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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.

Sight Seeing & Excursion :

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. 

Panch Dharas : [a] Prahalad Dhara [b] Kurma Dhara [c] Urvashi Dhara [d] Bhrigu Dhara [e] Indra Dhara 

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'.  



Badrinath Package
 
 
Jenaral Information :
Altitude : 3048 mts. 
Climate : Summer - Cool during day and cold at night Max: 20°C & Min: 6°C; Winter - Snow bound touching sub zero. 
Best Season : From opening to closing, generally from April to November. 
Season : April to October
Clothing : Heavy woolen throughout the season. 
 
 
Accessibility :
Air : Nearest Airport is Jolly Grant [262 Kms] 
Rail : Nearest railhead is at Rishikesh, 226 Kms. away.  
Road :Gangotri is connected by road to Uttarkashi, Tehri Garhwal and Rishikesh and from there to other parts of the country. Bus services of Samyukt Rotation Yatayat Vyawastha Samiti connect Gangotri with many centre in the region like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Tehri, Uttarkashi etc.
 
   
   
 
 
 
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