Badri Nath – Himalayan Beauty !

If you are a religious person or you are a non-religious person…
If you are a spiritual person or you are pure materialistic person..
If you are travelling alone or you are travelling with family / little children
If you are interested in trekking or you are lazy to park your car and enjoy nearby places only
If you love to explore new places or you just wish to remain content with what ever comes your way.

The answer is always Badri Nath ! It is a religious place, has lot of high spiritual energies. Vehicles go almost upto the temple. There are trekking routes all around, difficult ones and comfortable ones. There are great places to stay right from 5 star luxuries to a dormitory (Rs.9000 per night in Sarovar Portico or Rs. 500 in a hotel in market). You can have any type of food there be it Chinese, Punjabi or South Indian. There is no tough trekking to the temple…. a pucca road leading direct up to temple. There are heaps of snow around, magnificent high peaks, the last village of India…. and what Not !!! Clean, Beautiful, and full of Nature’s beauty..

Temples and historical places for the religious & spirituals…. and Auli skiing, valley of flowers trek, Geo-thermal springs of Tapovan and satopanth treks and Nanda Devi bio-sphere park,  for the nature lovers but non-religious people.

Shrine of Badri Nath

Yes it is Badrinath. I have already seen so many posts on Badrinath, giving ample description and beautiful photos, but each posts carries a new fragrance of Badri Nath, so I thought I should give my part of the story on Badri Nath, and give another fragrance of this wonderful place.

The great poet Kalidasa has written some great shlokas in his epic “KumarSambhav” depicting the beauty of Himalayas.
अस्त्य् उत्तरस्यां दिशि देवतात्मा हिमालयो नाम नगाधिराजः ।
पूर्वापरौ तोयनिधी विगाह्य स्थितः पृथिव्या इव मानदण्डः॥१.१॥

यं सर्वशैलाः परिकल्प्य वत्सं मेरौ स्थिते दोग्धरि दोहदक्षे ।
भास्वन्ति रत्नानि महौषधीश् च पृथूपदिष्टां दुदुहुर् धरित्रीम्॥१.२॥

अनन्तरत्नप्रभवस्य यस्य हिमं न सौभाग्यविलोपि जातम् ।
एको हि दोषो गुणसंनिपाते निमज्जतीन्दोः किरणेष्व् इवाङ्कः॥१.३॥

etc….. etc…..

Beautiful Himalaya        

‘Kumarasambhava’ describes the marriage of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. It begins with a fine description of that giant among mountains, the Himalaya. Kalidasa writes:

“Himalaya is rich in life. Living there are the Siddhas, Kinnaras and Vidyadhara beauties.

Clouds in front of the caves look like curtains.

You can trace the track of lions’ by looking at the precious stones spilled from the heads of elephants and not by bloodstains.

You have to know the paths they tread by recognizing ‘Sarala’ trees against whose stem the elephants rub themselves attracted by the sweet milk exuded by the trees.

All the things needed for a sacrifice (‘Yajna’) are available here. Brahma (the God of creation) himself has made this the king of the mountains.

It is not only a place for lovers who want to find happiness in life; it is also an ideal retreat for those who want to meditate.”

Look at the excerpt from Smythe’s The valley of Flowers “..Even the pilgrimage to Benaras is not as beneficial to the soul as that to the snows of the Himalayas, which bestow so bountifully their sanctity and bliss to the heart of man.


Skanda Puran Says :

‘He who thinks of Himachal though he should not behold him is greater than he who performs all worship in Kashi(Benaras). In a hundred ages of the gods, I could not tell thee of the glories of Himachal. As the dew is dried up by the morning sun, so are the sins of mankind by the sight of Himachal’… ”

Hypnotising Neelkanth Peak !

Kalidasa in KumarSambhava also writes – The snow on Himalayan Peaks … are actually laughters of Shiva, condensed  to keep record of Shiva’s joy of meeting Parvati.


It is only in Himalayas that we find a natural proof of Truth of our religion and our culture where the natural formation of snow writes “AUM” on the highest peaks.

Natural formation of Aum near Adi Kailash

(foto credit: Google images)

Badrinath is one such Beautiful place in this maginificient Himalayas… so hop on and have a virtual tour of this sacred Himalayan Beauty!

