Badrinath History and Legend
According to legend, the temple was originally established by Adi Shankaracharya which was renovated several times after its establishment. Badrinath is also one of the Panch Badris. The other four badris are Yogadhyan Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Bridha Badri or the 'Old Badri' and Adi Badri.
The Badrinath area is known as Badari or Badarikaashram in Hindu scriptures. It is a place sacred to Vishnu, particularly in Vishnu's dual form of Nara-Narayana. Thus, in the Mahabharata, Krishna, addressing Arjuna, says, "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 legend has it that when goddess Ganga was requested to descend to earth to help the suffering humanity, the earth was unable to withstand the force of her descent. Therefore the mighty Ganga (Ganges) was split into twelve holy channels, with Alaknanda being one of them.
The mountains around Badrinath are mentioned in the Mahabharata, where the Pandavas are said to have ended their life by ascending the slopes of a peak in western Garhwal called Swargarohini - literally, the 'Ascent to Heaven'. Local legend has it that the Pandavas passed through Badrinath and the town of Mana, 4 km north of Badrinath, on their way to Swarga (heaven). There is also a cave in Mana where the great sage Ved Vyasa is believed to have written the epic Mahabharata.
Badrinath Pilgrimage Travel Destination
The main attraction of Badrinath is the Badrinath temple also known as the Badrinarayan temple. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is also one of the 108 Divya Desams or holy shrines of Vaishnavities. The present temple is conical in shape built two centuries ago by the Garhwal kings. 15 idols are present in the temple complex, each built in black stone. Lord Vishnu is represented here in a meditative posture and is flanked by Nar and Narayan.
Some of the other attractions of Badrinath include the Tapt Kund a natural thermal spring on the banks of the Alakananda. It is believed that the water of this kund has medicinal properties. Neelkanth is another prime attraction of Badrinath which is a snow-covered peak of Badrinath.
You can also visit the Panch Prayag i.e. Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Nandprayag, Karnaprayag, Vishnuprayag; from Badrinath. You can also visit the Mata Murthi temple which is dedicated to the mother of Sri Badrinathji. At a distance of 3km from Badrinath is the Mana village popularly known as the last village of India, inhabited by people of Indo-Mongolian tribe.
- Please respect the place by refraining from alcohol and non-vegetarian food in the Holy Town of Badrinath.
- At an elevation of more than 3000 metres, the weather at Badrinath is always chilly no matter when you are visiting. It is advisable to carry ample woolen clothing.
- The pilgrimage to Badrinath is not as arduous as Kedarnath, however it is normal to feel little dizzy due to low oxygen content in the air. Make sure to get yourself checked with a physician prior to the pilgrimage.
- Photography may be prohibited inside the temple, especially inside sanctum sanctorum. Please abide by the guidelines outlined by temple authorities.
- Travelling to Uttarakhand in monsoons is little risky as the region witness road blockages due to frequent landslides. Best time to visit Badrinath is from May-April and September-October.
History of Badrinath
In the 9th century, the holy town of Badrinath was re-established as a prominent pilgrim site by Guru Adi Shankaracharya. In the early years, the pilgrims used to walk hundreds of miles to pay obeisance at the sacred Badrinath temple. During the time of First World War, the town of Badrinath had only 20 dwarf huts, where the temple staff lived.
Mythology of Badrinath
There are two mythological stories related to Badrinath, the first states that as per the Vamana Purana, the two sages named Nar and Narayana (the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu) performed their penance here and Bhakt Narada was able to attain salvation.
Whereas, the other legend tells that Lord Vishnu in his child avatar manifested near the Neelkanth Parvat in search of a place to meditate.Upon searching, he fell in love with the site near Alaknanda river. Lord Vishnu then incarnated as a child near the Rishi Ganga and Alaknanda rivers (now in the vicinity of Neelkanth Parvat) and started crying. When his cries reached the ears of Goddess Parvati, it melted her heart at once. She wanted to help the child so she took her consort, Lord Shiva to meet him. When Parvati asked the child, 'What do you want?' The child asked for the site that he liked for meditating. Parvati granted his wish and now the same place is revered as BadriVishal.
Staying in Badrinath
Badrinath has ample accommodations to stay, from the frugal dharamshalas to affordable guesthouses to 3-star hotels, it is easy to find a place to stay in Badrinath, if you are travelling in off-season.
As thousands of devotees ascent to the revered Badrinath shrine during the peak season, even finding a bed could be a task, let alone a room to stay. It is advisable to book an accommodation at Joshimath which is 45 kms from Badrinath. You can make a day trip to Badrinath and return to Joshimath by evening.
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Activities in Badrinath
Apart from visiting Badrinath Temple and other nearby temples you can do the following:
Trekking: Various treks starts from Badrinath for thrill seekers, such as Satopanth Trek, Mana Trek and Charanpaduka treks.
Village Tourism – Mana village, which is only 4 kms from Badrinath, is also known as last village on Indian side of Indo-China border. One can easily hike to Mana village to explore about the culture and customs of the place. There is also a cave, Vyas Gufa, where it is believed sage Vyas composed Mahabharata
Badrinath Food Guide
At an elevation of 3,300 meters, not many restaurants could be found andonly a handful of seasonal local eating joints and stalls tend to serve the pilgrims and tourists. The food served here is North Indian cuisine and popularChinese delicacies with limited choices. Due to the religious significance ofthe place, non-vegetarian food and alcohol are strictly prohibited at Badrinath.
Badrinath is famous for?
Badrinath is famous among tourist as Badrinath Temple, Char Dham Yatra.
Badrinath is recommended destination for Couples, Family and Kids, Foreigners, Groups, Solo.
Badrinath is popular destination for following activities/ interests - Char Dham, Panch Badri, Pilgrimage, Temples.