Badrinath- one of the four dhams
For a devout Hindu, the sojourn to Badrinath dham, the popular Indian religious destination, is like achieving the life’s goal. Rameshwaram in the South, Dwarka in the West, Jaganathpuri in the East and Badrinath in the North are the four Pilgrimage or Char-dham earmarked for all Hindus to visit in their lifetime, to gain eternal Moksha. Now road conditions and transportation system is far too comfortable in comparison to less than a century ago, when devotees used to scale the heights of the mountains, cross the ravines, rivers and cover the distance by walking or riding on mules. The route was so dangerous that several devotees used to succumb to their ultimate fate. The high risk quotient being the reason Badrinath dham has always been considered foremost Hindu Pilgrimage or Dham.
How to reach Badrinath dham
Air– Nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport 314 km away in Dehradun. Daily flights come from New Delhi.
Railway– Nearest railway station is Rishikesh 295 km and Haridwar 25 km farther away on the main line.
Road– Badrinath is well connected with good roads. The hilly journey starts from Rishikesh.
Badrinath temple was re-established in 9th century by Adi Shankaracharya, when he found the idol of Lord Vishnu made of black stone Shaligram in Padmasana posture there. In Vedas there is a reference of Lord Badrinath and the temple. The temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu and is located on the banks of Alaknanda river. Its surrounded by two snowclad mountains Nara and Narayana. Adjacent to the temple there is a hot water sulphur spring Tapta Kund, where devotees take a holy bath. The devotees can pay their respect to other deities such as Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, Hanuman and Kali all under one roof of sacred Badrinath temple. In the sanctum other deities such as Narada, Kuber, Nar & Narayan and Durga’s statues in nine manifestations.
Temple has three edifices, Garbha Griha or Sanctum, Darshan Mandap or worship hall and Sabha Mandap or convention hall. The spire of Sanctum is 49 feet high. The facade is built with stone and windows are arch type. A broad stairways lead to main entrance of the temple and the pillars are beautifully carved. In the main shrine a 3.3 feet tall image of Badri Narayan which under a gold canopy. Two hands of deity are holding Shankha and Chakra, and two are resting on his lap in a classic Padmasana posture.
Yogadhyan Badri Temple
Yogadhyan Badri Temple at Pandukeshwara located at the distance of 22 km from Badrinath and equal distance from Joshimath, in this temple King Pandu of Pandavas installed statue of Vishnu in yogic posture. Udhav the brother of Vishnu is worshiped along with Vishnu in winters. In summers with a great fervor in a festival of “Devwar’ the deities of Udhav and Kuber are taken to Badrinath.
In Joshimath which is 40 km before Badrinath there is a Muth or religious abode of Adi Shankaracharya. The Shankaracharya comes from Badrinath after the doors of Badrinath temples are closed.
This is an ancient temple of Lord Vishnu, in Narsingh avatar, it’s an important temple of Joshimath. It has an idol of Lord Narsingh that was installed by Shankaracharya. When Badrinath temple remain closed during winter every year, the idol of Lord Badri is brought to Narsinh temple and worshiped for six months.