In the Northern part of India Yamuna River is the largest tributary of the Ganges. As per Hindu mythology it is considered as the most sacred among all the rivers. Before merging with the Ganges located at Allahabad, River Yamuna flows through the states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh whereas the cities of Agra, Delhi and Mathura lie on its banks. The holy river Yamuna is located approximately 30kilometres in the North Uttarkashi which is the headquarters of the Uttarkashi district in the Garhwal district of Uttarakhand in India. It is situated at an altitude of approximately 3923 metres in the Garhwal Himalayas.
Yamuna Maa is considered to be the goddess of all the rivers and also the river Yamuna. In Hindu belief she is considered to be the sister of Hindu God Yama. The mythological study says that Yamunaji is the consort of Lord Krishna. The divine abode of the Lord Krishna, Gokul, is the home of Yamuna Maa so it is said that as per the order of her Lord the river Yamuna first went round Krishna before descending down to earth. Since the river touched the peak of Kalind so River Yamuna came to be known as Kalindi. Then finally it flows down the hills and reached the plains at Khandav Vana. Later on Khandav Vana has been developed that is known as Delhi city.
Yamuna River is the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas and is perched above the sea level on the western part of Bandar Poonch Parvat. The holy thermal springs or falls at Janki Chatti and the temple dedicated to Yamunaji are the most attractive places at Yamunatri. Among the four sites in India’s Char Dham Yatra it is one of the holiest pilgrimages. The temple of Yamuna Maa is located on the left bank of Yamuna River. It was constructed by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal.
Goddess Yamunaji is represented by a black marble idol. Likewise Ganga Maa, Yamuna Maa has been depicted to the status of divine mother for the Hindus and is responsible for nurturing and developing the Indian civilization. In many pictures she has been represented by holding a floral necklace offering it to the Lord Shrinathji and on the other side of the picture is Maha Prabhuji. It is often believed that the original temple was built in the 19th century by Maharani Guleria of Jaipur that have been destroyed by weather and the elements. In reality there lies a great confusion as to who built the temple of Yamuna Maa.
There are five thermal springs or kund gushing out from the mountain cavities. These are Surya Kund, Jamuna Kund, Tapth Kund, Brahm Kund and Vishnu Kund. Among these five kunds Surya kund is the most important kund. Before offering puja to the deity devotees worship a shila known as Divya Shila which is present near Surya Kund. Rice and potatoes are prepared and tied in muslin cloth and offered to the deity by dipping into these hot springs and is taken back home as prasadam. The temple remains closed during Diwali because of snow fall and reopens on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya.