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A Blind Trip to Pulga, Kasol and Kheerganga

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11 BEST Places to Visit near Badrinath

#Badrinath is one of the holiest pilgrimage places to visit in #India and every year thousands of tourists flock there to get the blessings of the deity. The shrine is dedicated to Vishnu and there are many stunning mythological tales woven based on the shrine of Badrinath. It is a vital part of the Char Dham Yatra, an important pilgrimage trip for the Hindus. Get detailed info on Badrinath Tourism from the article below.

The holy town of Badrinath is counted among the most religious places in India. It is also one of the reputed Char Dham destinations. It is located in the scenic locales between the mountain ranges of Nar and Narayan of the Garhwal Hills. Badrinath is situated on the banks of River Alaknanda which is in the district of Chamoli in the State of Uttarakhand.

The term 'Badri' is given to the region where berries grow in abundance and it is from this term that the name Badrinath has been obtained. The shrine is one of the most famous ones in India and people throng in numbers to experience the bliss and calmness.

Badrinath is full of stunningly scenic locales and great vantage points of breathtaking beauty as far as the eyes go. There is a rich amount of heritage involved as well and the feel is just mind boggling to say the least. Not just in India, but also in the entire sub-continent, Badrinath is very famous as far as pilgrimage places are concerned.

The sights of Badrinath are given an extra dimension by the two rivers that flow in the region namely Alaknanda and Rishi Ganga. As much as the place is famous for the religious experience, it is also a location for people who have a fondness in adventure sports and similar recreational activities. Every year, you can see tourists coming in droves to Badrinath to enjoy the spirituality as well as the picturesque beauty of the area.

Not only does Badrinath have a rich amount of religious heritage but also has immense value in terms of cultural heritage too. During the festive times, the environment gets heated up and it is a sight to behold indeed.

The region of Badrinath is best known for the stunning Hindu sculptures that are on view here. The significance of the place is for Vishnu especially for his dual form of Nara-Narayana. Another myth is that Ganga was sent to earth as a part of saving humanity. As earth wasn't able to resist her strength, the powerful Ganga (Ganges) got divided into 12 different channels among which Alaknanda was one as well.

The hills and mountains around the town of Badrinath have their reference in Mahabharata as the places where the Pandavas are believed to have ended their lives. They did so by getting down a peak's slopes. This peak was located in the western part of Garhwal and called as Swargarohini. Approximately 4 km to the north of Badrinath is Mana where the Pandavas are believed to have passed on their route to Swarga (heaven).

The cave where the sage Ved Vyasa wrote the Mahabharata epic is also in Mana. The climate in Badrinath is generally cold and there are few best phases in a year that are apt for tourists. Let us have a look at the different seasons.

best places to visit near badrinath

Let us have a look at the places or tourist attractions near Badrinath.

1. Shree Badrinath Temple

The Badrinath temple is located at a height of 3133 meters above sea level. It is a tribute to Vishnu who is believed to have meditated here. The temple is along the banks of river Alaknanda and is one of the main attractions of Badrinath.

According to the myths, the Badrinath temple was initially built by Adi Shankaracharya. After the construction phase, the temple was modified several times. It is considered as one of the Panch Badris. The other Badris are Yogadhyan Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Bridha Badri and Adi Badri.

2. Surya Kund

It is a place that has great relevance both among the locals as well as the tourists. This Kund has the presence of hot water springs and it is considered to be divine to have a dip there. It is located beside the Tapt Kund.

3. Yogadhyan Badri

Pandukeshwar is a sacred place located on way to Badrinath. The distance from Badrinath is 25 km which takes 40 minutes to reach. It is dedicated to Vishnu as it is believed that King Pandu, father of five Pandavas worshiped Shiva. Yogadhyan Badri temple and Vasudev temple are two of the most famous temples in Uttarakhand.

This is located at a distance of about 13 km from Badrinath. It is a tribute to the mother of Shri Badrinath Ji. Popularly known as Yoga Badri and the place is known in Mythology as the area where King Pandu, father of the Pandavas, meditated as a part of compensating for his sins of killing two mating deers. This place is also believed to be the birthplace of the Pandavas.

