Badrinath Tourism, Uttarakhand

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About Badrinath - Uttarakhand Tourism

Badrinath Dham, one of the oldest and most revered pilgrimage places for Hindus, is situated along river Alaknanda in Uttarakhand state at an altitude of 3,133 m above sea level. Famous among tourists by the name of Vishal Badri (the biggest among five Badris), the Badrinath temple and town are one of the four Char Dham pilgrimage sites in India. Located in Chamoli district, the town lies between the mountain ranges of Nar and Narayana and right behind the temple lies the majestic Nilkantha peak. 

Dedicated to God Vishnu, the  Badrinath shrine is considered to be one of eight 'swayam vyakta' or self-manifested statues of God Vishnu. The image of Lord Vishnu is postured in meditative mood (the ‘padmasan’) in the temple. The temple has been renovated multiple times due to the damages by avalanches. The present temple was renovated by Scindias and Holkar kings in 19th century. Another important tourist attraction in Badrinath is the Tapt kund, which is a natural thermal spring with medicinal properties. Travellers must also visit Vyas cave and Ganesha cave, where it is believed that Saint Vyas and Lord Ganesha wrote Hindu epic Mahabharata. 

Badrinath provides a splendid and panormic view to tourists with the gushling Alaknanda river flowing through the mountainous trek and the snow covered mountain ranges. Travelers would also love the majestic view of snow covered Neelkanth peak in the background of town. There are also five beautiful dharas at Badrinath known as Panch Dhara

Due to extreme weather conditions in the Himalayan region, the temple is open only six months every year (from the end of month of April and to the beginning of month of November). The image is moved to nearby Jyotirmath every year in November when the temple of Badrinath is closed. Badrinath site is also popular among adventure sport lovers with options of trekking, mountain cilmbing and rafting available here. Some of the popular festivals here are Mata Mruti ka mela, Kedar-Badri Utsav, and Janmashtami. 

History of Badrinath - Uttarakhand Tourism

Badrinath is said to be established as a pilgrimage site by Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th century. It is said that the image of Badrinarayan is discovered by Adi Shankaracharya in the Alaknanda River; and he enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund. Later, the King of Garhwal moved the idol to the present temple of Badrinath in the 16th century, after which the temple has undergone several major renovations and expansions.

Badrinath is mentioned in religious texts of Vedic period. According to the Bhagavat Purana, God Vishnu had been undergoing great penance in Badrikashram since time immemorial for the welfare of all living beings in his incarnation of Nar and Narayan. As per Skanda Purana, “there are several sacred shrines in heaven, on earth, and in hell; but there is no shrine like Badrinath.” The area around Badrinath was also mentioned in Padma Purana.

There are many legends; according to one legend, God Vishnu meditated here for couple of hundred years and the goddess Lakshmi stood next to him sheltering him from sunlight. It is said that Laxmi turned into a Badri herself called 'Badri Vishal' and her lord (Nath) became the BadriNath. Badrinath Dham is considered as one of the five ‘Punyakshethras’ (Holy places) of the Hindus where they offer Shraddhakarmas (religious offerings) to their 42 line of ancestors and it is believed that once the Shraddha Karma is performed here, there is no need to perform yearly ritual for ancestors.

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