In the month of May, when I planned to travel to Kedarnath and Badrinath, my mind was still occupied with the stories of the flood disaster of 2013. But I was keen on a visit to the Jyortilinga shrine with my mother as being sacred Chardham for Hindus. After visiting Kedarnath, we started for our journey to Badrinath. Here is Guide to Visit Badrinath and Kedarnath to Badrinath Roadtrip Travel Guide including important Places to visit on the way to Badrinath.
I have already written about Delhi to Kedarnath Road trip, you can directly take Delhi to Badrinath trip as well according to your choice. Here is Kedarnath to Badrinath Route we followed:
In this post, I am continuing my Post from Kedarnath to Badrinath Roadtrip Travel Guide. Here is day by day route.
Kedarnath to Badrinath Roadtrip: Day-4 Kedarnath-Guptkashi-Chamoli-Joshimath-Badrinath
After staying for a night at Kedarnath, the next day we rode back by helicopter in early morning.Our return journey ride was scheduled at 7 AM in the morning. The weather was clear and it was relieving sign for me as the weather could have disturbed at any time in Kedarnath.
After reaching back to Phata, we started for Badrinath via Guptkashi. The distance between Kedarnath to Badrinath is 200 Kms Via Guptkashi and it takes 10-12 hours to complete the journey. As we drove Badrinath to Kedarnath by road journey, we walked past small villages and towns and reached to Chopta. It is a well developed beautiful hill station and a superb trekking destination in Uttarakhand. It is surrounded by meadows and evergreen forest with spectacular views of mighty Himalayan ranges which attracts many trekkers. It is famous for temples and it is a gateway to so many treks in the region like Chopta-Tungnath and many more. As we started early in the morning; took a break at Chopta for a hot breakfast.
As we crossed Chopta, the road became more serpentine with the dense forest surrounding it. The jacaranda flowers were in full bloom, the colorful village houses dotted along the road and the curvy road was giving me goosebumps during the ride. Chopta is one of the beautiful places of Uttarakhand and don’t miss to stop by it on Kedarnath to Badrinath Roadtrip.
Read more : Chopta-Tungnath-Deoria Tal trek
After crossing Chopta, we reached Chamoli-Gopeshwar. It was early evening when we reached to Joshimath– a holy shrine 45 Kms before Badrinath. The town of Badrinath remains snowbound for six months in a year and Lord Badrinarayan i.e Lord Vishnu was brought to the Narsimha Temple at Joshimath by the head Priests with the holy ceremony. This way Joshimath is also known as the ‘winter abode’ of Lord Badrinath. So on the way to Badrinath, must include this beautiful temple during your Kedarnath to Badrinath Roadtrip.
We quickly visited the Narsimha Temple which is 1200 years old. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the deity of the temple is the 4th incarnation of Lord Vishnu- Narsimha Avtar in the form of half Lion and half man. It is said that the trip to Badrinath is incomplete without visiting the Narsimha Temple.
As we crossed Joshimath, the road was in bad condition at some patches till Govindghat. It is base for a trek to Valley of Flowers which starts from Ghangharia. It is one of the holy places for Sikhs and we saw many Sikh devotees on the way. As you cross Govindghat, the road becomes curvier and it was almost cut through the rocks. I was delighted to see the mighty Alaknanda river flowing on one side and a serpentine road on the other; it was like a roller-coaster ride to Badrinath.
It was dark when we reached to Badrinath. After driving for more than 10 hours it was time for some rest!!
Kedarnath to Badrinath Roadtrip: Day-5: Badrinath
Badrinath is located at 10,170 ft is the abode of Lord Vishnu and one of the most revered places among char Dham for Hindus. It is located on the banks of the Alaknanda river between Nar Narayan mountain range, with Neelkanth peak in the background.
In the morning, we proceeded for visiting the Badrinath Temple which is one of four important temples in Uttarakhand. The road that leads to the temple is full of shops selling religious offerings, CDs, winter wears, Photographs, etc. As we crossed it, we reached the bridge on the Alaknanda River which leads to the temple area. The temple dates back to a century ago when Adi Shankaracharya established math here (today’s Joshimath). The temple is also believed to be of Buddhist origin and later it was converted to a Hindu temple.
