Badrinath Temple in the Uttarakhand state of India is one of the 4 religious places for Vaishnavites or Char Dhams, established by Adi Shankaracharya throughout the country. The temple is addressed by different names like Badrivishal, Badrinarayan, and Badrinath, all symbolizing to Lord Badri, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for those having faith in religion and in god. Badrinath Dham is related to the Dham of Satyug or the first Yug among the four Yugas. According to Purans, the Badrinath Dham is served by Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, which gives it the significance as the Ashtam Baikunth or the Eighth Heaven.
This temple is also known as Mukti Prada Temple or the place which leads to freedom from the boundations of this world.
Let’s have more details of this place-
History of Badrinath Temple-
The present-day temple of Badrinath is said to be made by Adi Shankaracharya in the 7th– 8th century. According to the legends, Lord Vishnu meditated at this place for years but was unaware of the extremely cold weather of the place. To save Lord Vishnu, Goddess Laxmi took the form of a Badri Tree (Indian Date) and saved him from snow and chilling cold. After, the meditation Lord Vishnu named the place Badrinath to respect the Badri form sacrifice of his wife. Various other stories and beliefs are still prevalent regarding the establishment of this temple.
The architecture of the Temple-
The main sanctum of the temple has an idol of Lord Badri made of black stone (Shaligram) in Padmasana posture and has a size of about 1 foot. Other sculptures and images of Nar, Narayan, Kuber, Narada, and Uddhava are also housed in the sanctum.
The front part of the temple is made by intricate decorations of various colors and art styles and looks much enchanting.
The statue of Garuda, or the vehicle of Lord Vishnu, is located near the main entrance gate of the temple, the Sinh Dwar. Also, the sculpture of Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman is present on the circumambulation path of the main temple. Inside the temple complex, a sculpture of Goddess Laxmi is also present.
Location of the Temple-
The Badrinath temple is situated in Uttaranchal or Uttarakhand State of India, in the Chamoli district of Gharwal Himalayas. This temple gains more beauty by the virtue of River Alaknanda flowing near it. This majestic temple known for its elegance in the whole world is situated in a unique natural location between two mountains known as the Nar and the Narayan Mountains. The latter one supports the temple from the backside while the Nar Mountain adds to the scenic beauty in front of the temple. The approximate altitude of the temple from the ocean level is around 3133 meters or 10,279 feet.
The approximate distance of Badrinath from Chamoli is 100 kilometers. The distance of Badrinath Dham from the major areas nearby is – 315 km from Haridwar, 295 km from Rishikesh, 335 km from Dehradun, 225 km from Kedarnath, 412 km from Yamunotri, 428 km from Gangotri, and about 526 km from the National Capital Delhi.
It is located in the lap of nature with greenery and beauty of nature spread all around the area. The temple at Badrinath is one of the five main abodes of Lord Vishnu or Panch Badri in the Gharwal Himalayas. These five temples are namely Badrinath, Adi Badri (135 km down from Badrinath), Vriddha Badri (38 km down from Badrinath), Bhavishya Badri (56 km down from Badrinath), and Yogdhyan Badri (23 km down from Badrinath).
How to Reach there-
Rishikesh Railway Station at a distance of about 300 kilometers from Badrinath, is the nearest railway station to Badrinath. It has good connectivity to other parts of the country and state.
Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun is the airport that is nearest to the Badrinath Temple and is at a distance of about 310 kilometers.
The temple can also be visited by Helicopters and whose booking can be done online.
Places to Visit nearby Badrinath Temple-
Tapt Kund is a natural water tank present just near the temple and has hot water coming from deep inside the Earth throughout the year, and is believed a medical healer to many diseases. People bath in this hot water before going to the temple.
Adikedareshwar temple is located in between the Tapt Kund and Badrinath temple, which is believed to give the benefits of worshiping Kedarnath to those who are unable to visit there, according to the mentions in Skand Puran.
People generally visit the Mana Village, which is about 3 kilometers from Badrinath and is the last village of India, ahead to which lies the Indo-China Border. This village is located at an altitude of 3,111 meters from sea level, on the merging point of Guptganga and Alaknanda Rivers. So, do visit this remarkable village if possible and have a cup of tea at India’s Last Tea Shop. Ganesh cave and Ved Vyas cave are the main religious attractions of Mana Village.
Mana Village Image By-Amitmogha- Own Work
Bheem Pul is made of a huge rock that was placed by one of the Pandavas named Bheem, on the gorge of Saraswati River to cross it. According to the legends, when Pandavas were on their way to heaven with their wife Draupadi, this River Parvati hindered their way ahead and Draupadi was unable to cross it. So, Bheem made this stone bridge to cross the river easily and continue their journey to Swargrohini. It is located about 5 kilometers away from Badrinath Temple and near the Vyas Gufa in Mana Village. Scenic beauty is visible from this bridge.
It is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman on the way to Badrinath, about 11 kilometers before the main Badrinath Temple. It is a place visited by almost every tourist as it is en route to their journey ahead. It takes only 15-20 minutes to explore this small saffron-colored temple. According to the legends, this place was the one where the interaction between Lord Hanuman and Bheem took, while Bheem was in search of a Lotus for his wife Draupadi.
This lofty peak is located near the Badrinath Temple and is a hindrance between the path of Badrinath and Kedarnath. This peak is believed to be erected by Lord Shiva as a curse to the sins of a priest. It has an altitude of about 6596 meters and is only for viewing from the Neelkanth Base Camp.
This lake is located at an elevation of about 4600 meters from the ocean level and is 18 kilometers away from the main Badrinath Temple. This is located amidst the lofty ice-capped hills and mountains. Trekking of about 5 days is done from Badrinath to reach this lake. Satopanth literally means the path of truth.
This glacier is located about 1.5 kilometers upside from the Mana Village and about 6 kilometers from the main Badrinath Temple. It is said to be the source of River Alaknanda and is reached by trekking from Mana Village.
These waterfalls are about 8 kilometers from the main Badrinath Village and about 3 kilometers from Mana Village. The water here falls from a height of about 122 meters and creates a scintillating view.
Mata Murti Temple-
This temple is on the right bank of the Alaknanda River and about 3 kilometers from Badrinath Temple. It is dedicated to the mother of Nar and Narayan- Mata Murti. An annual fair is organized here every year on the eve of Vaman Dwadashi.
This is a small place that has a stone having the impressions of Lord Vishnu’s feet. It is located about 3 kilometers from the Badrinath Temple.
Where to Stay?
A lot of hotels, lounges, guest houses and homestays are available nearby the temple. The rates of rooms fluctuate between INR 1000 to INR 3500 per night and are dependent on the season in which one visits. They are pretty high during the initial months of May and June while they are somewhat cheaper in the later months.
Time to Visit-
Entry for the temple is opened for the visitors in the last week of April or by the first week of May, every year. A huge number of people visit here to show their faith in Lord Vishnu as soon as the entry starts. This process continues for about six months and then, the entries to the temple are closed around November for the next six months.
The timings of the temple are from 4 am to 12:30 pm and then, from 3 pm to 8:30 pm at night.
Try to visit in the months of May-June and September-October to avoid the difficulties caused by the monsoon in the months of July-August. Ask the horse and pony owners about the correct posture of sitting to avoid the back pain caused during horseriding. Complete the journey by taking rests at particular intervals and in no haste with full joy and excitement.
Do carry necessary items that are required during the journey-
- Warm clothes
- Trekking shoes
- First Aid and Necessary Medicines
- ID cards