The scattered administrative town of JOSHIMATH clings to the side of a deep valley 250km northeast of Rishikesh, with tantalizing glimpses of the snow-capped peaks high above and the prospect, far below, of the road disappearing into a sunless canyon at Vishnu Prayag, the confluence with the Dhauli Ganga. Few of the thousands of pilgrims who pass through en route to Badrinath linger, but Joshimath has close links with Shankara, the ninth-century reformer who attained enlightenment here beneath a mulberry tree before going on to establish Jyotiramath, one of the four centres of Hinduism (dhams) at the four cardinal points. The town itself consists of a long drawn-out Upper Bazaar, and, around 1km from the main market, a Lower Bazaar that holds the colourful Narsingh, Navadurga, Vasudev and Gauri Shankar temples. A 4km cable car  links the town to the slopes of Auli, one of India’s better ski resorts, attracting visitors throughout the year for its views of the High Himalayas.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

25 years and 10 editions: The Rough Guide to India over the years

25 years and 10 editions: The Rough Guide to India over the years

It's 25 years since an adventurous quartet of Rough Guides authors set off for the Subcontinent to begin work on researching the inaugural instalment of The Rou…

30 Nov 2016 • Edward Aves insert_drive_file Article
The most romantic places in India

The most romantic places in India

India has to be one of the world's most romantic destinations. Its beguiling mix of ancient forts, pretty palaces, shimmering lakes and gorgeous beaches is boun…

25 Nov 2016 • Freya Godfrey camera_alt Gallery
13 tips for backpacking India

13 tips for backpacking India

Whether you’re hurtling along in a rickshaw, eating fantastic curries, kicking back on the backwaters or hiking in the mountains, backpacking India will alwa…

23 Nov 2016 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month