Badrinath-Yatra

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BADRINATH
It is one of the four destinations that constitute the chardham, a sacred pilgrimage for every devout Hindu. Located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand in northern India, Badrinath also happens to be the most revered of the four sacred shrines in Garhwal, the other three being Yamunotri, Gangotri and Kedarnathji. The Himalayan town occupies a place on the banks of the River Alaknanda and is located at an altitude of 3,133 m above sea level. The Badrinath shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, considered to be the preserver of the universe in the Hindu mythology. The original structure of the temple was destroyed many times due to avalanches. The structure was restored in the 19th century by the royal houses of Scindia & Holkar. The temple complex at Badrinath 15 idols, wonderfully carved out of black stone.

General Information:

Altitude: 3,133 mts
Climate: Summer: Cool during the day and cold at night.
Winter: Snow-bound touching sub-zero.
Clothing: Summer-Light woollens, Winter- Heavy woollens.
Languages: Hindi, Garhwali, English.

How to Reach:

Air: Nearest Airport is Jolly Grant, around 300 kms.
Rail: NearestNearest Railway Station is Rishikesh, around 297 kms., Haridwar 317 kms.
Road: Taxi: Private taxies are also available between Haridwar and Badrinath on hire. Bus: GMVN operates daily bus services.

Panch (Five) Badris

The five Badris are five different sites in Badrinath. At all these places, Lord Vishnu is worshipped in five different forms and under five different names. The eternal search of the man has never come to an end and never will. As travellers visit these Panch Badris in Badrinath, they will come to learn how Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, is glorified in five different forms.

Vishal Badri

It is the main shrine of Lord Badrinath. Also known as Badrinathji, the Badrinath shrine attracts around six lakhs pilgrims every year. The Badrinath temple is located in the middle of two mountain ranges – Nar and Narayan. Badrinath was anciently known as Badrivan, due to the abundance of wild ‘berries’ or badris here.

Yogdhyan Badri

The Badri has immense importance. The Yogdhyan Badri is at an altitude of 1,920 m in Pndukeshwar. According to the Hindu mythology, it is here that the Pandavas, after gaining victory against the Kauravas, handed over Hastinapur to Raja Parikshit. The place Pandukeshwar, where Yogdhyan Badri is located, takes its name from Pandu, who is beleived to have meditated at the place.

Bhawishya Badri

At this Badri is enshrined the lion-headed idol of Narsingh. Perched at an elevation of 2,744 m, it is located in the midst of thick forests. To reach Bhavishya Badri, tourists and pilgrims need to get to Joshimath, the entry point to this Badri. While pilgrims reach the place, they also pass through Tapovan, popular with tourists for its hot water springs.

Bridha Badri

Also spelt Vridha Badhri, Bridha Badri means Old Badri. The place is situated at a distance of 7 km from the pilgrimage town of Joshimath. Before the advent of Shankaracharya, the idol of Badrinath was worshipped here for many centuries. Owing to its long age, the idol enshrined here is known as Vridha Badri or the First Badri.

Adi Badri

The sacred site is located at a distance of 17 km from Karanprayag. At the place, you will find a group of sixteen Gupta-period temples. Hindus believe that these temples were founded by Adi Guru Shankaracharya. Visitors can easily distinguish the main Narayan temple, as it is built on an elevated platform.

BADRINATH TOUR PACKAGE

1Day-Haridwar to Joshimath
2Day-Joshimath to Badrinath
3Day-Badrinath to Srinagar
4Day-Srinagar to Haridwar

Badrinath Dham is one of the oldest of Hindu places of worship. On the right bank of the river Alaknanda lies the sacred shrine perched at an altitude of 3133 m above sea level, guarded on either side by the two mountain peaks Nar & Narain with the towering Neelkanth peak providing a splendid back-drop. Also known as the Vishal Badri, the largest among the five Badris, it is revered by all as the apt tribute to Lord Vishnu.

