Joshimath Town is the winter seat of Lord Badri, whose idol is brought down from the Badrinath temple to the Vasudeva temple of Joshimath and also nicknamed as Jyotirmath. This holy town is revered by the Hindus for being an important pilgrimage center of the country. The charm of the town is further popularised by the mighty rivers, Dhauli Ganga and Alaknanda, who meet at the convergence of Vishnuprayag.
The town is nestled with love in the Chamoli district of Uttrakhand at an altitude of 1890 meter, the sacred town of Joshimath spread its celestial aura in the entire Garhwal region. Joshimath is located on the NH58 connecting Delhi to Badrinath and Mana pass in Uttrakhand and near to Indo Tibet border. So vehicles with Pilgrims to Badrinath passes through the town of Joshimath.
Joshimath is also located on the route to the famous Sikh Pilgrimage Centre of Hemkunt Sahib, also known as the ‘Lake of snow’. It is located on the banks of River Alaknanda in Govindghat, at a distance of 19 km away from Joshimath.
Why visit Joshimath:
It is one of the four maths or monasteries that were established by Adi Guru Shankaracharya in the 8th century AD. One can see Kalpriksha, the oldest tree of India which is believed to be 1200 years old and visit the other noticeable Hindu shrine that is located in the city.
Among the important attractions of Joshimath includes a temple dedicated to Narshima, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and the foundation of this temple was also laid by Adi Shankaracharya and it is believed to be the presiding deity of town Joshimath. Some other temples are dedicated to Hanuman, Gaurishankar, Ganesha, Naudevi, and Surya.
Mythology about Joshimath:
According to local legend, when the right hand of an idol of the god in the Narsimha temple of Joshimath, will become as fine as hair than the two mountains Jay-Vijay en-route Badrinath will merge and become one. During this phase, Lord Badri will disappear from the Badrinath temple and will reappear in the form of black stone (Shaligram) at Bhavishya Badri, located at 10 km distance from Joshimath.
During winter, the town becomes home of Lord Badri, whose idol is brought down from Badrinath temple to Vasudeva temple in Joshimath. After the introduction of winter char Dham yatra by government, Joshimath becomes a major travel destination in winter.
How to reach Joshimath:
By Road to Joshimath:
Joshimath is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations in Uttrakhand. Buses to Rishikesh and Srinagar are available from Delhi ISBT Kashmiri Gate and Taxi is also available. Also you ca opt for bus from Haridwar/ Rishikesh to Joshimath but these buses are mostly privately run and conditions of the buses are not so good. Bus will take around 9-11 hours to reach Joshimath and way enroute is scenic as runs along Ganga and it tributaries. It is advisable to book taxi fro comfortable journey to the town of Joshimath.
By Air to Joshimath:
Jolly grant airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to Joshimath at a distance of 275 km. This airport is well connected by hired Taxi/ Buses to Joshimath or alternatively Buses can be boarded from Haridwar as well. You can find the majority of the flight operators, operating from Dehradun to the main cities of India.
By Train to Joshimath:
The nearest railway station is Rishikesh at a distance of 250 km, But the prime railway station is of Haridwar Junction at a distance of 285 km. This Railway station is connected with the main cities of India by train on a daily basis. From Haridwar/Rishikesh one has to resort to hired taxi/ government transport to reach Joshimath. The train timetable for your reference is attached but it is subjected to change, and advised to visit the official Indian Railway website prior to booking.
Things to do at Joshimath
Bhavishya Badri village
It is a small village at a distance of 18 km from Joshimath toward the east side ahead of Tapovan at an altitude of 2750 m. Visit this village includes trekking of 3 Km after a motorable road. The village is considered as future Badrinath because as per Mythology after the hands of the idol of Narsimha present at Joshimath shrinks to fine hair size then, the lord will reappear here at this village. Because present Badrinath will become inaccessible due to the collapse of mountains near Vishnuprayag.
