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Badrinath Temple
Pilgrimage Destinations of India


Badrinath Temple

Destination: Badrinath, Uttar Pradesh

INTRODUCTION

The sacred site of Badrinath Temple is located at the lap of Nar-Narayan Parvat with the splendour of the Neelkanth peak in the backdrop. This holy dham of the Char Dham fame has an aura about itself, the light to dispel the darkness of ignorance and materialistic afflictions. Every spiritual seeker must visit this sublime shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This sacred place was the spot of penance of Jagadguru Sri Shankaracharya.

It is he who founded the Badrinath temple in the ninth century. The awe-inspiring temple is situated on the right bank of the Alaknanda River. The religious sanctity of this place is unparalleled. It is known to be one of the eight self-manifested pilgrim places in India—the Svayam Vyakta Kshetras.

LEGEND

Legend has it that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the immortal Lord Govinda, is undergoing continuous penance at Badrinath since time immemorial. Again, in the Gita, Lord Krishna asks his choicest disciple Uddhava to go to Badrikashram and perform penance. The statue of Lord Badrinath is self-manifested from a two-foot-high black Shalagram-shila. He is also called Badri Vishal or Badarinarayana.

WHEN TO VISIT

Normal: May to October

Special Event: Badri-Kedar Festival (3rd-10th June).

THE PILGRIMAGE

The Journey


After alighting at the Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun, one has to go to Haridwar or Rishikesh by taxis or buses. Both the places are connected to Badrinath by regular buses. The buses leave early in the morning and reach Badrinath the next day in evening. Buses do not run at night, as the mountain roads are quite dangerous. And after 4.30 pm, no buses are allowed to go past Joshimath. So, the norm is that the pilgrims have to stop over at Joshimath for the night.

Rituals

On arriving at the holy site, one has to purchase a ticket for the darshan, which starts early in the morning. One has to wait in a queue to enter the temple and the waiting time can extend up to one hour.

Before going inside the temple, pilgrims usually take a bath in the hot spring, Taptakunda, located in the vicinity of the temple. They also go for the darshan of Garudaazhvaar nearby and only then move towards the Badrinath temple.

In the Badrinath Temple, the morning puja is held in an elaborate manner with the chanting of hymns and the chiming of bells. The most important pujas in the morning are the Mahabhishek, Abhishek, the ritualistic Gitapath, and the Bhagwat Path. The evening pujas comprise of the Geet Govind and Arti.

The pilgrims may also have a darshan of the Lord at the brahmamuharta, which commences at 4.00 am. Special tickets are available for the pre-dawn thirumanjanam. The tickets have to be purchased the day before. Devotees proceed according to their turn as indicated in the tickets. Inside, the devotees are made to sit right in front of the Lord, as the ritualistic Thirumanjanam, Alangaram, Sathuppadi, and Neyvedyam take place.

DON'T MISS

Joshimath (42 km from Badrinath) is a fascinating place of natural beauty and religious significance, located just above the confluence of Alaknanda and Dhauliganga. The Jyotirmath established by Adi Shankaracharya is the key attraction here. The enthralling Valley of Flowers, with its treasury of beautiful flowers, is not to be missed. Gobindghat is the place where the trekking for Badrinath begins. From here, one can also go to the Valley of Flowers National Park and Hemkund Sahib. Chamoli is a famous mountain retreat, located 10 km form Gopeshwar on Badrinath Highway.

LODGING

There are several lodging options in Badrinath—the Temple Committee Guesthouse, Tourist Rest House, and dharamshalas, to name a few. Hotel Devlok, Jhunjhunwala Cottage, Modi Bhavan, Mittal Cottage, Chand Cottage, Badrish Sadan, Pilo Dharamshala, Kali Kamli Dharamshala, PWD Inspection House, Jal Nigam Rest House, Forest Rest House and DGBR Rest House are some other places where tourists can stay for the night.

There are several lodging options in Badrinath—the Temple Committee Guesthouse, Tourist Rest House, and dharamshalas, to name a few. Hotel Devlok, Jhunjhunwala Cottage, Modi Bhavan, Mittal Cottage, Chand Cottage, Badrish Sadan, Pilo Dharamshala, Kali Kamli Dharamshala, PWD Inspection House, Jal Nigam Rest House, Forest Rest House and DGBR Rest House are some other places where tourists can stay for the night.

FESTIVAL

The Badri-Kedar Festival is held at the sacred shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath and is a tribute to the cultural diversity of India. It is an eight-day-long cultural festival held in the month of June. The aim is to organize a function where the country's foremost artistes can come forth to exhibit their excellence.

HOW TO REACH

By Air

The airport nearest to Badrinath is at Jolly Grant (Dehradun), which is about 343 km from Badrinath. One can also visit the place by helicopters and small private aircraft.

By Rail

Rishikesh (297 km) and Kotdwar (327 km) are the nearest railheads.

By Road

Badrinath is linked by road to Rishikesh (297 km), Joshimath (42 km), Haridwar (321 km) and Dehradun (343 km). One can also trek from Kedarnath (80 km), which takes eight days.



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