Hinduism,Cosmos ,Sanatan Dharma.Ancient Hinduism science.
Badrinath finds mention in the first chapter of second skanda of ‘Skanda Purana’.
The 57th shloka says, “The Ashram of lord Narayan was called ‘Muktipada’ in Satyuga, ‘Yogasiddha’ in Treta, ‘Vishal’ in Dwapar and ‘Badrikaashram’ in Kaliyug.”
In Vaman Purana, sage Pulastya says that ‘Dharma’ the divine body, manifested from the heart of Lord Brahma and married to ‘Murti’, daughter of Daksh. She gave birth to 4 sons, 2 of them being Nar and Narayan. Nar and Narayan reached Badrinath and performed penance.
It is believed that this is the same place where Ved Vyas compiled the Vedas and wrote Purans assisted by Bhagwan Ganesh. In Dwapar, Pandavas along with Draupadi too visited here when they were on their ascent to heaven (Swargarohini yatra).
According to Hindu scriptures, Bhakt Narad got salvation in Badrinath and the sages like Gautam, Kashyap and Kapil, who was himself the incarnation of lord Vishnu performed penance here.
In the medieval times, Adi Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Sri Madhvacharya and Sri Nityananda came here for learning and peaceful contemplation.
Badrinath temple’s present structure was built by the Kings of Garhwal about two centuries ago.The temple has three sections – Garbhagriha (Sanctum), The Darshan Mandap, and Sabha Mandap. The Garbhagriha (Sanctum) houses Lord Badri Narayan, Kuber (God of wealth), Narad Rishi, Uthavar, Nar & Narayan.
Lord Badri Narayan (also called as Badri Vishal) is armed with Shankh (Conch) and Chakra in two arms in a lifted posture and two arms rested on the lap in Yogamudra.The principal image is of black stone and it represents Vishnu seated in meditative pose. The temple also houses Garuda (Vahana – vehicle of Lord Narayan) and Goddess Mahalaxmi. Also here are the idols of Adi Shankar, Swami Desikan and Shri Ramanujan Guru-Shisya parampara is supposed to have its roots here.The principal image is of black stone and it represents Vishnu seated in meditative pose. The temple also houses Garuda (Vahana – vehicle of Lord Narayan) and Goddess Mahalaxmi.
Joshimath- Joshimath, the first mutt established by Shri Adi Sankara, is located at a distance of 14 kms from Helang enroute to Badri. Adi Sankara is believed to have got enlightenment here and authored Sri Sankara Bhashyam. This located at a height of 6150 ft above sea level. Here, there are separate temples for Lord Narasimha and Lord Vasudev (different forms of Lord Vishnu). This is one of the 108 Divya Desams (sung by Sacred Vaishnavaite Saints).
In the temple for Lord Narasimha, separate statues of Badri narayan, Uthavar, Kuber, Chandikadevi, Ram, Lakshman, Sita and Garud can be seen together in the sanctum sanctorum. Outside the temple separate statues of Brahma, Krishana, Lakshmi & Anjaneya can be seen. Vyas Maharishi is believed to have worshipped Goddess Lakshmi here. The presiding deity Lord Narasimha is believed to have been established by Adi Sankara. It is widely believed that one hand of the presiding deity is getting weakened and the day it disjoints, the way to Badri will get eternally blocked and Lord Badri Narayan will thereafter give darshan only from either Bhavishya Badri or Adi Badri (part of Panch Badris).
The temple of Lord Vasudev houses Lord Vasudev in the sanctum sanctorum as well as Sridevi, Bhoodevi, Leela devi, Oorvasi devi & Balram in the outer praharam. Further separate structures are available for Vinayaka, Brahma, Indira, Chandran(Moon), Navadurgas & Gauri Shankar.
Festivals Celebrated in Temple
Mata Murti Ka Mela A grand fair is organized in Badrinath Temple in the month of September. On this day the mother of Lord Badrinath is worshipped and hence the name Mata Murti Ka Mela. According to a popular legend, when the river Ganges descended on earth for the welfare of the Human beings, she divided into twelve channels. The place where the river flowed became the abode of Lord Vishnu. This is precisely the holy land known as Badrinath.
