I would like to share/recall with all of you my experience of travelling to North India especially to religious places like Badrinath and Kedarnath and on the way Haridwar and Rishikesh during my childhood days when i was in the school of 8th standard. It was one of my memorable trips till date.I had been to all these places along with my parents,sister and brother-in-law during the peak summer month of April/May in the late 1980s.
To visit Badrinath or Kedarnath you have to pass through Haridwar and then later Rishikesh first. Haridwar is the Gateway to Himalayas region and is one of the very religious places alongside Rishikesh. Here in Haridwar there a lot of various places to see like the famous temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and also you get to see the panoramic view of the River Ganga flowing besides.This place is worth to stay for 1 or 2 days as you get to witness the holy rituals/pooja along with the traditional hindu customs followed very seriously.
Rishikesh also looks similar to Haridwar and has the famous Lakshman Jhoola along with a lot of Ashrams and all along the way you can see Rishis practising Meditations/Spiritual in their deep state.
Moving from Rishikesh and travelling for quite a long distance you can reach the famous Badrinath temple and with it you can take bath in the famous spring water ponds or "Kund" as it is called for a refreshing bath relieving you of some body pain as it contains mineral strong elements. Badrinath also offers you a breathtaking view of the Himalayas and is truly enchanting to visit.
Kedarnath is also at a very long distance from Badrinath and you reach here only by trekking from Gaurikund which takes you through Trekking/or through Ponies.The way along from Gaurikund to Kedarnath is amazingly beautiful and breathtaking with wild nature along with snowy capped mountains blooming with flowers with a fair share of deep gorges beneath as you will be trekking at a very high altitude from sea level.You reach Kedarnath temple which also has a AdiShankaracharya temple behind this.The view from here is mindboggling and really treat for the naked eyes.
Both the temples of Badri and Kedar are historical and deep rooted in Hindu tradition also it is believed that you have to visit the 4 dhams or 4 important religious places before you die namely Badri,Kedar,Yamnotri and Gangotri to gain Salvation.
Truly the above places are worth visiting from religious and tourism point of view where you get to see the real Himalayas in its true self.Go ahead and plan accordingly as there are so many tour operators to arrange and take care of this pilgrimage places suiting to everyone's travel budget.