Hazardous Roads To Badrinath

Read this adventurous travelogue on the Badrinath temple tour, written by traveller Nupur Saxena. Learn from her about the trip’s adventures, experiences, challenges, and more!

Badrinath Temple Photos History Tour Travelogue

Badrinath temple located in Garhwal Himalayas, Uttrakhand, at an elevation of 3,100m dates back to the 8th century when the idol of Lord Vishnu found from Narad Kund was re-established by Sage Adi Shankaracharya, Lord Vishnu meditated here for thousands of years and is still meditating, you can only visit Badrinath from May – November, for rest of the months, it remains closed due to heavy snowfall.

 

Rishikesh To Badrinath and Devprayag Sangam of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers

Leaving the lower hills of Rishikesh at 5 am, our car with aged tyres and broken bumper was all set to cover 11 hours to reach Badrinath. Weather in a playful condition in May kept on fooling us by being sunny and thick dark clouds thundering at times, mountain roads with no barrier added full-on adventure to the trip by scaring my mom a bit and our driver was the epitome of recklessness who hardly drove on higher altitudes but kept on racing with other cars, on the opposite side of mountains flowed the holy river Ganga, blueish white water with high speed brought a smile on our face.

We witnessed 4-5 car accidents on the way. A few cars had rocks over them that reminded us of the frightening side of mountains, they were huge with a few polished rocks while some were rough with wild plants on them, All I could see from my window side were these mountains or fallen rocks that drove me to boredom and finally, I turned my face to another side and saw the beautiful 7:00 am Sun that filled me with bliss and new energy but the fact that 9 hours more in the car made me take long breaths, I was keeping an eagle’s eye at the navigation as well and here what returned my happiness back was Devprayag where River Alaknanda meets Bhagirathi. 

Union of two rivers with purple flowers in love

After 3 hours of travelling with a slight Jam, we finally reached to Devprayag Sangam, parked our car beside and went to the riverside, the view was breathtaking. Two rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi meet each other and still do not get mixed, Alaknanda which appear to be in a muddy brownish colour flow with great speed to meet Bhagirathi appears in a blue-greenish colour waiting to unite with Alaknanda yet does not lose its own identity. We saw the river Ganga while we started our trip and the union of both these rivers gave birth to Ganga as they merged after some time portraying a heavenly love with two bodies but one soul. We wanted to just be there for eternity, the sky with a bit of rainy clouds and the touch of cool air filled my heart with bliss.

There were restaurants, small hotels and smelly public toilets just a km away from Sangam, Due to bad maintenance of restaurants and hotels. Fewer people visit them, moreover, it’s not a good idea to eat much in the hills as the non-stop turns would make you vomit, it’s better to bring biscuits, chips or Namkeen with you for the journey, though it’s available there as well but in hilly areas, they have everything afar.

Enjoying the peaceful view, we continued our journey to reach the next destination Rudraprayag where the routes get separated for Badrinath and Kedarnath, re-energised by Nature we started eating chips and waited for 65 km to cross and an hour later our car suddenly stopped as if it’s going to turn over and to my left I saw a huge rock along with 3-4 small rocks rolling from the mountain towards the car ahead of us, it was frightening, all we could to do was to stare with blank minds and heart in our hands. Boom! With the grace of God, the rocks rolled down to the valley just ahead of the car ahead of us, our smiles were gone and with our hearts still in our hands we moved ahead.

Wait what’s that, another Sangam? Told the driver to slow down and searched the internet and it was the point of confluence of river Alaknanda and river Mandakini, finally, we were in Rudraprayag Sangam, smiles were back with hearts on its place. We did not stop there to enjoy the view and moved further as we had to reach Badrinath in the daytime due to the bad network and no street lights on the roads

So, we left the board to “Kedarnath 50km” behind and continued our journey to cover 150 km more.

Our next destination was 32 km away “Karnaprayag“ which got its name from an Indian mythological or historical story about Karna of Mahabharat who meditated here for years to acquire the impregnable shield that made him a formidable warrior on the battlefield.

Two holy rivers Alaknanda and Pindar meet each other in Karnaprayag and we saw a beautiful Sangam for the third time so it didn’t amaze us much. Anyways, moving further we saw food stalls but the non-stop turns gave me a headache and a feeling of vomit, medicine relieved me in a few minutes

Finally, we reached to Nandprayag in an hour where River Alaknanda and Nandakini meet. Here stands the temple of goddess Nanda Devi. Tired of travelling for 7 hours out of which 2 hours in Jam, we had no excitement left for viewing another Sangam so we kept on driving, folding legs at times and then unfolding them was a repetitive process, checking notifications or listening to music, charging mobiles and then opening the packets of biscuits and Namkeen, discussing a few matters in lower voice so that driver doesn’t hear our conversation and then laughing, that’s how we managed to pass 2 hours to reach Joshimath.

