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Hot springs

Hot water springs are found in a geophysical belt in the Upper Himalayan regions of Uttarakhand.

         They occur as a result of various geophysical conditions and disturbances.  The core of the earth is extremely hot and superheated waters find their way to the surface where the crust of the earth is weak and ruptured. Hot water springs also occur as a result of volcanic disturbances.  Whatever may be the reasons for the occurrence of these springs, one thing is noticed that the Upper Himalayas in Uttarakhand abound in  hot water springs.

          In some places the water gushes out at boiling point whilst at others it is just lukewarm. Yamunotri is one such place where the water springs out at boiling point – the water bubbles out from rocky potholes.  In this instance, the water has found its way out of a solid rock, at other places it comes out of sandy formations.  At Sri Badrinath the springs are very hot, but tempered by an underground man-made  cold water stream. Other hot water springs are at Gaurikund, Tapovan, Ganganani, some places in the valley of the Birhi Ganga, and some have been reported in the border districts near Tibet.  Jankibai chatti has lukewarm springs. In Pithoragarh district there is a hot water spring at a place also called Tapoban, which is some 3km away from Dharchula.  

          Two interesting springs have come up at a place called Saldhar, 6 km ahead of Tapovan near Joshimath. During the sixties, geologists were drilling in these areas for whatever reasons, and hot water gushed out at boiling temperature. Large sulphur deposits have formed at the craters and both the places today are popular picnic spots. Unfortunately no efforts have been made to develope these sites into spas, the way many countries in the world have done. Yet it is hoped that this will certainly come in the priorities of Uttarakhand one day.

          Most of the countries have developed these natural resources  into flourishing health resorts, popularly known as spas.  People bathe in the waters of these springs in order to cure rheumatism, arthritic pains, skin eruptions etc.  Controlled intake of the waters of these springs under expert advice can also be beneficial to health because of their mineral contents.  The springs of Uttarakhand hold great promises of developing into similar resorts.  While the hot water springs of Yamunotri, Sri Badrinath and Gaurikund have religious significance, those at Ganganani, Tapovan, Birhi Valley and Dharchula having no religious function, could be developed into health resorts.  Ganganani and Tapovan are located on main roads. 

How to reach Joshimath from Delhi :

Delhi to Haridwar: by Bus (6- 7 hrs.)/ train (6 – 7 hrs.) / airplane (less than 1 hr. in air) 

Haridwar to Joshimath: by Bus (10 – 11 hrs) / car or jeep (09 – 10 hrs.)

Note: Night journey is not allowed in Garhwal region starting from Rishikesh (25 km from Haridwar).

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