Badrinath Tour In India
 
 
     
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Badrinath Tour In India
 


Badrinath Tour In India
 
Badrinath Tour In India

An old Indian proverb goes, "There are many sacred spots of pilgrimage in the heavens, earth and the nether world, but there has been none equal to Badri, nor shall there be." Indians, known for their religious fervor, lay special importance to this holy town. Tourists, both foreign and local, flock to the temple of Badrinath, which was built by Adiguru Shankaracharya in the early ninth century AD. This acclaimed abode of Lord Vishnu is one of North India's "Four Holy Temple Cities" or dhams along with Puri, Rameswaram and Dwaraka. Badrinath is also known as Tapobhumi (land of meditation and penance) and Bhubaikunth (heaven on earth).

Legend

The etymological root for the name of the town goes to the Badri Van, where the lush green Badri trees grow. According to a local myth, the word badri is derived from the wild berry that Lord Vishnu (God of the Hindu trinity, entrusted with preserving the Universe) survived on during his reparation at Badri Van.

One legend has it 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 split into twelve holy channels, with Alaknanda as one of them which later became the abode of Lord Vishnu or Badrinath.

The mountains around Badrinath are also mentioned in the Mahabharata, when the Pandavas are said to have ended their life by ascending the slopes of a peak in western Garhwal called Swargarohini - literally, the 'Ascent to Heaven'. Local legend has it that the Pandavas passed through Badrinath and the town of Mana, 4 km north of Badrinath, on their way to Swargarohini. There is also a cave in Mana where Vyas, according to legend, wrote the Mahabharata

According to Vamana Purana, the sages Nara and Narayana (fifth avatar Of Lord Vishnu) perform Penaces here.

Badrinath has also been eulogised as Bhu Vaikunta or earthly abode of Lord Vishnu. Many religious scholars such as Ramanujacharya, Madhawacharya and Vedanta Desika visited Badrinath and wrote sacred texts, such as commentaries on Brahmasutras and other Upanishads.

Badrinath Temple

The Badrinath temple is the main attraction in the town. According to legend Shankara discovered a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda River. He originally enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs and in the 16th  century, the King of Garhwal moved the murti to the present temple. The temple has undergone several major renovations because of age and damage by avalanche.The temple is approximately 50 ft (15 metres) tall with a small cupola on top, covered with a gold gilt roof. The facade is built of stone, with arched windows. A broad stairway leads up to a tall arched gateway, which is the main entrance. The architecture resembles a Buddhist vihara (temple), with the brightly painted facade also more typical of Buddhist temples. Just inside is the mandapa, a large pillared hall that leads to the garbha grha, or main shrine area and the walls and pillars of the mandapa are covered with intricate carvings.

Other Attractions

Before entering the temple itself, the pilgrims take a holy dip in the Tapt Kund, where there are thermal springs with natural curative properties. It is supposed to be the abode of Agni, the Hindu God of fire. Other famous natural spring sites are Narad Kund and Surya Kund.

The pilgrims generally perform the rites of remembrance and reverence for the departed souls of their near ones in the Brahma Kapal, a flat platform on the banks of the river Alakananda. A rock boulder with the impression of Sheshnag, a mythological serpent, called Sheshnetra, is also a place to visit. The footprints of Lord Vishnu are present on a boulder called Charanpaduka, and are of religious significance. Another important temple is the Mata Murti temple, dedicated to the mother of Badrinathji.

The origin of Alakananda River, Alka Puri, is of special interest to the daring tourists. Satopanth, a triangular lake, is located at a height of 4402 meters above the sea level and is one of the sources of the Alakananda River. It is named after the Hindu trinity-Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.

At the convergence of the rivers, there are pilgrim sites that are collectively called the Panch Prayag. Devprayag, at the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alakananda, is famous for its rock inscriptions and the temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Raghunath. Rudraprayag, at the meeting point of Alakananda and Mandakani, is known for the Rudranath and Chamunda Devi temples. Nandaprayag is known for the Gopalji temple. Karnaprayag is the confluence of Alakananda and Pindar rivers and is famous for its temples dedicated to Uma and Karna. The fifth pilgrimage spot is Vishnuprayag, at the confluence of Alakananda and Dhauliganga, where there is a very ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, besides the pool of Vishnu Kund.

Another pilgrim site is the Panch Badri. Yogadhyan Badri, where there is a meditative idol of Lord Vishnu, Bhavishya Badri, where there are forests nearby, Adi Badri, where there are 16 temples and one big temple of Lord Vishnu, are three of the most famous.

Location and Climate

Situated on the right banks of the river Alakananda in the northern province of Uttar Pradesh, Badrinath, at an elevation of 3133 m, is couched within the two mountain ranges of Nar and Narayan, with the Neelkanth peak (6,560m) on the background. This breathtaking sight is itself an enchantment for tourists and is called the "Garhwal Queen." It is located in the northern district of Chamoli and the nearest cities are Rishikesh (300 km), Mussourie and Dehradun. Badrinath, located only a few kilometers from the Indo-China (Tibet) border, is generally a two-day-long journey from either Kedarnath, the site that precedes it in the Char Dham circuit, or one of the main disembarkation points on the plains. From Gaurikund (near Kedarnath) to Badrinath by road is 233km. It is never too hot even in the summers, with night temperatures falling to as low as 10°C. This makes it a pleasant retreat from the other tropical places in the country. The temple of Badrinathji remains closed from October to April due to the winter snow, when temperatures fall to sub-zero degrees. The best time to visit Badrinath is between June and September. Warm clothes are recommended all year.

Transport

The nearest airport is that of Jolly Grant, which is about 317 km from Badrinath. Helicopters and small private airlines are allowed to land there. The nearest railheads are Rishikesh (297 km) and Kotdwar (327 km). Badrinath is well connected to all the major tourist spots nearby, namely, Rishikesh, Hardwar, Kotdwar, Dehradun, and other hill retreats of the Garhwal and Kumaon region. Delhi is 238 km from Rishikesh.

Facts

Badrinathpuri had a population of 841. Males constitute 65% of the population and females 35%. Badrinathpuri has an average literacy rate of 85%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 70% of the males and 30% of females literate. 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.


 
Badrinath Tour In India
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