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Shri Badrinath Dham yatra – Where Lord Vishnu Had done Penance & Includes in Char Dham Yatra

Badrinath Dham yatra – Shri Badrinath Temple in Uttarakhand

Badrinath temple , One of the important hindu shrine. Badrinath Temple is a Hindu temple in Uttarakhand. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu Ji. Badrinath is one of the Chota Char Dhams and it also figures in the major Chardham, this occupying a unique place in the pilgrimage circuit of Hindus.

In fact, you could earn merit simply by going on a Badrinath Yatra if, for any reason, you cannot complete Chota Char Dham or Bada Chardham Yatras. Badrinath Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located in Bardrinath, which is a holy town in the district of Chamoli in Uttarakhand, India. Situated along the Alaknanda River, Badrinath Dham is considered to be one of the holiest temples by the Hindus.

The main attraction of Badrinath Dham is the one meter tall statue of Vishnu in the form of Lord Badrinarayan which is cast in black “Shaligram” stone. The statue is known to be one of the eight self-manifested statues of Vishnu and is securely placed under a Badri Tree which has a gold canopy. A noticeable aspect of the temple is there are a number of hot springs around it. Every year the temple is open for visitors for a period of six months.

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Badrinath History

Founded in 9th century by Adi Shankaracharya, Badrinath is believed to be the place where Lord Vishnu had done penance, while his wife Goddess Lakshmi taken the form of a Bael tree to tender him asylum from the burning heat. Legend has it that when the deity Ganga was prayed to come down to earth to relieve misery of people, the earth was unable to bear up the force of her downfall. As a result, the Goddess Ganga was divided into two sacred channels, of which Alaknanda is the one. The peaks that surround Badrinath are cited in the Mahabharata. Moreover, the place is an abode of numerous saints and sages who have done meditation here. Some of the pious Scholars like Sri Madhavachary ,Sri Nityananada and Ramanujacharya paid a visit to this place some around 800 years ago for learning. However, there are a quite a lot of pilgrims who continue to perform that still today.

Badrinath Dham Legends & Mythological Tale

Badrikashram

Badrinath being one of the most legendary Temples, it has numerous mythical tales associated with it. According to one mythological tale, Lord Vishnu had performed rigorous atonement at this place. During his intense meditation, he was unaware about the severe weather conditions. To protect him from the scorching heat of the sun, his spouse Goddess Lakshmi acquired the shape of Badri tree and spread over him. Witnessing this, Lord Vishnu was pleased by her devotion and hence he named the spot after her as Badrikashram.

Tale of Nar and Narayana

Badrinath Dham is also related to the tale of the two sons of Dharma, Nar and Narayana who wished to setup their hermitage and expand their religious base amidst the pious Himalayas. Going by the legends, during their quest to find a suitable place for their hermitage they led to a chanced discovery of the four sites of Panch Badri, namely Dhyan Badri, Yog Badri , Bridha Badri and Bhavishya Badri. Finally they came across a spot which was blessed with two fascinating cold and hot springs behind river Alaknanda. They were extremely overjoyed on finding this place and thus they named this place as Badri Vishal, this is how Badrinath came into being.

Pandava’s Ascent To Swargarohini Via Badrinath

It is also said that the Pandavas of the holy epic Mahabharata climbed via ‘Swargarohini, popularly known as the ascent to heaven, and Mana town, north of Badrinath while on their route to heaven.

Lord Narayan’s Desire to Meditate in Badrinath

Another legend states that, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were once performing tapasya in Badrinath. It was then Lord Vishnu came in disguise as a small boy and disrupted them, by crying loudly. On hearing that Goddess Parvati asked him the reason behind his mournful behavior, to which he replied that he wanted to meditate in Badrinath. Shiva and Parvati, on discovering Lord Narayan in disguise, left Badrinath and moved to Kedarnath.

