India is the best in terms of pilgrimage, temples and divine aspects. The pilgrimages of India witness a massive gathering of people every day. Badrinath Temple or Badrinath Dham is one of the glorious temples in India. Nestled in the hilly regions of Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, Badrinath temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu.
Significance of the Badrinath Temple
The history of Badrinath Temple contributes to the prominence of this temple. Some pieces of evidence describe that the temple was initially a Buddhist shrine. Later, Adi Shankara converted it to a Hindu temple. Adi Shankara found the idol of Lord Vishnu (Badrinath or Badrinarayana) in the Alakananda River. And he placed the idol in the temple.
Ancient scripts tell that Lord Vishnu had meditated at Badrinath. And Goddess Lakshmi arrived in the form of Badri tree to protect him from the extreme weather condition. Badri tree is the Jujube tree i.e. the Indian Date. Formerly, the place was the residence of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Vishnu arrived there as a small boy and cried out loudly asking that he wanted to meditate there. Eventually, Lord Shiva and Parvati realised that Lord Vishnu has taken up the form of a boy. So, they moved to Kedarnath leaving the place.
Initially, a Buddhist shrine the temple has unique Buddhist architecture. The temple ushers visitors only between April to November as these months of the year have favourable climate conditions than the rest.
Equally important, the Badrinath Dham celebrates the festival known as Mata Murti ka Mela. This festival symbolises the Descent of the Ganges on Mother Earth.
How to reach Badrinath Temple
Badrinath town got its name from Badrinath Temple. One can travel to the holy town of Badrinath by road, rail and airways.
Travelling by road to Badrinath Temple would be easier from main cities in the North. Usually, Badrinath Temple is visited while on Char Dham trip. Char Dham includes the four pilgrimages i.e. Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Badrinath is the last visit of the trip. Many Travel agencies, particularly in Delhi, Agra, Haridwar and Dehradun provide the buses. The agencies also take care of the accommodation of the tourists. The buses travel up to Dehradun and Haridwar. From here Uttarakhand transportation facilitates further commutation. The allowance of heavy or large vehicles is restricted keeping in mind the geographical conditions. Vehicles with experienced drivers carry a limited number of tourists.
If one wants to directly visit Badrinath temple, the route is similar except that one must manage their own accommodation. Also, one may have to change the mode of transportation from place to another.
The nearest railway station to Badrinath is at Haridwar which is 318 km away. The next nearest railway station to Badrinath is in Dehradun which is 336 km away. Besides, the main stations are in Delhi and Agra also. All these stations connect to the main cities of the country. From Delhi, Haridwar, Agra and Dehradun the route is the same as the road trip. However, one can travel by train to Dehradun or Haridwar and from here by road. It takes around 11 hours from Dehradun to Badrinath. From Haridwar, the journey is 12 hours to Badrinath. This way is simple and easy. The vehicles by Uttarakhand tourism halt at a place closer to the temple.
The nearest airport to Badrinath is the Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun at a distance of 310 km. This airport connects the major cities of the country. From this airport, one has to travel by road to Badrinath Temple.
Accommodation and Food
One need not worry about the accommodation if they have booked through travel agencies managing their stay. If that is not the case, one can find their accommodation around the temple. There are enough hotels and Ashrams near the temple to make room for the tourists. Some of the hotels around are New Hotel Snow Crest, Chandralok Hotel, Hotel Dhanesh Joshimath, GMVN Yatri Nivas, Himalayan Saro Resort, Sarovar Portico Badrinath, Hotel Dwarikesh, Narayan Palace Hotel, Pruthavi Seva Sadan, etc. Besides, there are Ashrams facilitate accommodation for a lower price. Some of them are Andhra Ashram, Tatambari Ashram, Sheshnetra Ashram, Sadhu Sudha Ashram, Shri Brahmrishi Sadhna Sangh Ashram, etc. All these are located in the vicinity of the Badrinath Temple.
There are many restaurants around the temple which serve pure vegetarian food. Non- vegetarian food is restricted in the holy premises.
Badrinath Dham Darshan
The visitors can view the deity by walking in through a queue. Also, tokens are issued to visitors to manage the crowd.
The temple chores begin at 4:30 am starting with Abhishek Pooja. The public entrance is open from 6:30 am to 12:00 pm and again from 3 pm to 9 pm. The auspicious view of the diety can be experienced early in the morning i.e. from 6:30 am.
The rituals and offerings to God take place throughout the day. The devotees can perform these rituals, the fee of which ranges from Rs. 151 to Rs. 35,101.
Inside the Badrinath Temple
The idol of the deity which was found by Adi Shankara in Alakananda River is erected as the main attraction. The Badrinath idol is made up of Shaligram (black stone) and is 3.3 feet (or 1 meter) high. The position of the deity is in meditation (Padmasana) under a Badri (Jujube) tree.
Besides, there are idols of many other deities like Lord Ganesha, Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Krishna, Garuda( the Eagle), Kubera, etc around the temple.
- The Badrinath Temple is present at 3100 meters above the sea level in the mountainous region. Therefore, necessary woollen clothing and equipment should be carried.
- Do not litter in and around the holy premises of the temple. Heritage is the pride of our country! Hence, the public should maintain cleanliness everywhere.
- Keep up the patience while waiting in the queue to visit the deity. Do not rush into others in a hurry. Value everyone’s visit to the temple and be thoughtful.
- Plan your trip well as the journey is long to Badrinath Temple especially the one by road through hills.
- To have a perfect visit, keep along with the time and prefer early hours to complete the visit in a day at the Badrinath Temple.
- Abide by the orders of temple authorities.
Other places to visit in Badrinath
- Alakananda River- This river is one of the streams of River Ganges and is Himalayan River. Adi Shankara found the Badrinath idol in Alakananda River. The river flows through the districts of Uttarakhand.
- Tapt Kund- It is a natural hot water spring. It allows visitors to take a bath in the spring. People visit this Kund before going to the temple.
- Vasudhara falls- These are beautiful waterfalls surrounded by hills. The area around is fit for trekking and hiking. It is around 15- 30 min away from the temple.
- Neelkanth Peak- It is the famous peak in the Garhwal district. It is named after Lord Shiva.
- Mata Murti Mandir- It is the temple of Mother of Nar and Narayana. Nar and Narayana are the incarnations of Lord Vishnu.