The sacred shrine of Yamunotri, source of the river Yamuna, is the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas, perched atop a flank of Bandar Poonch Parvat. The chief attraction at Yamunotri is the temple devoted to goddess Yamuna and the holy thermal springs at Jankichatti (7 km. Away). The actual source a frozen lake of ice and glacier (Champasar glacier also known as Yamunotri Glacier) located on the Kalind mountain at the height of 4421 m above sea level, about 1 km further up, is not frequented generally as it is not accessible and hence the shrine has been located on the foot of the hill. The approach is extremely difficult and pilgrims therefore offer pooja at the temple itself. The deity is made of black marble. The Yamuna like Ganga has been elavated to the status of divine mother for the Hindus and has been held responsible for nurturing and developing the Indian civilization.
Ganggotri is situated at an altitude of 3,048mts above sea level in the state of Uttarakhand state. Located on the banks of the holy Bhagirathi River, Gangotri is one of the Char Dham of Uttarakhand. There is a natural rock Shivling in Gangotri submerged under water which can be easily seen when winters are on their way as the water level decreases during that time. According to myths and legends this was the place where Lord Shiva sitting when he received Ganga in his matted locks. Gangotri is the highest and the most important temple of Goddess Ganga. The present temple of Gangotri was built by Amar Singh Thapa, Gorkha General in the early 18th century. The origin of Bhagirathi River, Gaumukh glacier is 18kms from Gangotri and one must cover the distance on foot.
Temple of Yamuna ji is the most important temple of worship. Near this temple there are a few hot water springs where the water rushes out of the mountain cavities at boiling point. Surya Kund is the main kund. A pinch of rice or potatoes, tied loosely in a cloth, are dipped in it and after a few minutes when taken out totally cooked. These are taken home as prasad. Near the Surya Kund there is a shila known as Divya Shila which is worshipped before puja is offered to Yamunaji.
Temple of Bhagirathi is to be found at Gangotri. In this temple statues of Shri Ganga ji, Yamuna ji, Lakshmi ji, Saraswati ji, Parwati ji and Annapurna ji are positioned. A thick forest of deodar is also to be found here. The temple of Ganga is positioned on the right bank of the Bhagirathi (Ganga) and its journey can be seen in various moods deep and silent in the lower plains, but at Gangotri, Bhagirathi is tossing , gurgling, frothing and singing an ecslatic air.
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