Badri Kedar Festival Held in the month of June, nothing could be a perfect manifestation of Hindu religion and culture. The Badri Kedar festival is held in the sacred shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath in the month of June. The festivities go on for a stretch of eight days. The festival makes an attempt to bring under one platform, the greatest artists of the country. What could be a more apt tribute to the rich Indian culture.
There are 5 temples of Lord Vishnu that are collectively called as ‘Panch Badri’ and the combined region is called as Badri Kshetra. The 5 Badri temples are Badrinath (Badri Vishal), Adi Badri, Yogadhyan Badri, Vridha Badri and Bhavishya Badari.
Bhavishya Badri is situated in Subhain village, 17 KM from Joshimath. It is considered as the future seat of Badrinath. It is located beyond Tapovan up the Dhauliganga river.
Over the course of history, most of the temples were lost and needed restoration. When Adi Shankaracharya visited the place and took out the Shaligram stone idol of Badri Vishal from the Tapt Kund, a celestial announcement was made. According to the prophecy, at the end of Kaliyuga, the Nar and Narayan mountains surrounding Badrinath will block the route. The access to the temple will be blocked and the idol of Lord Vishnu will manifest in Bhavishya Badri, as his new abode.
According to another belief, there is a Narsimha temple in Joshimath. The deity Narsimha is the fourth avatar of Lord Vishnu and the idol of the deity carries a sword. The arm of the idol carrying sword is getting thinner year by year. It is believed that when the arm breaks down, the world will be destroyed. Later, a new world will be formed where the Bhavishya Badri will be worshipped.
Hindu scriptures are filled with a massive amount of knowledge and facts that finds relevance even in today’s world. In order to relive them, one should continuously explore the facts and travel to the places like these as it is crucial for Sanatan Dharm and the existence of Hindus.
According to the Śrīmad Bhāgavata Mahā Purāṇa, (3.44.22)
yatra nārāyaṇo devo
naraś ca bhagavān ṛṣiḥ
mṛdu tīvraṁ tapo dīrghaṁ
Translation:- “There in Badarikāśrama the supreme being (Viṣṇu), in his incarnation as the sages Nara and Nārāyaṇa, had been undergoing great penance since time immemorial for the welfare of all living entities.”
The Badrīnātha area is referred to as Badari or Badarikāśrama (बदरिकाश्रम) in Hindu scriptures. It is a place sacred to Viṣṇu, particularly in Viṣṇu’s dual form of Nara-Nārāyaṇa. Thus, in the Mahābhārata, Kṛṣṇa, addressing Arjuna, says,
“Thou wast Nara in a former body, and, with Nārāyaṇa for thy companion, didst perform dreadful austerity at Badari for many myriads of years.”
One legend has it that when the goddess Gaṅgā was requested to descend to earth to help suffering humanity on the request of suryavansh king Bhagīratha, the earth was unable to withstand the force of her descent. Therefore, the mighty Gaṅgā was split into two holy channels, with Alakanandā one of them. Alakanandā originates from the Sathopanth glacier above the town of Badrīnātha.
There is an engraved image of lord Vishnu in a Saligrama (type of stone) in Padmasana (lotus pose). This is the only idol of Lord Badrinath in this yogic pose. According to the historians, the temple had existed even before the period of Mahabharata. With the advent of Buddhism, the territory surrounding this sacred place came under the influence of the Buddhists. Some zealots destroyed this ancient temple and threw the idol into the Alaknanda River. Adi Shankaracharya, the founder of the Advaita Vedanta school of philosophy, discovered the image in the Alaknanda through the pool known as Narad Kund and installed it in the Garud Gufah near the hot water spring known as Tapta Kund. It remained there for about seven centuries. Then, at the insistence of the great Vaishnava saint called Varadarajacharya, the then ruler of Garhwal made a temple at the place where the present temple stands and installed the idols therein. The gold covering of the temple is supposed to have been a gift of the famous Queen, Ahalyabai of Holkar.
