Activities in Badrinath
Apart from visiting Badrinath Temple and other nearby temples you can do the following:
Trekking: Various treks starts from Badrinath for thrill seekers, such as Satopanth Trek, Mana Trek and Charanpaduka treks.
Village Tourism – Mana village, which is only 4 kms from Badrinath, is also known as last village on Indian side of Indo-China border. One can easily hike to Mana village to explore about the culture and customs of the place. There is also a cave, Vyas Gufa, where it is believed sage Vyas composed Mahabharata
Staying in Badrinath
Badrinath has ample accommodations to stay, from the frugal dharamshalas to affordable guesthouses to 3-star hotels, it is easy to find a place to stay in Badrinath, if you are travelling in off-season.
As thousands of devotees ascent to the revered Badrinath shrine during the peak season, even finding a bed could be a task, let alone a room to stay. It is advisable to book an accommodation at Joshimath which is 45 kms from Badrinath. You can make a day trip to Badrinath and return to Joshimath by evening.
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Badrinath Food Guide
At an elevation of 3,300 meters, not many restaurants could be found andonly a handful of seasonal local eating joints and stalls tend to serve the pilgrims and tourists. The food served here is North Indian cuisine and popularChinese delicacies with limited choices. Due to the religious significance ofthe place, non-vegetarian food and alcohol are strictly prohibited at Badrinath.
History of Badrinath
In the 9th century, the holy town of Badrinath was re-established as a prominent pilgrim site by Guru Adi Shankaracharya. In the early years, the pilgrims used to walk hundreds of miles to pay obeisance at the sacred Badrinath temple. During the time of First World War, the town of Badrinath had only 20 dwarf huts, where the temple staff lived.
Mythology of Badrinath
There are two mythological stories related to Badrinath, the first states that as per the Vamana Purana, the two sages named Nar and Narayana (the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu) performed their penance here and Bhakt Narada was able to attain salvation.
Whereas, the other legend tells that Lord Vishnu in his child avatar manifested near the Neelkanth Parvat in search of a place to meditate.Upon searching, he fell in love with the site near Alaknanda river. Lord Vishnu then incarnated as a child near the Rishi Ganga and Alaknanda rivers (now in the vicinity of Neelkanth Parvat) and started crying. When his cries reached the ears of Goddess Parvati, it melted her heart at once. She wanted to help the child so she took her consort, Lord Shiva to meet him. When Parvati asked the child, 'What do you want?' The child asked for the site that he liked for meditating. Parvati granted his wish and now the same place is revered as BadriVishal.