Badrinath Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. The majestic River Alaknanda flows beside the temple. It is one of the temples which form the Char Dham Pilgrimage in India. It is also a part of the 108 Divyadesams dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
The Badrinath Temple is surrounded by two peaks named Nar and Narayan (twin forms of lord vishnu as the fifth avatar) against the backdrop of the Neelkanth Mountain. The temple can be visited only between April and November and remains closed due to extreme weather conditions prevailing in the Himalayas during winters, as is the case with other temples that are a part of the Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand. Lakhs of devotees travel to this pilgrimage every year.
What is the history of Badrinath Temple?
The history of Badrinath temple is that it is at least 1000 years old. According to Skandapuranam, Adi Shankara found a black statue of Vishnu lying on the banks of Narad Kund. He established it in a cave near the Tapt Kund which later became famous as the Badrinath Temple.
According to a legend, Lord Shiva initially chose this place for his Tapasya, but Lord Vishnu wanted the place to himself. So, he took the form of a little boy and cried lying down on the rock. Both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati could not console him. Eventually on Parvati’s insistence, Lord Shiva left to Kedarnath to do his Tapasya.
Another legend says that when Lord Vishnu started his penance, Goddess Laxmi stood beside him and sheltered him from the heat and cold by turning herself into a Badri Tree. Hence, Vishnu became famous by the name of Badrinath (Lord of Badri).
What is the significance of Badrinath?
The significance of Badrinath Temple is that devotees believe that the statue of the Deity Lord Vishnu is Swayambhu in nature meaning that it is self-manifested. It is mentioned in the Vamana Purana that the sages Nara and Narayana (the dual form of Lord Vishnu’s fifth avatar) did penance here.
It is believed that Narada attained salvation atop the Narad Shila located at Badrinath. The Badrinath Temple is a part of the Panch Badri Temples, the others being the Yog Dhyan Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Adi Badri and the Vriddha Badri. The legendary River Saraswati originates from a glacier near Badrinath. The river joins The Alaknanda and then vanishes.
The great sages of folklores like Kapila Muni, Gautam and Kashyap also did penance here. Moreover, the water of the hot spring Tapt Kund has medicinal values and therefore, a dip is a must to cure all ailments. Also, the temple pandit or the Rawal Ji must be from the clan of Nambudiri Brahmins from Kerala. The temple also comes under the Char Dham Yatra Destinations of Uttarakhand.
What are the timings of Badrinath Temple?
Here are the timings of Badrinath Temple:
|Open||4:30 AM||9 PM|
|Afternoon Break||1 PM||4 PM|
|Abhishekam||7:30 AM||12:00 PM|
|Geet Govind and Aarti||6 PM||9 PM|
|Shayana Aarti||10:30 PM||11 PM|
What is the dress code at Badrinath Temple?
The dress code of Badrinath temple is not anything specific. Even though, the temple is open only during the summer months, one should wear woolen clothes with socks and scarfs whenever taking a tour of the Char Dham Yatra destinations of Uttarakhand. Carry umbrellas as the region is prone to seasonal rains.
What are the Poojas and Rituals of Badrinath Temple?
Here are the poojas and rituals of Badrinath Temple:
- Shrimad Bhagwat Saptah Path – It is a special pooja which the temple performs on request. This pooja continues for seven days and is in honour of Lord Krishna. There are 18000 mantras in the Shrimad Bhagwat Katha. A Yagna is performed on the last day of the Pooja. Moreover, devotees believe that by doing this Pooja, one gets rid of fear and misfortune in life.
- Vishnu Sahasranamam – It is a prayer consisting of the 1000 names of Lord Vishnu, each signifying the different attributes of Lord Vishnu.
- Ved Path – A recitation of verses from the four Vedas – Rig, Sam, Yajur, and Atharva.
- Geeta Path – During this, the complete recital of the Shrimad Bhagawat Geeta takes place in front of the deity.
