From Lakhamandal Temple at Jaunsar Village, we traveled to Yamunotri and halted at Janaki chatti. Chatti means a hill in Gadwali language. The road journey to Yamunotri via Barkot, Syana chatti, Rana chatti and Hanuman chatti etc. is quite exciting and adventurous one passing through narrow roads with steep turns. The road passes through thrilling and exhilarating locations offering picturesque surroundings with awesome Deodhar trees, shrubs, lush meadows and gushing cascades. You will find the entire beauty of Gadwal mountain ranges. Two eyes doesn't seem enough looking at those beautiful mountains and valleys of Gadwal Himalayan ranges. Eyes get tired of watching the beauty of those mountains but still can't resist from looking at them.
Janaki chatti is the last destination for a vehicle to halt for Yamunotri. It is 6 kilometers trek from here. We halted at a hotel in Janaki Chatti and trekked to Yamunotri the next morning.
The picture below is the temple you find at Janaki chatti at a very picturesque location.
You get ponies, horses, palkies and pitthoos (baskets) to climb up to Yamunotri. It is one of the difficult treks as the route is crowded with people walking, ponies, horses, palkies and pitthoos all walking on the same narrow path of 6 feet width both trekking up and down.
Yamunotri is the source or originating place of River Yamuna from the frozen lake of Ice and glacier named as Champasar glacier located at a height of 6,387 meters (20,955 feet) above sea level at Kalind mountain in Garwal Himalayan range. Approaching the originating point is highly difficult for pilgrims and hence the temple is located at the foothill of Bandar poonch (monkey's tail) mountain which is 3,235 meters (10,614 feet) above see level . Not sure why it is called bandar poonch.
Anyway, the pictures below are of the river Yamuna where the temple is built. The water is so pure and unbelievably freezing. It is the second largest river of India that doesn't directly reach the ocean. It passes through the Uttarakhand, Delhi and merges with river Ganga to reach the ocean at Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh where the Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years.
I had been to Allahabad as well. This very pure Yamuna becomes a sewerage canal after passing Delhi. It is very painful to see when the nature is destroyed by the man for his selfish goals.
The picture below is the main temple of Goddess Yamuna. It is built by the Maharaja Pratap Singh of Tehri Gadwal. One of the highlights of Yamunotri is the hot water springs called Surya Kund.
I could not take enough pictures here due to unfavorable weather conditions. Ever since we landed in Janaki chatti it was raining. We started our trek in rain. The path was really dirty with horse dung spread all over due to rain, very skiddy and crowded path. The weather was really unpredictable. We experienced heavy rain in the morning, snow fall near Yamunotri on top of the hill, some hot Sun and even thick fog on return.
Here are a few pictures of the Himalayan Ranges near Yamunotri amidst different weather condition in few hours.
The first three pictures were shot just before the rains. You can see the thick clouds surrounding the mountains.
Half an hour later the clouds disappeared and the sky is clear.
You see sky is getting foggy.
Pilgrims visiting Yamunotri and in fact the char-dham should go with some preparations. You need warm clothes, proper shoes, rain coat, torch light and even some basic pills for pain and fever. Never carry warm clothes from home as they are not going to sustain the temperature. You will find warmer clothes at very reasonable prices in this region itself.