Add 2 hours more to Badrinath and here in Joshimath we find big hotels and restaurants, Dharamshalas and saints heading towards Badrinath barefoot.

We got stuck in half an hour Jam and saw natives selling vegetables and fruits. I brought ½ kg of oranges that turned out to be mosambi and we couldn’t eat it.

Due to the cold climate, we wore a thick overcoat and saw natives with a strange beautiful, thick multicoloured hat over their heads selling woollens and household items. It was a local market with small and old-built shops.

We finally crossed the Jam but now we couldn’t rely on maps due to weak internet, so with each turn, we had to stop the car and ask natives about the road that leads to Badrinath.

On the way, we found four big trees of purple flowers with rivers on both sides, yes it was a wide bridge and it was so peaceful to see the trees together as if they were above survival instinct. In a world of race, they’ve got the right partners to rely on, away from the noise of negativity. It was beautiful, lively and peaceful to be there, felt like flying higher and higher over the river, listening to its soft flowing music but then I was called up by Mom to leave this heavenly spot and move further.

Just half an hour left to reach Badrinath and we came across an extremely dangerous path with a warning to drive slow but who’s going to tell this to our reckless driver? It was dusk time and the road was extremely narrow and under construction with no street lights. The rain made the path muddy with no barrier besides, we strongly felt that now we were gone. This is going to be the end of our journey. It’s easy to die without seeing death ahead of you so I closed my eyes. All I could hear was my mom praying to god to save us and simultaneously looking out of the window to check if the tyre was on the path or not. Just a change in the tyre’s direction and we’ll be going straight down to go up, with a blank mind I sat still and in a few minutes I heard my mom breathing a sigh of relief so I opened my eyes and looked around, we were fine and alive. God saved us and now I knew about what the Near Death Experience looked like. I was still blank and it took me some time to get over all that we just experienced.

Mom was fine and told me about a few adventurous activities in Joshimath. There’s so much to do here, Bagini glacier trek and Govindghat from where the trek to the valley of flowers begins, Lord Narsimha temple and Kalpavriksh, the sacred tree that is believed to fulfil all your wishes you ask for. But the fact that we’ve had enough of adventure today made us laugh over the trekking part, moreover, we had previously registered for Badrinath temple darshan on 12th May 2024 so we anyhow had to reach our booked hotel in Badrinath today itself, It is believed that once you see lord Badrinath then you are free from this birth-death and rebirth cycle so what’s more important? Trekking or darshan of Lord Badrinath, of course, our Lord.

Oh finally, our network came back and navigation showed just 2 minutes more to reach our hotel Laxmi Divine in Badrinath, such a steep road ahead of us introduced another adventure but it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be so we managed to cross it without much fear and then we witnessed a Jam and police force not allowing cars to turn left due to heavy crowd, it was 1 degree Celsius and with shivering teeth, we asked him to let us go as our hotel is just 1 min far but he denied and we had turned towards the right direction to find a place to park our car and now navigation showed 4 mins to the hotel, there were many hotels but were built in a congested lower platform to the road. We found no parking space and returned to the location where we met that policeman but we didn’t stop this time and went straight to where we were supposed to reach and finally, we got a parking space outside our hotel,

Badrinath Darshan Travelogue - The queue that never ends, 10 hours journey to the temple

We finally entered our pathetic room. It was the worst hotel we’ve ever visited with no restaurant available and no heater to protect us from the cold weather and still, it was expensive, we paid 6000 rupees for such a bad room, it was just 650 meters away from Badrinath temple. We literally had enough of adventure today and then we went out to find a restaurant and just 1 km away, we saw a big hotel with reasonable prices and well-maintained restaurant and an electric heater bed. It was all we needed so we paid again and shifted our luggage to the new hotel and ate food as if we had been starving for ages. It was a good room that we got for 9000 rupees but still, there are many more good hotels, you can check it online. We were fools who booked a bad hotel that was too expensive. After 17 hours of adventurous journey and getting all the information from the hotel staff about how much time it would take us to do darshan of lord Badri Vishal, we finally reached the hotel room at 9 pm and slept as we had to reach the temple sharp at 6 am to avoid the crowd and within an hour we’ll be able to see lord Badri Vishal.

Guess what, the hotel staff didn’t know the actual time it takes in the temple and a new day offered us a new adventure by making us stand for 10 hours in the queue. “I call it the queue that never ends”.

Author Bio

Nupur Saxena from India is a history major and desires to be a travel writer by sharing her travel experiences, and love for spiritual destinations helps her to understand life with a new perspective that helps to become a better version of herself.

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