Pandava’s Ascent to Swargarohini Via Badrinath

It is also said that the Pandavas of the holy epic Mahabharata climbed via ‘Swargarohini, popularly known as the ascent to heaven, and Mana town, north of Badrinath while on their route to heaven.

The Origin of River Alaknanda

Last but not the least, there is another great legendary tale, which is associated to Badrinath. Legends state that the holiest and curse reliever, river Ganges had granted the request of Bhagiratha, for relieving the humanity from the curse of sufferings and sins. While ascending to earth, the intensity of river Ganges was such that it could have immersed the entire earth under its waters. To release the earth from such unbearable consequences, Lord Shiva bore her onto his tresses and ultimately, the river Ganges got divided into twelve holy rivers and river Alaknanda, which flows past the sacred Badrinath Temple, was one of them.

Badrinath Temple Management

The temple is managed by the Shri Badrinath Mandir Samiti, constituted in 1939 by the Badrinath Temple Act 16, 1939. The Head Pujari of the temple, a Namboodri Brahmin, is known as the Rawal, and is appointed jointly by the former Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal and the Temple Committee. He is the only person who is allowed to touch the idol of the deity. He is assisted by a naib Rawal, who is also a Namboodri Brahmin and the Rawal’s successor. Well versed in Sanskrit and puja rituals, the Rawal must also be celibate.

Inside Badrinath Temple

The main entrance gate of Badrinath temple is colourful & imposing popularly known as Singhdwar. The temple is approximately 50 feet tall with a small cupola on top, covered with a gold gilt roof.

The Badrinath temple is divided into three parts 

The ‘Garbha Griha’ or the sanctum sanctorum, the ‘Darshan Mandap’ where the rituals are conducted and the ‘Sabha Mandap’ where devotees assemble. At the Badrinath Mandir Gate, directly opposite the main Idol of the Lord himself, is seated the idol of Bird Garud, the vehicle of Lord Badrinarayan, sitting in prayer with his hands folded. The walls and pillars of the mandapa are covered with intricate carvings.

The Garbha Griha

Portion has its canopy covered with a sheet of gold offered and houses Lord Badari Narayan, Kuber (God of wealth), Narad rishi, Udhava, Nar & Narayan. The complex has 15 idols especially attractive is the one-metre high image of lord Badrinath, finely sculpted in black stone.According to legend Shankara discovered a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda River. He originally enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs. In the sixteenth century, the King of Garhwal moved the murti to the present temple. It represents Lord Vishnu seated in a meditative pose called padmasan.

Darshan Mandap

Lord Badari Narayan is armed with Conch and Chakra in two arms in a lifted posture and two arms rested in Yogic Pose. Badarinarayan is seen under the Badari tree, flanked by Kuber and Garuda, Narad, Narayan and Nar. As you look, standing to the right side of Badrinarayana is Uddhava. To the far right side are Nara and Narayana. Narada Muni is kneeling in front on the right side and is difficult to see. On the left side are Kubera-the god of wealth, and a silver Ganesh. Garuda is kneeling in front, to the left of Badrinarayana.

Sabha Mandap

It is a place in the Temple complex where devotees and pilgrims assemble.

Badrinath Temple Pooja & Aarti

Special pujas (online too) are performed on behalf of devotees. Every puja must be preceded by a holy dip in the Tapta Kund. Some of the morning pujas are – Mahabhishek, Adhishek, Gitapath and Bhagwat Path, while the evening pujas are Geet Govind and Aarti. Special booking of pujas can be done at Badrinath Mandir Committee by paying some fees. The procedures of daily pujas and rituals are supposed to have been prescribed by Adi Shankracharya. Unlike most Hindu temples, all the pujas (including the decoration of idols) are performed in the presence of the devotees.

