Badrinath is one of the holy towns of the Hindus located at Chamoli district of Uttarakhand in India . It is the most important of all the four dhams in India . The town of Badrinath lies between Nar and Naryana mountain ranges and in the shadow of Nilkantha peak, 301 km north of Rishikesh. The town is located at an elevation of 3,133 mts above sea level on the left bank of Alakananda River . The main attraction of Badrinath is the Badrinath temple also known as the Badrinarayan temple. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is also one of the 108 Divya Desams or holy shrines of Vaishnavities. The present temple is conical in shape built two centuries ago by the Garhwal kings.
Also called Yoga Badri is located at Pandukeshwar (30°38′2″N 79°32′51″E) at the elevation of 1,829 metres (6,001 ft), close to Govindghat and is as ancient as the main Badrinath temple. Legend has it that King Pandu, father of the five Pandavas - heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, meditated here to god Vishnu to cleanse him of the sin of killing of two mating deer, who were ascetics in their previous lives. The Pandavas were also born here and Pandu died and attained salvation here. Pandu is believed to have installed the bronze image of Vishnu in the Yogadhyan Badri shrine. The image is in a meditative posture and thus the image is called Yoga-dhyan (mediative) Badri.
Joshimath is a popular hill station and a famous centre for pilgrimage at a height of 1,890mts above sea level in Chamoli district of Garhwal division in Uttarakhand. In ancient scriptures Joshimath is described as Kartikeyapura as it has been named after Kartikeya, the God of Katyuri kings. Joshimath is one of the four maths or monasteries. established in the 8th century by Adi Guru Sri Shankaracharya. The rivers Alkananda and Dhauliganga meet at the confluence of Vishnuprayag located just below Joshimath.. Among the important attractions of Joshimath includes a temple dedicated to Narashima, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
19 kms. Trek from Govindghat Another steeper trek route from Ghangaria, this leads to the high altitude Lokpal Lake , known as Hemkund (4329 m) and takes about 4-6 hours. Encircled by seven snow-clad peaks and their associated glaciers, the lake reflects its surroundings enchantingly in its serene crystal-clear waters. The glaciers of Hathi Parvat and Sapt Shring peaks feed the lake and a small stream, the Him Ganga, flows from the lake. There is a Sikh Gurudwara and a Lakshman temple on the bank of the lake.
Auli is 30kms from Govindghat by road, situated amidst snowy mountains and flanked by conifers and oak forests, Auli, located 16 km from Joshimath on the Badrinath route, offers a panoramic view of Himalayan peaks such as the Nanda Devi (7,817 metre), the Kamet (7,756 metre), the Mana Parvat (7,273 metre) and the Dunagiri (7,066 metre). From here, the ranges seem just an arms length away. Also called Bugyal in the native language, Auli has from ancient times been a grazing ground for the local shepherds.
Satopanth Lake is a holy lake in Uttarakhand, located in the midst of snow-capped peaks at an altitude of 4,600 metres in the route of Swargarohini. The lake is considered to be of religious significance to the local people. Many people believe that the Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh take bathe in the lake in an auspicious day. Also some types of birds are found here, which pick up the pollutants of the lake and thus keep the lake clean. These birds are not found anywhere. The local belief is that they are the Gandharvas disguised, who guard the lake against evil.
Vasudhara Falls is a natural waterfall situated near Badrinath. It is a 5 km trek from Mana village (3 km from Badrinath). Mana is accessible by road from Badrinath, which is usable by motor vehicles from Haridwar, the nearest town serviced by rail transport. The trek starts from Mana village, along a stoned path. The first 2–3 kilometers are comparatively easy to walk but after that the road is quite steep. There are no villages or shops along the route.
Mana is known for last border village to China , it is 3 kms from Badrinath town. This is the place where river Sarswati originates. Near to village Bhim rock over the sarswati river made by Bhim, by old myth Maharishi Vedvyas written Ved Puran - the Hindu epics - here under the cave known as Vyasgufa and also known for its traditional houses of varying design like woolen carpets, shawls, pankhi and many other hand-woven articles.
Tourists are not allowed to stay in the Valley of Flowers and therefore there is no accommodation in the Park. You can stay at private lodges and hotels in Ghangaria, the camp for your trek to the Valley of Flowers . The best time to visit Valley of Flowers is from July to September. In 1939, Miss Margaret Legge, a botanist deputed by the botanical gardens of Edinburgh arrived at the valley of flowers for further studies, While she slipped off and was lost for ever in the garden of the gods. Her sister later visited the valley of flowers and erected a memorial on the spot where she was buried by the locals. The thoughtful memorial is still there.