Badrinath is a holy pilgrimage site settled in the lap of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. The shrine is one of the four sites in India’s Char Dham pilgrimage (Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri, and Rameshwaram) It also comprises Chota Char Dham circuit in Uttarakhand (Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath). The land of legends, Badrinath is nestled amid the breathtaking beauty of snow-clad mountain peaks of the Garhwal region beside the beautiful Alaknanda River.
The temple of Badrinath remains open only for six months every year, mostly from the months of April-May to the third week of November, while the rest of the year the temple remains inaccessible because of heavy snow.
The visit to the Badrinath Dham is not just about only the temple; it is a sacred journey to seek divine blessings. And to make the most of the lifetime pilgrimage.
Here are 11 unique things to do in Badrinath:
1. Darshan of the Badrinath Temple
Badrinath Dham is the holy shrine of Lord Badrinarayan, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The black-stone idol of Lord Badrinath is worshipped here. Darshan is a divine experience and an unmissable experience in Badrinath. Attend the rituals of worship and feel your faith being strengthened in the divine. Said to be founded by Adi Shankaracharya, the vibrant temple looks serene surrounded by the mighty snow-covered mountains.
2. Take a holy dip in Tapt Kund
The many holy legends of Badrinath are not fables. It is believed that by completing the rituals, devotees are cleansed of all sins and are granted salvation. Tapt Kund in Badrinath is a natural hot-water spring and is believed to be the home of Lord Agni. Enriching your Chardham yatra tour package by taking a dip in the springs is an amazing experience as said to be holy while scientifically the waters are said to have medicinal properties.
3. Visit Vasudhara Falls
Blessed by nature, Badrinath has many picturesque views. One such blessed sight is the Vasudhara Falls, 4 km from the Badrinath at Mana village. A visit to Vasudhara Falls is not just for its beauty but also for the legend from Mahabharata. The waterfall was one of the final resting places of Pandavas before they ascended to their heavenly abode – Swargarohini. It is said that gushing water cleanses people of impure thoughts.
4. Visit Narad Kund
At a stone’s throw from Tapt Kund, Narad Kund is in the Alaknanda River near the Badrinath temple, Narad Kund is believed to be an auspicious site where the eminent Hindu philosopher Adi Shankaracharya recovered the idol of Vishnu. The idol is now established at the Badrinath temple. The visit to the kund should not be missed.
5. Trekking around Badrinath
Badrinath is nestled among the mighty peaks of Neelkanth, Nar Parbat, Narayana Parbat, and more at an altitude of 7000 metres in the Himalayas. The picturesque location of the mountains allures for trekking. The most popular treks are Satopanth, Mana, Charanpaduka, Valley of Flowers, and Hemkund Sahib that should not be missed during your Chardham yatra tour.
6. Visit the Last Village of India- Mana
Visiting the last Indian village is quite an interesting experience and a trip to Badrinath treats you to it. Mana village is perched at an altitude of 3,200 metres. A home to Marchhas and Bhotia people, it invites you to enjoy the pictorial beauty of the mountains around.
7. Trek to the picturesque Valley of Flowers
The Valley of Flowers is one of the most beautiful places in Uttarakhand. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national park, it is known for its meadows of alpine flowers. In this valley, more than 300 varieties of flowers bloom after the rains. The 24 km (14.9 miles) trek from Ghangharia village to this floral dale is dotted with waterfalls, bridges across streams, lush vegetation, and view of the snow-covered mountains. The best time for the Valley of Flowers trek is from mid-July to mid-August.
8. Pray at the sacred Hemkund Sahib
Hemkund Sahib is a Sikh pilgrimage site at an altitude of 4,632 meters (15,197 feet), close to the Valley of Flowers. Devoted to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Sikh Guru, the sacred shrine is surrounded by seven mountain peaks and a glacial lake. Both trekkers and devotees visit the shrine for its divine bliss and beauty. After getting blessings from the shrine, relish the taste of the delicious “halwa” or porridge as “Prasad”.
Besides trekking, the shrine can be visited with hired ponies or helicopter services. Hemkund Sahib shrine is open for devotees from May till September. After the blessings of the holy Badrinath Dham, the sacred Hemkund Sahib is a must-visit.
9. Visit the Bheem Pul
Myths and beauty are the highlights of Badrinath. One such unique attraction is Bheem Pul. The huge rock acts as a natural bridge across the Saraswati River, which is a breathtaking sight. As per mythology, Bheem, one of the Pandavas lifted this big piece of rock and placed it between two small cliffs to create a bridge between the two mountains.
The roaring Saraswati River flows between the two mountains to join the Alaknanda River. On either side of the river, there are spots to sit and enjoy the serene atmosphere. Be it the legend of the scenery, visiting the Bheem Pul is to be not missed in Badrinath.
10. Holy rituals at the Brahma Kapal
Holy rituals are a way of life in Badrinath Dham and must-do for pilgrims. The Brahma Kapal, located on the banks of the Alaknanda River is a religious site where Lord Brahma is believed to exist to this day. It is said that funeral rituals performed here for the deceased help attain Nirvana. Many people immerse the ashes in the waters here after completion of last rites.
11. Get the blessings of Charan Paduka
Charan Paduka is a rock that is said to have the footprints of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that those who view these footprints are relieved from ailments and other problems. The path to Charan Paduka is a tough journey through caves and boulders to the height of 3,380 m. Seeking blessings is a mandate with your Chardham yatra package.
You might be eager to add the above attractions to your next visit to Badrinath. Your experience will be enhanced many times and your delight of a sacred trip will be enriched. So, pack your bags today and set off to indulge in such experiences!