- Akhand Jyoti – The temple is not for pilgrims on VijayaDasami. On the last day, the priests light a lamp with a special ghee mixture brought from the Mana village. Moreover, this lamp is luminous for six months.
What are the festivals celebrated at Badrinath Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Badrinath Temple are:
- Badri-Kedar festival – The festival is usually occurs in the month of June. Artists from all over Uttarakhand come together to showcase their musical talent in dedication to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Also, the festival continues for 8 days.
- Mata Murti ka Mela – Badrinath temple organises a large fair every September to commemorate the day the river Ganga landed on the Earth. The day is in honour of Mata Murti, mother of Nar and Narayan (fifth avatar of Vishnu). Devotees also believe that she divided the River Ganga into twelve channels.
- Janmashtami – This festival is a celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna (eighth avatar of Vishnu). It occurs in the months of either August or September. Devotees organise several processions for Lord Krishna on this day.
How to reach Badrinath Temple?
Here’s how to reach Badrinath Temple:
- Air – The nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun at a distance of 314 km.
- Rail – The nearest railway station is Rishikesh (295 km away).
- Road – One has to take a bus from New Delhi to Haridwar or Rishikesh, from where the state transport buses are available to Badrinath.
Where to stay near Badrinath Temple?
Some of the places where one can stay near Badrinath Temple are:
- The Kedar Dev’s: The hotel offers facilities like front desk, room service, parking and many more. In any medical emergency doctor on call facility is available. The hotel, with a team of skilled professionals, also ensures the fulfilment of all the needs of its guests.
- Narayan Palace Hotel: The hotel offers comfortable accommodation in 46 tastefully decorated and well furnished rooms that include 20 Deluxe rooms, 4 Super Deluxe rooms and 4 Suites. The rooms are fully carpeted and appointed with all modern amenities including satellite television and direct dial telephone. Furhter, the attached washrooms receive a continuous supply of hot and cold water.
- Jagirdar Guest House: It offers tented accomodation and a budget stay. Guest can enjoy breath-taking view of the great Himalayas and the luscious green mountains. Its also offers facilities like pick-up facility and guides on request. Guest can also avail lip-smacking food at the in-house restaurant serving Indian and European cuisines.
What are some temples near Badrinath Temple?
Some of the temples near Badrinath Temple are:
- Adi Badri: It is the second among the ‘Sapt Badri’ temples. When Badrinath temple remains closed due to extremities in weather, devotees worship Lord Vishnu in Adi Badri temple. Moreover, the sanctum of the temple has an image of Lord Vishnu which is 1 metre high and has been carved out of black stone.
- Vridha Badri: It is the third among the ‘Sapt Badri’ temples. Devotees also believed that Adi Shankaracharya worshipped Badrinath here before enshrining Him in the main Badrinath temple. Vridha Badri is temple is open for devotees and pilgrims throughout the year.
- Bhavishya Badri: It is the fourth among the ‘Sapt Badri’ temples. According to beliefs, Lord Badri will take abode in Bhavishya Badri at the end of Kaliyuga. Even the name of the place literally translates to ‘Future Badri’, implying that it will be the future residence of Lord Badri.
- Yogadhyan Badri: It is the fifth among the ‘Sapt Badri’ temples. As per mythology, the Pandavas were born here, and Pandu attained salvation and died here. Yogadhyan Badri has a bronze image of Lord Vishnu. Devotees believe that Pandu installed this image, which is depicted to be meditating (Dhyan). Hence, the name of the shrine comes from the posture of the image, and it is popular as’Yoga-dhyan’ Badri.
- Dhyan Badri: It is the sixth among the ‘Sapt Badri’ temples. It has an Image of Lord Vishnu which Urvarishi established. This image of Vishnu has four arms, made of black stone and in a meditatative posture.
- Ardha Badri: It is the seventh among the ‘Sapt Badri’ temples. In comparison to other temples, the idol of Lord Vishnu here is smaller.
All these temples are also a part of the Char Dham Yatra destinations within Uttarakhand.