Just prior to my moving over to Iceland, my friend JP came to me and asked if I could accompany him to Badrinath. He had not gone to any of the Dhaams and was worried that he may not be able to drive all the way himself. I took this request, as an order from Bhagwan Badri Nath and both of us with our bitter-halves, started the journey.

We started at 0400 hrs in the morning and by 0900 hrs we crossed Haridwar. It was yatra season and the road was full with buses, sumos and jeeps as if everyone in India has suddenly become religious. After taking breakfast near Sapt-dhara we continued our journey slowly but steadily. JP is a very coward and meek driver. He hates to overtake any vehicle going before him. In my next Khatti-meethi post I will tell about his driving skill & hills phobia. Hence I was quite unsure, if I should go with him or not, but seeing that I am soon leaving India for long time, I made up my mind to try his driving skills for the second time. JP had improved a lot in driving, but still he irritated me when he would just follow a bus or truck without any intention of over-taking it. The deep black cloud of smoke from the bus would enter my lungs and give me more irritation. Seeing me more and more irritated, he would, instead of overtaking the bus, stop the car on the side on the pretext of smoking or taking a photo and would let the bus go farther.
Finally we reached Karnaprayag around 6 and stopped for a cup of tea. When last time I had come to Badrinath in 1993, we had stayed in Delhi Tourism’s tent colony just besides the river Alaknanda. That experience was unforgettable due to the great management and food of Delhi Tourism. I enquired if they have their tent colony this time too and we were sad to find that they had stopped putting their tents long ago. Just after Karanprayag came to an end, near the police post, we saw a very small guest house which had 5 rooms only.

In first glance it looked an ordinary and cheap rest house, but it had brand new beds, snow white beds sheets and pillows with very clean attached bathrooms. The ambiance was great with a small garden in front of the hotel and desne forest behind… and rent was just Rs. 500 a room which in this peak yatra season was very reasonable. We had covered 415 Kms out of which 215 in steep hills, and that too with a sloth driver like JP, was not that bad… so we parked our car inside, took rest, and after taking a tasty food brought by waitor from a nearby dhaba, we retired.
Next morning around 0800 hrs we were ready to start. I took the steering so that we could go faster and catch the Joshimath gate of 1130. I was sure that I can do 80 Kms in 3 hours easily, but the System had conspired against us, and we were stuck up in a blasting/land-clearing exercise in the way near Pipal koti. When we reached Joshimath, we saw the gate closing before our eyes and we had to stop our car just at No.2 …as a minibus was there before us. Next gate was at 1400 hrs and we had 2 and half hours, just to sit in the car.

Waiting near gate in Joshimath

We got out of the car and started strolling here and there. On the left side we saw some temple, perhaps Narasinmha temple. We went inside and strolled here and there aimlessly. There was a big group of south Indians who were enjoying their lunch, freshly cooked idlis, rice and sambhar. The smell of sambhar activated our taste buds, so we decided to go out and eat something. JP is a fun loving and jovial guy. He went to the Madrasi, who was distributing the sambar idli and asked him to let him taste some Sambhar. The man and his colleagues were so rude that despite the rich attire of JP and his smiling face, they rebuked him like a begger and asked him to go away. JP cursed them to get no Punya from Badri Darshan and joined us in our feast of Chholey Kulche, and ice-cream.

The gate opened and we hurled towards Pandukeshwar, where we had to wait for another 20 minutes to let the downcoming traffic pass.

Waiting at Pandukeshwar

By the time we reached Badri Nath it was 4:30 pm. As we entered the city as you see in the photo below, there was a guest house (pink building on the left), so instead of going further down, we saw the guest house, and found the rooms neat and clean with tidy bathrooms. We took one big room with two double beds for Rs. 1200.

Entrace to Badri Nath

This was very convenient place, as we could park our car before the hotel and place was just on the main road going to Mana and for going towards Joshi Math. It would be mean and ungrateful not to thank the Border Roads Organisation for their untiring efforts to lay road upto such heights and keep them motorable despite the elemental cruelty. Long Live B.R.O. and a BIG Thanks !!!

