- UTTAR PRADESH
located on the right bank of river Alaknanda, is a shrine,
that evokes the most intense religious feelings. An abode
of seers, saints and yogis from time immemorial, Badrinath
is one of the four Dhams, a devout Hindu has to visit in his
lifetime to attain salvation.One of Hinduism's holiest sites,
it was founded by Sri Shankaracharya, in the ninth century.
The temple, also known as Badri Narayan, is dedicated to Vishnu,
who is said to have done penance in the mythical Brindavan,
that once covered the mountains of Uttarakhand.
Known as 'Tapobhumi', a land of meditation and penance, and
'Bhubaikunth', heaven on earth, it is surrounded on either
side, by two mountain ranges known as Nar and Narayan, with
the Neelkanth peak, providing a spectacular backdrop. Facing
the Badrinath temple, is a hot water spring, known as 'Tapt
Kund'. Other famous springs, here, are the Narad Kund and
the Surya Kund.Badrinath is presided over by a Namboothiri
Brahman from Kerala, the Rawal, who also acts as as the head
priest for Kedarnath.
Joshimath: The religious centre,
established by Adi Shankaracharya, which he called Jyotirmath,
later came to be known as Joshimath. The other sites of interest
are the temples of Nav Durga and Narsingh. Apart from its
obvious religious importance, this place is unparalleled for
its scenic beauty.
Valley of Flowers: One of the most idyllic valleys
in the world, was discoverd by Frank S. Smythe, in 1931. The
valley is profuse with a plethora of vibrant flowers, hence
the name. Nearby, flows the river Pushpavati, while the massive
Rataban peak forms a splendid backdrop.
Gobindghat: Situated between
Joshimath and Badrinath, Gobindghat is the starting point
for the trek to the valley.
Lok-Pal Hemkund: One of the most
famous Gurudwaras in India, Hemkund Sahib is located here,
at an altitude of 4320 metres above sea level. Nearby, is
the Lok-Pal Hemkund lake, with its crystal clear waters, and
four peaks surrounding it.