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Joshimath


Joshimath, also known as Jyotirmath, is located on the route of Badrinathyatra and hence is a popular stopover on the pilgrimage circuit of 4 religious dhams (including Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri). A city in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, Joshimathin itself is a pilgrimage centre and is frequently visited by the Hindu pilgrims across the year. Blessed with limitless beauty of nature, the place and many tourist attractions in its close vicinity attract thousands of tourists from across the world every year.

Religious Significance and Tourist Activities
Joshimath enjoys a position among the four Mathas (monasteries) established by AdiShankara an Indian philosopher, in the 8th century. These four sacred places are located in four cardinal directions in India, with Joshimath in the north, Sringeri in the south, Dwarka in the west and Puri in the east. In addition, Joshimath serves as the winter home of Lord Badri (a form of Vishnu worshipped at Badrinath) when the town of Badrinath becomes unreachable due to heavy snow.

Joshimath is not only a pilgrimage destination, but also a wonderful resort for honeymoon couples, family tourists and adventure lovers. Many world-famous trekking routes treat the nearby places as the base camps. However, it experiences huge crowd during peak season of Badrinathdhamyatra from April to November.

How to Reach?
Joshimath is not directly approachable by air or train. One must fly from Delhi Airport to Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun or board train from Delhi to Rishikesh. The journey from Dehradun or Rishikesh is completed by road. Public transport bus services are one possible option for this purpose. However, long road trips are not that comfortably covered in these buses.

Private tour operators can be contacted to arrange for taxis, cabs, tempos, vans and coaches for a comfortable journey from Delhi, Dehradun, Rishikesh or any other city in the region. Due to jam-packed Badrinath hotels during pilgrimage season, a huge section of pilgrims prefer to stay at Joshimath which is close to the dham. Advance booking of hotel rooms at the city can be done with the help of tour companies.

Places in and Around
  • Narasimha Temple : One of the most famous temples of the region, the temple is dedicated to Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that the statue of the deity is shrinking and a day will come when it will vanish. The way to Badrinath will shut down forever on that day and Lord Badri will be worshipped at a place called BhavishyaBadri thereafter.
  • Kalpavrikhsa : The mulberry tree is the oldest tree in India, believed to be more than 1,200 years of age. It is surprising that the tree located in the city is not known to many. Despite of its age, the tree bears fresh leaves and flowers, but no fruits. According to the legends, AdiShankara used to meditate in its shade.
  • Vishnuprayag : Only few miles from Joshimath is Vishnuprayag (one of the five holy confluences of River Alaknanda collectively called PanchPrayag). It is the place where rivers Alaknanda and Dhauliganga merge together. It is also believed to be the place where Sage Narada performed penance to please Lord Vishnu.
  • Hanuman Ghat : Another interesting attraction near Vishnuprayag is Hanuman Ghat, the place where Lord Hanuman met Bheema, one of the five Pandavas. According to the legends, Hanuman in the form of an old monkey tested the strength of Bheema.
  • Kagbhushandi Lake : The mesmerizing oblong-shaped lake with emerald green colour and stunning beauty of flowers on its banks can be accessed by a lake. Located at the base of HathiParvat, the lake is capable of spellbinding anyone with its splendour.
  • Badrinath Temple : One of the four char dhaam destinations in Uttarakhand, the temple is counted among the holiest shrines of Lord Vishnu in the universe. Many amazing attractions like hot springs, lakes, streams, caves and peaks can be accessed here.
  • Auli : A world-class ski resort, Auli boasts of unbound natural beauty and offers some marvellous views of Himalayan peaks. Among the highlights is the 4 km. long cable car that connects Auli with Joshimath and is Asia’ longest and highest cable car.
  • Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve : A part of the UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves, it is just not worth missing. Encompassing Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi National Park, the reserve is home to unbelievable varieties of orchids, primulas, daisies, poppies and many other flowers. Meadows and alpine forests add bliss to the area. Many endangered wildlife species like snow leopard, black bear and brown bear can be explored here.
  • Hemkund Sahib : One of the holiest shrines of Sikhism, the Gurudwara at Hemkund Sahib is accessible on foot and is well-known for unearthly beauty surrounding it. It is believed that Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, meditated here for many years.Gobindghat (starting point of Hemkund trek) and Ghangaria (starting point of Valley of Flowers National Park trek) are the nearby destinations.
  • Gopeshwar : The town is one of the best places to enjoy cool weather and natural glory of the region. It is also home to Gopinath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and many other temples in the close vicinity, including Tungnath and Rudranath.
Joshimath is enchanting, surprising and full of opportunities for idyllic holidays. Even if you visit the place as a part of chardhamyatra tours, make sure you spend a day or two at this place.

 

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