Badrinath is a sacred place of Hindus who believe it to be the abode of Lord Vishnu. The town of Badrinath is spread over a stretch of 3 km in a valley between two mountain ranges: Nar and Narayan, at an altitude of 3,133 metres and just 44 km from Joshimath in Uttranchal, India. Here, the mountains are imposing but not rugged or steep, unlike the Gharwal range. They are green like the meadows and drop gently into the valley. It seems as thought they cradle Badrinath like a child in their arms. The colour of the mountains is a deep contrast to the clear blue sky, and the snow-clad mountain ranges add to the colour on the canvas. The Alaknanda River flows through the valley, and every stone has a story to tell. Badrinath is the place of the legends.
The mighty Neelkhant is a pyramid-shaped snowy peak towering above Badrinath, which is popularly known as the Garhwal Queen and gives a spectacular view. The sacred temple is on the other bank of Alaknanda, and the temple gate (Singh Dwar) is curved with bright colours in a sharp contrast to the green mountain and the blue sky at the backdrop.
The 15-metre high cone-shaped temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and was established in Badrinath by Adi guru Shankaracharya. An especially attractive feature is the one-metre high image of Badrinath finely sculpted in black stone. It represents Lord Vishnu seated in a meditative pose. Before offering prayer in the temple, the pilgrims take a holy dip in the natural thermal springs on the banks of the river Alaknanda—the Tapt Kund. The water of the Kund is believed to have medicinal properties.
The Sheshnetra Ashram is just 1.5 km away from the Badrinath temple. The sacred Spatic Shiv Ling, which is the frozen ice that has converted into stone over the years, is the major attraction of the Ashram.
Apart from a religious destination along the Char Dham pilgrimage, Badrinath is also acclaimed for its scenic beauty and awesome recreational spots. From Badrinath one can move on to Mana village which is situated at a distance of 4 km from Badrinath towards the Indo-Tibetan Border. Inhabited by an Indo-Mangolian tribe, it is considered to be the last Indian village before Tibet on this route. The huts of this tribe are made of stone and their traditional dress is similar to the Tibetan style. These people reside here for just six months and cultivate their land, moving onto the warmer plain areas in the winter. Heavy snowfall cuts off this area from the entire world. Even Badrinath temple is closed from October until April due to the severe winter, and during this period the idol is worshipped in Joshimath.
Badrinath town is a major attraction to most of the campers and trekkers for its natural scenic beauty. Also, according to legend Badrinath is the last town where the Pandavas took refuge before resuming their journey to Heaven. Apart from the legendary Vayas Gufa, the Bhim Pul and the Draupadi temple, this place is also the origin of Saraswati River and the Vasundhara Falls—a 122-metre-high waterfall forming an important part of the pilgrimage to Badrinath. This sacred place in the lap of the Himalayas is not just for the religious souls, but also lovers of nature.
Odds n' Ends
The best time to visit Badrinath is in the months of May to October. Woolens are always required here and during winters heavy woolens are needed.
The nearest getaway is Joshimath, located at a height of 6000 ft. above sea level. It is the ultimate stop-off for all those going towards Badrinath and Hemkund. Just a few kilometers uphill from Joshimath is the favorite destination of the trekkers: Auli. The Himalayan peaks are more prominently seen from Auli, and this area is also the home of many Ayurvedic medicines whose plants were cultivated there.
Hotel Narayan Palace is really a wonderful place to stay. It is located near the Badrinath temple, the famous temple for Hindu mythology. There are many other temples too which are near the hotel. The hotel offers all the necessary facilities, catering to the needs of the tourists in the hotel.
Sarovar Portico Badrinath, located amid the snow capped gigantic Himalayas with gushing white waters, provides a magnificent view of the Temple and the valley. Sarovar Portico is our humble spiritual offering in this venerated destination! Sarovar Portico is the finest 4 Star hotel in all of Badrinath, and comprises 56 guest rooms and suites
Valley of Flowers, as intoxicating as the name suggests, is a UNESCO world heritage site located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand in India. It is an exceptionally beautiful valley situated at high altitudes in the Himalayas. Famed for its exceptional charm and vast meadows filled with hundreds of varieties of flowering plants, this clutch of land on the upper region of Bhyundar Ganga is also a national park. The Valley of Flowers National Park is spread in an area of 87.5 sq km, and received national park status in 1982. You can reach the Valley of Flowers National ...9 miles away.
Mana is an unassuming little village in Uttaranchal 4 km north of the pilgrim town of Badrinath. It is perched at a height of 3,219 meters on the banks of the river Saraswati (a tributary of the Alaknanda), which rises near the Mana Pass, 48 km to the north, and finally joins the sacred Ganges and Yamuna Rivers at Allahabad. Mana also happens to be the last human settlement en route to Tibet.
People of every religion and faith are welcome and allowed in the sanctum-sanctorium of the Badrinath temple. We made a journey to the Hill station Badrinath (3133m) recently in August. Yes, it has now become an almost full-fledged Hill station since I last visited it in late May 1988.
Experienced this and have something to share? Experienced something like this somewhere else? Looking for advise or travel companions? Use this space to leave your mark. Our writers and editors are more than happy to help answer your questions.
People with experience
People who wish to experience
Listed below are the most recent comments made on Twitter for "badrinath":
"May all your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view......where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you."