Thursday, 27 December 2012

Badrinath Temple - The Lord Vishnu Lok | Chardham Yatra, Uttarakhand, India

Badrinath - The Lord Vishnu Lok

Badrinath Temple

Counted among the national Char Dham of the country, the Badrinath Dham is one of the most ancient Hindu shrines. The sacred shrine lies on the right bank of the River Alaknanda, perched at an altitude of 3133 meters above sea level, guarded on either side by the two mountains Nar and Narayan, with the towering peak of Neelkanth providing a splendid backdrop. Also known as the Vishal Badri, the largest among the five Badris,

 it is revered by all as the apt tribute to Lord Vishnu.

Badrinath Temple
Established by Adi Guru Shankaracharya, the philosopher-saint of the 8th century, the temple has been renovated several times due to damage by avalanches and was finally restored in the 19th century by the royal houses of Scindias and Holkars. The main entrance gate is colorful and imposing. It is popularly known as Singh Dwar. A large brass gong hangs at the centre of the gate. A flight of steps takes pilgrims to the main gate and further into the temple which has two parts - the Garbh Griha , where the deity is seated and the Mandapam, where pilgrims assemble for Darshan. The temple is approximately 50 ft tall with the small cupola on top, covered with the gold gilt roof. The facade is built of stones, with arched windows. The architecture resembles a Buddhist vihara, with the brightly painted facade also most typical of Buddhist temples. The temple complex has 15 idols. Main attraction is the one meter high image of Lord Badrinath, finally sculpted in black stone. It represents Lord Vishnu seated in a meditative pose flanked by the idols of Nar and Narayan on the right and Kubera and Narad on the left. The other important idols are those of Uddhava, Garuda, Laxmi, Ghantakaran, Hanuman and Ganesha.

Sights to See

Badrinath Temple
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple contains the main idol is carved in Shalagram stone and represents Vishnu seated in meditation, flanked by NarNarayan. The present temple was built two centuries ago by the Garhwal Kings. During the period when the temple remains closed, the idols are taken to Pandukeshwar. The other important Badris are Bhavishye Badri, Yogadhyan Badri, Vrudh Badri and Adi Badri located near the main Badrinath Shrine which is known as ‘Panch Badri’.

Nar and Narayan

Tapt Kund or Surya Kund
The famous hot springs are located just below the temple

A majestic peak of the Himalayas, towering to a height of 6,600 m. Other places of interest are the Mata Murti, Sesh Netra and Urvashi temples & Charanapaduka

Mana Village (4 km):
Considered as the last village on the Indo-Tibet border. Further 4 km from Mana village are the Vasundhara waterfalls, one of the biggest in India.

Satopanth Lake (18 km):
A natural lake situated amidst high mountains. On Route Rishikesh-Badrinath

At an altitude of 480 m, the mighty waters of the River Ganga here are ideal for white water rafting. Rock climbing can also be arranged. GMVN conducts river-rafting courses at Kaudiyala. Accom: Rest Tent Colony (GMVN) Kaudiyala, Dist Tehri, Tel 01378 262911.

Situated at the confluence of the rivers Alakananda and Bhagirathi, it is an important pilgrim centre with its Shiva and Ragunath temples. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Deoprayag, Tehri Dist., Tel: (01378) 266013

Srinagar (Garhwal):
The old capital of Garhwal. Places of interest here are the Kamleshwar and Kalpaveshwar temples and the Shankar Math. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Srinagar, Dist. Pauri, Tel: 01346 252199, 257109

Situated at the confluence of the Alaknanda and Mandakini. The temples that dot this region are those of Rudranath and Chamunda Devi. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Rudraprayag, Dist. Pauri, Tel: 01364 233347.

A beautiful valley. Accom:Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Gauchar, Dist. Chamoli, Tel: 01363 240611.

The base for treks to Roopkund and Bedni Bugyal. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN) , Dist. Chamoli, Tel: 01363 244210.

Nandaprayag: An important pilgrim centre with a temple of Gopalji. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Nandprayag. Tel: 01372 261215

Known for its scenic beauty. Accom: Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Chamoli Dist. Tel: 01372 266237.

It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya performed penance here. After enlightenment, he established a religious centre (Math) here, which he called ‘Jyotirmath’. Joshimath has temples dedicated to Goddess Durga and Ugra Narsimha, the lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Accom: (1) New Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Dist. Chamoli, Tel: 01389 222226 : (2) Old Tourist Rest House (GMVN), Joshimath, Dist. Chamoli, Tel: 01389 222118; (3) Badri-Kedar Temple Trust Dharamshala.(4) Birla Guest House. (5) Forest Rest House. (6) The Camp Chardham.

Govindghat is the starting point of the trek to the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund. Accommodation is available at the Gurudwara in Govindghat.

Famous for the temple of Yogdhyan Badri, one of the Panch Badris. The other four are Vishal Badri (Badrinath), Adi Badri (17 km from Karnaprayag), Bhavishya or future Badri and Vridha or old Badri (Joshimath). Pandukeshwar houses the idol of the Badrinath temple during the winter months.

Hemkund Sahib:
(20 km from Govind Ghat by foot). This sacred Sikh shrine is situated on the shores of the Hemkund Lake (4,320 m). It marks the place where Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and the last Guru unified with God after meditation.

Valley of Flowers:
(19 km trekking from Govind Ghat:): A beautiful scenic valley in the Himalayas, flowers blooms from July till end of August. (Trekking route: Govindghat-Pulna-Bhyunder-Ghangaria-Valley of Flowers-Hemkund).

How to Reach Badrinath:

How to Reach Badrinath by Air : Badrinath does not have any airport. The Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport in Dehradun. Plenty of airlines operate regular flights to Dehradun linking it to several cities in northern India.

How to Reach Badrinath by Road : Though Badrinath is situated in the remote Garhwal Himalayas, the place has good road link.The road link between Rishikesh and Badrinath has good access with Delhi.

How to Reach Badrinath by Rail : Badrinath does not have any railway station. Rishikesh is the nearest rail station only 300kms. There are plenty of good trains that link Rishikesh to various cities like Kolkata (Howrah),Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow.

Tourism Office:

The Manager, Tourist Rest House
GMVN, Badrinath,
Tel: 01381 222212;

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