Activities in Joshimath
Trekking: Apart from climbing expeditions, several treks to nearby valleys commence at Joshimath. The famous Valley of Flowers trek starts at Govindghat which is only 26 kms from Joshimath. Apart from that, adventure enthusiasts can visit Auli meadow in summer.
Skiing in Auli: A cable car takes one from Joshimath to Auli Ski Resort where both amateur and professional skiers can ski in snow slopes during the winter season. One can also try certification courses that have duration from 4 to 14 days.
Camping: Camping is another activity where tourists can stay in camps under clear night sky. Tents can be availed on rent or can be brought by the tourists themselves. There are plenty of level ground close to nature where one can set up camps in the company of his family and friends.
Staying in Joshimath
Due to its proximity to holy shrine of Badrinath which sees thousands of pilgrims, many hotels and guesthouses have mushroomed at Joshimath in recent years. As a result, there is plethora of accommodations available at Joshimath. From budget guesthouses to luxurious hotels, Joshimath has it all. In fact,during peak season, pilgrims tend to stay at Joshimath as finding a place to stay at Badrinath is very difficult.
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History of Joshimath
The holy town of Joshimath was established by the great Hindu philosopher and guru, Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century C.E. To promote the Hinduism, Adi Shankara ensconced the four cardinal 'mathas' or monasteries in different parts of India, among which Joshimath or Joyotirmath was the first ever northern monastery of India.
Mythology of Joshimath
According to the local legend, when the right hand of the idol adorned in the Narasimha temple of Joshimath, will become as fine as a hair, the two mountains Jay-Vijay, en-route Badrinath will become one. During this phase, Lord Badri will disappear from the Badrinath temple and will re-appear in the form of a black stone (Shaligram) at Bhavishya Badri, located at a distance of 10 km from Joshimath.
Adi Shankara had also laid the foundation of the temple of Lord Narasimha, the presiding deity of Joshimath which is believed to be one of the ‘Divya Desams’, the 108 temples of Lord Vishnu revered by the 12 Tamil poet-saints or Alvars.
In ancient scriptures Joshimath is described as Kartikeyapura as it has been named after Kartikeya, the God of Katyuri kings and the son of Lord Shiva.