A quick trip to Badrinath, Uttarakhand

Alpha

Going to Neverland
Month of September 2018 was about to end that too without a road trip. That was too much for my wandering soul. With leave for 2nd October approaching, I asked out Manish, Nitin Thapa and Rahul, both my colleagues for a short three day road trip. Rahul insisted that he wanted to visit any of the Char dham except Gangotri where he had already visited. I proposed to go to Badrinath even though three days were far too short to actually enjoy the visit. Everyone was up for it and we locked in on Badrinath as a destination both for spiritual as well as drive destination.

We planned to take short leave from office on 29th September 2018 and make night halt at Rishikesh. We left from our office at around 4.00 pm and after negotiating all the routine traffic hazards upto Meerut bye pass reached Rishikesh past mid-night. But not before we took one break for chai-pani and other for a late dinner near Haridwar. Also, we met an old friend Saurabh Bhatia at Roorkee briefly who also gave us a heads-up on the road conditions we would find ahead of Roorkee. Roads from Roorkee till Haridwar was all messed up with craters replacing pot-holes. We had pre-booked our hotel stay through Oyo. Rooms were little cramped yet comfortable. We crashed as soon as we checked in.

A chai-maggie break around Muzaffarnagar
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Alpha

Going to Neverland
Plan was to start at 6.00 am in the morning, given the road construction activities happening on the entire route till Badrinath. Thankfully, on my constant nagging, we could start by 6.15 am which was a sort of an achievement with Manish on board. The journey till Devprayag was slow and dusty. We took a mini break at Devprayag. Thereafter we stopped to pay visit at Dhari Devi temple ahead of Srinagar. We were little behind the schedule due to the bad roads and unscheduled stop at Dhari Devi temple. Again we stopped near Rudraprayag for a lunch at a road side eatery which served delicious home cooked food. Around 4.45 pm we reached Pipalkoti after encountering few traffic snarls and road blocks. We stopped at the Pipalkoti market and relished the samosa chat-pakodas.

breakfast around Shivpuri
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fruit shopping
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Devprayag
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some masti at Devprayag
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refreshment at Devprayag
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Dhari Devi temple, Kalyasaur, Srinagar
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lunch break
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food was gobbled up before we can click them
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break at Pipalkoti
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Samosa chat
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Alpha

Going to Neverland
By the time we reached Joshimath, it was already dark. We could reach Badrinath by 8.00 pm only. Roads after Joshimath were mostly good barring a small stretch of 1-2 kms before Hanuman Chatti. Surprisingly roads after Hanuman Chatti was butter smooth and we enjoyed the late night drive. We came for a shock when we reached Badrinath. We never expected to find the kind of crowd which we were witness in the last day of September month. We could hardly found two rooms for us in a small hotel. No food was available at hotel, so we chose to eat from a road side eatery serving basic food. The night was getting very cold and beds too very cold and uncomfortable. It took a while before we could find some sleep.

The day started beautifully at Badrinath with clear blue skies. Mount Neelkanth was glowing majestically. After two rounds of tea, we left for darshan at Badrinath temple. We were literally scared to find a huge queue to enter the inner premises of the temple. It took us more than 30 minutes to enter inside the main gate and another 15 minutes to reach the sanctum. However, the darshan was very hushed and in no time we got thrown out of the sanctum due to the mad rush. I was particularly disappointed but can’t complain much as this was my fourth visit to this holy shrine. We came out and had breakfast at the restaurant near the temple. Food was okay. After breakfast we headed towards mana Village, however huge rush of vehicles created a traffic jam a kilometer before the village and the ITBP stopped vehicles from going ahead. We decided to head back to hotel and check out.

Morning view at Badrinath
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Mount Neelkanth
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The Holy Shrine
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the entrance was jam-packed
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break for breakfast
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This is as far as we went - road blocked by ITBP (see the truck in the middle of the road)
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Alpha

Going to Neverland
Around 11.40 am we left the holy Badrinath town. We stopped at Vishnuprayag. Somehow I had always missed this Prayag in my all previous visits to the region. Finally, it was done this time. Thereafter, we stopped again at Pipalkoti for lunch. While crossing Rudraprayag, Manish proposed to visit Koteshwar Mahadev temple. It was around 6.00 pm and getting completely dark. I was skeptical but gave in to the demand of other three who were in unison. We crossed over to the other side of River Alaknanda and walked on the pathway towards the temple. The temple was less than half a kilometer by foot from the entrance gate. It was completely dark when we reached the temple. We asked the temple priest to show us the cave temple. The priest led us to the cave which was just above the sedate Alaknanda and left. The entire cave temple was left to our disposal. We paid our obeisance and left after half an hour. We decided to halt for the nigh at GMVN Srinagar. Fortunately we could get two rooms for us as the guest house was almost fully occupied. We took dinner in the restaurant just outside the GMVN guest house and called it a day.

lovely stream enroute
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Vishnuprayag
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lunch at Pipalkoti
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something for sweet-tooth
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entrance for Koteshwar Mahadev temple
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heading towards the cave temple
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it was completely dark
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inside the cave
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Alpha

Going to Neverland
Started the day with a sumptuous breakfast at the GMVN guest house. We stopped at Devprayag and took a dip in Ganga River before leaving for Rishikesh. We bye-passed Rishikesh by taking the Chilla road from Garurchatti. We found a lovely water stream tempting and halted and walked upstream just to soak our feet. We took another break for chai near the bridge to cross over to Haridwar. After Haridwar it was merely a sprint back to home through dreaded Modinagar traffic. Another short yet enjoyable journey came to an end.

breakfast at GMVN, Srinagar
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A stream on the Neelkanth road
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tea break near Haridwar
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resting before the last hurrah
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mousourik

Who Am I
This pressure of year-ending can be felt. :-(

A log a day by Alok keeps others (gift seekers) at bay. :mad:

No no... others can savour good food - as it was said in Rig Veda - Ghraneno ardha bhojanang darshaneno chaturansho.

And of course, there are good photos on offer for those who can only heave big sighs - Neelkantha road stream, Koteshwar Mahadev cave temple, Vishnuprayag, and Neelkantha peak.
 

Alpha

Going to Neverland
This pressure of year-ending can be felt. :-(

A log a day by Alok keeps others (gift seekers) at bay. :mad:

No no... others can savour good food - as it was said in Rig Veda - Ghraneno ardha bhojanang darshaneno chaturansho.

And of course, there are good photos on offer for those who can only heave big sighs - Neelkantha road stream, Koteshwar Mahadev cave temple, Vishnuprayag, and Neelkantha peak.
dada.. food pictures are specially for you..others can savour the rest :p
 
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