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badrinath, joshimath and auli

Continuing from our previous trip to

Rishikesh – Gangotri – Gaumukh trek

Shri Kedarnath temple

Chopta and Tungnath

{Day11}: 5thJune 2009
From: Gopeshwar to Badrinath
By: Road
Distance: about 70-80km

Gopeshwar is situated amidst mountain ranges, terrace farms and small lakes. The town has some good temples and main attractions are the ancient temple of Lord Shiva, Vaitarni kund and Oak view.

From Gopeshwar the route leads through Chamoli-Pipalkoti-Helang-Joshimath and somewhere between Govindghat and Pandukeshwar, the route bifurcate and one leads to Badrinath and the other to Hemkund Sahib and Valley of flowers.

Without much traffic hassles we reached Badrinath around noon and had a comfortable stay at Bharat Seva Ashram, arranged by GMVN. This gives us an unobstructed view of Badrinath temple And the Neelkanth peak.

Badrinath is one of the important pilgrim centers, the opening date of the temple this year is 29 th April 2012  and is flanked by Nar-Narayan Mountain ranges. The beautiful and colorful temple of Badrinathji is on the banks of river Alkananda, established by Adi Shankaracharya and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Neelkanth peak forms a splendid backdrop and opposite to the temple is holy hot water spring or Tapt kund. The temple opens every year in the month of Apr-May and closes for winters in the third week of November.

badrinath temple

Badrinath temple, Uttarakhand

The colorful temple, the majestic Neelkanth, snow-capped mountains, dense forest, the river, ashrams, eateries, towering rocky slopes painted the town in to a colorful mosaic.

After lunch, we had a darshan of Badrinathji and from there off to Mana village.

Mana village is located 2-3 km from Badrinath and is the last habitable village on the Indian-Tibetan border. I was told that Tibet border is some 45km from there.

mana village

a beautiful shot from Mana village, Uttarakhand

The main attractions are Vyas gufa (where it is believed that Rishi Ved Vyas narrated the epic Mahabharata), Ganesh Gufa, Bhim pul and Keshav Prayag.

Keshav prayag is on the confluence of river Alkananda (emerging from Alkapuri glacier) and the legendary Saraswati river which flows for some hundred meters before meeting with alkananda and from there again goes underground.

keshav prayag

Keshav prayag : Confluence of river Alkananda and legendary river Saraswati

The cascading Vasudhara falls is 5km from mana village and beyond that is beautiful and pristine Satopanth Lake (approx.25km from Badrinath) and breathtaking Swargorihini mountain ranges.

The moment seems to be freeze forever as we were completely immersed in the immense beauty of the nature and we know that someday we will return here for Satopanth Lake and Swargarohini peaks. Just then, to my right the mist unveils the ‘path to heaven’! I gasped at this heavenly beauty and let my spirit travels to the unknown..

mana village

"road to heaven" mana village, Uttarakhand

{Day12}: 6th June 2009
From: Badrinath to Joshimath
By: By road
Distance: 45km (3 to 4 hrs because of traffic congestion)

We woke up with the first ray of dawn in the next morning. The Neelkanth looks splendid against the azure blue sky and were caught in its magical aura as we observed its changing color with every ray of light adding to its beauty.

neelkanth peak

the majestic Neelkanth peak , Uttarakhand

The morning temple bells, the sounds of hymns and bhajans, roar of river Alkananda, flocks of pilgrims, the small queues of darshanarthis, the sadhus , the solitary soul, the chirping of birds…..and with it’s the town came into the full life. After having breakfast we left Badrinath and after three hours of traffic congestion reached Joshimath around 3:00pm in the afternoon. While coming down we crossed Vishnu Prayag, which is the confluence of river Alkananda and the Dhauli Ganga.

At Joshimath, we boarded at hotel Dronagiri (pre-booked) which gives us a spectacular view of Dronagiri peak, the mountains and gorges.

Joshimath is the important temple town and is the winter home for Lord Badrinarayan. It is said that Adi Shankaracharya gained enlightenment here. The main attractions are Narsingh and Garuda temple, Shankaracharya math and Amar kalp tree.


Dronagiri peaks, Uttarakhand

{Day13}: 7th June 2008
From: Joshimath-Auli-Joshimath
By: By ropeway

The next morning we left our luggage at the hotel and started for Auli.

Auli is an important ski destination in the Himalayan Mountains of Garhwal region and is also known as excellent winter games resort. Auli is blessed with a breathtaking panoramic view of the lofty peaks of the great mountain ranges of Nanda Devi, Kamet, Mana etc.


Auli, Uttarakhand

We headed off to the lower cable car station, booked our return tickets (500rs per person), and waited for our turn.
The frequency of the cable car is at every one-hour interval. We aboard the cable car along Joshimath-Auli-Gorson ropeway, which lifts us from Joshimath at 1100m to Gorson at 3016m covering the distance of 4km in 15 minutes. To the left Himalaya unfolds its beauty gradually and the view changes with every one meter of climb.

However, this is not the right season to visit Auli but its green alpine meadows with patches of flowerbeds are quiet impressive. In winter, these meadows are covered with ice sheets making it proper for games like ski.

A word of advice: It’s not necessary to stay at Joshimath to visit Auli, It can be done on same day by travelling in-car all the way to Auli if you are in hurry.
The splendid view from Auli which is primarily a winter destination is not to be missed.


Follow our next trip to Haridwar


If you have any latest travel related news pertinent to these regions, do let us know, through comment section, it will help us to keep this post updated and for the benefits of other travellers too. Any latest news will be highly appreciated.


  • Reply
    February 25, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Whether accommodation will be available to outsider at Bharat Seva Ashram on arrival (without prior notice)

    • Reply
      February 27, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      If it is not peak season, you can try Bharat seva ashram. However , we got the reservation without any prior notice. But it would be advisable to discuss the same with the authorities.

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