(Last Updated on : 16/09/2010)
The Yamunotri Temple is situated near a hot spring running water in geyser force and in which the pilgrims cook their food. The Temple of Yamunotri is at the foothill of the Kalind Parvat at the left bank of the Yamuna at a height of 3,185 metres. Acting as a backdrop, a glorious waterfall drops, more than 2,000 metres from the snow of Banderpoonch into the valley at this point. Besides `Ratnjot` an herb claimed to be curative for eye diseases, with chestnuts, walnuts, and apricots grow in abundance in this valley. A frozen lake of ice on the top of Kalind Parvat, at a height of 4,421 metres and almost a kilometre further up is the source of the Yamuna but since the approach to it, is extremely unsafe, the temple has been built at the foothill. Here, the sage Asset had his habitat, all his life he bathed in both, Ganga and Yamuna.
As the years rolled on and the sage got old, he could not go to Gangotri title Ganga
came to him and a soft stream came out of the rocks before his shocked eyes at Yamunotri and continued to do so until he was called to his rest. The temple of Yamuna is close to some hot water springs, where the water gushes out of the mountain crack at boiling point. Of these, the most important is Surya Kund, a pinch of rice or some potatoes tied loosely in a cloth is dipped in the `Kund` and after a few minutes, when it is cooked, is taken home as `Prasad`. Nearby is the Dibya Shila, which is worshipped before puja is offered to Yamuna
. There is also a pleasantly warm water tank the Yamuna Bai Kund, built about 110 years before and is used for holy bath. Yamunotri stands on the western border of the great peak of Banderpoonch 6,315 metres high and is always snow-clad. It forms the dividing line of the Hanumanganga and the Tons River, which is a tributary of the Yamuna. The valley of the Tons is to the west of the Yamuna; it collects the waters of Har-ki-Doon, a high level field surrounded by glaciers, and the Banderpoonch glacier.
The Pandas of Yamunotri
The friendly and helpful `Pandas` of Yamunotri come from the village of Kharsali, which is on the other bank of the Yamuna adjoining Bead, or Jankichatti, with the entire administration of the temple in their hands. The `pandas` in addition to performing their usual religious duties, are also the Pujaris of the Temple. In the other holy places of Sri Kedarnath and Sri Badrinath, the pandas and the pujaris are from different groups with varying functions.
Opening and Closing dates of the Temple
The Temple opens on the religious day of `Akshaya-Tritya`, which falls, generally, during the last week of April or the first week of May. The closing day is always on the sacred day of Diwali after a brief ceremony. After visiting the structure of the Yamuna, it is only natural for the pilgrim to be filled with a desire to visit Gangotri where the Ganga unwillingly came down from the Heavens to bestow life on 60,000 distressed souls.