At first look, I was delighted with the colors of the temple which are conventionally bright that left me in awestruck. I loved the decoration of the temple and I was tempted to click so many pictures of it. It does all the justice for the long journey. I was lost in the charming aura of this temple.
Interesting facts about the Badrinath Temple:
- As far no historical records have been found about Badrinath temple’s origin but some of the accounts state that a Buddhist shrine was present here before Adi Shankaracharya converted it into a Hindu shrine. Also, the architecture and the brightly painted façade of the Badrinath temple is similar to that of a Buddhist vihara (temple) which draws our attention to the fact.
- The Badrinath Temple is among the four pilgrimages of Hindus. It is situated on the Alaknanda River at the NainaParvat, near TaptaKund, which is a hot water spring. The temple has three parts: The garbhgriha, Darshanmandap, and Sabhamandap. The Lord Badrinath is seated in the garbhgriha, the second part is also known as DarshanMandap where all devotees come for worshipping, and sabha mandap is the outer hall where devotees wait for doing darshan of their lord.
- The high priest of Badrinath is from the clan of Adi Shankaracharya. He is called ‘Rawal’ is traditionally a Nambudiri Brahmin chosen from the South Indian state of Kerala. During his span as a priest, the Rawal cannot marry and has to be celibate. For them, even the touch of women is considered a sin.
- Conch which is a favorite instrument of Lord Vishnu is not allowed to blow in the Badrinath temple. According to a Hindu legend, when sage Agasthya was slaying the demons of Kedarnath the two demons by the name of Vatapi and Atapi escaped. Atapi took refuge in the Mandakini river while Vatapi hid inside the conch to save his life. Since then it is believed if anybody tries to blow the conch, Vatapi will come out. Hence, it is prohibited to blow conch in this area. But according to science since Badrinath temple is covered in snow most of the time so blowing conch might create echo- a unique phenomenon which can create turbulence in the ecological environment, cause ice storms and endanger human life.
- Adorned below the Badrinath temple, the Tapta Kund is the group of hot sulfur water springs snuggled below the temple. It is believed that these hot water springs possess medicinal properties and is home to the Agni God, the Hindu Lord of Fire. Before paying obeisance at Badrinath temple, the pilgrims take a holy dip in this kund for purifying themselves. The temperature of Tapta Kund remains as hot as of 55 °C (131 °F) at 17 °C temperature all round the year.
- The name of the Badrinath Temple originates from a known word Badri which is said a type of wild berry. A mythological story increases the faith of devotees. The story is when Lord Vishnu sat in penance in the mountains of Badrinath; then His Better half Goddess Laxmi changed herself into a berry tree to shade her husband from the harsh sun. That is why sages and pilgrims belief in meditating here for mental peace and enlightenment.Hence, Badrinath is also known as “Badri-Vishal”.
Badrinath Temple Timings:
The temple opens at 4 AM and closes at 1 PM noon; once again it opens at 3 PM and closes at 9 PM. If you want to avoid the queue, visit it at night. You can perform special Pooja also which you can book in advance.
The idol of Lord Vishnu is sculpted in black stone and it is seated in meditating posture ‘Padmasana’ hosed in the gold canopy. As you walk around the main shrine area, you can see the idols of Ganesha, Garuda, Hanuman, and goddess Lakshmi.
Best Places to Visit in Badrinath:
As you walk out from the temple, just below the temple, there is ‘Tapt Kund’(hot water sulfur spring) –separate for both men and women. The water of the Kund is believed to have medicinal properties and pilgrims take bath before entering the temple.
After offering our prayers, we left for visiting the Mana Village – Last Indian Village. As Badrinath is a Holy place, there aren’t many places to see in Badrinath. Nearby Mana has located 3 km from Badrinath at an altitude of 3200 meters. It is the last village before Mana Pass and 24 Kms from the Border of India and Tibet. It requires mild trekking to reach the village and exploring a few points of interest.
I was just happy to walk around and knowing interesting stories of River Sarswati-Vasudhara Falls and Bheempul. There is one more ritual here to have Tea at Last Tea Shop in India. We spent some time here and started back to reach Badrinath. So if you are visiting Badrinath, don’t miss to visit this Last village from Badrinath.