In the Bhagvat Purana, Lord Krishna said to his folk, Uddhava “ In the future, he would be available only in the holy spots of Badrikaashram(Badrinath). He gave Uddhava his sandals and told him to carry them to Badrinath and keep it there for people to worship”. The sacred scripture says that the life of a Hindu would be incomplete without making a visit to the Badrinath Dham.
Adi Shankaracharya established the rules how lord should be worshiped. He decreed that Rawals (chief priest of the temple) should come from the Indian south state (Kerla) and chief priest of the Rameswaram temple in south, should come from the Garhwal region of North. Thus, he ensured that there be a good interchange of cultures between the north and south holy lands. This tradition is being followed even today; Rawal of Badrinath is always a Namboodiri Brahmin from Kerla, Adi Shankaracharya’s birth place.
Badrinath is among the Char Dhams of Hindus. It is known as a spiritual as well as a sacred zone of India. Every year, lakhs of devotees participate in the Char Dham yatra. It is situated in the Chamoli(district of Garhwal )region of Uttarakhand. The town lies between the Nar and Narayana mountain ranges and situated in the shadow of the Nilkantha peak. The name of the Badrinath temple is in the name of Lord Vishnu, Badri symbolizes “VISHNU” and Nath means “LORD”. The main temple of Badrinath is situated at the right bank of the Alaknanda River. According to myths, Goddess Ganga was split into twelve holy channels to help the suffering people; Alaknanda is one of them. Badrinath is a land of lord Vishnu, Who practised meditation here in his Nar and Narayana roops. History of Badrinath has a link with Mahabharata. There is a cave known as ‘Vyas Gufa’ named after Maharshi Vyas(an important character of the epic ‘Mahabharata’). Saying is there that at the request of Vyas, god Ganesha wrote down the text to Vyas’s dictation. Ganesha is said to have agreed to write it only on a condition that Vyas would never pause in his citation. Vyasa agreed, provided Ganesha took the time to understand what was said before writing it.
Badrinath town is famous for the Panch Badri temples, known as Yog Dhyan Badri, Bhavishtya Badri, Adi Badri, Vriddha Badri, and Badrinath temple. The area of Badrinath is known as Badrikaashram in spiritual terms.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Char Dhams is from May to October. After this, the Kapats (doors) of most of the temples are kept closed due to heavy snowfall causing the landslides and road block.
The land of Badrinath is full of spirituality and austerity. The Hindu scriptures say that the life of a Hindu is incomplete without making a visit to Badrinath; the sentence is enough to elaborate the importance of Badrinath among Hindus as a must visit pilgrim destination.
The Shrines and Pilgrimages around Badrinath area
Badrinath Temple:The main attraction of the Badrinath or Badrikaashram, is the Badrinath temple. The temple is divided into three sections known as Gharbha Ghrah, Sabha Mandap (where devotees assemble) and darshan Mandap (where prayers and rituals are conducted). The temple is famous for the black stone idol of Lord Vishnu in the meditative pose which is 3 feet in height and consists of 15 others God’s idols.
Akhand Jyoti(the lamp of eternity) in the Badrinath temple never goes out even when the doors of the temple are closed for 6 months in winters. One could be surprised seeing the lamps spreading light when Rawal(priest of the temple) opens the holy door in May. For the lamp of eternity, some special type of wicks are used and the lamp is filled with ghee. The wicks are specially made by one of the families from Mana village. It is said that the prayers and rituals are conducted here by devguru Narad, during the period when the temple kapats (doors) are closed.
Yogdhyan Badri: The ancient temple of Yogdhyan badri is located at Pandukeshwar at a height of 1920m above sea level, around 24km from Badarinath and 24 km from Joshimath. This is the temple in which the idol of Uddhava is brought and worshiped during the winter months when the kapats (doors) of Badrinath are kept closed. It is religiously ordained that a pilgrimage to the Badrinath Dham will not be considered complete without offering prayers at this temple. Bhatts from South India serve as chief priests in the temple.