A view from our Hotel

I looked towards Mana road and drowned in memories of my earlier visit in 1993. We had come here in May,1993 in my Maruti Omni Van with Laxman and our families. There were big heaps of snow all around. In the morning, after darshans, when I wanted to start the car, it was dead. I requested some porters to push it and they did try but the engine kept eternal silence. I asked a driver, if I could get a mechanic there he nodded and said it was difficult but there are mechanics. He then saw the car and told that the battery has gone dead due to extreme cold and the car needs a longer push. He asked the boys to push the car upto Mana Road and there he reversed his own Ambassador car and pushed my Van in his car’s reverse gear. The van was running on pushing, but nothing happened….and suddenly it started coughing like an old man and then the engine came to life. The Ambassador’s driver had pushed the car at least for 200 meters. I got down the car and thanked him and offered him some money, which he refused. He advised me to run the car for some time, in 1st or 2nd gear, so that battery gets recharged. So I aimlessly took the car further and then returned towards BadriNath…. a coolie was crossing the road… I sounded horn. He had almost crossed the road, but on listening my horn ran backwards and my car hit him. He flew in the air and fell down on the side. I rushed towards him. He was wearing many jute bags (boris) and a thick rope on his chest (perhaps to tie luggage)…these things saved him and he was unhurt. I was so nervous and upset ..thinking police will come and trouble me for this accident. I picked up my passangers and without seeing anything around, we left Badri Nath. But this time, I am surely going to make it.

Next morning we woke up and were shocked to see there was no running water in the toilets. I tried to search for the owner, but to no avail. We were worried as to how we would get ready to go to the temple and then the caretaker came and asked if we needed hot water. JP grabbed him and asked him to get water in the toilets first. He went and after checking the system came back with a grin face saying the motor has burnt out and water can not be pumped up the tanks. We asked him to bring a lot of hot water, which he brought carrying in plastic canisters from the Tapta Kund of the temple. Except this little mishap, our stay was comfortable, and would still stay there in future due to its location.

A view of Neelkanth from our hotel window

Way to the Temple

Finally we crossed the market and reached the temple premises. The temple was as magnificient as before, colorful and magical.

Finally the Temple

The queue was some 300 meters long and we patiently waited for our turn and had the darshan of Shri Badri Nath. We were told that yesterday the que was more than 1.5 Kms long and people had to wait for hours before entering the temple. We thanked god, because I hate ques, crowd and chaos.

After having darshans

After heartful of darshans we strolled here and there. First we passed the Tapta Kunda. I wanted to take bath there, but the other crew members told me everyone has taken bath with the water from same kund, supplied by hotel, there is no need.


Tapta Kund – hot water baths

So after dropping the idea we roamed around Badrinath. A priest came to us and asked if we wanted “Pinda-Daan” ? My father had died a few months before. Although I had not come to Badrinath, for my father’s rites but thought, when God has sent someone to ask me, let me do it. We went to the place for pinda daan and I sat for the rituals. In my mind I thought, had I taken bath in the Tapta kunda, it would have been better to do Pinda daan…..and the universe conspired again. After half the rituals were done, it started raining… all others went and took shelter under the roof, but I had to continue the rituals and when the pinda daan was finally done, I was drenched with cold rain water. So Pitaji made me take bath before the pindadaan. I smiled and we crossed the river and saw the magnificent scenery from there.

Badrinath from above the hill


Bridge leading to the Shrine

BadriNath from across Alaknanda

The view of Alaknanda, hitting the Narad Shila and changing course was mind blowing. No photo can explain that feeling but still we took some photos of this place.

Narad Shila

Another view of Narad Shila

Then we went to the market, had a lavish breakfast of Puri & Aloo sabzi, which was tasting great due to use of some extra “Hing” &  “Jeera” in it. We went towards the hotel, checked out and proceeded towards Mana, the last village of India on this route.

(Rest in next)




  • Dear SS,

    Once again great info and tour of the Greatest Dham Badrinath……………..

    Badrinath is one of the char dhams and too most important among them ( other three Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram )

    Looking forward to next post in the series………………….

    thanks for taking us there…………….

    • Silentsoul says:

      Thanks Vishalbhai.. .. I have done 3 dhams, twice Gangotri & Badrinath and once kedarnath. Yamunotri is next in que…. after i come back to India.

  • laxman says:

    post pad kar aisa laga ki mai sath mai yatra kar reha hon.

  • Nandan says:

    Nostalgic material SS. Never been there, mostly because of not generating enough votes (forget outside support, even home support has been frugal, and as you would know, I can’t even have a whip to get a in-favor vote) and then deciding to do something which is acceptable to majority.

