To avoid the crowds and inclement weather, October (or November if the temple is still open) is considered to be the best time to go. It’s not as busy as the May to June peak season, and the wet June to September monsoon season is over.
Keep in mind that the weather at Badrinath can be erratic, with freezing nights and rainy or sunny days. So, do pack accordingly.
If you want to catch a festival at the temple, Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated in August, the Mata Murti ka Mela takes place every September on the occasion of Vaman Dwadashi, and there are ceremonies when the temple opens and closes every year. It will be busy then though! At the opening, many people come to see the burning lamp that was lit by the priest before closing the temple the previous year.
What to See
The temple’s 3.3 feet-tall black stone idol of Lord Badrinarayan is sitting in a meditative pose, rather than his usual reclining pose, under a badri tree and canopy of pure gold.
There are idols of 15 other deities within the temple premises, some located in the inner sanctum and others outside it. These include Uddhava (Lord Krishna’s friend and devotee), Garuda (Lord Vishnu’s vehicle), Kuber (the god of wealth), Lord Ganesh, Nara and Narayana, Shridevi and Bhudevi, and Goddess Lakshmi.
There’s also a medicinal hot sulfur spring, Tapt Kund, below the temple that pilgrims can take a dip in before entering.
What Else to Do Nearby
Mana village is most popular attraction near Badrinath temple. It’s located only a few kilometers beyond the temple, along a paved path, and is the closest village to the Tibetan border. Further on from Mana, a two-hour trek will take you to Vasudhara Falls. If you’re feeling energetic, you can go even further on a multi-day trek to Satopanth Lake.
There are many religious spots to visit in the vicinity of Badrinath temple. These include Brahma Kapal (where ceremonies for departed souls are performed), Charan Paduka (a boulder in a meadow, with Lord Vishnu’s footprint on it), and Shesh Netra(a boulder with an imprint of serpent Shesha Nag, on which Lord Vishnu reclines). There are Panch Shila (five sacred stone slabs) around Tapt Kund on which sages meditated, and Panch Dhara (five sacred streams) in which sages bathed. It’s also possible to visit the cave where Sage Vyasa composed the “Mahabharata” with the assistance of Lord Ganesh.
Between Badrinath and Joshimath, Pandukeshwar is thought to have been established by King Pandu, who is the son of Sage Vyasa and father of the Pandavas brothers from the “Mahabharata.” It has two ancient temples. One of them, Lord Vasudev’s temple, functions as the abode of Lord Badrinarayan when Badrinath temple is closed during winter and all rituals are performed there.