Badrinath is a holy town in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is the most important of the four sites in India’s Char Dham pilgrimage. It is a perfect example of devotion for humanity and mankind, the Badrinath Temple is elevated at an altitude of 3415 meters in the Garhwal Hills on the bank of Alaknanada River. One of the famous shrines of the Char Dham and Chota Char Dham Yatra, it is the sacred place devoted to Lord Vishnu one of the 108 Divya Desams. Who is worshipped as Badrinath—holy shrines for Vaishnavites. Legend says Lord Vishnu meditated at this place for thousand incessant years under the Badri tree and so the name is given as Badrinath.
The idol is made of the Shaligram statue in the meditative pose and is the ideal site for the Vaishnavites. It is being believed that the temple was established by Adi Shankaracharaya in the 9th century. From Haridwar, Rishikesh and Kotdwar, the devotees can easily reach to Shri Badrinath Dham Temple.
It is open for six months every year, because of extreme weather conditions in the Himalayan region between the end of April and the beginning of November.
SIGHT SEEING & EXCURSION:
Panch Dharas: (a) Prahalad Dhara (b) Kurma Dhara (c) Urvashi Dhara (d) Bhrigu Dhara (e) Indra Dhara
Panch Shilas: (a) Narad Shila (b) varaha Shila (c) Garurh Shila (d) Markandeya Shila (e) Narshingh Shila.
Tapt Kund: Natural thermal springs on the bank of the river Alaknanda, where it is customary to bathe before entering the Badrinath temple.
Narad Kund: A recess in the river, near Tapt Kund, forming a pool from where the Badrinath idol was recovered.
Brahama Kapal: A flat platform on the bank of river Alaknanda. Hindus perform proppitiating rites for their deceased ancestors. Legends have 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 (head).
Sheshnetra: 1.5kms away is a boulder having an impression of the legendary serpent, better known as the Sheshnag’s eye.
Charanpaduka: 3kms away is a beautiful meadow where the footprint of Lord Vishnu is seen on a boulder.
Neelkanth: A pyramidal shaped snowy peak (6,600mts) towering above Badrinath presents a dramatic sight. It is popularly known as the ‘ Garhwal Queen’.
Mata Murty Temple: Devoted to the mother of Sri Badrinathji. Other important temples include Sesh Netra Temple, Urvashi Temple and Charanpaduka.
Mana Village: Inhabited by an Indo-Mongolian tribe, it is the last Indian village before Tibet.
Vasundhara: 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.
Bhim 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 Pandava brothers.
Vyas Gufa (cave): Near Mana Village, this is a rock-cave where Ved Vyas is believed to have composed the Mahabharata and the pauranic commentaries.
Alka 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.
Sato 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.
Arwatal: For 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.
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.
Air: Nearest airport is a Jollygrant, 314kms.
Rail: Nearest railhead is Rishikesh, 297kms which is connected to major cities like Howrah, Mumbai, Delhi & Lucknow by rail.
Road: 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).