    Have been wanting to go there for a real long time. May be this summers, I would steal a weekend and drive all the way down. Thank you SS.

    • Silentsoul says:

      Nandan, tks for yr comments. Pls Ask Mrs.Jha to read my post alongwith photos from Aditya’s post and one Rajiv Tivary’s post and she will ask you to take her there. :)

      Badrinath is the only one among 4 dhams where going with little kids or with aged parents, is never any trouble. There is no need to stand in que, as they have south Indian temples style special puja where you can by-pass the que and have special puja(of course ????? ??? ???? ?? ??). Hotels are great, food is great and specially the area is so clean and pollution free. The approach roads are good and there are decent hotels in the way. Bathing in ice cold water in Prayags, that too during scorching June is a special treat.

      Badrinath is the best Hill Station among all the hill stations of India, besides being a religious place.

  • Kavita Bhalse says:

    ??????? ??,
    ???? ???? ?? ???? ??????? ?? ???? ?? ????? ?? ????? ??? ?? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ?? ????? ?? ???? ??, ??????? ???? ??? ?? ??? ?? ??. ?? ??? ??? ???? ????? ??, ???? ???????? ?? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ????? ???? ??, ?? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ???.


    • Silentsoul says:

      ??????? ???????… ?? ??? ?????? ??? 14 ????? ?? ???????? ?? ?? ?? ???? ?? .. ???? -16 ?? ?? -2 ?? LOL…?? ???? ?? ????? ??? ??? ?????? ???????????? ?? ????? ?? ????… ?? ???? ??? ?? ?? ??? ???? ???????? ?? ????? ???? ? ?????? ?? ?? ??????? ???? ?? ? ?????

  • sarvesh n. vashistha says:

    ??????? ??
    ??? ????? ??? ???? ???????? ?? ??? ?? , ???? ??? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?????? ?????? .
    ????? ????? .

    • Silentsoul says:

      ??????? ????????…. ??? ?? ????? trekking ?? ???? ?? ?????? ?? ?? ?? ?? ???…???? ?? 6-7 ???? ??…?? ????? ?????? ???? ??? ??

  • Thanks SS ji, Once again you have served a spritual meal with A-La-Carte from the Menu of your religious ghumakkaries to the family. Yam Sarvshaillah… Mahakavi Kalidas’s shalokas from KumarSambhav were quite necessary to mention here. Leave the bitter-half for others like me but SS must have better half LOL. I do have sympathy with jovial guy (JP) who was rebuked like a beggar by the Madrasi(so called the pilgrim from the farthest state). But I do hope, a great (Silent) Sole must had pardened him and blessed him to get every Punya from Badri Vishal Darshana. Thanks SS and thanks

  • Roopesh says:

    SSji – Badrinath was my first foray into high-altitude destinations in himalayas back in 90s. The moment our bus started climbing from Rishikesh, I was so scared of the height and fear of our bus falling into the gorge. We stayed in “Kali Kamli wale baba’s” guest house for 100/- a little above the temple. I even walked a couple of kilometers along Alaknanda’s bank as far as I could go. Bathing in hot water spring is divine.

    • Silentsoul says:

      Tks Roopeshji. I think you did not write any post about that BN visit. But I read your Ladakh & Nubra Valley posts… they are gr8. Specially no one else has ever gone beyond Khardung La upto Nubra…that was FOG.

  • ashok sharma says:

    very good snaps,the photo with OM written on the mountain is majestic.splendid story.i had made up mind not to visit holy places anymore,but your narrative is compelling me to rethink .

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    S.S. Ji _/\_

    ?? ?? ????? ????? ?? !

    ???? ??? ???? ???? ?? ???? ??????? ?? ?????? ?? ????? ???? ?? ???….
    ???? ??? ?? ??? ???????? ?? ?????? ?? ??????? ?? ?? …?? ?? ??? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ??? ???? ??… ???? ???? ??? ??? ?? ???? ???? ?? ..??????? ??? ?? ??? ???? ???? ?? ???? ?? ???? ??? ?? ..??????????? ?? ????? ?? ???? ?? ???? ???? ??? ?? ?? ???? ?? …. ??????? ?? ????? ??? ??? ???? ?? ???? ?? ?? ??? ?????????? ??? ?? ???? ?? …???? ??? ??? ?? ?? ??? ??? ??????? ?? ???? ????????? ??? ?? ?????? ???? ???? ?? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ??? ??…….

