One of the four important pilgrim centers is Badrinath. The Neelkanth Peak stands majestic like a guard. The River Alaknanda flows along this land which is situated at a height of 3133 meters above sea level. The temple of Badrinath is a typical work of the Garhwal art. In the ancient times, this land was full of date trees and was called the Badri Forest.
The hot water springs, the streams and the mountains all join together to make this place irresistible. 290 kms from Badrinath is the place which today is considered the main tourist spot. The temple here is dedicated to the Hindu God, Lord Vishnu. The temple is divided into 3 parts – the sanctum sanctorum, the main house and the hall where the pilgrims gather. Surrounding the idol of Lord Vishnu are idols of other minor gods. Once upon a time the journey to Badrinath was considered very difficult but modern road have now solved this problem and pilgrims and tourists all come here in their thousands.
Mana Village 3 kms from Badrinath, this is the last village of India on the Indo-Tibetan border. This village was set up by the Indo-Mongolian tribe. People of many unknown tribes come and live here 6 months in a year. A population of 200 people live here. As soon as the gates of Badrinath open, they come here and as soon as they close, they go down to the plains where they live for the rest of the year. In this way they live a dual family life. These people are very hardworking and industrious. A small scale industry of woollen clothes is run by them wherein the women knit and weave sweaters, carpets, etc. They are very attached to their culture and traditions. Earlier they traded with Tibet but in 1962 this was shut down. Tourists come in plenty to this quaint village.
Bheem Bridge A short distance from Mana Village a natural bridge made of a huge boulder, over the river Saraswati is seen. The story goes that Bheem, one of the Pandava brothers put it there. The view of this extraordinary bridge and the din of the flowing river make this place interesting.