Badrinath is a holy town located at an elevation of 3300 m / 10800 ft. It is one of the four important pilgrimage sites in India famously called as the “Char Dham” of India. Char Dham, which means four holy abodes, comprises of Badrinath (Badrinath Temple) in the north, Puri (Jagannath Temple) in the east, Beyt Dwarka (Shri Dwaradhish Temple) in the west and Rameshwaram (Ramanatha Swamy temple) in the south.
Badrinath is also part of the “Chota Char Dham” or Char Dham of Uttarakhand (also famously called Char Dham) which includes Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Badrinath is the only place which is included in both the Char Dhams. The temple at Badrinath is dedicated to Lord Badrinarayan or Lord Vishnu is visited by lakhs of pilgrims every year. Badrinath Temple is located on the banks of River Alaknanda, which is originated just few kilo-meters upstream from Badrinath. Badrinath is also famous for Natural Hot Sulphur Springs. The local administration has built a small pond called Tapt Kund around the hot springs for pilgrims to take a holy dip in it. In fact, the locals say that the water of the natural springs are so hot, that if you wrap raw rice in a piece of cloth and hold it under the hot spring for half an hour, it would be boiled and can be consumed directly! Due to its intensely high temperature, Tapt Kund has the water from hot spring mixed with the ice cold water of River Alaknanda so that pilgrims can safely take a dip in the hot water.
Badrinath has several legends associated with it and has the legends dated to time immemorial! According to the epic Mahabharata, Pandavas passed through Badrinath which acted as a gateway to Swargarohini. (Read more about it in the Mana page).
Beauty of Himalayas at Badrinath
Apart from the religious significance of Badrinath, the place is also adored by nature lovers alike. Being at such a high altitude, surrounded by even higher mountains, you can spend the solo time on the river side admiring the beauty of the beautiful nature around you. It is an unforgettable sight to see the famous triangle shaped Nilkant Mountain especially during the sunrise when the golden sun rays fall on the snow turning the whole mountain into golden peak.
As the day progresses, and the sun shines brighter, you can see the beauty of the Nilkant Mountain in another form. It is amazing how the beauty of the same place changes every hour depending on the intensity of the sunlight!
Nilkant Mountain after sunrise
Journey to Badrinath
While the town of Badrinath itself is very picturesque, it is the journey to Badrinath that is equally spectacular and exciting. The tall and majestic mountains all around the narrow route to Badrinath offers breathtaking views throughout the stretch. Faint clouds on the mountains, clear blue skies, frozen waterfalls, you get to see all the natural beauty you could ever ask for!
On the way to Badrinath
On the way to Badrinath
The route from Joshimath to Badrinath has narrow dwindling roads that get down one mountain, cross the river and ascends up on the next mountain. Even though the distance is not huge, it takes quite a few hours to reach Badrinath. At some places, the roads are so narrow that vehicles are allowed to go in only one direction. On the other side, the vehicles have to stop (sometimes for almost an hour) to allow vehicles from the other side to pass through. This happens at many places on the way.
River Alaknanda in the valley
Road between two huge mountains
Road to Badrinath!
Narrow route to Badrinath
When to visit?
Due to the high altitude, and the harsh weather in winter, Badrinath remains closed from Diwali (Oct or Nov) to Akshaya Tritiya (May). The local residents of Badrinath would then shift to locations with lower altitude, and go back when the temple opens during summer.
Whether you are a religious pilgrim, or a nature lover, or a wanderer/explorer, Badrinath is an apt location to spend few days and explore the region that is abundant with natural as well as spiritual beauty!
Where to stay?
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