Adi's Journal

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Yamunotri – Birthplace of the River Yamuna

Indian culture puts rivers at the place of goddesses and worship them. India People celebrate every river and worship them. Today we are visiting the birthplace of one of the holiest rivers in India, Yamunotri: Birthplace of the River Yamuna.

Personification of River Yamuna Photo by I Sailko Copyrights CC BY-SA 3.0

Stories of the Yamuna

According to Hindu beliefs, there are many stories associated with this river. These stories are in connections with many gods like Shiva, Surya, Krishna etc. River Yamuna is mentioned several times in the Rigveda, Atharvaveda, Aitareya Brahmana, Shatapatha Brahmana and many Puranas. Goddess Yamuna beares other names as Yami and Kalindi. Yami is a twin sister of god Yama, the God of Death and daughter of the sun god Surya. These relations gave her the name Yami and Yamuna.

However, for the name Kalindi, there are many stories. One of them is related to lord Shiva. Distraught by the death of his wife Sati, Shiva wandered the whole universe. The god of love Kamadeva shot Shiva with the arrow Unmadastra, that made Shiva restless and excited.  He jumped in the river Yamuna to overcome his urges. While bathing in the river Yamuna, the river turned black because of Shiva’s sorrow and unfulfilled desire. Another story describes the story of the banishment of serpent Kaliya in the Yamuna. As the black serpent entered the river, it turned black.

Shrine of Yamunotri

Shrine of the River Goddess Yamuna is situated at an altitude of 3,291 metres (10,797 ft) in Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand. You can reach the shrine by hiking on several routes. One of them starts from Janaki Chatti and a couple of them goes from Hanuman Chatti. This temple is a part of India’s Chota Char Dham pilgrimage. The temple of Yamunotri got destroyed twice by snow and floods. However, after every incidence, people rebuilt the temple again. Maharani Guleria of Jaipur re-built the Yamunotri temple in the 19th century. There are two hot springs near the temple. The temple and place opens every year on the auspicious day of the Akshaya Tritiya and continues to be open till Yama Dwitiya in Diwali.

Yamunotri Temple built by Maharani Guleria of Jaipur in the 19th century- Photo by JediPro Copyrights CC BY-SA 3.0

I am participating in the A2Z challenge with Blogchatter and this is my take on the ‘Y’ challenge. “Y is for the Yamunotri Temple, Uttarkashi”. You can find my other posts from this challenge here.

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