Panch Dhara and Panch Shila
Panch Dhara is a group of five water streams that originate at Badrinath. They are: Prahlad Dhara, Kurma Dhara, Bhrigu Dhara, Urvashi Dhara and Indira Dhara, collectively known as ‘Panch Dharas’ at Badrinath.
Indira Dhara is the most striking stream among these five; it is located at about 1.5 km north of the town Badrinath. Urvashi Dhara is on the right of river Rishi Ganga; Bhrigu Dhara passes through a number of caves. Water of Kurma Dhara is extremely cold while Prahlad Dhara has lukewarm water.
Panch Shila of Badrinath includes Garud Shila, Nar Shila, Narsingh Shila, Varah Shila and Markandeya Shila. These shilas are situated around the Tapt kund in the form of five blocks. Standing between Tapt kund and Narad kund is conical formed Narad Shila. Near the Naradkund, the Barah Shila has the shape of boar. Barah is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Markandeya, on the advice of Narad, left Mathura to meditate here in Badrivan and attained ultimate peace. Markendeya Shila is the stone on which the sage sat and meditated.
How to reach
Both Panch Dhara and Panch Shila are situated less than a kilometer away from the Badrinath shrine. Badrinath is well connected with major Uttarakhand cities via motorable roads as it is a famous pilgrimage shrine. The nearest railhead is Haridwar railway station, which is 336 kms from Badrinath. There are numerous trains connecting Dehradun with other major cities like Delhi, Lucknow and Kolkata etc.