4. Mata Murti Temple

It is located at a distance of 3 km from Badrinath and is a tribute to Mata Murti. It is located on the banks of river Alaknanda. Tourists come out in numbers to visit the place to worship Mata Murti on religious occasions. The belief among the locals is that the Goddess gives Vairagya to those followers who pray there regularly.

5. Neelkanth Hill

The Neelkantha Peak is located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand over Alaknanda valley and the town of Badrinath, with Satopanth glacier on the northwest side. It is known as the second beauty to Himachal. Another name of this place is the Garhwal Queen and it is shaped like a pyramid which constitutes the background of Badrinath. It is situated at a stunning height of 6597 m above sea level.

People wishing to watch the sunrise can have their ultimate experience here while those interested in activities like trekking can also have a great time.

6. Tapt Kund

This is a hot water spring which is located between Badrinath shrine and Alaknanda river. It has a temperature of 45 degrees. The water gets collected in a concrete store tank which comes from the group Silha. The name Tapta Kund itself indicates hot spring. The hot water springs are known for their powers of healing.

The belief is that before going to the Badrinath temple, you need to immerse yourself in the Tapt Kund. The Kund is believed to be the place where Agni dwells.

7. Narad Kund

This is a sacred and holy town of Badrinath located on Alaknanda river. It is only 0.4 km away from Badrinath. People visiting Badrinath often visits this location. It is in this very destination where Adi Shankara discovered the idol of Vishnu.

8. Ganesha Cave

This cave is a very prominent attraction of Badrinath. It is not very far and only 4 km away from Badrinath. The mysterious caves are built naturally which attracts the tourists more to discover its beauty. this place holds a religious significance which changes a person spiritually from within. This is located near the Vyas Cave, which is another attraction of this location.

9. Vyas Cave

This is an ancient cave located in the Mana village of Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. A mythological belief attached with this place is that sage Vyas composed the Mahabharata epic with Ganesha here.

10. Panch Dhara and Panch Shila

It is known as Panch Dhara of Badrinath as five rivers originate from here. The five rivers are Prahlad Dhara, Kurma Dhara, Bhrigu Dhara, Urvashi Dhara and Indira Dhara. Indira dhara is most popular amongst the five. Each river has its own beauty which joins together and adds to the beauty of this place.

11. Vasudhara Falls

Vasudhara falls is one of the enchanting beauty of Badrinath. It is located at a height of 400 feet about 120 meters above sea level. It is located in an isolated, remote area but the waterfalls add an ambiance and beauty to the area. It is believed that the waterfalls can be only savored by those who have clean, pure soul restraint of guilt.

Weather in Badrinath

Summer Season is from March to June and the temperatures are moderate, giving a pleasant feel to the environment. The average temperature is about 18 degrees Celsius. This season is the perfect time for sight-seeing as well as pilgrimage.

Monsoons is from July to November as the rains set into Badrinath. The temperatures drop further down to 15 degrees Celsius though the rainfall isn’t heavy. The winter season in Badrinath starts from November onwards and carries on till February. It is extremely cold and the temperatures go as low as 5 degrees Celsius on an average with sub zero levels often experienced. Heavy snowfall is another specialty of the winters here. People who love to travel in such chill weather can come here in this period.

Ideally, the best phase to visit Badrinath is from May to October except during the Monsoon phase as the roads get affected by the rains thereby making the place inaccessible.

How to get to Badrinath

In recent times, the access via roads has improved a great deal. However, safety is still an issue though road travel is still the most preferred way to reach Badrinath. Incidents of landslides, as well as bus and jeep accidents, occur on a regular basis. The main issue is the road which is often jam-packed. The reason for this is that another place of religious importance named Hemkund Sahib is also on the same route.

This place is of great importance to the Sikhs who throng there in huge numbers. All this congestion in the roads leads to freakish accidents on a regular basis. From Joshimath, the motor transport is escorted with the presence of convoys and during night time, the roads are closed. The route leading up to Badrinath is entertaining with great visuals of the hills, bends of the roads as well as the Himalayan vistas.

