Yamuna River
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Yamuna river

River Yamuna at Karnal - photo © Rajiv Lather

Yamuna river forms the eastern boundary of Haryana with Uttar Pradesh. Yamuna enters Haryana near the Kalesar forest in Yamunanagar    Online casino district. It flows south along the districts of Yamunanagar, Karnal, Panipat, Sonipat, and exits Haryana near Hasanpur in district Faridabad. At Tajewala barrage in district Yamunanagar, the waters of the river Yamuna are caught and diverted in the Western Yamuna Canal for irrigation. There is a nice tourist spot at Hathni Kund near this barrage. The world famous Taj Mahal is situated on the banks of this river in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. This river is also called Yamna, Jamna and Jamuna in different Hindi dialects.

This revered river originates from the Champasar Glacier at an altitude of 4421 m in the state of Uttaranchal. Some say the source of the river is the Saptarishi Kund, a glacial lake. There is a sacred shrine of Yamunotri or Yamnotri, near this source at an altitude of 3235 m. There is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Yamuna, which remains closed from November to May. At Hanumanchatti, the Hanuman Ganga merges with Yamuna river. Yamunotri 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.

From Uttaranchal, the river flows into the state of Himachal Pradesh. After passing Paonta Sahib, Yamuna flows along the boundary of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and after exiting Haryana it continues to flow till it merges with the river Ganga (Ganges) at Sangam or Prayag in Allahbad (Uttar Pradesh). The total length of the river is 1,370 km. Its major tributaries are the Chambal and Betwa rivers.

Religious Importance: Ganga and Yamuna along with the dried Saraswati, are the most sacred rivers in India. Yamuna, according to the legends, is the daughter of the Sun God, Surya and the sister of Yama, the God of Death. According to ancient beliefs it is said that those who take a dip in the holy waters of the river do not fear death. This river is also closely connected to Mahabharat and Lord Krishna. His father Vasudeva, crossed the Yamuna with baby Lord Krishna for a safe place. It is said that Lord Krishna played along with his cowherd friends on the banks of river Yamuna during his childhood.

Wildlife and Birds: Yamuna and its banks are one of the last refuge for the dwindling wildlife and bird population of Haryana. Neelgai, Black Buck and Chital can occasionally be seen along the river. In addition, birds like Pallas Gull, River Tern, Black-bellied Tern, Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Shoveller, Cormorants, Egrets, Little-ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Sand Lark, Crested Lark, River Lapwing, Red-wattled Lapwing, Common Coot, Pied Kingfisher, White-breasted Kingfisher, Great Thick-knee, Eurasian Thick-knee, etc can be regularly seen.

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