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#Badrinath is one of the holiest pilgrimage places to visit in #India and every year thousands of tourists flock there to get the blessings of the deity. The shrine is dedicated to Vishnu and there are many stunning mythological tales woven based on the shrine of Badrinath. It is a vital part of the Char Dham Yatra, an important pilgrimage trip for the Hindus.
The holy town of Badrinath is counted among the most religious places in India. It is also one of the reputed Char Dham destinations. It is located in the scenic locales between the mountain ranges of Nar and Narayan of the Garhwal Hills. Badrinath is situated on the banks of River Alaknanda which is in the district of Chamoli in Uttarakhand.
The term 'Badri' is given to the region where berries grow in abundance and it is from this term that the name Badrinath has been obtained. The shrine is one of the most famous ones in India and people throng in numbers to experience the bliss and calmness.
Badrinath is full of stunningly scenic locales and great vantage points of breathtaking beauty as far as the eyes go. There is a rich amount of heritage involved as well and the feel is just mind boggling to say the least. Not just in India, but also in the entire sub-continent, Badrinath is very famous as far as pilgrimage places are concerned.
The sights of Badrinath are given an extra dimension by the two rivers that flow in the region namely Alaknanda and Rishi Ganga. As much as the place is famous for the religious experience, it is also a location for people who have a fondness in adventure sports and similar recreational activities. Every year, you can see tourists coming in droves to Badrinath to enjoy the spirituality as well as the picturesque beauty of the area.
Not only does Badrinath have a rich amount of religious heritage but also has immense value in terms of cultural heritage too. During the festive times, the environment gets heated up and it is a sight to behold indeed.
The region of Badrinath is best known for the stunning Hindu sculptures that are on view here. The significance of the place is for Vishnu especially for his dual form of Nara-Narayana. Another myth is that Ganga was sent to earth as a part of saving humanity. As earth wasn't able to resist her strength, the powerful Ganga (Ganges) got divided into 12 different channels among which Alaknanda was one as well.
The hills and mountains around the town of Badrinath have their reference in Mahabharata as the places where the Pandavas are believed to have ended their lives. They did so by getting down a peak's slopes. This peak was located in the western part of Garhwal and called as Swargarohini. Approximately 4 km to the north of Badrinath is Mana where the Pandavas are believed to have passed on their route to Swarga (heaven).
The cave where the sage Ved Vyasa wrote the Mahabharata epic is also in Mana. The climate in Badrinath is generally cold and there are few best phases in a year that are apt for tourists. Let us have a look at the different seasons.
Let us have a look at the places or tourist attractions near Badrinath.
1. Shree Badrinath Temple
The Badrinath temple is located at a height of 3133 meters above sea level. It is a tribute to Vishnu who is believed to have meditated here. The temple is along the banks of river Alaknanda and is one of the main attractions of Badrinath.
According to the myths, the Badrinath temple was initially built by Adi Shankaracharya. After the construction phase, the temple was modified several times. It is considered as one of the Panch Badris. The other Badris are Yogadhyan Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Bridha Badri and Adi Badri.
2. Surya Kund
It is a place that has great relevance both among the locals as well as the tourists. This Kund has the presence of hot water springs and it is considered to be divine to have a dip there. It is located beside the Tapt Kund.
3. Yogadhyan Badri
Pandukeshwar is a sacred place located on way to Badrinath. The distance from Badrinath is 25 km which takes 40 minutes to reach. It is dedicated to Vishnu as it is believed that King Pandu, father of five Pandavas worshiped Shiva. Yogadhyan Badri temple and Vasudev temple are two of the most famous temples in Uttarakhand.
This is located at a distance of about 13 km from Badrinath. It is a tribute to the mother of Shri Badrinath Ji. Popularly known as Yoga Badri and the place is known in Mythology as the area where King Pandu, father of the Pandavas, meditated as a part of compensating for his sins of killing two mating deers. This place is also believed to be the birthplace of the Pandavas.
4. Mata Murti Temple
It is located at a distance of 3 km from Badrinath and is a tribute to Mata Murti. It is located on the banks of river Alaknanda. Tourists come out in numbers to visit the place to worship Mata Murti on religious occasions. The belief among the locals is that the Goddess gives Vairagya to those followers who pray there regularly.