At Badrinath, the natural wonders are the hot water springs. Some other pilgrimage sites that are present on the way to Badrinath are Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Nandaprayag and Vishnuprayag.

Accommodation in Badrinath

Badrinath is a town that has huge crowds throughout the year and hence tourists are recommended to make their reservations for accommodation well in advance to avoid inconvenient situations. Hotels of different types are available while people preferring economical accommodation can stay at Ashrams where the food is also cheap.

Food in Badrinath

Badrinath being at a high altitude means that you don't need air-conditioning as the place is already cool. The place is a pilgrimage region and hence only vegetarian food is available here. Coming in season time is recommended as food shall not be abundant otherwise. People preferring alcohol will have a hard time as it isn't legal here though you can search for home made liquor.

14 BEST Places to Visit in Birmingham

Traveling around Europe is a dream come true for many. However, not everyone gets to experience it. The lucky ones usually visit some grandiose capital cities and don't like to stray away from them. Nevertheless, visiting the places that aren't an obvious choice on everyone's wish list is a great way to experience the culture and people you otherwise wouldn't have a chance to meet.

Birmingham, is one of the best places to visit in UK where there are many great things to do. Birmingham is located in the West Midlands, about 180 kilometres northwest of London. One of the best things about traveling around Europe is experiencing the different bits and pieces each culture has to offer. These are some fantastic places to see if you're looking for things to do in Birmingham.

First thing's first, no matter if you're a history buff or if museums were never really your thing, visiting different cultural and art institutions is always a good idea in a new city.

The first step to plan and execute your trip to Birmingham is to book the accommodation, flight tickets and transportation depending on your budget. Yes, by doing online booking beforehand of your accommodation, flight tickets and transportation you will get affordable hotels, flights and cars in your favorite destination anytime of the year.

BEST Places to Visit in Birmingham

In that spirit, let's take a look at the top things to do in Birmingham that'll make your trip to UK all the more special.

1. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Visit the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery situated in the city center in a beautiful Victorian building. Art Museum has the largest collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings and drawings in the world, some of them with more than 400,000 years of history.

2. National SEA LIFE Centre

There's a reason why the National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham is one of the most visited places in this city. Be sure to check it out. National Sea Life Center Birmingham is one of the best aquariums you can see in Britain. Inside the aquarium is the Sensorama Cine 4D, a spectacular film about all marine species.

3. Birmingham Science Museum

Birmingham Science Museum is an excellent choice for anyone interested in fun ways to learn about the world surrounding us.

4. St. Philip's Cathedral

St. Philip's Cathedral offers amazing concerts that you shouldn't miss.

5. Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Barber Institute of Fine Arts is a great place for anyone into Renaissance and all the greats that came from it.

6. Victoria Square

Located in Victoria Square, Town hall looks entirely like a Greek or Roman temple. Beside it is the Symphony Hall, the most important theatre in Birmingham. It is one of the best concert halls that you can find in the United Kingdom. They are two of the most emblematic buildings of the city.

Do not forget about Jewelery Quarter, the neighborhood of jewelers, or Saint Paul Square.

7. Aston Hall

Aston Hall is a Jacobean-style mansion that can be found in Aston Park, on the outskirts of the city. It is one of the most visited tourist spots in Birmingham.

8. Worcester and Birmingham Canal

Taking a Boat Trip through the Canal is one of the best things to do in Birmingham. If you wish to experience the city in its entirety in a shorter period of time, you should check out what the boat trip through the Canal has to offer. You'll get to take a look at the buildings that have been there over the last two centuries and experience a more posh side of the city.

And if you wish to stay longer in the city and get to see every nook and cranny it hides, you may need storage for your items. For example, if you still haven't found the accommodation to settle in but wish to experience these attractions anyway, know that sharing storage with friends during your travels is a great option. Before you find a more permanent place, this solution might be the best for your valuables and other belongings.