The revered spot was once carpeted with wild berries which gave it the name ‘Badri Van’ meaning ‘forest of berries.’ Built by Adi Shankaracharaya, the philosopher-saint of the 8th century, the temple has been renovated several times due to damage by avalanches and restored in the 19th century by the royal houses of Scindia & Holkar. The main entrance gate is colourful & imposing popularly known as Singhdwar. References to Sri Badrinath have been made in the Vedas & perhaps it was a popular shrine during the Vedic age also. The Skand Purana gives an accvount of the Adiguru consecrating the idol of Lord Badri Vishal in the temple after recovering it from Narad Kund, in a pursuance of a divine call from heaven. The idol is made of black stone similar to granite. So holy is the shrine that it forms one of the four prominent places of Hindu worship. The epic Mahabharat, it is believed, was composed in the Vyas & ganesh caves close by. The Vishnu Ganga which later becomes the Alaknanda flows below the temple. Almost 3 km north of Badrinath, mana is the last Indian village before the Tibetan border. The Vasudhara falls are quite spectacular. On the closing day the residents of Mana offer a choli to the deity to cover the diety all the winter. It is taken off on the opening day & its fibres are distributed amongst the Yatris (pilgrims) as a maha prasadam. Joshimath is the winter deity of Badrinath.

BADRINATH TEMPLE

– Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is built in the form of a cone with a small cupola of a gilt bull & spire. Legend dates the temple prior to the vedic age and the original temple is believed to be built by King Pururava and the icon of the lord carved by Vishwakarma, the creator of gods. A Hindu reformist Adi Shankaracharya re-enshrined the temple back in 8th century. A flight of steps takes pilgrims to the main gate & then into the temple. The temple is divided into three parts – the ‘Garbha Griha’ or the sanctum sanctorum, the ‘Darshan Mandap’ where the rituals are conducted and the ‘Sabha Mandap’ where devotees assemble. The Garbha Griha portion has its canopy covered with a sheet of gold offered by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar. The complex has 15 idols. especially attractive is the one-metre high image of Badrinath, finely sculpted in black stone. It represents Lord Vishnu seated in a meditative pose-padmasan.

SIGHT SEEING & EXCURSION – Panch Dharas :

(a) Prahalad Dhara (b) Kurma Dhara (c) Urvashi Dhara (d) Bhrigu Dhara (e) Indra Dhara

Panch Shilas :

– (a) Narad Shila (b) varaha Shila (c) Garurh Shila (d) Markandeya Shila (e) Narshingh Shila.

Tapt Kund :

– Natural thermal springs on the bank of the river Alaknanda, where it is customary to bathe before entering the Badrinath temple.

Narad Kund :

– A recess in the river, near Tapt Kund, forming a pool from where the Badrinath idol was recovered.

Brahama Kapal :

– A flat platform on the bank of river Alaknanda. Hindus perform proppitiating rites for their deceased ancestors. Legends has it that when Shiva chopped of the fifth head of Brahma, it got stuck to his trident. Lastly with the blessing of Lord Vishnu at Badrivan, the head of Brahma fell down from the trident at this place & hence the name Brahma-Kapal (head).

Sheshnetra :

– 1.5kms. away is a boulder having an impression of the legendary serpent, better known as the Sheshnag’s eye.

Charanpaduka :

– 3kms. away is a beautiful meadow where the footprint of Lord Vishnu is seen on a boulder.

Neelkanth :

– A pyramidal shaped snowy peak ( 6,600mts.) towering above Badrinath presents a dramatic sight. It is popularly known as the ‘ Garhwal Queen’.

Mata Murty Temple :

Devoted to the mother of Sri Badrinathji. Other important temples include Sesh Netra Temple, Urvashi Temple and Charanpaduka.

Mana Village :

– Inhabited by an Indo-Mongolian tribe, it is the last Indian village before Tibet.

Vasundhara :

– As the name suggests, vasundhara is a magnificent water fall. This place is 5 kms. from Badrinath out of which 2 kms. is motorable upto Mana.

Bhim Pul :

– On the other side of Mana village, a massive rock forming a natural bridge, lies over the roaring Saraswati river. It presents a spectacular view of water thundering down through the narrow passage under the rock and is believed to have been placed there by Bhim, the second eldest among the five Pandava brothers.