The first stopover for the Char Dham Yatra is the westernmost shrine of Yamnotri in the Garhwal Himalayas. Dedicatated to the Goddess Yamuna, it is perched atop a flank of the Bandar Poonchh Peak (altitude 3165 mts.) and is situated opposite to Gangotri. The shrine attracts devotees in large numbers from April to November. Yamnotri is the source of the revered river Yamuna which originates from the Chapasar Glacier lying 1 km ahead of the shrine, at an altitude of 4,421 mts. Piligrims do not frequently visit the source of the river as it is not easily accessible.
Yamnotri finds a special mention in the Hindu mythology. According to a legend, this secluded hilly spot was the home of an ancient sage, Asit Muni. Among the major attractions of Yamnotri are hot water spring nearby. Devotee prepare rice and patatoes to offer at the shrine, by dipping them in these hot water springs, tied in muslin cloth. The trek to Yamnotri is spectacular, dominated by a panorama of rudgged peaks and dense forest.
One of the important thermal springs known for its high temperature of 190°F/88°C. Pilgrims cook rice and potatoes here to offer to deity in the temple.
A huge rock pillar venerated before entering the Yamnotri Temple.
Dodital, literally meaning the Dodi Lake, is at an elevation of 3024 m, north of Uttarkashi. Crystal clear waters are surrounded by dense oak woods, pine, deodar and rhododendrons. The lake is full of fish and is known for some rare species like the Himalayan Golden Trout. The forest surrounding the lake is also full of wildlife. It provides an idyllic set up for rest and recreational activities like angling, boating and bird-watching.
High up in the mountains is the Dodital lake- mysterious, alluring, and simply beautiful ! The serene, tranquil surroundings, gurgling streams, crystal clear water, and dense alpine forests make for an ideal retreat. The trek from Dodital to Yamnotri takes you through high altitude grasslands and dense virgin forests. The scenery en-route is really astounding !
Janki Chatti is 5 kms. from Yamnotri. The thermal spring here offer a spectacular sight and refreshing bath for the pilgrims.
The confluence of Hanuman Ganga and Yamuna rivers forms the starting point for the scenic Dodi Tal trek. Porters, Ponies and Palanquines are available for the journey to Yamnotri. Their rates are fixed by the District Migistrate before the start of Yatra season.
This place is located along the scenic banks of river Yamuna. Around 3.5 kms. from Ranachatti lies the breathtakingingly beautyful Lake of Bugyal Dhinara as well as the temple of Shani Maharaj (Someshwar Devta).
Jolly Grant, 196 kms. from Yamnotri via Dehradun.
Rail Head :
From Rishikesh a 205 kms. journey by road takes one to Jankichatti. From here the remaining 5 kms. trek is covered on foot or on ponies, horses and potters are also available on hire