Joshimath Travel Guide – Must See Places in Joshimath

Contrary to what a lot of people think, not all tours of India are hot and humid.

joshimath-town
Joshimath Town

A portion of the Himalayas are within the territory of India, and much of it is worth seeing.  Tours of the area are recommended for nature lovers who are used to the outdoors as a lot of the sites that are to be seen are not accessed by car, but by foot.

History of Joshimath

The history of Joshimath is covered by the shroud of tradition.  There are no documents that support what happened here, but it is said that this was established as the northern monastery by Adi Shankara.  Three other monasteries, or mathas, exist, and all four are toured by pilgrims seasonally.  The most important among them would be Badrinath, which is also located at a higher spot as compared to Joshimath.  During the winter months, when it becomes too cold, residents of Badrinath move down to Joshimath to spend the rest of the cold season.

Tourism in Joshimath

The city in itself is a jump off point for trekking to other points of attraction, but it does not mean that the city does not have any spots to tour.  Narasimha Temple is located within Joshimath, and it is 1,200 years old.  Dedicated to the lord Vishnu, the temple contains the fourth reincarnation of the deity, known as lord Narasimha.  This avatar is half man and half lion, and is seated in the lotus position.  What is interesting is that the left wrist of the statue seems to get thinner day by day, and it is believed that when the hand falls off, the road to Badrinath, the holiest place of the Hindus will be blocked by a landslide.

Some 30 meters away from Narasimha temple is the Vasudeva Temple.  The head deity here is lord Vasudeva, who is also known to be an associate of lord Vishnu.  This is known to be one of the most famous temples in the whole of India.  The temple contains a six foot idol of the deity carved entirely from black rock.

All those who tour Joshimath during the months of July and August go there to travel to the Valley of Flowers located about 34 km from the city.  Not the whole way is walked, as Govindghat can be reached by road.  After that, however, comes a 16 km hike that leads to a beautiful valley covered with flowers.  All natural, it is a preserved spot and highly valued by India, so no camping is allowed in the valley.

For those who prefer the great outdoors to hotels, this is the vacation spot made exactly for you.  The air all along the way is fresh, crisp and clean, and the hike would definitely be invigorating, considering that it would be done at a high altitude.  The Valley of flowers can be considered sacred by anyone who visits it, because it is nature untouched by anything made by man.  With such beauty to offer, this place deserves to be a part of your travel itinerary.

Facts:

  • Area: 53,484 km2 (state)
  • Population: 13,500
  • Elevation: 1,890 meters
  • Geographical Location: 30° 34? 12? N, 79° 34? 12? E
  • Climate: Cold
  • Primary Rainy Season: June to August
  • Temperatures: Summer: 18 – 28 deg C; Winter: 12 – 18 deg C.
  • Languages: Hindi, English and Garhwali
  • Best Season: Mid May to November
  • Places to Visit: Narasimha Temple, Vasudeva Temple, Valley of Flowers
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