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Badrinath


Fast Facts

Located in Gahrwal Himalayas at a height of about 3130 meters.

Situated in between Nar and Narayan mountain ranges with Neelkantha peak in the background

Rishikesh railway station is located at a distance of 300km; Kotdwar railway station is about 327km away.

Did You Know

Badrinath is the abode of Lord Vishnu, the preserver.

Badrinath' comes from the word `badri' or local berries

Vadi Shankaracharya is believed to have established Badrinath shrine in 8th century A.D.

Renovated by Garhwal kings in the 18th century

Must Do

Take a holy dip in the hot spring
Offer puja to Lord Vishnu

Perform appeasing rites for departed ancestors

Introduction

Badrinath in Uttaranchal state of India is one of the holiest shrines. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Badrinath temple is located in Chamoli district in Uttaranchal. Situated at a height of about 3130 meters in the Garhwal Himalayas, Badrinath is easily accessible from Haridwar, Rishikesh, Kotdwar and Dehradun by road. Badrinath located on the banks of the Alokananda with the magnificent Neelkantha peak as its backdrop derives its name from `badri', a local berry.

Badrinath, according to Hindu belief is the abode of Lord Vishnu and is one of the `Chardhams' of the Himalayas. The other three `dhams' are Kedarnath (the seat of Lord Shiva), Gangotri (the source of River Ganges), and Yamunotri (source of River Yamuna).

Badrinath Temple

A pilgrimage to the Badrinath temple is considered an immensely holy activity for all Hindus. Though legend dates the origin of the temple to Vedic period, the common belief is that the temple was established by Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century A.D. The temple is characterized by a colorful frontal facade and a golden cupola with spires. The entire structure is around 15 meters tall and is approached by a flight of steps.

The principal deity is that of Lord Vishnu sitting in a meditative posture with Nara-Narayan at the sides. The other idols are of Laxmi - Lord Vishnu's consort, Lord Shiva, Garuda - Lord Vishnu's vehicle, Parvati - Lord Shiva's consort, and Ganesha. In totality there are fifteen idols inside the temple all made of black stone. The entrance to the temple is through a colorful gateway which leads to the `Shobha Mandap' or the assembly. The other two portions of the temple are the `darshan mandap' used for performing pujas, and the Garbha Griha or the sanctum sanctorum.

Pilgrimage attractions in Badrinath

Pilgrims traveling to Badrinath can also visit the under mentioned sites:

Tapt Kund - This hot water spring on the banks of the Alokanada River supposedly has medicinal properties. It is a common practice among devotees to take a holy dip in the hot spring before entering Badrinath shrine.

Neelkanth - This snowy peak forming Badrinath's backdrop is called the `Garhwal Queen'.

Brahma Kapal - This flat platform on the banks of River Alokananda is used for performing rites for appeasing deceased ancestors.

Mata Murti temple, Mana village, and Alka Puri are other tourist sites near Badrinath.

Rishikesh and Kotdwar at respective distances of 300km and 327km from Badrinath are the nearby railway stations. Pilgrims must note that Badrinath shrine closes after Diwali (end Oct - mid Nov) and opens after Holi (in March).

List of other Top Pilgrimage & Religious Sites