The pilgrimage town of Badrinath in Uttarakhand completes the Chardham Circuit along with Kedarnathji, Yamunotri and Gangotri. Perched at an elevation of 3,133 m above sea level, Badrinath shrine was constructed centuries ago by Adi guru Shankaracharya. The shrine stands in dedication to Lord Vishnu, attracting devotees and travelers equally from the world over. The shrine occupies a position in the lap of the Nar Narayan Parvat while the Neelkanth Parvat towers over it at an elevation of 6,597 m above sea level. The word Badrinath originated from the term ‘Badri Van’, meaning a forest of berries. The temple at Badrinath encountered several avalanches and was finally refurbished by the royal houses of Scindia and Holkar.
Best Time to Visit
Visitors to the Badrinath shrine are invited between the months of April and May. The temple denies any access during winters in the third week of November.
To revive the spirit of Hinduism, Adi Guru Shankaracharya set upon constructing four pilgrimage destinations in India. These holy destinations included Badrinath (northern India), Rameshwaram (southern India), Dwarkapuri (western India) and Jagannathpuri (eastern India). Badrinath, however, is considered to be the holiest of them all.
Places to See
Not one or two, the temple complex at Badrinath features 15 idols of Hindu deities. Besides the idol of Lord Vishnu, the Badrinath shrine also has idols of deities including goddess Lakshmi, Lord Shiva, goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha.
These include Prahalad Dhara, Kurma Dhara, Urbasi Dhara, Bhrigu Dhara and Indra Dhara.
Badrinath also features five shilas that are Narad Shila, Varaha Shila, Garuh Shila, Markandeya Shila and Narsigh Shila.
Before a devotees makes an entry into the Badrinath shrine, they are required to observe a holy bath in the natural thermal springs of Tapt Kund. The springs are located on the riverbanks of Alaknanda.
The holy spot is held in high regard by the pilgrims. Located close to Tapt Kund, it is site from where was discovered the idol that is kept at the Badrinath shrine in Uttarakhand.
The site occupies a position on the riverbanks of Alaknanda. It is the place where Hindus perform religious rites to appease their deceased ancestors or near and dear ones.
It is a snow-laden peak perched at an elevation of 6,597 m above sea level. The peak wonderfully towers over the Badrinath shrine. Neelkanth is also referred to as the ‘Garhwal Queen’. Enjoy some heart soaking views at the places.
Reaching the Holy Shrine
Travellers and pilgrims can first fly to the Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun, 317 km away. Further, they need to undertake a road journey up to Badrinath. Taxis and cabs are regularly available for the service. Railheads close to Badrinath include Rishikesh (300 km) and Haridwar (330 km). Regular public, private and tourist buses ply to the shrine from places like New Delhi, Rishikesh and Haridwar.