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Overview of Badrinath
Badrinath is a town in the district of Chamoli in Uttarakhand on the shores of River Alaknanda. It is named after the reputed and sacred Lord Badrinath temple, which is the ultimate pilgrim destination in the North for devotees of Lord Vishnu. Badrinath temple is the most significant of all temples that are classified as Char Dham pilgrimage centres. All trekking expeditions to the holy mountain range of Neelkanth start from here. Badrinath temple is constructed in bright colours and the architecture of the same bears a striking resemblance to Buddhist styles. A fleet of stairs lead to the main entrance of the temple and the roof of the temple is made in gold. There are finely carved sculptures all over this temple.
History of the place
Badri denotes a kind of berry and Nath means Master. According to Puranas, jujube trees were found in plenty in this area, which is why the place came to be known as Badrinath. The temple of Badrinath where Lord Vishnu is in the form of Nar-Narayana has been mentioned in the Mahabharata itself. This is the place where Lord Narayana is believed to have served penance for many years. The peaks around Badrinath are considered to be very sacred as it is here that the mighty Pandav Kings passed away one after the other, when they were climbing the hills of Western Garhwal mountain ranges known as Swarga Rohini. The caves known as Mana, from where Ved Vyas is believed to have written Mahabharata, is situated in close proximity to Badrinath.
Located on the shores of Alaknanda River, Badrinath can be visited in the Chamoli district in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand. It belongs to the Garhwal division of Himalayas and is sandwiched between the Nar and Narayan mountain peaks. Badrinath is at a height of 3300m or about 10800feet above sea level. The holy peaks of Nanda Devi and Nilkanth are located at a distance of 62km and 301km respectively. It is located at 30.74 degrees towards the North and 79.49 degrees towards the East.
How to reach and local transport
Air – Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun, at a distance of 317km, is the nearest airport to Badrinath.
Rail – Rishikesh, at a distance of 297km, is the closest railway station to Badrinath.
Road – There are lots of buses that run between Badrinath and other cities in Himachal Pradesh and neighbouring states.
Local transport – Jeeps, local buses and trekking are the local modes of transport available for commuting within Badrinath.
Tourist Attractions and things to do
Badrinath Temple, Taptkund (natural hot spring), Brahma Kapal (place where ceremonies are conducted for ancestors who have passed away), Neelkanth (this is believed to the place where the sun first rises and the shape of the peak resembles Lord Shiva Himself), Mata Murti Temple (temple of Lord Narayan’s mother), Charanpaduka (rock containing the footprints of Lord Vishnu), Narad Kund (hot water spring), Mana (cave where Vyas Maharishi wrote Mahabharata), Ganesha Cave, Sheshnetre ( twin lakes resembling the structure of a snake), Panch Dharas (five streams) and Panch Shilas (five rocks) are few tourist attractions in and around Badrinath. Trekking, pilgrimage, camping and sight-seeing are some of the activities that tourists can do, when they come to Badrinath Temple.
Places to eat and local cuisine
Only vegetarian food is available in Badrinath as it is a sacred town. Except road side stalls, there are no exclusive restaurants here. The hotels that provide accommodation options contain restaurants that serve authentic North Indian cuisine. Roti, dal and green vegetables dishes, especially potato curry is the hot favourite here.
Places to stay
Hotel Devlok is one of the most sought-after budget hotels in Badrinath, because it is located at just about 5 min from the temple. Other decent and affordable places to stay in and around Badrinath are Hotel Narayan Palace, AR Resort and Sarovar Portico.
STD, PIN code and Emergency Contact
The STD and PIN codes of Badrinath are 01381 and 246422 respectively. Police (100), Fire (101) and Ambulance (102) are some of the emergency numbers available in Badrinath, which tourists can dial anytime during the day, as these numbers are available 24/7.
Banks, Hospitals and Tourist Office
Punjab National Bank
Vivek Hotel, Bhageshwar, Badrinath Head Office, Badrinath – 246422, Ph: 05962 221747
New Bus Stand, Rudraprayag Head Office (also is of immense help in Badrinath),
Rudraprayag district – 246171, Ph: 09412947954
District Tourism Development office of Chamoli
Contact person – Mr. Sobat Singh Rana (District Adventure Sports Officer),
Gopeshwar, Chamoli. Ph: 01372 253185, 09410342577