Area : 4.5 Sq.kms.
Altitude : 3133 mts.
Rainfall : 1460 m
Temperature : Summer -
Max 17.9° C, Min 5.9° C, Winter- Generally snowbound
from December to March with minimum subzero temperature.
Best Season : From opening
to closing, generally from April to November.
Clothing : Heavy woolen
garments required throughout.
Dham is one of the oldest of Hindu places of worship. On
the right bank of the river Alaknanda lies the sacred shrine
perched at an altitude of 3133 m above sea level, guarded
on either side by the two mountain peaks Nar & Narain
with the towering Neelkanth peak providing a splendid back-drop.
Also known as the Vishal Badri, the largest among the five
Badris, it is revered by all as the apt tribute to Lord
revered spot was once carpeted with wild berries, which
gave it the name 'Badri Van' meaning 'forest of berries.'
Built by Adi Shankaracharaya, the philosopher-saint of the
8th century, the temple has been renovated several times
due to damage by avalanches and restored in the 19th century
by the royal houses of Scindia & Holkar. The main entrance
gate is colourful & imposing popularly known as Singhdwar.
References to Sri Badrinath have been made in the Vedas
& perhaps it was a popular shrine during the Vedic age
also. The Skand Purana gives an accvount of the Adiguru
consecrating the idol of Lord Badri Vishal in the temple
after recovering it from Narad Kund, in a pursuance of a
divine call from heaven. The idol is made of black stone
similar to granite. So holy is the shrine that it forms
one of the four prominent places of Hindu worship. The epic
Mahabharat, it is believed, was composed in the Vyas &
ganesh caves close by. The Vishnu Ganga which later becomes
the Alaknanda flows below the temple. Almost 3 km north
of Badrinath, mana is the last Indian village before the
Tibetan border. The Vasudhara falls are quite spectacular.
On the closing day the residents of Mana offer a choli to
the deity to cover the diety all the winter. It is taken
off on the opening day & its fibres are distributed
amongst the Yatris (pilgrims) as a maha prasadam. Joshimath
is the winter deity of Badrinath.
temple opens every year in the month of April-May &
closes for winters in the third week of November. Badrinath's
four subsidiary Badris include Bhavishya Badri, Yogdhyan
Badri, Bridha Badri and Adi badri. It is popularly believed
that with spread of Buddhism, the Buddhists enshrined the
statue of Lord Buddha there and during the Hindu renaissance,
the statue of Buddha was later restored by Adi Guru as the
idol of Vishnu. This possibly explains the deity sitting
in Padmasan posture, typical of Buddha icons. However, also
according to Hindu mythology, Buddha was considered to be
the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
is devoted t the worship of Vishnu, who, according to an
amusing tale, usurped this place from Shiva. For Vishnu
had come here as the gods once did, to offer penance. He
loved the place so much that he plotted to unseat Shiva
from his meditation here. He took on the form of a beautiful
child and began to wail. Shiva's wife, Parvati, picked him
up but could not calm the child. Since his wailing continued
to disturb Shiva, he shifted to Kedarnath in exasperation,
leaving the spot free for Vishnu to occupy. But reminders
of Shiva's stay continue to linger, most visible in the
name, Badri, a kind of berry that Shiva was most fond of
and the gigantic tree, invisible to the mortal eye, that
served Shiva. Legend also has it, when the Ganga was requested
to descend to earth to help the suffering humanity, the
earth was unable to withstand the force of its descend.
Therefore the mighty Ganga was split into twelve holy channels,
Alaknanda was one of them that later became the abode of
Lord Vishnu or Badrinath.
the sage Narad disapproved of Lord Vishnu's way of living
in worldly comforts, he was hurt and sent his spouse to
nagkanyas. He himself decided to disappear in the Himalayan
valley-whose peaks make for some of the most enticing manifestations
of God's creations. The spot was carpeted with Badris or
wild berries and hence was famous as Badri Van. The Lord
Vishnu assumed a yogdhyani posture and for several years
meditated at the same spot and fed himself with wild berries.
Laxmi on return found the sesha shayya empty, she went to
the Himalayas in search of the Lord and ultimately found
him amidst the badri in deep meditation. He addressed the
Lord as Badrinath and requested him to give up the yogdhyani
posture to return to his original sringaric form.
to do so provided the entire mankind abides by that he will
be worshipped in yogdhyana form by the Gods and in sringaric
form by the mortals and further Goddess Laxmi will sit on
the left side in yogdhayni form and on right in sringaric
form. The Hindu tradition demands that the place of the
spouse is on the left but sitting of the Goddess Laxmi on
the right is meaningful to convey that they should not be
worshipped as a divine couple but as two individual deities
with no marital relation. It is for the reason that the
Rawal (main priest) of Badrinath must not be married. The
pilgrims to the temple worship the Lord in his sringaric
form during the summer and in the winter, he is worshipped
in his yogdhyani form by the devtas & sages. There are
many sacred spots of pilgrimage in the heaven, earth but
there has been none equal to Badri, nor shall there be.
