Badrinath was re-established as a main pilgrimage site by Adi Shankara in the ninth century. The temple in Badrinath is also a holy pilgrimage site for Hindus and specially for Vaishnavites. Badrinath is also gateway to several mountaineering missions headed to mountains like Nilkantha.
About Badrinath Town:
Badrinath is a divine town and a Nagar Panchayat in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is the most significant of the four sites in India’s Char Dham pilgrimage and gets its name from the divine temple of Badrinath.
Geographical site of Badrinath:
Badrinath has an average elevation of 3,100 metres (10,170 feet). It is situated in the Garhwal Himalayas, on the banks of the Alaknanda River. The town lies between the Nar and Narayana mountain ranges 9 km east of Nilkantha peak (6,596m).
Badrinath is situated 62 km northwest of Nanda Devi peak and 301 km north of Rishikesh. From Gaurikund (near Kedarnath) to Badrinath by road is 233 km. (All distance are approximately).
Significance of Badrinath:
Badrinath was re-established as a main pilgrimage site by Adi Shankara in the ninth century. In previous days, pilgrims used to walk hundreds of miles to visit Badrinath temple. In recent time its fame has increased considerably. The temple in Badrinath is also a holy pilgrimage site for Vaishnavites. Badrinath is also gateway to several mountaineering missions headed to mountains like Nilkantha.
As per to the Bhagavata Purana, “There in Badrikashram the supreme being (Vishnu), in his incarnation as the sages Nara and Narayana, had been undergoing great penance since time immemorial for the welfare of all living entities.” (Bhagavata Purana 3.4.22)
Badri denotes to a berry that was said to grow plentifully in the area, and nath means “Lord of”. Badri is also the Sanskrit name for the Indian Jujube tree, which has an eatable berry. Some scriptural references denote to Jujube trees being abundant in Badrinath.
About Badrinath temple and its architecture:
The Badrinath temple is the foremost attraction in the Badrinath town. As per to legend Shankara found a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda River. He firstly enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs.
In the sixteenth century, the King of Garhwal moved the Murti (Idol) to the present temple. The temple is approximately 50 ft (15 m) tall with a small cupola on top, covered with a gold gilt roof. The front is built of stone, with arched windows. A broad stairway leads up to a tall arched gateway, which is the main entrance. The architecture bears a resemblance to a Buddhist Vihara (Temple), with the brightly painted facade also more typical of Buddhist temples. Just inside is the mandapa, a large pillared hall that leads to the Garbha Graha, or main shrine area. The walls and pillars of the Mandapa are covered with intricate carvings.
Badrinath history and its associated Myths:
The Badrinath area is mentioned to as Badari or Badarikaashram in Hindu Holy Books. It is a place blessed to Vishnu, particularly in Vishnu’s dual form of Nara-Narayana. Thus, in the Mahabharata, Krishna, addressing Arjuna, tells, “Thou wast Nara in a former body, and, with Narayana for thy companion, didst perform dreadful austerity at Badari for many myriads of years.”
One myth has it that when the goddess Ganga was invited to run down to earth to help suffering humanity, the earth was unable to withstand the force of her descent. Consequently, the mighty Ganga (Ganges) was split into twelve holy channels, with Alaknanda river one of them.
Another Myth explains both name and sitting posture as this place was full of Badri bushes and Vishnu meditating for, beloved Lakshmi stood next to him shielding him from scorching sunlight turned into a Badri herself called ‘BADRI VISHAL’ and her lord (Nath) became the BadriNath.
The mountains around Badrinath are stated in the Mahabharata, when the Pandavas were said to have expired one by one, when they climbing the slopes of a peak in western Garhwal called Swargarohini. Literal meaning is the ‘Ascent to Heaven’. The Pandavas passed through Badrinath and the town of Mana, 4 km north of Badrinath, on their way to Svarga (heaven). There is also a cave in Mana where Vyasa, according to myth, wrote the Mahabharata.
The area around Badrinath was celebrated in Padma Purana as abounding in spiritual treasures.
About Badinath – A Char Dham Pilgrimage:
It has located only 24 kilometers from the Indo-China (Tibet) border. Badrinath is normally a one day journey from either Kedarnath, the site that precedes it in the Char Dham journey, or one of the main alighting points on the plains. The temple and its nearby village are accessible by road.
Suitable Time to Visit Badinath:
The best time to visit Badrinath is between June and September.
How to reach Badrinath – A Char Dham:
The adjacent airport is the Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun 317 km (197 mi) away by road. But, the distance by a helicopter ride is hardly 100 km. There are many providers of helicopter service from Dehradun and Phata.
The adjacent railway stations are at Rishikesh (at 297 km distance from Badrinath) and Kotdwara (at 327 km distance from Badrinath). But, Rishikesh is a small railway station not linked by fast trains. Kotdwara is connected by only a few trains. Haridwar railway junction, 24 km farther from Rishikesh, has train connections to most of the big cities in India and is, as a result, the terminus for Badrinath.
Badrinath is touched by national highway NH58 that connects Delhi with Mana Pass in Uttarakhand near Indo-Tibet border. Buses carry pilgrims from New Delhi to Badrinath via Haridwar and Rishikesh in pilgrim season of summer months. Rishikesh is the main starting point for road journey to Badrinath.
Consistent buses operate from Rishikesh bus station to Badrinath and start very early before dawn. The last bus from Rishikesh leaves for Badrinath before dawn. The road is narrow after Joshimath and travel is not allowable on the road after sunset. So if one misses the bus for Badrinath at Rishikesh bus station, one has to go only up to Rudraprayag, Chamoli or Joshimath and spend the night there to take the early morning bus for Badrinath from that town.
The road distance from Rishikesh to Badrinath is 293 km (182 mi) via Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Joshimath.
Delhi to Badrinath Road Rout Details:
Start Journey from Delhi > Delhi to Haridwar 206 km > Haridwar to Rishikesh 24 km > Rishikesh to Devprayag 74 km > Devprayag to Srinagar 34 km > Srinagar to Rudraprayag 33 km > Rudraprayag to Karnaprayag 31 km > Karnaprayag to Nandprayag 21 km > Nandprayag to Chamoli 10 km > Chamoli to Joshimath 48 km > Joshimath to Badrinath 42 km > End Journey on Badrinath
Google Map to Reach Badrinath Temple:
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