Badrinath in one of the four Dhams a devout Hindu has to visit in his lifetime to attain salvation. An abode of seers, saints and yogis from times immemorial, Badrinath is surrounded on either side by two mountain mountain ranges known as Nar and Naryanan, with the Neelkanth peak providing a breathtaking backdrop. The legends say, that Badrinath, was the home of Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Narayan. It is known as Tapobhumi, a land for meditation and penance and bhubaikunth, the heaven on earth. Facing the Badrinath temple is a hot water spring known as Tapt Kund, known for its medicinal properties. Other springs here are the Narad Kund and Surya Kund. There is a separate tank for women.
FESTIVAL: Mata Murti Mela, Janmashtami, Badri Kedar Festival.
CLIMATE: The town shuts down in winter as the temple is closed. The Badrinath temple opens every year in May and closes for winter in November. During the cold season the town gets snow bound with sub- zero temperatures.
Joshimath (44km): The religious centre, established by Adi Shankaracharya, which he called Jyotirmath, later came to be known as Joshimath. Among the sites of interest are the temples of Nav Durga and Narsingh. Apart from its obvious religious importance, Joshimath is known for its scenic beauty.
Govindghat (20 kms): Situated between Joshimath and Badrinath, Govindghat is the starting point for the trek to the Valley of Flowers and to Hemkund Sahib. Govind Ghat is a small village but offers hotels and guest houses.
Valley of Flowers: Frank S. Smythe discovered this idyllic valley in 1931. During season the valley is carpeted with vibrant flowers and populated with insects, birds and butterflies. Nearby, flows the river Pushpavati, while the massive Rataban peak forms a splendid backdrop. The altitude of the valley ranges from 3352 to 6500 meters. The area has been declared a National Park to maintain its delicate environment and covers an area of 87 square kms. It holds over 300 species of wild flowers, the largest profusion being in bloom during monsoons from end July to mid August. The valley can only be visited in the daytime and night stay is not permitted. It is host to various fauna such as snow leopard, brown bear, musk deer, bharal and thar.
Hemkund Sahib: A trek branching off the route to the Valley of Flowers leads to one of the most famous Gurudwaras in India, Hemkund Sahib. The Gurudwara is located at an altitude of 4320 metres above sea level. Nearby, is the Hemkund Lake. Encircled by seven snow-clad peaks and their associated glaciers, the crystal clear serene waters of the lake reflect the surroundings. The glaciers from Hathi Parvat and Sapt Rishi peaks feed the lake and a small stream called Himganga flows out.
Shri Badrinath Temple - Badrinath
View of Badrinath Town - Badrinath
Attractions and Places to Visit in Badrinath
Joshimath: It is believed that Adi Guru Shankaracharya came all the way from Kerala in 8th century AD to perform penance here. After enlightment, he established a religious center (Math) here, which he called 'Jyotirmath'. The name Joshimath is a derived from that. Of religious interest are the temples of Nav Durga and Narsingh. Apart from the religious importance, this place is unequalled for its scenic beauty.
Valley of Flowers: This is just amazing hangout for the flower and nature lovers. So named because of the abundance of flowers that bloom here. It is one of the most picturesque valleys in the world. Nearby flows the river Pushpawati while the massive Rataban peak forms a splendid backdrop. The appropriate time to visit it is July & August when the flowers bloom.
Govindghat: The confluence of alaknanda and Lakshman Ganga rivers. It has an imposing Gurudwara named after Guru Gobind Singh. Situated between Joshimath and Badrinath it is the starting point for the trek to this valley. From Gobindghat, it is 16 kms. away. Ponies can also be hired from Gobindghat.
Lok-Pal Hemkund: This is where the Hemkund Sahib Gurdwara, at an altitude of 4320 m above sea-level, is located. The climb is steep and tiring. Hemkund Sahib is one of the most famous Gurdwaras and is held in great reverence by the Sikhs. Nearby is the Lok-Pal Hemkund Lake, with its crystal clear waters and four peaks surrounding it.
How to Reach Badrinath
Air : The nearest airport is at Jelly Grant, 315 km away.
Rail : The nearest rail heads are at Rishikesh, 297 km away, and Kotdwara, 327 km away.
Road : There is bus service to Badrinath from Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehra Dun, Kotdwara and other major towns.