5. Neelkanth Hill
The Neelkantha Peak is located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand over Alaknanda valley and the town of Badrinath, with Satopanth glacier on the northwest side. It is known as the second beauty to Himachal. Another name of this place is the Garhwal Queen and it is shaped like a pyramid which constitutes the background of Badrinath. It is situated at a stunning height of 6597 m above sea level.
People wishing to watch the sunrise can have their ultimate experience here while those interested in activities like trekking can also have a great time.
6. Tapt Kund
This is a hot water spring which is located between Badrinath shrine and Alaknanda river. It has a temperature of 45 degrees. The water gets collected in a concrete store tank which comes from the group Silha. The name Tapta Kund itself indicates hot spring. The hot water springs are known for their powers of healing.
The belief is that before going to the Badrinath temple, you need to immerse yourself in the Tapt Kund. The Kund is believed to be the place where Agni dwells.
7. Narad Kund
This is a sacred and holy town of Badrinath located on Alaknanda river. It is only 0.4 km away from Badrinath. People visiting Badrinath often visits this location. It is in this very destination where Adi Shankara discovered the idol of Vishnu.
8. Ganesha Cave
This cave is a very prominent attraction of Badrinath. It is not very far and only 4 km away from Badrinath. The mysterious caves are built naturally which attracts the tourists more to discover its beauty. this place holds a religious significance which changes a person spiritually from within. This is located near the Vyas Cave, which is another attraction of this location.
9. Vyas Cave
This is an ancient cave located in the Mana village of Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. A mythological belief attached with this place is that sage Vyas composed the Mahabharata epic with Ganesha here.
10. Panch Dhara and Panch Shila
It is known as Panch Dhara of Badrinath as five rivers originate from here. The five rivers are Prahlad Dhara, Kurma Dhara, Bhrigu Dhara, Urvashi Dhara and Indira Dhara. Indira dhara is most popular amongst the five. Each river has its own beauty which joins together and adds to the beauty of this place.
11. Vasudhara Falls
Vasudhara falls is one of the enchanting beauty of Badrinath. It is located at a height of 400 feet about 120 meters above sea level. It is located in an isolated, remote area but the waterfalls add an ambiance and beauty to the area. It is believed that the waterfalls can be only savored by those who have clean, pure soul restraint of guilt.
Weather in Badrinath
Summer Season is from March to June and the temperatures are moderate, giving a pleasant feel to the environment. The average temperature is about 18 degrees Celsius. This season is the perfect time for sight-seeing as well as pilgrimage.
Monsoons is from July to November as the rains set into Badrinath. The temperatures drop further down to 15 degrees Celsius though the rainfall isn’t heavy. The winter season in Badrinath starts from November onwards and carries on till February. It is extremely cold and the temperatures go as low as 5 degrees Celsius on an average with sub zero levels often experienced. Heavy snowfall is another specialty of the winters here. People who love to travel in such chill weather can come here in this period.
Ideally, the best phase to visit Badrinath is from May to October except during the Monsoon phase as the roads get affected by the rains thereby making the place inaccessible.
How to get to Badrinath
In recent times, the access via roads has improved a great deal. However, safety is still an issue though road travel is still the most preferred way to reach Badrinath. Incidents of landslides, as well as bus and jeep accidents, occur on a regular basis. The main issue is the road which is often jam-packed. The reason for this is that another place of religious importance named Hemkund Sahib is also on the same route.
This place is of great importance to the Sikhs who throng there in huge numbers. All this congestion in the roads leads to freakish accidents on a regular basis. From Joshimath, the motor transport is escorted with the presence of convoys and during night time, the roads are closed. The route leading up to Badrinath is entertaining with great visuals of the hills, bends of the roads as well as the Himalayan vistas.
At Badrinath, the natural wonders are the hot water springs. Some other pilgrimage sites that are present on the way to Badrinath are Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Nandaprayag and Vishnuprayag.
Accommodation in Badrinath
Badrinath is a town that has huge crowds throughout the year and hence tourists are recommended to make their reservations for accommodation well in advance to avoid inconvenient situations. Hotels of different types are available while people preferring economical accommodation can stay at Ashrams where the food is also cheap.
Food in Badrinath
Badrinath being at a high altitude means that you don't need air-conditioning as the place is already cool. The place is a pilgrimage region and hence only vegetarian food is available here. Coming in season time is recommended as food shall not be abundant otherwise. People preferring alcohol will have a hard time as it isn't legal here though you can search for home made liquor.