Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chardham Yamunotri - the final trek

Chardham Yamunotri
Having rested during the night at Hanumanchatti, we started early next morning for Jankichatti, which is the last motorhead before one starts trek for Yamunotri. Although the distance between Hanumanchatti to Jankichatti is hardly 8-10 Kms., but the road is atrocious and only the local jeeps are comfortable negotiating them. This journey otherwise is enchanting as one passes through picturesque valleys with lofty mountains in the distance. The first interesting place that one passes through after Hanumanchatti is the Banaras village -
Banaras village accross the Yamuna river gorge -
Having got past the Banaras village the valley opened up and the first view of the Bandarponch range which the source of the river Yamuna appeared in all its glory bathed in the fresh morning sun -
Close-up view of Bandarpoonch range -
After quarter of an hours tortorous climb in the scantily furnished local jeep with most of the bones & joints aching due to constant tossing around we reached Janakichatti and commenced our onward journey to Yamunotri. One can either hire a pony (although the trek upwards is resaonable but during return it is very torturous and at one point one has to trudge 2 Kms. distance by foot as journey during this stretch cannot be performed on pony) and the hire charges are - (i) official Rs.430/- for a round trip but they charge higher and requires some haggling and in addition one has to pay a toll fee @ Rs.50/- per pony. The other mode of journey for elderly is the doli or palki which is hauled by four porters and this costs around Rs.1200/- per round trip and again requires haggling for price as they tend to overcharge, toll tax is also payable @ Rs. 100/- per doli/palki. In addition to this there is another mode which is called the kandi/tokri wherein a porter carries very old and children (below 40 Kgs. weight) and they charge as same as pony with similar toll charges -
Starting journey from Jankichatti -
On Kandi/pitthu on way to Yamunotri -
Route of Yamunotri -
The tortorous climb to Yamunotri -
First view of Yamunotri temple -
Having reached Yamunotri after almost two & half yours journey we headed straight for the temple which is another 750 meters by foot from the place where the ponies/dandis/kandis etc. drop you. The video for the first view can be watched at - 

The main prasada that is offered in the temple is rice cooked in the holy hot springs, especially Surya Kund whose water is at an astounding 190 degree Celsius -
The Yamunotri Temple -
Rice being cooked in hot water springs/Surya kundin Yamunotri Temple -
Source of river Yamuna -
Having performed puja we loitered around for some time to imbibe the fresh air and magnificient views all around and having had a small tiffin we started on our way back. The video of Yamuna at Yamunotri can be viewed at 

Bandarpoonch range source of river Yamuna as viewed from Yamunotri -
Small glaciers near Yamunotri -
Having trudged down to Jankichatti we came across Kharsali village where the priests of Yamunotri and their families reside during the severe winter months.
View of Kharsali village -
Finally having returned to Hanumanchatti and after a hot cup of coffee with pakoras we departed for Barkot for night stay and to embark upon our next stage of journey to Gangotri. We reached Barkot at around 5.30 P.M having started from Hanumanchatti at 4.00 P.M having traversed as distace of 32 Kms.
Brahmani river at Barkot -
Barkot night view - twinkling stars or what?


  1. i want to talk to you sir.
    I'm a 4th year engineering student and a travel maniac too. This year i have collected about 5000rs. for travelling, and I want to go to some undiscovered place in the HIMALYAS...!!
    can you please suggest me something which is in budget too.

    1. Go to Kalpa in Kinnaur district if you havent already