Places to visit in Badrinath in India
Badrinath, one of the most important pilgrim centres of the country is a part of sacred ‘Char Dhams’ of the State. It lies on the righ bank of Alaknanda at an altitude of 3133 metres and is flanked by Nar and Narayan mountains, while the Neelkanth Peak forms a splendid backdrop. The Shri Badrinathji temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu was established by Adi Shankaracharya and later built by the rulers of Garhwal, about two centuries ago. It can be divided into three parts the Garbha, the Darshan Mandapand Sabha Mandap. The principal idol carved out of black stone represents meditating Lord Vishnu. “Tapt Kund”, the holy hot water spring is located In front of the temple and a dip in the waters of the spring is a must before entering the shrine. The temple opens every year in the month of April – May and closes for winters in the third week of November.
Badrinath is located at Pandukeshwar on Rishikesh-Badrinath highway. It lies at an altitude of about 3,300m above the sea level.
The average maximum temperature is about 18°C and the minimum temperature goes to about 5°C.
The word, badri is derived from the wild berry that Lord Vishnu survived on during his reparation at Badri Van. Badrinath is an 8th century monastery and was a temple to the Hindu God, Shiva. The great Indian scholar and teachers, Shankaracharya hold the credit to develop this popular pilgrimage. Adjacent to the shrine, is the hot spring pool of Taptakund in which pilgrims take a dip before worshipping Sri Badrinatha. Badrinath is one of the four Dhams, a devout Hindu has to visit in his lifetime to attain salvation.
Char Dham or the four most sacred Hindu pilgrim centres of india nestles amidst the lofty peaks of Garhwal Himalayas. The four ancient temples marks the spiritual sources of the four sacred rivers, the Yamuna (Yamunotri), the Bhagirathi (Gangotri), the mandakini (Kedarnath) and the Alaknanda (Badrinath). Millions of devotees undertake this ardous pilgrimage during the yatra season between April and November.
Traditionally, the yatra is done from west to the east starting form yammounotri, then Gangotri and finally to Kedarnath and Badrinath. Rishikesh / Haridwar are convenient place to start the holy Char Dham pilgrimage.
Badrinath Tourist Place
Badrinath is the seat of Lord Vishnu. The holy Dhama temple of Badrinath, is in the state of Uttaranchal of the Himalayan mountains. It is one of the most revered Hindu Hindu pilgrimage. This place has some special significance from the Indian perspective. It is above the Alaknanda River, believed to be a headstream of the holy Indian river, Ganges. This sacred place is considered to be the most important of the four sites in India's Char Dham pilgrimage.
This world class winter games resort is 16km from Joshimath. The 3 km long ski slope ranging from a height of 2519m to 3049m is a major attraction. There is a 500m long ski-lift which carries skiers back to the slope top. The best season is form last week of December to March.
Hemkund Sahib (43km)
Hemkund or the ‘Snow Lake’ nestles at a height of 4339m amidst seven snow covered mountains, which are collectively called Hemkund Parvat. The sacred star shaped gurudwara near the lake is oen of the most important Sikh pilgrim centres. It is believed that Guru Govind Singh ji, the tenth Sikh Guru meditated here. Saints like Rishi Medhasa of the markandeya Purana and lakahman, the brother of Lord Ram also performed penance here. A temple dedicated to Lakshman is located near the gurudwara. The 15km trek from Govindghat to Hemkund is very popular. The best tiem to come here is from July to October.
Govind Ghat (15 km)
This paradise of nature lovers sprawling over an area of 87km lies 6 km from Bhyundr village and is a 19km trek for Govind Ghat. The valley excepti8onally rich in floral wealth was discovered by Frank Smythe along with R. L. Holdsworth in the 1930s. According to mythological legends, Lord Hanuman vised the valley to collect ‘Sanjeevai’ herb to save the life of Lakshman, the brother of Lord Rama. The Pushpawati river flows through the verdant valley surrounded by mountains on all sides. With the melting of snow from May onwards, the entire valley blooms with exotic flowers till September,. There are over 521 species of flowering plants and the area was declared a National Park in 1982, to preserve the bio-diversity of the valley. The park is also inhabited by animals like Himalayan black bear, musk deer, brown bears, snow leopards, tahr, bharal, serow and rich variety of Butterflies.