Stay at village Subhai can be a good option to have a glimpse of the temple at Bhavishya Badri. This village has a small beautiful water spring amidst cedar trees which makes this village an ideal and peaceful one.
This place is like a heaven for a person who loves the Himalayas. After watching this mountain, you can find a view of a lady with open hair lying at the top of the peak. It is an excellent nature holiday with a lot of fresh air, long walks, treks, and picture-postcard sceneries all around.
If you want a rejuvenating holiday in the mountains then this is the right choice for you. This place is unique and almost perfect for people who seek peace away from the daily rigors of life. Tourists love this place for photography and this place can be reached by taxi easily from Joshimath.
It is a small but scenic village located in Chamoli district nearby to Joshimath town. It serves as the base camp for trekkers exploring the Chenab Valley trek and very limited accommodation options available here. The village is encircled by beautiful and charming mountain valleys and beautiful atmosphere. Tourists enjoy the beautiful Himalaya here as the view from the foothills makes it magnificent to enjoy.
This beautiful village can be reached easily from the Vishnuprayag town as Vishnuprayag is connected with the highway to major cities of Uttrakhand like Haridwar and Rishikesh. The distance of this village from the religious town of Joshimath is just 25 km and accessible from the month of April to November easily.
Chenab valley trekking:
Trekking to Chenab valley is one among the least explored trek in Uttrakhand. The starting point of this trek is at a distance of 28 km from Joshimath town attracting nature lovers towards it. Enroute this trekking, you can enjoy mesmerizing views of scenic Chenab Lake and its encircling Oak-Deodar forest.
Chenab valley is situated near the passage to Badrinath and widely cherished for its stunning meadows filled with different flowers. You can have a close watch on the amazing species of flowers like orchids, daisies, marigold, Brahma kamal, poppies with trees of medicinal value like Sal, Rhododendron, and Teak. Before planning trekking you must go through simple trekking tips and I am sure it will make your trekking memorable.
Located on the holy merger of river Alaknanda and Dhauliganga, it is the first one among Panch Prayag. Vishnuprayag is a holy destination at 1370 meter height at a distance of 14 km from Joshimath town. The other four Prayags are Nandprayag, Karanprayag, Rudraprayag, and Devprayag according to the descending order of the river. Here at Vishnuprayag Vishnu Ganga/Alaknanda confluence with river Dhauliganga that flows from the Niti valley. There is a suspension bridge that helps the visitors to cross the surging Alaknanda river.
This destination is a major attraction for tourists seeking relaxation and peace so attracts pilgrims and adventure enthusiasts to plan a memorable trip to this location. It has many ashrams and temples which caters for its religious importance to the Hindu peoples. Famous Vishnu temple situated on a hillock, just above the confluence of both holy rivers is a must-visit place for you while exploring the town. The pilgrims are en route to Char Dham pilgrimage used to take a holy dip in the water of Vishnu Prayag.
The stunning Kagbhusandi Tal located near Vishnu Prayag is a mirror to the lofty mountain ranges and it is a popular tourist destination these days. Adventure lovers can undertake activities like river rafting, kayaking, etc in this town.
There is Mythological tale associated with this place and as per it, sage Narada indulged in a serious penance at this place to appease Lord Vishnu “the preserver”. Lord Vishnu appeared here in front of Narada and blessed him at the same location where Vishnu temple is located at present.
Valley of Flower
The iconic valley of flower is situated at a distance of just 21 km from Vishnuprayag and easily accessible. Valley is associated with many tales about the unconsciousness of trekkers due to heavy scent from the valley and it was firstly remarked by a British mountaineer. This beautiful valley can be best enjoyed in the monsoon months from June to September when the flowers are in full bloom.
Flower valley has a spread over an area of 87 square Km and famous among trekkers as it is moderate in difficulty level and can be accomplished by first-timer easily. Govindghat near Vishnuprayag will be a starting point for the trekker and the total length of this trek is around 35 Km. This majestic valley is located at the merger point of east and west Himalaya with grand protection by snowy mountains.
