Badrinath Temple, Uttaranchal
Where is Badrinath?The holy site of Badrinath is located in the Uttarakhand region of north India.
About Badrinath India
Protected by two mountain ranges 'Nar' and 'Narayan' on either sides
is the holiest of pilgrimage place of Hindus, Badrinath. With
Neelkanth peak forming a beautiful backdrop, Badrinath, the abode of
Lord Vishnu is in the itinerary of every devout Hindu. It is one of
the four pilgrimage places called Chardham which every Hindu must
undertake to attain salvation.
The place is called Badrinath because of the wild berries found here ('badri' means berries). The Badrinath temple here is the main complex where devotees seek blessings.
At an altitude of 3,133 metres, it is a difficult journey to this place yet faith defies every hurdle on the journey to salvation. The temple stands facing River Alaknanda on its banks. Facing the Badrinath temple near the river is Tapt Kund, a thermal spring where people refresh before going to the temple.
Best Time to Visit Badrinath
Every year thousands and thousands of pilgrims pay a visit to this place in summers, since due to snowfalls, the temple remains closed during winters.
Badrinath - The Legend Behind
The legend behind the famous Badrinath temple is that Lord Vishnu after being reprimanded by Narad for indulging in worldly pleasures came here at Badri van to meditate for penance. The place at that time used to be covered with wild berries and was called Badri Van. The main deity worshiped here is a meditating Vishnu. Also according to the mythology, when goddess Ganga was requested to descend on earth, her flow was so strong that earth could not with stand it and hence to reduce the flow it passed through the locks of Lord Shiva and was divided into many streams, River Alaknanda is one of the streams on the banks of which later Lord Vishnu came to meditate.
Places to Visit in Badrinath
The Badrinath Temple
The main temple where people seek blessings is dedicated to Lord
Vishnu. The temple is considered to be here since Vedic times. However
according to the history, Adi Shankaracharya established it here in
8th century. The present structure of the temple was built three
centuries ago by Garhwal kings. It is a five metre high complex built
like a cone with a small cupola of gilt bull and spire.
The Badrinath temple has three sections to it, a Garbha Griha or the sanctum sanctorium where the main deity rests, a Darshan Mandap for puja and a Sabha Mandap for devotees to assemble. In all there are 15 idols in the complex, all in black stone. These consist of idols of Lakshmi, Vishnu's wife; Garud, his mount and Lord Shiva along with his wife Parvati and and son Ganesha. The idol of Lord Vishnu is sitting with crossed legs in a meditative posture, his hands folded. It is often argued that it is an idol of Buddha, though Buddha is considered to be the ninth incarnation of Vishnu himself.
The Badrinath temple remains closed in winters when the entrire area gets under snow cover and opens only in summers (sometime in April-May). The temple has been damaged many times due to avlanches and has been rennovated time and again. Presently its facade is quite modern and colourful, a Singh Dwar (main gate) adorns its entrance.
The main temple of Badrinath along with four other temples or Badris
forms Panch Badri , Panch meaning five. The temples of these other
badris are located within few kilometres of the temple of Badrinath.
Yog Dhyan Badri is located 24 kms from here at Padukashwar(1920 mts).
Pandavas handed over their empire to King Parikshit here before
The second Badri is Bhavishtya Badri at Subain near Tapovan. Bhavishya Badri means future badri. It is beleived that a time will come in history when the present route to Badrinath will become inaccessible and then Bhavishya Badri will be worshipped instead. Adi Badri is the remains of 16 temples, it can be reached from Karnprayag. And lastly Vriddha Badri, situated 7 kms from Joshimath, is believed to be here several years before the existence of Adi Shankarcharya, idol of Badrinath was enshrined and worshipped here.
Badrinath Tour - Other Attractions
These are the natural thermal springs on the bank of Alaknanda River where pilgrims refresh before visiting the temple. Believed to be infused with medicinal properties, Tapt Kund is also considered to be holy expereince.
This is a flat platform on the bank of river Ganga where devotees perform rites of their deceased ancestors.
Sheshnaga is a legendary character in the Hindu myhtological epics and tales of Lord Krishna. The palce has a boulder on which an impression is believed to be of the eye of this mighty serpent, netra in Hindi means eye.
It is a beautiful meadow on which footprints of Lord Vishnu are visible.
These are the pyramid shaped snow capped peaks which form the beautiful background to the temple of Badrinath.
How To Reach Badrinath
The nearest airport to Badrinath is Jolly Grant in Dehradun which is 317 kms from here.
The nearest railheads from Badrinath are at Rishikesh(297 km) and Kotdwar(327 Km).
Regular buses are available for Badrinath from Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and other important Kumaon regions.