9. Bullring & Grand Central

There are many options for shopping here. The cheapest can be found in the Bullring Markets and the weekend markets of Digbeth and Custard Factory. You will also see clothes and food stores, almost all of them exotic. If you're in the mood for a shopping spree, the Bullring Shopping Centre is probably one of the best destinations for that.

It's one of the biggest malls in the UK, which makes it home to some great chain stores and some smaller hidden gems. In addition, they offer great restaurants and coffee shops where you can take a minute to cool down and regain your strength to carry on.

10. National Trust - Birmingham Back to Backs

There are many outstanding characteristics of the unique architecture in Birmingham. One of the most amazing things to do in Birmingham is visiting the Birmingham Back to Backs. You can find these buildings all over the city, and they're all equally charming and special. You will realize there will be a lot of exploring to do, and you will spend most of the time outside.

If you are not sure about leaving your belongings in your accommodation, you may be tempted to carry your valuables with you. But Birmingham is a big city, and this is ill-advised. Because of that, professionals at PortaBox Storage remind us of numerous advantages of renting storage while traveling.

Pay a visit to The Electric Cinema. Even though it might be unconventional, a movie night in a city you're visiting for the first time can be an extraordinary experience. The century-old Electric Cinema is a great option for this adventure since it has numerous showings of some great movies, both older and newer.

11. Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park

Another great family activity could be visiting the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park and seeing all the cute animals it has to offer. However, family or no family, you should make this place your stop even if you're all on your own. You won't regret it. The wildlife here is incredible, and there's a great chance that you'll get to see some animals you haven't seen before.

12. Birmingham Botanical Gardens

If you're in the mood for a fairytale, however, you cannot miss the wonders that Botanical Gardens have to offer. You'll truly feel as if you're going through the scenery from Alice in Wonderland gliding through this place. Great green gardens stretch all over the area, along with one-of-a-kind glasshouses. Every one of these glasshouses has a unique theme and atmosphere that you'll get to experience.

13. Cadbury World

Don't worry if you're traveling with family and are not in the mood for grown-up activities. There are still plenty of great opportunities to let loose and enjoy the childish side of this city. Cadbury World is one of the best spots for chocolate lovers in the whole country. Of course, if you still want to implement some learning alongside all the amazing and tasty chocolate, you can.

You can either join in on an already existing tour of the place or explore on your own. If you decide on the first option, you'll get to learn about how chocolate came to be as well as the great history of Cadbury. Cadbury World is one of the most visited places in the city. It is in the area of Bournville, and inside you will know everything related to this famous chocolate and its products.

Out of all the things to do in Birmingham, something that no one forgets to do is try all the amazing food the city has to offer. Depending on whether you're into trying all the traditional meals such as pudding and savory ducks or if you want to stick to what you know, there are great options. Make sure not to focus only on the trendy and sought-after places. Finding some smaller less-known spots will feel a lot more special.

The balti is a dish of curry cooked and served in a flat-bottomed metal pot. It was created here in Birmingham, and the best place to try it is in Balti Triangle. The word balti alludes to the metal pot, and in this area there are more than 50 restaurants specializing in this typical dish.

You can eat both in restaurants and pubs, for example the classic English fish and chips, the English breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausages, toast and a well-loaded coffee, sandwiches of all kinds, pudding, roast beef and, how no, afternoon tea with pasta, traditional desserts and beers.

Chinatown is a great spot. Many don't expect great diversity when traveling to Europe. However, Birmingham will prove you wrong time and time again. If you wish to experience another side of the city and not only its traditional roots, Chinatown is the way to go. You'll not only find great restaurants and shops here, but you'll also run into some cultural gems that you wouldn't even know existed.

14. Brindley Place

Birmingham has a lively nightlife with theaters, jazz clubs, restaurants, Victorian pubs, clubs. In the center you can find the best areas to go out, especially Broad Street, although lately people prefer Brindleyplace, an urbanized area next to the city's canal.

10 Tips to Help you Plan Your Dream USA Trip

While planning your dream #trip to #USA, you might miss out on things that need to be done to make the trip seamless. The smaller details are the key to ensuring your trip is memorable. If you wish to enjoy your trip then make it stress-free.

how to plan a trip to usa

Here are some tips that will help you when you are planning the trip to USA of a lifetime!