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is built in the form of a cone
with a small cupola of a gilt bull & spire. Legend dates
the temple prior to the vedic age and the original temple
is believed to be built by King Pururava and the icon of
the lord carved by Vishwakarma, the creator of gods. A Hindu
reformist Adi Shankaracharya re-enshrined the temple back
in 8th century. A flight of steps takes pilgrims to the
main gate & then into the temple. The 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. The Garbha Griha
portion has its canopy covered with a sheet of gold offered
by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar. The complex has 15 idols. especially
attractive is the one-metre high image of Badrinath, finely
sculpted in black stone. It represents Lord Vishnu seated
in a meditative pose-padmasan.
pujas are also performed on behalf of individuals. Every
puja must be preceded by a holy dip in the Tapta Kund. Some
of the special morning pujas are Abhishek, Mahaabhishek,
Geeta Path. Some special evening pujas are Aarti & Geet
Govind. Such pujas are to be booked in advance. The temple
opens at 0430 hrs & closes at 1300 hrs. Once again it
opens at 1600 hrs & closes at 2100 hrs after the divine
song Geet Govind. Rawal is the administrator-Pujari of the
temple well versed in puja ceremonials & Sanskrit language
and is expected to be celibate..
SIGHT SEEING & EXCURSION :
Dharas : (a)
Prahalad Dhara (b) Kurma Dhara (c) Urvashi Dhara (d) Bhrigu
Dhara (e) Indra Dhara
Shilas : (a)
Narad Shila (b) varaha Shila (c) Garurh Shila (d) Markandeya
Shila (e) Narshingh Shila.
Kund : Natural
thermal springs on the bank of the river Alaknanda, where
it is customary to bathe before entering the Badrinath temple.
Kund : A
recess in the river, near Tapt Kund, forming a pool from
where the Badrinath idol was recovered.
Kapal : A flat platform on the bank of river Alaknanda. Hindus perform
proppitiating rites for their deceased ancestors. Legends
has it that when Shiva chopped of the fifth head of Brahma,
it got stuck to his trident. Lastly with the blessing of
Lord Vishnu at Badrivan, the head of Brahma fell down from
the trident at this place & hence the name Brahma-Kapal
: 1.5kms. away is a boulder having an impression of the legendary
serpent, better known as the Sheshnag's eye.
: 3kms. away is a beautiful meadow where the footprint of
Lord Vishnu is seen on a boulder.
pyramidal shaped snowy peak ( 6,600mts.) towering above
Badrinath presents a dramatic sight. It is popularly known
as the ' Garhwal Queen'.
Murty Temple : Devoted to the mother of Sri Badrinathji. Other important
temples include Sesh Netra Temple, Urvashi Temple and Charanpaduka.
Village : Inhabited by an Indo-Mongolian tribe, it is the last Indian
village before Tibet.
: As the name suggests, vasundhara is a magnificent water
fall. This place is 5 kms. from Badrinath out of which 2
kms. is motorable upto Mana.
Pul : On
the other side of Mana village, a massive rock forming a
natural bridge, lies over the roaring Saraswati river. It
presents a spectacular view of water thundering down through
the narrow passage under the rock and is believed to have
been placed there by Bhim, the second eldest among the five
Gufa (cave) : Near Mana Village, this is a rock-cave where Ved Vyas is
believed to have composed the Mahabharata and the pauranic
Puri : 15
kms. from Badrinath and located via Mana village, lies the
source of Alaknanda river from the glacier snouts of Bhagirath-Kharak
and Sato Panth glaciers. The spot is supposed to be the
adobe of Kuber, Yakshas and Gandharvas.
Panth : 25
kms. from Badrinath and located at an elevation of 4,402
mts. is a three cornered lake of serene water with a circumference
of about 1 km. The lake is named after the Hindu trinity
of Brahma, Vishnu and mahesh, who are believed to occupy
one corner each of this lake. The trek is hazardous and
full of dramatic views. An experienced guide is advisable.
There is no place to rest except in the caves. Cooked food,
stove etc. must be carried from Badrinath itself.
the more enterprising, a trek to Arwatal (3,980 mts.) via-Mana,
Ghastoli and Arwatal is immensely rewarding. The trek passes
through a hazardous icy and snowy terrain and a number of
streams have to be crossed. badrinath to Ghastoli is 17
kms. and Arwatal is approximately another 18 kms. Photography
is prohibited in this area and a guide is essential.
Hotel Nanda Guest
Manav Kalan Ashram
Air : Nearest airport
is a Jollygrant, 314kms.
: Nearest railhead is Rishikesh, 297kms. which is connected
to major cities like Howrah, Mumbai, Delhi & Lucknow
: Badrinath is connected by a motorable road with Rishikesh,
Kotdwar, Dehradun, Hardwar and other hill stations of Garhwal.
Some important road distances are Delhi (518Kms), Joshimath
(42Kms), Hardwar (321 Kms), Gopeshwar 9106 Kms).