Badrinath shrine is one of the holiest shrines of India and every year thousands of tourists flock there to get the blessings of the deity. The shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and there’s many stunning mythological tales woven based on the shrine of Badrinath. It is a vital part of the Char dham yatra, a significant pilgrimage yatra for the Hindus. Get detailed info on Badrinath Tourism from the article below.
The pious town of Badrinath is regarded as one of the most religious places in India. It is also one of the reputed Char Dham destinations. It is located on the scenic locales in 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 the state of 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 breath-taking beauty as far as the visuals 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 visuals 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 visuals.
Places to visit in Badrinath
Let us have a look at the places or tourist attractions at the town of Badrinath.
01. Badrinath Temple
The Badrinath temple is located at a height of 3133 meters above the sea level. It is a tribute to Lord 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.
02. 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 besides the Tapt Kund.
03. Yogadhyan Badri
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.
04. 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 give prayers regularly and keenly there.
05. Neelkanth Hill
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 the 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.
06. Tapt Kund
These 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 Lord Agni dwells.
Special Festivities and Events
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. Let us have a look at some of the renowned festivities and events in Badrinath.
Holi: It is known as the festival of colors and you can see people celebrating it with aplomb by firing colors over each other. It is one of the biggest festivals of Badrinath and the celebrations are very colorful. It is in the month of March.
Diwali: Known as the festival of lights, Diwali is one of the important festivals for Hindus and is celebrated with grandeur in Badrinath. It is celebrated generally in the months of October or November. The deity worshipped in this festival is Goddess Lakshmi.
Dussehra: Another festival that is celebrated with panache in Badrinath is Dussehra. The festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil (Lord Rama over Ravana).
Rakshabandhan: It is another beautiful festival in Badrinath where girls tie ‘Rakhis’ on the hands of their siblings or people they consider as their siblings.
The Story behind 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.
The region of Badrinath is best known for the stunning Hindu sculptures that are on view here. The significance of the place is for Lord Vishnu especially for His dual form of Nara-Narayana. Another myth is that Goddess 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.
- Summer Season: This 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: This season 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.
- Winters: 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 subzero 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 There
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.
Food and Accommodation
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. Badrinath being at the high altitudes 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 an illegal attempt can be made at your own risk.