1. Research on the places to visit in USA

As disheartening as it sounds, it is not possible to see everything in just one trip. That is why it is important to spend some time looking at places that you want to visit. Find out details about the places you have considered and what other activities they offer.

Also read: How To Travel The World On A Budget

2. Get the US visa in advance

Indians need a visa when travelling to visit the USA. There is no option of visa on arrival and it is advisable to get the visa approved in advance. This is one of the reasons you should know where you will be going when you enter the USA. Since you will be going on a vacation, you will need to apply for a tourist visa. A US tourist visa from India requires a few documents, a bit of paperwork, and some patience. Here are the documents you will need:

  • Original Passport (should be valid for 6 months after arrival in the USA)
  • Old passports
  • Digital and hard copy of the photograph as per the specifications
  • Interview Appointment letter
  • DS160 US Visa Application confirmation page stamped at the Visa Application Center
  • Payment receipt of the fee paid

Apart from the above, you may need the below-mentioned documents to process the visa.

  • Your travel itinerary
  • Bank Statements and other proof of funds
  • Tax and PAN details along with the previous year tax-related documents
  • Business Card (if applicable)

Also read: Fun Travelling Hacks To Make Your Journey Memorable

3. Book your tickets to USA in advance

Flight tickets from India to the USA as well within the country itself can cost a lot and take up a major chunk of your vacation budget. That is why it is beneficial to book the tickets in advance. The return ticket is also important to get the visa approved.

4. Buy travel insurance in advance

Travel insurance is highly recommended irrespective of whether the country you are travelling to deems it mandatory or not. International travel insurance is extremely important and useful in case of unfortunate incidents. Travel insurance provides coverage against baggage loss, flight delays, medical emergencies, loss of passports, personal accidents, and so much more.

Remember to buy travel insurance in advance as the coverage should start from the day you are scheduled to take a flight from India.

5. Plan your budget in advance

There are times when you make the bookings and forget to account for the smaller things like cost of travelling within the city, cost of entry tickets, activities, cost of souvenirs, meals, and other essentials you may have to buy depending on the duration of your trip. It is easier to allocate a budget for all the things you might end up spending on to avoid overspending on one particular thing.

6. Plan mode of transportation when in the USA

Once you have landed there, you can consider hiring a car and going on a road trip. If you plan on staying in a particular city and seeing the sights of that city, then taking the subway is a good option. If you are looking to go from a state to another, then you should book the flight tickets in advance for that too.

Also read: How to Plan the First Tour Of Dubai

7. Plan the USA itinerary wisely

Consider the destinations that require the least travel time and have the best to offer and plan accordingly. Plan your itinerary in a way that you are not wasting time back and forth while travelling. If you are interested in the cultural depth of the places, then plan your itinerary around all the culturally rich destinations. If you're a foodie, then mark all the famous culinary destinations and plan your trip around that!

8. Know the best time to visit USA

The seasons to target should be autumn and spring. Autumn is from September to October and spring is from April to July. These months see milder temperatures. If you are a fan of outdoor activities, then visiting during winter is pointless. However, if you wish to see the magic of Christmas, then, of course, you could visit in December.

Also read: Best Places to Travel for Adventure

9. Exchange currencies in advance

It is advisable to get some currency exchanged before taking off from India. While there are ATMs at every corner, there is a hefty fine for withdrawal. Carrying around a lot of cash may seem unsafe but you can end up paying up to 250 rupees per transaction.

10. Pack efficiently with essentials

Travel from India to the US is long and although you will be at airports or on the flight, there are some things you should carry with you. Here is a list of things that can help you in an emergency – mobile charger, portable charger, wet wipes, sanitiser, tissues, an extra mask, lotion, powder, perfume, cash, forex cards, all the important documents, and a scarf or a jacket.

Three things can come in handy even if your baggage is misplaced and you have to wait for a while to get it back.

These are just some tips to make your vacation smoother. The best part of a vacation is the memories you carry back home.