Aarti Timings in Badrinath: The daily rituals at the Badrivishal temple start very early, around 4.30 am with maha abhishek and abhishek puja, and end at around 8.30 -9 pm with the shayan aarti. The temple opens for darshan for the general public around 7-8 am and there is an afternoon recess between 1-4 pm. The Rawal of the temple performs the rituals.

shri badrinath temple Opening timings 

All days of the week

4:00 AM – 12:00 PM
3:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Badrinath Temple General Information

Administrator – Pujari of the temple named as Rawal Ji is well versed in puja ceremonials & Sanskrit language and must belong to a kerala Brahmin family.

Photography is strictly prohibited inside the temple.

Badrinath Dham Opening and Closing Ceremonies

Pujas are held during the opening and the closing of the temple. The temple is open for six months of the year – from April-May to October-November, but its day of opening is determined on the day of the Basant Panchami (in February-March), in accordance with astrological configurations.

Places to see in Badrinath

There are two natural hot water springs in the pilgrimage center- Tapt Kund and Surya Kund. The waters at these springs have a temperature which remains constant at 55 °C throughout the year. It is believed that taking a bath in these springs purifies the mind, body and soul; bathing is generally done before entering the temple.

Panch Badris

Vishal Badri: It refers to the main Shri Badri Narayan Temple which is considered to be very sacred by the Hindus.

Yogathyan Badri: Located at a distance of 24 kms from Badri Nath and 20 kms from Joshimath, Yogathyan Badri is believed to be the place where Maharaj Pandu (the father of the Pandavas) prayed to Pandukeshwar.

Bhavishya Badri: It is a small village located some 17 kms away from Joshimath.

Preetha Badri: It is located at a place called Animath, which is 17 kms from Joshimath. Adi Shankar is believed to have worshipped Lord Badrinath here for some time.

Adi Badri: It is located at a distance of 16 kms from Karnaprayag. Here one can find many temples from the Gupt Dynasty; among these temples, the Mana Narayanan temple is the most popular.

Village Mana – Vyas Gufa

Located at a distance of 3 kms from Badri, it is the last Indian Village situated on the Indo-China Border. It has managed to capture the public imagination on account of being home to the Vyas Caves; it is believed that Maharishi Vyas (a sage), author of the Mahabharata, lived in these caves

Valley of Flowers

One of the most idyllic parks, it was discovered by Frank S. Smythe in 1931. The valley is filled with a plethora of vibrant flowers, which is why the park is named so. Nearby the park, the River Pushpavati flows by, while the massive Rataban peak makes for a stunning backdrop.

Govindghat

Located close to Joshimath, Govindghat is a nondescript place and the starting point of treks to the valley, which is some 17 km away. Badrinath, at 16 km away, is an important destination close by.

Lok-Pal Hemkund 

Hemkund Sahib, one of the most popular Gurudwaras in India, is located here, at an elevation of around 4320 above sea level. Nearby attraction includes the Lok-Pal Hemkund Lake, which with its crystal clear waters looks stunning; there are four peaks surrounding the lake adding to its aura.

Mata Murti Mandir

Located at about 3 km from Badrinath and on the banks of the Alaknanda River, Mata Murti Mandir temple is dedicated to Shri Badrinath’s mother.

Vasuki Tal

It is a high altitude lake which can be reached by undertaking an 8 km trek; the maximum elevation of the trek can reach up to 14,200 feet. Vyas Gufa, Ganesh Gufa, Bhimpul and Vasudhara Falls are within a range of 3-6 km from the lake. Most of these places are famous for their association to Hinduism and one can find many fascinating legends associated with them.

Joshimath

The first math to be established by Shri Adi Sankara, it is located at a distance of 14 kms from Helang via Badri. It is believed that Adi Sankara got enlightenment here and authored Sri Sankara Bhashyam. It is located at a height of 6150 ft above sea level. Here you will find separate temples of Lord Narasimha and Lord Vasudev (different forms of Lord Vishnu). It is one of the 108 Divya Desams (sung by the Sacred Vaishnavaite Saints).

