Yamuna or "Jamuna" river is the second most important river of northern India. The Ganges River (or Gangĝ) is the most important river of northern India and Bangladesh. River Yamuna is the largest tributary of River Ganga and together they are considered the most sacred rivers as per Hindu mythology. The catchment of the Yamuna river system covers parts of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and the entire state of Delhi. The River Ganga along with river Yamuna, forms a large and fertile basin, known as the Gangetic plains, stretching across north India and Bangladesh.
The Gangetic plains support one of the highest densities of human population in the world. Indeed, about one in every 12 people on earth (8.5% of world population) live in its catchment area. Due to this incredible concentration of population, pollution and the destruction of habitats are matters of serious concern.
Originating from the Champasar Glacier at an altitude of 4421 m in the state of Uttarkhand, the revered Yamuna finds a special mention in the Hindu mythology. 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. According to a legend, this secluded hilly spot was the home of an ancient sage, Asit Muni.
Yamuna is popularly called as Jamuna in Uttar Pradesh state and northern India which rises in Himalayas near Yamunotri. It is from here the river started her journey to Vrindavan and Mathura. Then she started flowing towards south and southeastern parts and flourished the places on her way. Reaching the Prayag, one of the most sacred places in India, she joins with Ganges. Then they both flow together till Ksheer Sagar. Before reaching the sea, the Yamuna and Ganges greeted each other.
The rivers Ganga and Yamuna along with the now 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.
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