This temple is a cave of Lord Shiva which is situated in Niti village of Chamoli district and 82 km distance from Joshimath. The cave is famous as the replica of the Amarnath shrine of Jammu and Kashmir. Because of its natural shiv linga of snow, this place is getting popularity nowadays. The cave is situated on a 700-meter walking/trekking distance from the main road and it is one km before the Niti village.
Special permission is required to visit this village as the village is situated on Indo Tibet border. You have to fill the form with all details along with driver details and have to submit in the Joshimath tourism office two days prior. It is one-day travel permission so you have to leave Joshimath and need to come back in the evening. Only 25 tourists per day are allowed to visit this place.
Niti village is the last village at the Indo Tibet border and located at a distance of 85 Km from Joshimath. Special permission is required to be obtained from the tourism department at Joshimath to visit this village as it is close to the border. Local residents here at village usually reside from April to October and later moves to alternate villages in lower Himalaya because the village got covered by snow in winter.
Niti village can be reached by hiring a taxi from Joshimath and it can reach up to Niti if the road is not blocked by nature. But if roads are not in the good state till Niti, then you have to trek from Bampa village up to 6 Km to reach here. Niti pass which connects India with Tibet is just nearby to the village but nobody is allowed there except security forces.
Nanda Devi National Park
A world Heritage Site, this national park is located near the second highest peak of India that is Nanda Devi Peak. Park houses rarest of the rare species of flora and fauna and rich in biodiversity. Sanctioned in 1982, this park is a famous ecological hotspot for many birds, animals, and plants. The national park is open to visitors from May to October only and remains closed in winter.
Trekking to the park is considered a challenging one and reaching the base camp of trekking is an achievement in itself.
Services Available at Joshimath
1. Mobile network Yes of most of the operators
2. Bank/ATM Yes
3. Hospital Yes
4. Pharmacy/Medicals Yes
5. Restaurants Yes
6. Bars Yes Liquor shop is also available
7. Automobile/Vehicle Repair Yes
8. Courier facility Yes
9. Massage & Spa plus Saloons. Yes
10. Police Station Yes
Hotels in Joshimath:
There are a lot of options available for tourists to stay and reside in Joshimath as Good Quality hotels ranging from 5 Star to Deluxe hotels can be found easily here. However you can go through some simple tips to book cheap hotels for you during your journey.
Travel tips for Joshimath:
⇔ By booking a room at Joshimath, one can visit Badrinath and Auli ski resort easily.
⇔ Please check with local operators about road and weather conditions in monsoon to avoid unnecessary chaos.
⇔ Pilgrims can take the blessing of Lord Badrinath in winter as well by visiting the town of Joshimath.
⇔ There are enough staying options available in Joshimath from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels and it is advisable also to stay in Joshimath as compared to Auli or Badrinath to save budget and competition.
⇔ For the dining options also in Joshimath, there are a plethora of options available ranging from small hotels to luxury dining restaurants. Mainly tourists will get north Indian food and popular Chinese items here in common.
⇔ Joshimath is also the entrance point of Malari and Niti Valley, which has a striking resemblance to the vegetation and mountains of Leh-Laddakh and the Spiti Valley region. So don’t miss this place at any cost.
Nearby locations to Joshimath-
⇔ Auli 04 Km
⇔ Vishnuprayag 10 Km
⇔ Rishikesh 250 Km
⇔ Haridwar 275 Km
⇔ Badrinath 35 Km
Worth to mention if planning for a trip (please note):-
⇒Don’t throw Plastic and spoil the beauty of Hill station( and U know Distilled water, Cold Drink Bottles are the main culprit)
⇒Please left this beauty for our next generation to enjoy as well
⇒Carry sufficient Cash in hand which will save you from some situations where no card facility exists
⇒Try to taste local foods wherever you go
⇒Be polite with serving staff
⇒If time and your will permit, please help locals collect garbage thrown over there by visitors like us so that we can think to plan the same destination again.