Badrinath is a Hindu holy town and a nagar panchayat in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Badrinath is the most important of the four sites in India's Char Dham pilgrimage. Badrinath is in the Garhwal hills, on the banks of the Alaknanda River, at an elevation of 3133 m. The holy shrine here is the Badrinath Temple dedicated to Hindu god Vishnu. The temple is stated to be of Vedic origin and over the eons has undergone many renovations.
The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun, about 317 km from Badrinath. The nearest railway stations to Badrinath are at Rishikesh and Kotdwar, which are at a distance of 297 km and 327 km respectively. There are regular buses operating to Badrinath from Delhi, Haridwar and Rishikesh.
Only a few kilometers from the Indo-China (Tibet) border, Badrinath is generally a two-day-long journey from either Kedarnath, the site that precedes it in the Char Dham circuit, or one of the main disembarkation points on the plains. Hemkund Sahib, an important Sikh pilgrimage site, is on the way to Badrinath, so the road is especially crowded during the summer pilgrimage season. The temple and its substantial surrounding village are accessible by road. Many people prefer to reach Badrinath shrine starting early morning from Joshimath have darshan of Lord Vishnu and return to Joshimath by evening to avoid any altitude problems. The temple is open only from May to October and the dates are announced through the media.
Experiences cool and chilly climate all through the year. May to June and again from September to October are the best period to visit. Winter is severe and snowfall is common. Monsoon period from July to mid September is better avoided for journey as landslides and road blocks are quite common.
- Nar Narayan Temple.
- Brahma Kapal, Badrinath (100 m from Badrinath temple). Brahma Kapal Ghat is situated on the banks of the Alakananda River. It is said that Lord Brahma, the Creator resides here. It is 100 m to the north of the Badrinath Temple. Hindu devotees perform shraddha, an homage and rituals for the departed souls, on the banks of the river at this site.
- Hot Geyser. There is a hot spring near the temple. Many saints live in the surrounding mountains all year round despite the harsh winter at such high elevations.
- Origin of Saraswati river, Located near Mana village, this is said to be the origin of the Saraswati river coming out and going underground again. This river is not visible anywhere from its source up to Allahabad Sangam in UP, where it is said to merge into Ganga river along with Yamuna river. Very close to the visible part of the river Saraswati, there is very small water stream said to be water from Mansarover Lake in Tibet.
- Vasudhara Waterfall, 8 km from Badrinath. The first 3 km can be travelled by a car or a bus. This stop is called "Mana". First point after the village Mana, the last habitat in the Indian side, is Bhim Pool. This is said to have been built by Bhim (of the Pandavas of Mahabharata epic) for his wife Draupadi who could not cross the ridge. From here, there is a 4 km trek to the falls and no special gear for the trek is needed, only some good shoes.
Ancient coins, wool, Ayurvedic medicine, holy books, counterfeit eElectronic goods from China, sacred threads, sea shells, temple requirements, aarti booklets, colourful beads and bracelets.
Indian and only vegetarian food. Non vegetarian foods are not allowed on this pilgrimage route beyond Rishikesh. There are several eateries around the temple some of which have decent eating atmosphere. Do not expect luxury as all business here are seasonal. All shops remains closed after the yatra season is over.
No alcohol permitted, but (illegal) marijuana, etc., is widely available.
Lots of hotels and ashrams If you are low on cash you can always stay in an ashram; food is also provided by ashrams. If you are adventurous you can bring along your tents and camp here. There are some locals who can also provide you ready-made tents to stay. Hotel Narayan Palace, near the bus stand, and Sarovar Portico are luxury hotels with reasonable tariff.