In Uttarakhand lies a renowned monastery called “Jyotirmath” (also known as Joshimath) that was established by Adi Shankara during the 8th century. This monastery is located in a town called “Jyotrimath” at an altitude of 6150 feet above sea level. Apparently, this monastery did not possess a leader for about 165 years that is until Swami Brahmanand Saraswati finally was chosen in 1941. In addition, since the death of Brahmanand Saraswati in 1953 there have been many gurus that have come and gone claiming to be the leader of this monastery.
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a. Best climate to visit Jyotirmath
The ideal time to visit this town is either during the months of May to June or from September to October as a result of the climate being pleasant with, the temperature ranging from a maximum of 18 degrees Celsius to a minimum of 7 degrees Celsius.
b. How to reach Jyotirmath
1. By train:
The nearest railway station to this monastery is located in Kathgodam at a distance of 143 km. The Kathgodam Railway Station is well connected to major stations located on the North Eastern Railway Zone.
2. By road:
If you intend to drive to this monastery then the ideal starting points would be Haridwar, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Srinagar, and New Delhi.
- Via Haridwar:
There are three routes from Haridwar to this monastery, and they are via NH-7, via NH-34 and NH-7, and via Karnprayag-Haridwar Road and NH7.
- Via Dehradun:
There are two routes from Dehradun to this monastery, and they are via NH7 and via Karnprayag-Haridwar Road and NH7.
- Via Rishikesh:
There are three routes from Rishikesh to this monastery, and they are via NH7, via NH34 and NH7, and via Karnaprayag-Haridwar Road and NH7.
- Via Srinagar:
There is one route from Srinagar to this monastery, and it is via NH44.
- Via New Delhi:
There are two routes and they are via NH334 and via NH7 and via NH7.
3. By air:
The closest airport to this monastery is located in Dehradun. The Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to major cities in the country.
c. Religious significance:
This monastery is supposed to be one among the three other institutions that includes Shringeri, Puri, and Dwarka that was established by Adi Shankaracharya. According to a tradition that was first started by Adi Shankaracharya this matha is supposed to be in charge of the fourth veda i.e. ancient Hindu text. In addition, in close proximity to this math/monastery lies a holy cave in which Adi Shankaracharya is supposed to have performed a “tapasya”. Furthermore, this math also includes temples devoted to Badrinarayan and Rajrajeshwari Devi.