Winter Seat of Badrinath

Joshimath also known as Jyotirmath is the winter seat of Lord Badri, and thus is reckoned to be a sacred place in Uttarakhand. Situated in the Chamoli District, Joshimath is where one of the four ‘Maths’ were established by the Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th-century. It is here in Joshimath that one also has the opportunity to witness the sacred Kalpvriksha, which is said to be 1200 years old. The city is also dotted with a number of temples like Narsimha and Gaurishankar that witness arrival of a lot of devotees. Therefore, inarguably, this city in Uttarakhand is amongst the most important destinations for Hindu pilgrimage tour.

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Joshimath is also famed as the gateway for mountain climbing expeditions, trekking, and several other thrilling activities for those who want to live life on the edge. It is from here one has to traverse to the famous trekking destination in Uttarakhand, Valley of Flowers. Also, those visiting the sacred site of Hemkund Sahib need to cross Joshimath. The city is also a base/relaxing spot for those heading to famed ski destination in India, Auli and a gate to Malari and Niti Valley that are known for their landscape similar to Ladakh. The city boasts enchanting views of the Himalayan Range and an opportunity to sight rich flora and fauna.

Best Time to Visit Joshimath

As Joshimath is situated in Chamoli, a district in the mountainous region, it experiences moderate summers and chilly winter season. For those who want to witness snow must travel to this place in winters, whereas in summers, this city is full of opportunities for trekking, camping, sightseeing and much more.

Summer :You can never feel the scorching heat when you are in Joshimath because the temperature remains between 26 and 27-degree Celsius, even on the hottest days.

Monsoon :During the monsoon season, Joshimath is a lot cooler and the temperature dips almost to 15-degree Celsius. It also rains heavily during the monsoon in Joshimath, and thus if you are planning a trip then checking the weather forecast is advised.

Winter :The temperature in winter ranges between sub-0 and 8 degree Celsius. But even during this time, Joshimath serves a dense number of tourists who find joy in playing with snow.

Popular Tourists Attractions around Joshimath

Being a mesmerizing place, Joshimath has a lot of eye-catching tourist attractions and it hosts several activities that one can do, when here. It is a perfect place for the nature enthusiasts, devotees, and adventure lovers.

NANDA DEVI NATIONAL PARK :- Embedded at a distant place in Uttarakhand, Nanda Devi National Park was established in the year 1982. The park is home to the second highest mountain in India, Nanda Devi, which stands tall at a height of 7816 m and is a delight and a reward for visitors. One can also sight the majestic Himalayan peaks like Changband, Dunagiri, Rishi Pahar, Trishul and many more. Set at an elevation of more than 3500 m above the sea level, this park was renowned as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1988 and is also amongst the high altitude national parks in Uttarakhand. In the year 2005, it was expanded and renamed as Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks,

KAGBHUSANDI TAL :- The lake has a strong history, the local people say that it is cursed for crows. It is believed that if crows fly over this lake they will die. People have found many crow feathers around the lake. The lake is situated some 46 kms from Joshimath over the Kankul pass.

BAGINI GLACIER :- Some 58 kms from Joshimath, Bagini Glacier is a show stopper. The glacier is a well-known tourist attraction because of the trekking and camping activities held here.

BADRINATH TEMPLE :- The picturesque town of Badrinath is where divinity meets with the serenity of nature. Located in the Chamoli district in Uttarakhand at the height of 3,133 meters, the pre-eminent abode of Lord Vishnu is one of the holiest of the holy shrines of Char Dham pilgrimage in India. Other Char Dham sites include Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram.

MANA VILLAGE :- Dubbed the ‘last Indian Village’ on Indo-Tibet Border, Mana in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand is definitely an exciting place to visit. The place has its close proximity to the religious site of Badrinath and is situated at a short distance of about 4 km from this important pilgrimage site. Mana Village is located at an altitude of around 3219 meters and on the bank of River Saraswati. It boasts pristine beauty of the Himalayan peaks and of verdant greenery, and thus make an ideal place for the lovers of nature.

