About the falls
Badri waterfalls is also known as Badrinath waterfalls and is located in Solan, Himachal Pradesh. This is a small hot water fall adjoining the ice cold Alakananda River originating from the top and flows down, where the Badrinath temple is located. Badrinath temple is situated at an elevation of 3133 meters above sea level beside the Badri waterfalls. The fall is set in the back ground of snow clad mountains and heavy rocks. Badrinath is one of the four dhams that a Hindu devotee has to visit in his life time to attain salvation. The falls is set in a magnificent setting with a back ground of snow with misty and foggy clouds covering the place wholly or partially.
The literal meaning of Himachal Pradesh is ‘the region of snowy mountains’. Water flows through great rocks and falls with a great roaring noise and with great power and is forceful. Badri falls is a rain fed one and during heavy monsoons the current is very strong and climbing the rocks near the falls is very dangerous. The water falls through stone cobbled path and the water is very cold as it originates from the glaciers.
In the valley below the waterfall there is the famous Badrinath temple. From the top, the area in the valley near the temple is crowded with houses, shops and there are a lot of commercial activities. On either side of the fall we can see green covered mountains. It is believed that the scattered drops of the waterfall don’t fall on the sinners. Visitors will find that when viewed from a distance it will seem as though milk is falling down the falls as a stream of milk.
Medical value of the falls
It is proved that the water from Alakananda River, which is the source of Badri waterfall has medical properties. The water even after being stored for two years can be used for medicinal purposes and is used for religious ceremonies.
Ways to reach and the surroundings
The altitude of the region is 3133 meters. People mainly visit this place to participate in the religious ceremonies conducted at the Badrinath temple. The temple opens generally from April to November, and at other times it closes and opens for religious practices only.
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun. The nearest railway station is in Rishikesh. There are two options for reaching Badrinath by train from Delhi. They are:
Route1, Delhi to Rishikesh which is 287 kilometers by train and then from Rishikesh to Badrinath which is 297 kilometers by road.
The second route is from Delhi to Kotdwar, which is 300 kilometers by train and then from Kotdwar to Badrinath by road, which is 327 kilometers. There are regular transport buses from Rishikesh to Badrinath during the pilgrim season.
Places to visit
1. Badrinath Temple
Badrinath temple is the most sacred dham and is one of the four chota char dhams in the country. This dham was established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th century. The presiding deity of Badrinath temple is Lord Vishnu in the form of Badrinarayan. The colourful ‘singh-Dwara’ at the entrance of the temple is an artistic creation. The temple remains closed during winter months as the region is prone to heavy snow fall. This temple is on the banks of the Alakananda River.
2. Tapt Kund
This is a hot sulphur spring below the temple and devotees are required to bath in this spring before entering the temple.
3. Satopanth Lake
The lake is sacred to the Hindus as it is believed that the’ tri muthis’, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh take their bath in this like on a certain auspicious day. Sathopanth is the place that leads the way to the ‘swargarohini ‘peak from where according to the Mahabharatha, the Pandavas ascended to heaven. The lake is also believed to be the point where Bheema was denied entry in to heaven. Satopanth Lake offers breath-taking views to the travelers and the water in the lake is very clean and pure. There are no rest houses in villages or on the way to Sathopanth. Travelers can rest in temporary tents and caves on the way.
4. Adi Badri
Adi Badri is located at a distance of 17 kms from Karnaprayag. Adi Badri is easy to reach as there is a motorable road. The main temple situated here is dedicated to Lord Narayana, established by Adi Shankaracharya. The temple has a black stone carved statue of Lord Vishnu.
This Mandir is located 3 Kilometer from Badrinath on the right bank of the Alakananda River. Mata-Murti-Mandir is an ancient temple devoted to Shri Badrinath’s mother. It is one of the top tourist places in Mana village. The legend related to this temple is that Mata-Murti worshipped Lord Vishnu and requested him to be born as her son in his next birth. Agreeing to this, Lord Vishnu emerged from her womb as twins Nar and Narayan, in order to kill the devil.
6. Vriddha Badri
Vriddha badri is situated at an altitude of 1380 meters and at a distance of 7 kilometer from Joshimath, the place where several centuries before the advent of Adi Guru Shankaracharya, the idol of Badrinath was enshrined and worshipped. The idol is known as Vriddha (old) or the first Badri and the temple remains open throughout the year.
ACTIVITY – Trekking to the falls
Trekking over to the falls is quite tedious as visitors will have to walk over stone pebbled path. The valley is very scenic from this place and it takes two hours to complete. The first 2-3 kilometers are easier to walk but after that the path becomes quite steep. There are no villages or shops along the route.
People and Clothing
People mainly speak Hindi and Garhwali, which is their mother tongue. Some of them speak English also. Heavy woolen clothes are to be worn in months from February to May. From June to September light woolen clothes are recommended and from October to January, cotton or woolen clothes are recommended.
1) Choose summer seasons to visit the place.
2) Liquor and non-vegetarian food items are prohibited in the temple premises.
3) A jacket is advised for late evening hours.
4) Visitors are advised to carry their water-bottle and snacks.
5) Sports shoes will be convenient while trekking.
6) Visitors are cautioned against monkeys’ attack. These animals should not be provoked.
There are many hotels and Ashrams in Badrinath. Ashrams are cheaper and they also provide food at minimal costs. Tourists are allowed to pitch their own tents.
Most of the luxurious Badrinath hotels are located at vantage points, giving the tourists breath taking views of snow capped mountains. There are budget low cost economical hotels to luxury (1 star, 2 stars, 3 stars, 4 stars, 5 stars) hotels and home stays to heritage hotels and resorts in Badrinath.