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JOSHIMATH (UTTARAKHAND) Uttarakhand also known as the abode of Gods, Dev Bhoomi, amidst the magnificent snow capped Himalayas and silently flowing rivers, boasts of many pilgrimage destinations. There are many places in Uttarakhand which depict the real beauty and essence of nature. Joshimath is one such place founded by Shankracharya among the four centers or piths. Joshimath is described in the ancient scriptures as Kartikeyapura, because the Katyuri kings named it after their God, Kartikeya. This place is also known as Jyotirmath. Joshimath, located at a height of about 6,000 ft, is one of the four great "maths", or monasteries. Joshimath is located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. It is a quaint little town nestled amidst the mighty Himalayas en route to Badrinath. Also it is gateway to Auli which is considered as one of the finest skiing spots in India as well as home to highest and longest cable car in Asia. The scenery of the mountains slopes and the Rivers Alaknanda, Dhauliganga and the other tributaries of The Ganges flowing along the narrow mountain roads is bound to keep you spell bound . It is known as a stopover destination to Badrinath, Vishnu Prayag, Hemkund Saheb, Valley of Flowers and Auli. It is one of the seats of one of the four Mathas (or Monasteries). In fact this is the only matha in northern region. This is probably the reason why Joshimath was known as Jyotirmath-the temple of light/wisdom. The town is full of various temples namely Narsingh mandir,Durga Temple ,Shiva temple along with Adi Shankaracharya matha.


Auli, the place blessed by snow is too good to be put in words. The place is known for skiing more than anything else. It comes in Chamoli district of Uttaranchal district and at a height of nearly 3000 meters with a vertical drop of 500 meters. While skiing might be more a popular reason for coming to Auli, the place is not devoid of other tourist attractions. Auli is the kind of place where pleasure and adventure, wild beauty and slopes of snow field, nature's beauty in its best form comes alive. What makes a trip to Auli so fulfilling and interesting is the fact that the place is flanked by some interesting excursions nearby. One can just stay in Auli, enjoy the skiing and contemplate the surroundings.

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers National Park is an Indian title "National park of India national park, Nestled high in West Himalaya, is renowned for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty. The gentle landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park complements the rugged mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi National Park. Together they encompass a unique transition zone between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and Great Himalaya. The park stretches over an expanse of 87.50 km.The Valley of Flowers is an outstandingly beautiful high-altitude Himalayan valley that has been acknowledged as such by renowned mountaineers and botanists in literature for over a century and in Hindu mythology for much longer. Valley was declared a national park in 1982, and now it is a World Heritage Site. A number of plant species are internationally threatened, several have not been recorded from elsewhere in Uttarakhand and two have not been recorded in Nanda Devi National Park. The diversity of threatened species of medicinal plants is higher than has been recorded in other Indian Himalayan protected areas.


The holy town of the Hindus, Badrinath is situated in the Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. From among India's Char Dham pilgrimage sites, this one is the most important of all. The major pilgrimage site of the Hindus, Badrinath was established by Adi Shankara in the 9th century. This place has found its mention in the scriptures and legends for many years now. Its importance as a holy place has been imbibed in us from the childhood. The name Badrinath was derived from Badri meaning 'berries' and Nath which meant 'Lord of'.

Hemkund Sahib

The high altitude Lokpal lake, known as Hemkund ( 4329 mts.) liesin heavenly environs. A steep trek from Ghangharia leads one to this spot in about four to six hours. Encircled by seven snow clad peaks and their associated glaciers, it reflects its surroundings enchantingly on its crystal clear serene waters. The glaciers from Hathi Parvat and Saptrishi peaks feed the lake and a small stream called Himganga flows out of this lake.

Gurso Bagyal

It is just three kilometres from Auli. Gurso is a huge beautiful meadow spread out and blessed with picture like beauty by nature. The place has mixed forest type, oak and conifer, and is 3056 metres above the sea level. One of the best way to come here is via ropeway. It is 1.5 kilometres from the last tower of ropeway. Come here enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the snowfields lined with forests of oak and conifer. The place rests in peace and calmness as it is devoid of any commercial activity, it is just the kind of place where you can spend an entire day admiring the beauty and return to Auli then

Bhavishya Badri

It is one of the five badri shrines in the region. Bhavishya Badri is worshipped here at three kilometres from Tapovan. It is an on foot journey, in the middle of the dense deodar forest to the shrine of Bhavishya Badri. It is said that there will be a time in future when the shrine of Badrinath will get inaccessible because of the harsh climate, the snow, then Bhavishya Badri will be worshipped as the shrine of Badrinath, Bhavishya meaning future.


While on trip to Gurso Bugyal, just a kilometre ahead is Chattrakund which you can easily include in your trip. In the centre of jungle is this sweet water lake called Chattrakund, the lake is small yet the view of a small beautiful lake is like a scene out fairy tale.


To come here, one has to pass through the last village in Joshimath, i.e. Dang Village. The road is quite tough hence the place does not see much of tourists, but it is undoubtedly a beautiful spot.


Set in the lap of Hathi Parvat (6730 mts/22075 ft), the lake can be approached either from Bhiundhar village, near Ghangria, or from Vishnu Prayag. The trek from the former is a little easier in gradient, but is longer. The trek from Bhiundhar passes through thick bear-infested, forests and stretches of stinging nettles. The only shelters here are the shepherd huts. This trek also involves walking long distances across glacial moraines and over slippery rocks.