    ??????? ?????? ?? ??? ?????? ?? ??? ???????
    ???? ?????? ??? ?? ???? ….?? ?? ?????? ????? ?? ??? ??? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ????? ?? ???? ???? ????? ???…


  • Silentsoul says:

    ?? ?????-?????… ?? ??????? ???????. ???????? ?? ??? ?? ?? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ??….???? ?? ????? ??? ????? ?? ??? ????? ????, ? ?????????? ?? ????. ?????? ?? ???? ??? ? ???? ???? ?????? ?? ?? ??? ?????? ???? ??? ??? ??????? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?? ????? ??? ??? ?? ??? ??.

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    SSji, I have been dreaming of visiting Badarinath for a very long time. Hence, I read your post with a lot of interest. The pictures are truly amazing, especially those of the mighty Alakananda river flowing past the Narad Shila. I wish you had given more details of the Jyotirmath (Joshimath) established by Adi Shankaracharya and of the Pancha Shilas, of which you had written only about the Narad Shila. This time you did not have battery trouble. Did you import one from Iceland or are the latest gen of car batteries able to handle low temperatures better than way back in the 90’s?

    • Silentsoul says:

      ?????? – ?????? (Sir replying to you, I utter god’s name and may be like Ajamil.. my bad karma also vanishing LOL).

      Yes the new gen of batteries are better than those 80/90’s batteries. ..
      Yes I know it was not full descritption…but that may take at least 5 posts to explain BN fully.

      May be when you visit here soon, you can fill the gap

      Thanks for your comments.. and hope you will visit this year

  • SS ji, perhaps I not a member of family, that why no comments/reply was given by you while the comments given later to me were considered and replied. Just put a word ‘Discarded’ , I dare not to come again on post.

    Thanks SS and thanks

    • Silentsoul says:

      @ Tridev –For you I was waiting for appropriate words. In fact yr comments cost me $500. My wife had earlier missed the mischievous spellings, but after seeing yr comments she went again and found the word “Bitter-half”.

      u can imagine what would have happened…. and finally I had to spend 500 dollars for her shopping to settle the matter amicably. :)

      Thanks for yr comments and observations

      • O may God! $500, I am extremely sorry. I plead guilty to become a good reason to shorten a post of family as if I might not had commented, a saving of $500 of SS ji would have arranged an other tour and we were getting a new post on this web. Thanks SS and thaks

  • Your post reminded me of our trip to Badrinath, I had gone there in 1985.

    Amazing photographs, especially of the Neelkanth!

    • Silentsoul says:

      Sehgalji thanks for your comments. If you visit now after 27 years, the things have changed a lot. Wishing you visit again soon… jai Badri Vishal

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    SS Ji,
    I regret for getting delayed in commenting on the post of one of our favorite writers, rather our favorite person on Ghumakkar. The post was as usual beautifully written. Though the pictures were nice, but the write up was really great enriched by the references of our great epics. In a nut shell the write up was excellent and very poetic.

    And yes, we have planned to visit the great Kedarnath sometime in 2014, and definitely we’ll never forget to take advantage of your experience on Uttarakhand, rather we would try to pursue you to join us on the trip.


    • Silentsoul says:

      tks Mukeshbhai… definitely If I am in India, I will surely go with you… rather take you to wonderful Himalayas..

      good wishes for Maha Shiva Ratri to you and yr family

  • ???? ???????? ?????? ?? ?? ?? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ?? ?? ? ?? ??? ??? ?? ?? ?? ? ???? ?? ???? ?? ?????? ?? ??????? ????? ??? ?? ??? ???????? ?? ???? ……….??? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ? ?? ???? ??? ?? ?? ???? ?? ???????? ???? ???? ?? ????? ?? ???? ????? ?? ???? ???? ???? ?? ???? ????

  • Silentsoul says:

    ??????? ????????… ?? ???? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ??????? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??? ?????. ??? ??

  • ?? ????? ????? ????????? ??? ?? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?? ???? ?? ?? ?????? ?????? ?? ?????? ?? ?? ??? ??? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ??? ?? ?????? ???? ??? ??? ??????, ????? ????? ???? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?????? ?? ?? ??? ?? ??? ????? ?? ???? ?? ? ??? ?? ????? ?? ?? ???? ?????

  • baba says:

    good description

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