BADRINATH » Situated in the lap of Nar-Narayan Parvat, with the towerig Neelkanth peak (6,597 mt) in the background, Badrinath is one of the most revered Hindu shrines of India.
It has been said that “there were many sacred spots of pilgrimage in the heaven, earth and the other world but neither is there any equal to Badrinath nor shall there be one.”
It is believed that to revive the lost prestige to Hinduism and to unite the country in one bond, Adi Guru Sri Shankaracharya built for pilgrimage centres in four corners of India. Among them were Badrikashram in the north, Rameshwaram in the south, Dwarkapuri in the west and Jagannath Puri in the east.
Badrinath temple situated at an elevation of 3,133 mt is considered to be amongst the most pious.
How to reach :
Air : Nearest airport is at Jolly Grant (315 km away).
Rail : Nearest railheads are at Rishikesh 297 km away and Kotdwara 327 km away, which are connected with major cities of North India. Rishikesh is directly connected by rail with Howrah, Bombay, Delhi & Lucknow. There are two routes to Badrinath from Delhi :
Route 1 : Delhi-Rishikesh : 287 km by rail, Rishikesh-Badrinath : 297 km by road.
Route 2 : Delhi-Kotdwara-300 km by rail, Kotdwara-Badrinath-327 km by road.
Road : Badrinath is connected by a motorable road with Rishikesh, Kotdwara, Dehradun, Haridwar and other hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon Hills.
Delhi-Rishikesh : 238 km via Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Roorkee, Haridwar.
Rishikesh-Badrinath : 297 km via Devprayag, Srinagar (Garhwal), Rudra-prayag, Gauchar, Karnaprayag, Nandprayag, Chamoli, Pipalkoti, Helong, Joshimath, Vishnuprayag, Govindgaht, Hanumanchatti and Badrinath.
Bus : U. P. State Transport Corporation operates regular bus services from Delhi to Rishikesh daily with intervals of half an hour.
Temple of Badrinath : Perched at an altitude of 3,133 mt above sea-level, in the middle of a beautiful valley, it is located on the right bank of holy river Alaknanda. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple of Shri Badrinathji is 15 mt in height, built in the form of a cone with a small cupola of a gilt bull and spire.
Legend dates the temple prior to the Vedic age, though the present temple is believed to have been established by Adi Shankaracharya, the 8th century A.D., Hindu reformist.
The temple has been renovated several times due to earlier damages by avalanches and looks modern now with a colourful “Singh Dwara” or the main entrance gate. The temple has three parts – Garbha Griha (the sanctum sanctorum), Darshan Mandap (for pujas) and Shobha Mandap (for devotees to assemble).
It is believed that the image of Badrinath had been thrown into the Alaknanda river during the time of the Buddhist era and later retrieved and reinstalled by Shankaracharya during the following Hindu revival.
There are 15 idols in the temple complex. Finely sculpted in black stone, the Badrinath (Vishnu) image is a metre high. Other images include those of Laxmi (Vishnu’s consort), Garurh (Vishnu’s mount), Parvati, Ganesh etc.
With its great scenic beauty and attractive recreational spots in the vicinity, Badrinath attracts an ever increasing number of secular visitors each year.