Mata Maruti Badri
Mata Maruti Badri temple is dedicated to the Mother of great sages Nar and Narayana.
Places around Badrinath
The spiritual center of Uttarakhand is surrounded among places which are spiritual, natural, hilly, meadows, icy, mysterious, and of-course, enchanting. Below is the list of places near Badrinath, you would find interesting to explore.
Adi Badri: Adi Badri is one of the Panch Badri along with Vishal Badri (Badrinath), Yogdhyan Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Vridha Badri. Adi Badri a historic place since the Gupta Vansha. A black stone idol of lord is enshrined here.
Auli: Auli is situated in the Chamoli district, Uttarakhand. This place is a famous destination among skiing lovers, with the snow flake covered mountains of Himalaya, blessed by nearby revered Badrinath temple. Auli was not so famous earlier, but after the establishment of the Uttarakhand state, the Garhwal Mandal Vikas
Nogam (GMVN), a government organization, has been endeavoring to promote the beautiful place; consequently, today, Auli is a well known, recognized skiing destination. As a result, in 2010, SAF winter games were hosted in Auli.
Bedni Ali Bugyal: A ‘meadow’ is called a ‘Bugyal’ in the local language; this place is a beautiful meadow of Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The place has an attractive view of trishul peak; it also offers various adventures activities such as trekking, mountaineering, skiing etc.
Chamoli: At a distance of 88.7 km from the Badrinath temple, Chamoli town is situated. This place is rich in culture and blessed with the gifts of nature. It is also known for ‘Chipko Aandolan’.
Gairsain: Gairsain is located at the Kumaon – Garhwal Border. Gair means deep and sain means plane, referring to a place such as a valley. The place offers a panoramic view of the Himalayas. It is being seen as a future capital of Uttarakhand. It is around 138 km from Auli via NH – 58 and NH – 87.
Gauchar: Gauchar is famous for the trade fair occurring here from ancient times. The place is a flat land in the Garhwal Himalayan range. Distance between Gauchar and Badrinath is about 131 km via NH – 58.
Gaurikund: Gaurikund is one of the most renowned holy pilgrim sites for hindus situated in the Rudrapyag district of Uttarakhand, on the way to Kedarnath. This is the place where Goddess Parwati did penance involving ascetic and yoga practices to win over Lord Shiva’s heart.
Ghangaria: Ghangaria is a small village en route to the Hemkund Sahib and valley of flowers, located in the Chamoli District. It is the last rehabilitation center of the route. The place is located at the confluence of the River Pushpawati and River Hemganga. It is about 13 km from Govindghat.
Gopeshwar: Gopeshwar is a beautiful town situated in the Chamoli district of the Garhwal region of uttarakhand state. Gopeswar is also known as Chamoli Gopeshwar. It is the administrative headquarter of the Chamoli district. Gopeshwar is known for its temples, pleasant weather, trekking tracks, beautiful Oak view forests and lovable picturesque scenery all-round. Some people believe that the name of the town – Gopeshwar – has a connection with Lord Krishna – the lord of the Gopis.
Govindghat: Govindghat is located at the right bank of the Holy river Alakananda. It is the commencement place for the trekking to Hemkund Sahib and valley of flowers. There are very good Hotels, restaurants, and parking facility for visitors available here. It is only 25 km from Badrinath and 20 km from the Hemkund Sahib via trekking.
Hanuman Chatti: Hanuman Chatti is a small town in the Joshimath Taluk of Chamoli district in Garhwal. This is the place where Hanuman Ganga and the Yamuna rivers have a confluence. This place is popular because earlier it was the end of the road for the Yamunotri trek, but presently a jeepable road is made upto Janki Chatti, which is 7 kms ahead still of Hanuman Chatti. This place is named after Lord Hanuman.
Joshimath: Joshimath is the home to one of the four cardinal pīthas established by Adi Shankara in the 8th century. It is around 44 km from Badrinath.
Few other incredible views near Badrinath are Kagbhusandi lake, Kheerau Valley, and Pandukeshwar.
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