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.
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), Shiva, 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.
(a) Prahalad Dhara (b) Kurma Dhara (c) Urbasi Dhara (d) Bhrigu Dhara
(e) Indra Dhara.
(a) Narad Shila (b) Varaha Shila (c) Garurh Shila (d) Markandeya Shila
(e) Narsingh Shila.
Natural thermal springs on the bank of the river Alaknanda, where it is
customary to bathe before entering the Badrinath temple.
A recess in the river, near Tapt Kund, forming a pool from where the
Badrinath idol was recovered.
A flat platform on the bank of river Alaknanda. Hindus perform
propitiating rites for their deceased ancestors.
The other four Badris
The temple of Yogadhyan Badri, one of the five Badris, is located at
Pandukeshwar (1920 mt.) just 24 km short of Badrinath on
Rishikesh-Badrinath highway. The image here in a meditative posture, is
worshipped at Badrinath. According to the myth, the Pandavas handed over
Hastinapur to king Parikshit and retired here.
The temple of Bhavishya Badri is at an elevation of 2,744 mt. and is
surrounded by dense forests. Located at Subain near Tapovan about 17 km
east of Joshimath on Joshimath - Lata - Malari route. Pilgrims have to
trek beyond Tapovan, up the Dhauliganga river. Tapovan has sulphurous
hot springs and the view of the Tapovan valley towards the north is
breathtakingly beautiful. Traditionally it is believed that a day will
come when the present route to Badrinath will be inaccessible and Lord
Badrinath will be worshipped here. Thus the name 'Bhavishya Badri' which
literally means the Badri of the future.
About 7 km short of Joshimath, on the main Rishikesh- Badrinath motor
road, is Animath. It is believed that Badrinath or Lord Vishnu was
worshipped here before the enshrinement of Badrinath by Adi Guru
Shankaracharya. The temple of Bridha Badri is open throughout the year.
Adibadri is also one of five Badris and is situated quite far from the
cluster of the other four which form the Vishnu-Kshetra. Approachable
from Karnaprayag by a motorable road on way to Ranikhet, are remains of
16 small temples. Seven among them are more ancient, with flat roofs
belonging to the late Gupta period. Local tradition assigns the building
of the temples to Shankaracharya. The main temple of Narain is
distinguished by a raised platform in the pyramidal form where the idol
is enshrined. Sculpted out of black stone, the idol of Lord Vishnu is a