Yamunotri & Gangotri - two dham yatraDelhi - Dehradun - Yamunotri - Uttarkashi - GangotriTotal No of days - 4 extended by 5 daysDated - June 2013
Travelogue Photologue Sightseeing Route map Download
Places to see in & around Yamunotri Gangotri
At an altitude of 3293 mtrs above sea level, Yamunotri the source of River Yamuna is one of the Four dhams in Uttarakhand. It is close to the Indo-Chinese border nestled in the Bandarpooch mountains. The real source of Yamuna is the Saptarishi glacier on the Kalindi parvat which is not accessible.
Distance to Yamunotri Yamunotri is at a distance of 278 km from Dehradun, 236 km from Rishikesh, 176 km from Chamba, and 21 km from Sayana Chatti.
Best time to visit Yamunotri
The best time to visit is May-June and September - October. It is chilly even in summers, in winters the place is snow bound with temperatures falling below 0 degrees. Carry heavy woolens and raincoats irrespective of the time of travel. The temple is closed from November to April.
Yamunotri has the temple of the goddess, and also thermal springs where one can take a dip. The prasad is rice and potatoes which is cooked by dipping them in the hot "kund" near the temple, tied with cloth bags.
What to see around Yamunotri
Close to the Yamuna Devi temple, there are many hot water springs of which Surya Kund is the most important. In this spring the water is so hot that people boil rice and potatoes here by tying them in a cloth and immersing them in the water for a while.
Saptarishi Kund Lake
10 kms from Yamunotri, this is an extremely difficult journey covered with ice. This is the actual place where Yamuna rises. The water of the glaciers gathers in this lake. The colour of the water here is a deep blue. On the banks of the lake are naturally carved slate stones. The rare Brahma Lotus grows here. Janaki Chatti: 7 kms from Yamunotri, this is another place where there are hot water springs. Many hotels and lodges are available. This is the best place for food in the valley. One road from here leads to the last village of Kharsali.
1 km from Janaki Chatti the old temples here are worth visiting. The carved stones on the walls of houses and the woodwork are amazing. The temple here is four storeyed.
This is the last bus stop for Yamunotri. There is a Hanuman temple here. Government guest houses and hotels are available here. Horses and ponies are also hired for further journeys.
36 kms before Hanuman Chatti, Badkot is a pretty village. All facilities are available here. An ancient temple is located here. This place is 49 kms from Yamunotri
Its 6 hours journey from Uttarkashi by road, and the roads are very narrow, land slide scares, precipitous gorges of the River Bhagirathi make the journey arduous. The 16 kms walk to Gomukh the glacier has a stream of pilgrims on foot or ponies. The glacier snout at Gaumukh where the river emerges from a concave cavern of ice is one of the four holy places in India where every Hindu makes a one time visit in his life.
From Gaumukh by traversing the glacier you can reach the high altitude meadows of Tapovan (4463m) and Nandanvan (4500m), which provide panoramic views of the Chaukhamba, Bhagirathi, Shivling peaks and the confluence of the Chaturangi and Raktavan Glaciers.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit this place is from June to second week in November. After that there is too much snow and too many icy places on the way. The valley is most beautiful at the end of September and in the beginning of November.
Trek to Gomukh
Gomukh is 100 m thick glacier 30 km long and 4 km wide. It is located 23 km northeast from Gangotri, 4200 m above the sea level.
Chirbhasa is a camp with fireplace and few tents where one can stay over night. It is in the midway to glacier. Just a little further from Chirbhasa is a disintegrating rock cliff with falling stones where many serious accidents took place. Therefore it is better to be more careful.
Bhoja-bhasa is another small camp where one can stay over night. The glacier is 5 km from here underneath Bhagirat mountain.
Shivling Mountain (gigantic shiva-lingam) is 6543 m high. The mountain is representing Lord Shiva. Shiva's devotees are coming to this place to perform penances. Lord Shiva is worshipped in many temples in his small lingam (stone) forms, but in this place the shiva-lingam is whole mountain.
Mount Shivling can be seen only from nearby area of the Gomukh. Go" means "cow" and "mukh" means "face" or "mouth". "Gomukh" (or "Gaumukh") literary means "cows face" or "cows mouth". The glacier is called thus, since it looks like that.