Valley of Flowers is almost unearthly in its beauty- River Ganga, Badrinath
The road to Badrinath begins at Rishikesh. Pilgrims go to Srinagar, once old capital of Tehri Garhwal. There are temples here devoted to Kamleshwar, Mahadev and Vishnu. It is only at Rudraprayag that one begins to feel the presence of forests. The hills are thick with foliage, the river a jade green, curving around mountain spurs.
It is almost as through the Alaknanda demands homage from other rivers, the confluences of which are as scared as the places of sacrifice or Prayag. The pilgrim route is punctuated with Devaprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nadaprayag and VishnuParayag. From Chamoli to Joshimath the road shows the scars of floods and landslides. The Alaknanda, swollen by monsoon waters, is ferocious when in flood. At Joshimath there is a temple to Sankaracharya and 18 km further along, at Govind Ghats, is the Bifurcation to the valley of flowers.
The Badrinath shrine generally opens in early May and there is a motorable road up to the top. Pilgrims flock to this place in buses, taxis and on foot. The temple (3122 meters high up) is dedicated to Vishnu. The Nar and Narayan ranges guard it on either side. The temple is surrounded by tin-roofed houses with its façade painted in bright colors.
The more intrepid can trek from Govind Ghats to the valley of flowers. Nineteen km away a bridle path climbs into the mountains to Ghangria (3048 meters). Through thick forests, the ascent is arduous. There is a path that branches to Hemkund, the mountain lake lying still in the snows. At an altitude of 4328 meters, there is a temple and Gurdwara. Guru Govind Singh is said to have meditated at this place.
The Valley of Flowers is almost unearthly in its beauty. There are over a thousand varieties of wild flowers-from the flamboyant to the delicate. The valley itself is an extraordinary combination of gentle meadows, stark rock, snow, ice and streams.
Tags: Valley , Flowers , Unearthly , Beauty , River
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