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A river and a goddess.

The Yamuna (also known as Jamuna) is a major North Indian river, the largest tributary of the Ganga, with a length of over 1300km. She is sometimes called Kalindi (‘daughter of mount Kalinda). There is a popular belief (due to Yamuna’s relationship with Yama) that those who bathe in her waters will be freed from fears of death. Yamuna is honoured by devotees of Krishna. The town of Mathura, on the banks of the Yamuna (in the state of Utta Pradesh) is the birthplace of Krishna. The Gopis bathed in the Yamuna river.

The Yamuna is now heavily polluted – a large stretch of the river (from Dehli to Agra) is now said to be unfit for drinking or bathing.

There is a link between the river Yamuna and Nagas – one of the popular exploits of the child Krishna is his defeat of the naga Kaliya, who dwelt in a deep part of the Yamuna, recounted in the Srimad Bhagvatam. There is also an encounter between Garuda and Kaliya.

The goddess Yamuna is the sister of Yama and a daughter of Surya. She is considered as a benificent deva, and her images show her making the gestures of dispelling fears and granting boons, and holding a mirror and a kumkum jar. Her vehicle is the tortoise.

Statues of Yamuna and Ganga can frequently be found flanking the entrances of temples & shrines.