Badrinath - Char Dhams
Badrinath, Abode Of Lord Vishnu - Badrinath is situated in Himalayas on the banks of Alaknanda river in Chamoli District. The town lies between the Nar and Narayana mountain ranges and in the shadow of Nilkantha Peak. The route to Badarinath is one of the most fascinating one due to the lofty hilly terrain, curves and cliffs amidst the most scenically beautiful place on the earth. Throughout the route to Badarinath there are numerous pilgrimage sites at Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karana Prayag, Nanda Prayag, and Vishnuprayag; as well as Pandukeswar where king Pandu observed Tapasya with his queen Madri and where his sons Pandavas stayed during their pilgrimage to heaven, and the site where Bhima and Hanuman (sons of Vayu) met.
Badri means 'berries' and nath means 'Lord Vishnu'. It is said that Goddess Lakshmi took form of berries to protect Lord Vishnu from harsh climate during his penance. The image of Badarinarayan here is fashioned out of Saligramam. Badarinarayan is seen under the Badari tree, flanked by Kuber and Garuda, Narad, Narayan and Nar. Mahalakshmi has a sanctum outside in the parikrma. There is also a shrine to Adi Sankara at Badarinath.
It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya discovered a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan in Alaknanda river and he enshrined it in nearby tapt-kund (hot springs) which was later moved to the present temple by the King of Garhwal.
What the history says
According to the Hindu mythology it is said that when the goddess Ganga was requested to descend to earth to help suffering humanity, the earth was unable to withstand the force of her descent. Therefore the mighty Ganga was asked to split into twelve holy channels. River Alaknanda is one of them.
Badrinath later became the abode of Lord Vishnu or Badrinath. That is why it is also known as Bhu-Vaikunta or earthly abode of Lord Vishnu.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Badrinath is between May-June and September-November. Due to heavy rainfall in the area, visitors may face difficulty reaching the temple during monsoon season (late June to Aug). Tthe temple usually remains open from first week of May to 2nd week of November.
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Char Dham are the names of four pilgrimage sites in India that is considered highly sacred by Hindus to visit during one's lifetime. It comprises of Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram. Badrinath is located in the state of Uttarakhand. It is in the Garhwal region on the banks of the Alaknanda River.Read more