Nature will always continue to amaze us. It is possible to freeze in a desert, see different colors of waters mixing and even find hot water springs in freezing cold climates. How is that even possible right? Like many of nature’s mysteries, there is Tapt Kund a hot water spring in Badrinath.
India is a prominently religious country. We believe in seeking the blessings of our Gods before starting something new. In times of trouble we turn to the Almighty for guidance and strength. And we thank the powers that be when we get some good news. Whether you are a believer or not, in India you are surrounded by believers. They believe that God, in whatever form has the capacity to perform miracles. Life altering, disease curing miracles that will shake you to the core. There are stories you hear. Legends and myths of the power and blessings of the God or Goddess they worship. Such myths, legends and tales have kept us believing for centuries. We read epics and myths that talk about flying monkeys, men who were immortal and legendary battles. Unexplained monuments or temples built in an era gone by are associated with Gods or Goddesses. Good versus Evil is not just an adage but a truth for most Indians. There are festivals held every year to celebrate deities. People undertake arduous pilgrimages and holy visits to pay their respects to God. As children we were taught these tales and stories. What was your favorite? A personal favorite of ours was Ramayana. The epic and mythical battle for a beautiful queen snatched wrongly by the evil King fought by her virtuous and warrior husband. It was the tale every child was brought up on. Ram was the perfect man, son, husband and King. He was the Good. And Ravana was the Evil. The battle between them was the battle of Good versus Evil that thrilled our hearts.
These legends have made it to many holy places. Like Badrinath in Uttarakhand, it is a pilgrimage destination. It is part of the Chaar Dham pilgrimage that Hindus have to take. It is believed that visiting the Chaar Dham (4 holy sites) can help a person achieve salvation and attain Heaven. The four sites are Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram. Badrinath is the most important among them due to its epic status. The story goes that it is sacred to one of Lord Vishnu’s avatars. The temple and site goes as far as the 7th century. Pilgrims, devotees and worshipers walk several miles to reach the temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Due to weather, earthquakes and storms the temple has been destroyed many times over the years. Yet the dedication and belief of the people ensure it being rebuilt and taken care of. While Badrinath and its legend is fascinating, there is something nearby which is equally enticing. Tapt Kund is a popular spot with tourists and believers.
Tapt Kund is a bunch of hot water natural sulphur springs sitting right on the banks of the Alaknanda River. In a place that receives snowfall for nearly 10 months a year, natural hot springs exist! Some call it a God’s miracle while some think its Nature at its finest. The highest temperature in Badrinath is 18 degrees celsius. A hot bath sounds wonderful in those temperatures, doesn’t it? There is a story about Tapt Kund and its origins as well. Lord Vishnu was impressed and pleased by the hard, striving penance undertaken by Lord Agni. As a boon and reward, he told him to take eternal residence in the springs next to his temple in Badrinath.