Jyotirmath, the religious centre, established by Adi Shankaracharya, later came to be known as Joshimath. The other sites of interest are the temples of Na Durga and Narsingha. Apart from its obvious religious importance, this place is unparalleled for its scenic beauty. The winter home of Badrinathji lays on the slopes aove the confluence of Alaknanda and Dhauliganga. It is an important halt enroute to Badrinath and base for trekkers to the famous Valley of Flowers. Main attractions are Narsingh and Garuda temple, the Shankracharya Math and Amar Kalp tree.
Nanda Devi National Park – A World Heritage Site
The famous park in Chamoli district surrounded by a string of spectacular peaks – Trishul (7,120m), Dunagiri (7066m), Nanda Devi (7817m), Nanda Devi East (7430m), Bethartoli (6352m) etc. is home to several endangered animal species like snow leopard, Himalayan musk deer and bharal (blue mountain goat). It also has many rare birds – grosbeak, rose finch, ruby throat etc. The park was established in 1980 and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, along with the valley of Flowers. A special permit is required to visit the park and the tourists are accompanied by a registered guide and have to strictly follow the provisions of wildlife protection act.
The park remains open for a period of six months from 1 st may to 31st October. The weather ramins cold here even during the summers. It can be accessed up Lata village (25km from Joshimath) by road from where the trek begins.
Tapta Kund, a natural hot water and cold springs are at the entrance of the temple. Before entering the temple, the pilgrims take a holy dip in the Tapta Kund. Other famous natural spring sites are Narad Kund and Surya Kund.
A rock boulder with the impression of Sheshnag, a mythological serpent, called Sheshnetra, is also a place, which impresses the visitors. Another important temple is the Mata Murti temple, dedicated to the mother of Badrinathji. The footprints of Lord Vishnu are present on a boulder called Charanpaduka.
The origin of Alakananda River, Alka Puri, attracts a number of tourists all the year round. Satopanth, a triangular lake, is located at a height of about 4400m above the sea level and is one of the sources of the Alakananda River. It is named after the Hindu trinity-Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
Rudra[rayag, which is at the meeting point of the rivers, Alakananda and Mandakini, is known for the Rudranath and Chamunda Devi temples. Nandaprayag is known for the Gopalji temple. The fifth pilgrimage spot is Vishnuprayag, at the confluence of Alakananda and Dhauliganga, where there is a very ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, besides the pool of Vishnu Kund. The convergence of the rivers gives birth to the famous pilgrim sites that are collectively called the Panch Prayag. Devprayag is also famous for its rock inscriptions and the temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Raghunath.
Valley of Flowers
Frank S.Smythe, in 1931, discovered this great valley. The valley is profuse with a plethora of vibrant flowers, hence the name. The river, Pusphpavati flows nearby while the massive Rataban peak forms a splendid backdrop.
Gobindghat is the starting point for the trek to the valley. This trekking attraction in the valley is situated between Joshimath and Badrinath.
One of the most famous Gurudwaras in India, Hemkund Sahib is located here. It is believed to be 4320m above the sea level. Lokpal Hemkund lake, with its crystal clear waters, and four peaks surrounding it acts as another important attractive spot for tourists. Mana village, the last village in the Indo-Tibetan border is about 4km from here.
Hemkund Sahib is situated 43km away from the Lok-Pal Hemkund Sahib which is an important pilgrimage of the Sikhs and Hindus. The sacred shrine is located along the shores of the holy lake, Hemkund. It is the place where Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru unified with God after prolonged meditation in his previous birth. Another attraction is the Lakshman a Temple, where Lakshmana performed his penance.
Brahma Kapal is a flat platform, situated on the bank of the Alakananda River. Here the Hindus perform propitiating rites for their deceased ancestors.
Neelkanth is popularly known as the 'Garhwal Queen'. Neelkanth is basically a pyramid shaped snow peak towering above Badrinath.
Mata Murti Temple
Mata Murti Temple is about 3km away from Badrinath, and lies on the banks of the Alakananda River. The temple is dedicated to the mother of Sri Badrinathji.
Mata Murti Ka Mela
A grand fair is organized in Badrninath Temple in the month of September. On this day, the mothe of Lord Badrinath is worshipped and hence, the name Mata Murti Ka Mela. According to a popular legend, when the river, Ganges descended on earth for the welfare of the human beings, she divided it into twelve channels. The place where the river flowed became the abode of Lord Vishnu. This is precisely the holy land known as 'Badrinath'.
Badri Kedar Festival
Held in the month of June, nothing could be a perfect manifestation of Hindu religion and culture than the Bedri Kedar Festival. This festival is held in the sacred shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath in the month of June. The festivities go on for a stretch of eight days. This festival makes an attempt to bring under one platform, the greatest artists of the country.