ROOPKUND :- Known for its mysterious surrounding and astounding scenic beauty, Roopkund is a high altitude trek in the base of Trishul Peak and Nanda Ghunti. The maximum height of this trek is 5029 m which adds to the zeal of trekking experience. The trek lies in the Garhwal Himalayas of Chamoli district and offers magnificent views of mountains surrounded by rock- strewn glacier. This 9 days trek goes through moderate to difficult grades and satiates the trekking-obsession of beginners to high altitude experts. The lake at Roopkund is also known as a 'mystery lake' for the human skeletons and remains of horses that are found in huge numbers in the surrounding areas of the lake. These remains are believed to be of around 15th to 16th century when a strong hailstorm took away the lives of hundreds of helpless people who went there for pilgrimage.

VALLEY OF FLOWERS :- Displaying a riot of colour, Valley of Flowers National Park is spread over 87 square kilometers in the Chamoli District in Garhwal Region of Uttarakhand. Situated at an altitude of 3500 m, the national park is part of one of the largest biosphere reserves in India, Nanda Devi. One has to take up a trek of 17 km to reach this national park that begins from Ghangaria Village from where diverts a route towards the famous Sikh pilgrimage site, Hemkund Sahib. This wildlife reserve that is in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004 offers mesmerizing views and is remarkably beautiful with a lot of species of flowers. Some rare species that can be spotted during the peak season is Brahma Kamal. The waterfalls, landscape, and lush green meadows add to the beauty of this place. Not just flora, Valley of Flowers National Park is also home to many species of fauna, which includes musk deer and red fox. It is during the monsoon months beginning from June, the park gets covered with hundreds of flower species and their aroma soothe and content the heart.

VASUDHARA WATERFALL :- Located near Badrinath temple, Vasudhara Waterfall is a mesmerizing place. It is often used as a stoppage point for tourists who are trekking from the Mana Village to this waterfall, which is situated just 52 km from Joshimath.

HEMKUND SAHIB :- Hemkund Sahib is a highly revered Sikh place of worship in the world. What makes this religious site even more popular is its location at a dizzying height of 4636 m. Nestled in the lap of Garhwal Himalayas, this sacred Sikh pilgrimage destination is annually visited by a large number of devotees from far and wide before it closes down for the winter season between October and April. From the month of May, Sikh pilgrims start to arrive at Hemkund Sahib to help repair the damaged trail over the winter months first and then for performing pilgrimage. This tradition is called Kar Seva or selfless service, which forms an important concept in the Sikh faith. Hemkund Sahib also houses a scenic lake, in the water of which, the devotees take a dip. As per the Hindu mythology, Hemkunt Sahib was known as Lokpal, which is a lake that was a meditational grounds of Lakshman, the brother of Lord Rama.

Where to Stay in Joshimath

From hotels to resorts, inns to cottages, you can find a variety of accommodation options in Joshimath. Most of the places to stay in the city and around are available at a budget to a moderate tariff. Camping is also quite popular in Joshimath and places around it. Trekkers and adventure enthusiasts, mostly prefer to camp around the city from where they can enjoy spectacular views.

How to Reach Joshimath ?

If you want to come to Joshimath, you can choose any of the three means of transport. Falling on the NH 58, Joshimath has a good connectivity by road to all the major cities and towns in Uttrakhand as well as neighbouring places like Delhi.

Air :The nearest airport to Joshimath is situated in Dehradun and is called Jolly Grant. The airport is situated around 272 kms from Joshimath. From there, one can get a bus/cab to Joshimath.

Rail :The nearest railway stations near Joshimath are located in Haridwar and Rishikesh which are 277 km and 250 km away from Joshimath, respectively. The major railway station remains, you can avail the taxi service or take a bus to Joshimath.

Road :Joshimath is well-connected with major cities and towns of Uttarakhand. The city is also connected with Delhi. Uttrakhand state buses provide a good connectivity between Joshimath and other places in state.The National Highway 58 is the best and the shortest way to reach here. Cab services are also readily available for reaching Joshimath.