Places to Visit in Badrinath
Badrinath is an important Hindu pilgrimage and every year thousands of pilgrims visit this holy shrine to offer their prayers and take blessing from Lord Badrinarayan. The holy city of Badrinath is 545Km from national capital of India i.e. New Delhi. Travelling to such a long distance is a challenging task and then the return journey becomes monotonous. There are many famous and historical places to visit in Badrinath town and if you have a good idea of places to visit near Badrinath then your trip can be termed as devotional plus adventurous. In our other article we have provided our readers a detailed information about trip to Badrinath Temple and in this article we would provide information like places to visit in Badrinath, historical and adventurous places in Badrinath, how to reach these places and time required to explore these places. Hope we would come up with some valuable information to our readers and future travelers.
Places to Visit in Badrinath
Mana Village: Mana Village is the last village on India-China border and the Border of India is just 24 km from Mana Village. Mana Village is 4 Km away from Badrinath Temple and one of the nearest places to visit in Badrinath. One can drive 3 km from Badrinath and one Km walking to reach Mana Village. There is a small cave in Mana, named Vyas Gufa (Vyas Cave) and it is believed that Maharshi Ved Vyas composed the four Vedas and recited the Mahabharatha to Lord Ganesha in this cave. Inside cave there is a marble statue of Ved Vyas. The other caves in this village are Ganesh Gufa and Bhima Gufa associated with the war of Mahabharata. Mana village is also believed to be a temporary stay point of Pandavas during their exile.
Bhim Pul (Bhim’s Bridge): Bhim Pul is a bridge built from natural rock on Saraswati River (a tributary to Alaknanda River). According to Hindu Mythology when Mahabharata War was over all five Pandavas and Draupadi followed this path to accent to heaven (Swargarohini), Draupadi was not able to cross the river so Bhima lifted a huge rock and created a bridge to pass. Since then it is known as Bhim Pul. The Bridge is located opposite to Vays Gufa.
Vasudhara Fall: Vasudhara Fall is 9Km away from Badrinath and 6Km from Mana Village. First three kilometer is a drivable road but rest 6Km is trekking. Trekking is difficult and no food or water is available so it is advisable to carry all the necessary items. Also there are not resting point or night stay camp in route to Vasudhara Fall so make sure you return back to Badrnath town on the same day and therefore start your trekking early in the morning.
Neelkanth Mountain Peak: Neelkanth Peak is only 9km away from the Temple of Badrinath and the peak is covered with snow throughout the year. The height of Neelkhanth Peak is 6596 Meters and it can be seen from the Badrinath Temple. Frank Smythe a British mountaineer described Neelkhanth Mountain Peak as one of the most beautiful Mountain Peak in entire Himalayan Range and second to Siniolchu peak in Sikkim.
Valley Of Flower National Park: Valley of Flowers National Park is 42 Km from Badrinath Temple (25 Km drive to Govindghat and 19 Km of trekking) and it is one of the best places to visit in Badrinath. The route for trekking to Valley of Flower National park is common to Sikh pilgrimage site of Gurudwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib Ji. After trekking 14km there is a small town called Ghangaria and hotels and night stay facilities are available here. From Ghangaria there is an additional trek of 4km to reach valley of Flower. The national park opens from June to October but the best time to visit is after rainy season when flowers are in full bloom. If you are planning to visit Valley of Flower then plan your journey for at least three to four days as it will minimum of three days to explore the flora of Valley of Flower. The valley was declared a national park in 1982 by Indian Government and it is in the UNESCO list of World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004.
Gurudwara Sri Hemkund Sahib Ji: Hemkund Sahib Ji is a Sikh pilgrimage site situated at an elevation of 4632meters. The Gurudwara is constructed around a glacial lake and water melting form seven mountain peaks is primary source of Lake. Bathing in lake is a part of ritual and you will feel like thousand pins has been pierced on your body. To reach Hemkund Sahib one has to trek a distance of 19 Km to reach Gurudwara (3Km is motor able road). Pilgrims visiting the holy shrine can take overnight stay at hotels in Ghangaria. Gurudwara at Ghangaria also provide free of cost shelter to pilgrims. From Ghangaria pilgrims have to trek an additional distance of 6Km and this part of trekking is most difficult one. Night stay at Hemkund Sabhi is not allowed nor is trekking after 7P.M allowed due to threat posed by wild animals. You need to start your journey from Ghangaria early in the morning reach Hemkund Sahib by afternoon and then return back before evening. To complete the pilgrimage of Hemkund Sahib a minimum of 2 days are required. If you have trekking experience of any other religious shrine in India then believe me the trekking of Hemkund Sahib is the most difficult among all. Every year Hemkund Sahib opens for Darshan from 25th of May and closes by 10th of October.
Tapovan: Tapovan is 15Km drive from Joshimath on route to Badrinath. Tapovan is famous for hot spring of water coming out of mountain. Visitors are advised not to touch the water as the water coming out of rock is very hot with fumes coming out of it. Water source is just side by road and it’s not a very popular destination. If you have sufficient time then you should visit this place.
Auli: Auli is a hill station situated at a distance of 54 Km from Badrinath. The nearest town is Joshimath and cable car facility is available from Joshimath to Auli. It is a very famous Ski destination and 2011 South Asian Winter Games were held in Auli. Tourist come here for Skiing as well as for trekking. There is an artificial lake at Auli and it also holds the record of World’s highest man-made lake. Best time to visit Auli is in the winter season (skiing is possible only in winter) but if you are interested in seeing natural beauty and trekking then any time of year is suitable. From top you will get a spectacular view of peaks of Nanda Devi (7817 m), Dronagiri (7066 m), Kamet (7757 m), Chaukhamba (7128 m) and Trishul (7120 m).