Joshimath is a popular hill station and a famous centre for pilgrimage at a height of 1,890 mts above sea level in Chamoli district of Garhwal division in Uttarakhand. The place is highly revered by Hindus and it is an important pilgrimage center in the country. Many devotees and travelers can be seen in the area during the pilgrim season. There are many temples and other religious sites that are located in the town as well.
In ancient scriptures Joshimath is described as Kartikeyapura as it has been named after Kartikeya, the God of Katyuri kings. Joshimath is one of the four maths or monasteries established in the 8th century by Adi Guru Sri Shankaracharya. The rivers Alkananda and Dhauliganga meet at the confluence of Karmaprayag located just below Joshimath. The town serves as a base for travelers who are looking to take a trek to some of the higher regions. One can reach the Valley of Flowers by taking a trek from the town of Joshimath.
The climate in the town of Joshimath is cold throughout the year and one has to bring heavy protective clothing while travelling to the place. Even the summers are mildly cold in the town of Joshimath. Heavy rainfall can be expected during the monsoon season and extensive showers can be witnessed through the day. Winters are extremely chilly with temperatures touching the freezing point. Snowfall can also be expected in this area during the winter season.
Prime Attractions Of Joshimath
The Temple Of Narshimha
It is a beautiful temple built in honor of lord Narshimha, an incarnation of lord Vishnu. An arm of the idol of the lord is said to be decreasing in length daily, and it is believed that the day it breaks off, the road to Badrinath would get blocked permanently.
It is a forgotten tree which holds unmatchable and uncomparable significance. It is the oldest tree of India with an age of more than 1200 years. The great explorer Adi Shankaracharya used to meditate in the shades of this beautiful tree and the cave where he lived is also here. The circumference of this mulberry tree is 21.5mts. The tree is now only able to bear flowers and not fruits, but the leaves are still young and fresh of this historic tree. Millions of people visit Badrinath every year unknowingly that the tree they pass through is about the same age as the Badrinath temple is.
Nanda Devi National Park
If you are a wildlife freak, then you must not miss the fascinating Nanda Devi National Park located 23 km from Joshinath. Established in 1982, the Park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. Sprawling over an area of 630.33 sq km, the Park is rich in both flora and fauna. The best time to visit the Park is from April to October. The Park is home to numerous wildlife species such as Himalayan tahr, serow, goral, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, brown bear, leopard and langur, Himalayan musk deer. This Park is a paradise of birds with around 80 species. The commonly sighted birds in the Park are warblers, gresbreaks, rose finches and ruby throat.
There are many hotels and Dharamshalas that are located in the town as well and these cater to the visitors. GMVNL Tourist Bungalow, which is situated near bus stand in Joshimath, is a good value for money and offers satisfactory services. One thing to make a note is that beside this one there is another GMVNL property in Joshimath. However the aforementioned is a new building. So before booking one must confirm which property he or she is booking. Average room rent would be around 600-800 Rs. for a double bed room. Besides you have other hotels like Hotel Dronagiri where in a night might cost you anywhere around Rs. 800 – Rs. 4000 depending upon the class of room you choose or Hotel Mount View.
How to reach Joshimath
By Air:The nearest airport to Joshimath is Jolly Grantis situated in Dehradun district. Jolly Grant is located 272kms from Joshimath. Taxis are easily available from Jolly Grant Airport.
By Rail: The nearest railway stations to Joshimath are Rishikesh and Kotdwar situated at a distance of 250kms and 279kms respectively. Buses and taxis are available to Joshimath or nearby areas from Rishikesh and Kotdwar.
By Road: Joshimath is well connected with motorable roads. The distance from Delhi to Joshimath is 492kms which can be covered in 15 hours of time. Joshimath is situated on NH58 connecting Badrinath. Buses and taxis are available to Joshimath from various destinations of Uttarakhand.
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