousands of devotees take the pious journey to Yamunotri Dham and pay homage to deity of Yamuna. Pilgrims get the pleasing view of River Yamuna which flows alongside the temple.

Structure of the Yamunotri Temple

Yamunotri temple was originally built by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal. It got damaged and was renovated in the 19th century by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur. The temple is built of granite stones in the Nagar style of architecture. It has a conical shaped pale yellow color minaret with bright vermillion border. The main deity of Yamuna Devi is made up of black stone polished marble with fine carvings and is placed under the minaret.

People as an offering to the temple, prepare rice and potatoes by dipping them in the hot springs, tied in a muslin cloth. The cooked rice is afterwards taken back home as Prasad.

Inside the Yamunotri Temple

There are two main section of Yamunotri temple

Garbha Griha or Sactum Sanatorium – It houses the silver idol of Goddess Ganga. All the offerings are made to this deity. The idol is around 1 foot tall and decked up with garlands.

Mandap or Assembly Hall- This is the area where pilgrims assemble for prayer and darshan.

Yamunotri Temple Opening and Closing Timings

  • Yamunotri temple opens at – 6:00 AM
  • Yamunotri temple closes at – 8:00 PM
  • Morning Aarti time at Yamunotri mandir – 6:30 AM
  • Evening Aarti time at Yamunotri mandir – 7:30 PM
  • Afternoon break time at – 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Poojas at Yamunotri Temple

Beautiful poojas takes place at the holy shrine of Yamunotri. The aarti performed at the temple are Mangal Aarti in the morning and Shayan Aarti in the evening. These pujas are done by pujaris. Pujaris also look after the administration of the temple.

Festivals Celebrated at Yamunotri Temple

Basant Panchami – The auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami marks the arrival of spring and end of winter. On this day special poojas are performed at the temple. Many vibrant cultural programs take place. People participate in full swing and wear yellow colored dresses for the celebration.

Phool Dei – It is celebrated on the first day of March. In the festival local people mainly young girls visit the neighboring houses and gift them a plate decked with coconut, flowers, jaggery, sweets and rice.  It is believed that it brings goodwill and prosperity. Folk singers sing folk songs and community people prepare Sei that is offered to Devi Yamunotri.

Olgia – Olgia festival takes place in the harvesting season in the month of August to celebrate the prosperous agricultural yield. The festival is also known as Ghee Sankranti. On this occasion people eat dal chapattis with ghee and adorn their forehead with ghee.

History and Legends About Yamunotri

The legends and myths of Yamunotri temple is what make it an epic spiritual site of Chota Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand. Some, of the mythological stories behind Yamunotri Dham are

Legends say that, Sage Asit Muni hermitage was in Yamunotri. The great sage daily used to bath in Ganges and Yamuna. At his older age he was unable to travel to Gangotri. A stream of river Ganga started to flow around Yamuna for him.

According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Yamuna is said to be the daughter of Surya Deva (the sun god) and Saranyu (goddess of perception) and is sister of Lord Yama (the god of death). Thus devotees by offering prayers to Yamuna also get to seek the blessings of Sun God, Yama and Devi Saranyu.

Birthplace of River Yamuna is Champasar Glacier which is located at a distance of 421 meters below the Bandarpoonch Mountain. The mountain adjacent to the river source is named after the father of Yamuna Devi, Surya Dev. The mountain is called as Kalind Parvat, Kalind being another name of Lord Surya.

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Char Dham Yatra 2019

Char Dham are the names of four pilgrimage places in Uttarakhand, India that are widely revered by most of the “Hindus”. The Char Dham of Uttarkhand are: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.