Path of truth (Satopanth) to the gates of heaven (Swargarohini). Nirvana doesn’t come that easy.
The Pandavas followed this path to reach the gates of heaven after the Mahabharata war. The entire area is shrouded in mystery and has a lot of legends attached to it.
You get to cross high snow covered peaks, breathtaking waterfalls (some of which don’t even make it to the ground because of the winds) and magnificent glaciers.
You’ll trace the source of the Alaknanda River and knock on the gates of heaven at the Satopanth Taal.
Legend & Mythology
The stories, myth and legend here is just incredible. It turns people into storytellers.
The route – is the one taken by the Pandavas on their journey to the heavens. Various places of this trek refer to their names and lives.
Mana – 3Kms ahead of Badrinath and the start of our trek, is the Bhim pul which is a natural rock bridge. Bhima is believed to have made the bridge here over the Saraswati river so that Draupadi could cross the river.
Lakshmi Van – Draupadi is believed to have breathed her last here. The barren landscape at an altitude of around 12,500 ft is strewn with huge boulders and there are small patches of plants at the Lakshmi Van.
Bandhar – When the Padavas reached here on their long arduous journey, they were tired and thirsty. Yudhistir expressed his thirst to his younger brother Arjun. Seeing no other source of water, Arjun shot an arrow into the earth which caused a stream of water to gush out from the rocks.
Bhimbar – the rock pillar commemorates Bhima’s release from earthly life.
Chakratirtha – The great warrior, Arjun gave up his body.
From this point on, it was only Yudhistir and his dog (which was Dharam Raj in his mortal form) who went ahead. They trekked through dangerous glaciers and hidden crevasses and at Satopanth Tal, the celestial rath or vehicle received them.
On Ekadashi, Lord Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Mahesh (the destroyer) visit the lake for a holy dip. Each of the 3 corners of the triangular lake is occupied by one of them.
At a glance
- Duration: 6 nights/7 days
- Starting point: Dehradun, Uttarakhand
- Maximum elevation: 4,400 meters
- Trail: Arduous terrain, dramatic scenery, thrilling challenge, myth and legend associated with the Mahabharata, and Hindu mythology
- Trekking distance:Approximately 50 km
The drive from Dehradoon to Badrinath is surreal. All along the route you will drive by the holy rivers of Uttarakhand (Ganges and Alaknanda). Once you cross Joshimath, the route becomes even more beautiful. You’ll get spectacular views of Hathi, Ghori parbat (peaks), Nanda Devi, Satopanth and others.
Overnight at Badrinath
You will start the trek from Mana, go on the other side of Bhimpul and beyond. Bhimpul (Bhim bridge) derives its name from the legend that Bhim put rocks across the Sarasvati River for Draupadi to cross it. After crossing the pul, we’ll trek for another 5kms to reach the magnificent Vasudhara falls. After a short halt, we’ll continue for another couple of kms to reach the Lakshmi Van where we’ll set up our campsite for the night.
From Lakshmivan we trek across the Sahastra Dhara to reach Chakrateerath. Today we’ll trek for about 10Kms.
Today’s trek is not for the faint hearted. High altitude, cold mountain winds, and unpredictable weather conditions make it extremely exciting and dangerous. A 3 km glacier walk will bring us to the Satopanth Taal, where we’ll set up our camp for the night.
Further up is Swargarohini – the gate of heaven. We pay our respect to the gods at Swargarohini and come back to our campsite at Satopanth.
We start our descent and set up our campsite at Lakshmi van once again. The area is a beautiful meadow full of high altitude flowers and breathtaking views. Draupadi is believed to have left her body here.
We trek all the way back to Badrinath and stay the night in Badrinath.
Trip ends at Dehradoon
INR /- per person
Be prepared for
- 5-6 hours of trekking each day
- Cold weather conditions and night time temperatures up to -5 degrees
- Unexpected weather conditions and patterns. In case of any unexpected weather, we might need to turn back
- In case of landslides or unexpected circumstances, there may be a change in the itinerary and a consequent rise in costs (this will be on actual)
- You will be required to sign a liability waiver
- Tough grade trek, prior trekking experience recommended. You need to have good fitness levels to walk for given durations and distances