Nestling in the lap of snow-clad Himalayas, a land of numerous shrines and temples, Joshimath is scared town that falls in the Chamoli district of north Indian state of Uttarakhand. A picturesque hill station, a pilgrimage and an adventure spot, all of this bundled in a single, small, little explore destination known as Joshimath. The town will certainly offer rarest and loveliest of experiences to all its visitors and has something to extend to all those coming here.
Also known as Jyotir Math, this is one of the four Maths established by Hindu Saint Adi Guru Shri Shankaracharya Ji far back in 8th century. The fact makes it quite apparent that Joshimath has inherited a rich historical, religious and mythological importance since all these centuries. It is also a gateway to many adventure sports activities such as trekking and skiing. One of the most scenically splendid stop of Uttarakhand, Joshimath is an unspoiled and very less frequented destination which makes it a great choice for vacationers who wish to experience the beauty of nature in its purest of forms.
Major Tourist Attractions
- Kalpvriksha – Kalpavriskha is one among the oldest trees of our country. Kalpavriksha is a Sanskrit word which means a divine tree that fulfills all wishes. Supposedly, this tree in Joshimath is as old as 1200 years and belongs to the era of Adi Guru Shri Shankaracharya. It is believed that he used to meditate under this tree.
- Bhavishya Badri Temple – Situated at a distance of about 17 from Joshimath, this temple is another spot that must be visited by tourists and pilgrims going to Joshimath. Considered to extremely holy, this temple is dedicated to Lord Badrinarayan who is enshrined here as Narsingha. This temple holds a high importance among the Hindu devotees. Besides being am important pilgrim, this place is an amazing tourist spot and offers great scenic views os the valley.
- Narsingh Temple – This is another attraction of Joshimath that must be visited by all going there. Dedicated to one of the Hindu Gods, Lord Narsingh, this temple is believed to be the home of Saint Badrinath in pre-historic times. According to popular beliefs and findings, the statue of Lord Narsingh is sinking gradually and its collapse might cause a major landslide blocking the road to Badrinath shrine permanently.
- Nanda Devi National Park – At a distance of 23 km from Joshimath, Nanda Devi National Park is spread over an area of 630.33 sq km and is a World Heritage Site as declared by UNESCO. It is a home to a huge variety of animals and birds.
- Govind Ghat – Situated on the shore of Alaknanda River, the Ghat is also renowned for shrine of Hemkund Sahib. Hemkund means “Lake of Snow” and is the place where Guru Gobind Singh Ji used to meditate. There is a gurudwara here and also a temple. The temple is devoted to Lord Lakshman.
- Ghangaria – A suburb falling at a distance of 23 km from Joshimath, the place is also known as Govind Dham locally. Usually it is a stop for trekkers to Hemkund Sahib and Valley of Flowers.
- Cable Car ride to Auli – It is another not to miss excursion at Joshimath. There is a 4km long cable car route from Joshimath which connects to Auli. This is the longest and highest cable car route. It takes travelers through the most ravishing views of Himalayas. Auli is another marvelous hill station to be at. The immense and boundless natural beauty of this town will surely leave you spellbound. Also this the place of a world-class ski resort and one of the best places in the world for skiing.
Other popular tourist destinations that can be clubbed into the trip to Joshimath are –
- Nainital etc.
Festivals and Fairs
Festivals and celebrations play a significant role in the lives of locals of Joshimath who are culture-loving and religious people. All the major Hindu festivals are celebrated here with a lot of excitement and dedication by people. These festivals include Rakshan Bandhan, Nag Panchmi, Janmashtmi, Ram Navmi, Dussehra, Deepawali, Makar Sakranti, Holi and Shivratri.
Some important fairs are also organized here. Bishwat Sankranti Fair is held on the 13th day of April every year. Another festival that involves participation and attention by large number of people is the Gaucher Mela in the month of November.
Best time to Visit
Owing to its location, Joshimath experiences heavy rainfall during monsoons and snowfall in the months of winter season. Therefore, the best time to be around this place is in the months of April, May and June. At this time, the temperature here remains around twenties making the weather pleasant and ideal of outdoor excursions and sightseeing.
How To Reach
By Air – The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun which is at a distance of 221 km from Joshimath. Jolly Grant airport is well connected to all the important airports of the country.
By Rail – Railway is a convenient way to reach Joshimath. Nearby railway stations are at Haridwar and Rishikesh. Haridwar station is more preferable since it has better connectivity with Joshimath and all the major railheads of the country.
By road – Joshimath has a fine network of roads having a fair road connectivity with nearby towns and cities such as Haridwar, Rishikesh, Almora, Nainital and Dehradun.