Badrinath is the final destination of Char Dham Yatra and is considered as the abode of Lord Vishnu. It is strategically situated in the Garhwal Hills, at a height of 3,415 meters above sea level. It is a two-day long journey from Kedarnath and tourists can also visit the Hemkund Sahib.
The Badrinath area is referred to as Badari or Badarikaashram (बदरिकाश्रम) 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 the goddess Ganga was requested to descend to earth to help 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 one of them.
Another Legend explains both name and sitting posture as this place was full of Badri bushes and Vishnu meditating for, beloved Lakshmi stood next to him sheltering him from scorching sunlight turned into a Badri herself called ‘BADRI VISHAL’ and her lord(Nath) became the BadriNath.
Sadhguru looks at the legend of Badrinath temple and how Vishnu tricked Shiva and Parvati, and its history of how Adi Shankaracharya established the temple over a thousand years ago.
Adi Shankaracharya and Badrinath
Badrinath also has historical significance because the temple here was installed by Adi Shankara. Adi Shankara was born in a place called Kaladi in Kerala over a thousand years ago. He was a prodigal child and an extraordinary scholar with almost super-human capabilities. At the age of two, he could fluently speak and write Sanskrit. At the age of four, he could recite all the Vedas, and at the age of twelve, he took sanyas and left his home. Even at such a young age, he gathered disciples and started walking throughout the country to re-establish the spiritual sciences.