Kedarnath to Badrinath Roadtrip: Day-6 : Badrinath-Karnaprayag-Srinagar
It was a very sunny day with a clear blue sky when we started to leave Badrinath in the morning. During our stay in Badrinath, it was drizzling. It has happened so many times with me that during my stay at a particular place; rain plays hide n seek and the sky is not clear; and whenever I am about to leave that place, clouds get clear. But I am not complaining as I was happy with whatever nature was offering to me.
From Badrinath, the road again passes through Joshimath and Chamoli. As we crossed Chamoli, we passed through Nand Prayag- one of the Panch Prayag(five confluences). It lies at the confluence of the Alaknanda River and Mandakini River. The distance between Badrinath to Srinagar is 9-10 hours, we didn’t stop at the confluence.
After passing through numerous towns and small villages, we pit stopped at Karnaprayag. It lies in midst of Nandprayag and Rudraprayag. Also, it lies at the junction from where one could travel to Badrinath as well as Kedarnath. Bedecked on the confluence of river Alaknanda and Pindari River- it is one of the Panch Prayag (five confluences) of river Alaknanda.
The town of Alaknanda is also known as ‘The city of Karna of Mahabharat’.While on a visit to the Himalayas, swami Vivekananda also meditated here with his gurus. With the hills in the backdrop and pristine surroundings, it is truly delightful place.
After capturing a few clicks in camera and offering prayers we started towards Srinagar. As the distance between Badrinath and Rishikesh was approx 12-14 hours, we decided to take a break at Srinagar. If you don’t want to go for a tiresome hilly journey; take a break at either Rudraprayag or Srinagar. The city of Srinagar is famous for temple of Dharidevi- 19 km from Srinagar. The city’s other attraction is the Alaknanda Hydro Electric Power Project.
We reached Srinagar in the evening. After some rest, we started to walk on the main road. The town was full of chat vendors and had a lot of decent restaurants too. It is probably the last town before the hill starts to Badrinath and Kedarnath. The town looks very pretty at night with dotted houses on the hills.
Kedarnath to Badrinath Roadtrip: Day-7: Srinagar-Rishikesh
It was the last day of our road trip and was saddening as the trip was coming to end. It took almost 4-5 hours to reach Rishikesh. As we started descending, the atmosphere started to change from cold to very hot. We were leaving behind the hills and started towards more plains.
We reached to Shivpuri by noon and stopped there for a while. There was the rhythmic sound of Ganges and endless stretch of pebbles over there. This was a therapeutic site and rendezvous with the Ganges. The river rafting starts from Shivpuri and people were arriving at the starting point of the rafting. I had already done river rafting in the Ganges, so just spent time by the Ganges.
By noon we reached to Rishikesh on a hot summer day and ended our week long road trip to Badrinath and Kedarnath. Earlier we decided to explore a bit Rishikesh too, but due to hot weather, we dropped the idea and started to catch a bus to Delhi.
Kedarnath to Badrinath Roadtrip: Where to Stay in Badrinath:
The accommodation in Badrinath has so many Options, it ranges from guesthouses, ashrams to budget hotels. As they are pilgrim places; don’t expect luxurious amenities from them.
Food in Badrinath:
Hotel Saket – opposite to Badrinath temple (on the way to temple) is a very good option for the North Indian and South Indian dishes. We loved all the veg options here. Also, the town has numerous dhabas and decent restaurants which serve vegetarian food. It is a pilgrim place; you won’t get alcohol and Nonveg food here. At Srinagar, Hotel Shivika serves good food and very famous in the region.
I highly recommend carrying a BSNL SIM card if you are visiting Badrinath. Reliance Jio and Vodafone work but it gives occasional signaling.
Travel Tips for Badrinath:
- Photography is prohibited inside the badrinath temple; don’t try to attempt it.
- It is popular pilgrim place and one of the dham for Hindus; receives thousands of visitors daily as temple remains open for few months in summer.Be prepared to stand in queue. If you want to avoid it, visit the temple in night before closing of the temple.
- Carry comfortably warm and heavy woollen clothes along with you as the season is always cold there, and at high altitude it is impossible to survive in lighter clothes.
- As you are travelling in the hilly region; always start early and reach early. Avoid travelling in night.
- Bargain well before buying woollens and other souvenirs.
This was all about my one-week road trip from Delhi to Kedarnath and Kedarnath to Badrinath. I tried to include everything in this post of Badrinath Travel Guide. If you have any questions can let me know in the comments.