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Badrinath

Cradled in the twin mountain ranges of nar and narayan is the holiest of the four main shrines badrinath along the lift bank of the river alaknanda. With the backdrop, it is an important destination on the sacred itinerary of every devout hindu. Once the spot was carpeted with 'badris' or wild berries and hence was famous as 'badri van'.Badrinath

The revered shrine is still alive with myriad legends from mythology. Its sanctity is emphasised in the ancient scriptures as "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 ". Legend has it when the ganga was requested to descend to earth to help the suffering humanity, the earth was unable to withstand the force of its descent. Therefore the mighty ganga was split into twelve holy channesl. Alanknanda was one of lord vishnu or Badrinath.

The temple of shri badrinathji on the bank of the alaknanda river, dates back to the alaknanda river, dates back to the vedic times, situated at an altitude of 3,133 mts., the present temple is believed to have been built by adi guru shankaracharya - an 8th century's philosopher-saint, who also established a math here. Also known as vishal badri, Badrinath is one of the panch badris.

The temple remains closed duriing the winter season and is open from April - May to Octobr - November.

Genral Information

Area:
3 sq. km.

Rainafall:
1460 mm

Clothing:
Till May - heavy woolens, June-Sept : light woolens & Oct.-Nov. : heavy woolens

Languages:
Hindi, English and Garhwali.

How to get there

Airport:
Jolly Grant, (317kms.)

Railhead: Rishikesh, (300kms.) Kotdwar,(327 kms.)

Road:
Well connected to Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun, Kotdwar and other hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon region.

Places of Interest

Badrinath Temple
On the right bank of alaknanda lies the sacred spotl perched at an altitude of 3,133 meters above the sea level. Encircled by a beautiful valley, the 15 mts. high temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is built in the form of a cone with a small cupola of a ilt bull and spire.

Built by adi guru shankaracharya the philosopher-saint of the 8th centurty, the temple has been renovated several times due to damage by avalanches. Its colourful 'singh dwara' or the main entrance gate give it a new, modern look.

The temple is divided into three parts the 'garbha griha' or sanctum sanctorum, the' darshan mandap' where the rituals are conducted and the 'sabha mandap' Where devotees assemble. The complex has 15 idols. Specially attractive is the one metre high image of Badrinath, finely sculpted in black stone. It represents lord Vishnu seated in a meditative pose.

Tapt Kund
Devotees take a holy dip in the natural thermal springs on the banks of the river Alaknanda, before entering the Badrinath Temple. The water of the Kund is believed to have medicinal properties.

Neelkanth
A pyramidal-shaped snowy peak towering above Badrinath, Popularly known as the 'Garhwal Queen'.

Charanpaduka
The footprints of Lord Vishnu can be seen on a boulder in this beautiful meadow.

Brahma Kapil
A flat platform on the bank of river Alaknanda where Hindus perform

Sheshnetra
A boulder having an impression of the legendary serpant- known as Sheshnag's eye.

EXCURSIONS

HEMKUND SAHIB (43 kms.)
Near the Valley of flowers is the holy lake Hemkund- an important pilgrimage of the Sikhs and Hindus. Along its shores is the sacred Sikh shrine where Guru Gobind singh, the tenth Guru unified with god after Prolonged meditation in his previous birth. Nearby is the Lakshman Temple where Lakshman - the brother of Lord Rama performed his penance. The reflection of surrounding snow- clad peaks in its placid waters offers a scenic sight.

MATA MURTI TEMPLE (3KMS.)
On the right bank of alaknana stands the temple dedicated to the mother of sri Badrinathji.

MANA VILLAGE (4 KMS.)
Inhabited by Indo-Mangolian tribe, it is considered to be the last indian village before Tibet. On this route, nearby are Vyas Gufa-the rock cave of saint Ved Vyas, the writer of Mahabharata. Bhim Pul- a natural bridge over the Saraswati river and Vasundhara Falls- a 122 mts. high waterfall - forming an important part of the pilgrimage to Badrinath.

ALKA PURI (15 kms.)
The source of alaknanda river from the glacier snouts of Bhagirath-kharak and satopanth glaciers.

SATOPANTH (25 KMS.)
A three cornered lake with a circumference of about 1 km., is situated at an elevation of 4,402 mts. above sea level. It is named after the Hindu triad - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, who are believed to occupy one corner each of the lake. The trek is hazardous with dramatic landscapes. An experienced guide is advisable.

GOVINDGHAT (25 KMS.)
The confluence of alaknanda and Lakshman Ganga rivers. It has an imposing Gurudwara named after Guru Gobind singh.

JOSHIMATH (44KMS.)
The winter home of Shri Badrinathji is situated on the slopes above the confluence of alaknanda and dhauliganga. It is one of the four 'maths's established by adi guru shankaracharya.

AULI (57 KMS.)
An ideal ski resort in the Garhwal Himalayas with its slopes comparable to the best in the world. Perched at an elevation of 2,500 mts, Auli not only offers a magnificent view of the Himalaya rqnges but is a delight for winter sports enthusiasts.

VALLEY OF Flowers (42 kms.)
An exotice valley in a conical shape lies to the east of Badrinath with river pushpawati flowing through it. The valley that is presently a national park, is 19 kms. trek from govindghat. A must- see for all natural lovers.

PIPALKOTI (80KMS.)
A scenic spot amidst snow- clad peaks.

CHAMOLI (10 KMS.)
From Gopeshwar to Badrinath highway is the tiny mountain retreat that attracts visitors for its verdant landscapes and fresh mountain air.

SRINAGAR (192 KMS.)
The old capital of Garhwal, it is an important cultural and educational centre. Places to visit include Kamleshwar and Kilkileshwar temples and the shankar math.


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