Pandukeshwar

This place is believed to have been established by King Pandu, the father of the Pandavas. It is situated about 4km from Govind Ghat, 219 kms from Kedarnath and 24 kms from Badrinath. There are two temples – one of Lord Yogabadri Narayan and the other of Lord Vasudev. During winter, the temple of Lord Vasudev temple functions as the abode for Lord Badri Narayan and all the daily rituals connected to worship are performed here. Both the temples are quite old.

Neelkanth Peak

Known as the ‘Queen of Garhwal’, Neelkanth Peak, standing with its gigantic height of 6,597 meter (approx.), sets a great background to the Badrinath shrine. Named after Lord Shiva, the splendour of the snow-covered peak gets augmented as it receives the first rays of the Sun at the crack of dawn.

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 Tapt Kund

Just below the temple, there is a natural thermal spring which is believed to be infused with therapeutic properties. A dip in the holy and hot waters of the Kund is necessary before a devotee visits the sacred shrine of Badrinath. Near the Tapt Kund also lie five boulders which are, as per mythology, Narad, Narsingh, Varah, Garur and Markanday.

Brahma Kapal

It is a flat platform by the banks of Alaknanda 100 meters north of the temple. Performing propitiating rites for the deceased family members, it is believed, would free them from the vicious circle of life and death.

Charanpaduka

Strewn with boulders and caves, a steep climb of about 3 km from the Badrinath town will take you to Charanpaduka. It is a rock which is believed to be imprinted with the footprints of Lord Vishnu, as he descended on earth from Vaikunth (his heavenly abode).

Sheshnetra

Between two seasonal lakes, on the opposite bank of Alaknanda, there exists a big rock which gives the impression of Shesh Nag, the legendary snake of Lord Vishnu. The Sheshnetra has a natural mark which looks like an eye of the Shesh Nag. Located 1.5 km from the temple, the serpent is believed to be guarding the sacred shrine of Badrinath.

Vasudhara Falls

A 122 meters high beautiful waterfall positioned in the tranquil surroundings of Himalayas can be reached by covering 3 km (up to Mana village) by road and trekking the other 6 km on foot.

Activities in Badrinath

Apart from visiting Badrinath Temple and other nearby temples you can do the following –

Trekking : Various treks starts from Badrinath for thrill seekers, such as Satopanth Trek, Mana Trek and Charanpaduka treks.

Village Tourism : Mana village, which is only 4 kms from Badrinath, is also known as last village on Indian side of Indo-China border. One can easily hike to Mana village to explore about the culture and customs of the place. There is also a cave, Vyas Gufa, where it is believed sage Vyas composed Mahabharata

How to Reach Badrinath Dham

Haridwar – Rishikesh – Deoprayag – Kirtinagar – Shrinagar – Rudraprayag – Gauchar – Karnaprayag – Nandprayag – Chamoli – Birahi – Pipalkoti – Garur Ganga – Helang – Joshimath – Vishnuprayag – Govindghat – Pandukeshwar – Hanumanchatti – Badrinath.

By Air

The nearest airport to reach Badrinath would be Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, about 314 kms away. For further journey, one can hire a taxi to make it to the desired destination.

By Rail

 Haridwar is the closest railhead to arrive at Badrinath. Following stations are well connected to the main cities of India:
Haridwar- 302 km
Dehradun- 327 km

By Road 

Badrinath is well connected with main places of Uttarakhand by excellent roads. Bus and taxi service is also available from the most important destinations including Haridwar, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Pauri, Ukhimath and Karnaprayag to get to Badrinath.

Best Time to Visit Badrinath Temple

The ideal time for visiting the shrine is between May and November. One should carry sweaters, woolen clothing, umbrella and first aids during the trip. Travelling light is a wise idea. Non-vegetarian food and alcoholic drinks are strictly prohibited in this place.

Distance from the Major Cities

Rishikesh: 297 km
Joshimath: 42 km
Haridwar: 320 km
Karnaprayag: 123 km
Rudraprayag: 155 km
Deoprayag: 225 km
Dehradun: 343 km