Since childhood, I have felt really connected to the mountains, not sure why!
But after a few moments, I found the answer to this attachment. My mom dad often used to take us on trips, from many holy places in the hills to beautiful green forest in the mountains.
Badrinath is one such trip that remains unforgettable for me. I feel thrilled even today when I think of it. We suddenly planned a trip to Badrinath from Ghaziabad, India by our own car. When the first rays of the day came down, we had reached Haridwar. We relaxed for a while in Haridwar, had breakfast then left for Badrinath. Slowly the crowd of the city started to fade and the place was filled with lush green jungle. We crossed little towns like Narender Nagar, Byasi, Devprayag, Srinagar, etc. And reached Rudraprayag and decided to spend the night there.
The guest house we stayed in had a part of it still under construction. We could hear the sound of waves of the Alaknanda in the silence of the night. After some rest, we went to the famous temple of Lord Shiva, which was walking distance from our guest house. It was an ancient pagoda, far from the dazzling lights, very simple and calm.
The above picture is taken from google, rudraprayag, the point of confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Mandakini.
The priest narrated the story of that temple to us; this is the same place where Narad Muni learned to play the veena(an ancient musical instrument) from Lord Shiva. I still haven’t forgotten the huge banyan that I saw there. I’m not sure if it was a banyan tree or some other species of trees because I could not see clearly in dark. Such a big tree at such a height! I could not take any photos because of darkness and rain.
After breakfast, early in the morning, we left for Badrinath. Pleasant winds were surrounding us, but the difficulties of the road were frightening the heart. On the way, there were many such mountain ranges which had the marks of the waterfalls, which no longer exist. We even saw many live waterfalls, some small and some huge.
After about four-five hours journey, we reached Joshimath. Reaching Joshimath means you have almost reached Badrinath. From here, every vehicle needs to follow a line and a time frame because the journey of next 43 km is very difficult with narrow roads and deep trenches.
We had to wait for our turn till 4 pm. Then the unforgettable adventure of thrill and faith began. The dangerous paths and flowing water were making the roads even more vulnerable and we were trying to hide our fear by taking God’s name. In about two hours thirty minutes, we reached Badrinath Dham safe and sound.
Even in the month of October, we were welcomed by rain, the rain drops from the sky seem to pierce the bones. We checked-in to our hotel room and warmed ourselves by covering ourselves with several layers of blankets.
Next day, early in the morning when my eyes opened, I could feel the warmth of the sun’s rays from the window entering the room. From the balcony, I could see a huge waterfall, behind it was a snow-covered mountain peak. Soon we went out worship, the temple was a little far from our hotel. In the temple there is a hot spring; “Tapt Kund”, as the natives say and we know it. We visited the main temple and the places around; Sheshnetra charan paduka, Saraswati river, Bhim Shila, Vyas gufa and Mana village in our two-day stay.
When winters are close, the place becomes less crowded because of which, we are able to offer prayers to god peacefully. It’s like losing your body and soul in the beauty of nature. It truly felt that it is a place where Narayan resides.
While returning from Badrinath, we rested in a beautiful town named Peepalkoti, a beautiful and tranquil town. Finally, we left for Delhi, with a wish of coming again.