Badrinath is one of the most famous temples and is connected with many mythological stories. According to one mythical story, Lord Vishnu atoned for his sins at this location. Due to his deep concentration, Lord Vishnu was oblivious to the terrible weather conditions.
To shield him from the sun’s searing rays, his wife Goddess Lakshmi assumed the form of a Badri tree and spread over him. Lord Vishnu was delighted by her devotion and so named the location Badrikashram in her honor. We will discuss how to travel to the Badrinath temple at the end of the article.
THE DESIRE OF LORD NARAYANA TO MEDITATE IN BADRINATH
Another legend has it that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were once at Badrinath practicing Tapasya. Lord Vishnu then appeared disguised as a little child and disturbed them by wailing loudly. When Parvati learned of this, she inquired as to the cause for his sad demeanor, to which he answered that he desired to meditate at Badrinath. After finding Lord Narayan in disguise, Shiva and Parvati departed Badrinath for Kedarnath.
NAR AND NARAYANA’S STORY
Badrinath Dham is also associated with the story of Dharma’s two sons, Nar and Narayana, who desired to establish a monastery and extend their religious foundation in the holy Himalayas. According to tradition, their search for a suitable location for their hermitage resulted in the accidental discovery of the four Panch Badri locations, namely Dhyan Badri, Yog Badri, Bridha Badri, and Bhavishya Badri.
Finally, they discovered a location endowed with two interesting cold and hot springs hidden behind the Alaknanda river. They were delighted at discovering this location and therefore called it Badri Vishal; thus, Badrinath was born.
ASCENT OF PANDAVA TO SWARGAROHINI VIA BADRINATH TEMPLE
Additionally, it is believed that the Pandavas of the sacred epic Mahabharata ascended to heaven through ‘Swargarohini, commonly known as the ascension to heaven, and Mana village, north of Badrinath.
THE ORIGIN OF THE ALAKNANDA RIVER at the BADRINATH TEMPLE
Last but not the least, there is another wonderful legendary story, which is connected to Badrinath. According to legend, the holy and curse-relieving river Ganges answered Bhagiratha’s plea to free mankind from the curse of pain and sin. While rising to earth, the Ganges’ strength was such that it might have submerged the whole planet.
To save the world from such unfathomable repercussions, Lord Shiva carried her on his tresses, and the Ganges eventually split into twelve holy rivers, one of which is the Alaknanda, which runs through the famous Badrinath Temple.
Ancient scriptures extol the sanctity of Lord Vishnu’s dwelling, saying that “there are many pilgrimage sites in heaven, earth, and the globe, but none have ever been comparable to Badri, nor will ever be.” At a height of 3,133 meters, it stands proudly along the banks of the Alaknanda River, proud of its illustrious history.
The Badrinath shrine, regarded as Vishnu’s most significant temple, is believed to have been founded by Adi Shankaracharya. He discovered the Saligram idol of Lord Badri submerged in Alaknanda’s waters and placed it in a cave near Tapt Kund.
In the sixteenth century, a Garhwal king commissioned the construction of a temple to hold God’s figure. The current building is the product of many repairs carried out on the temple after damage caused by avalanches and earthquakes.
Lord Vishnu may be worshiped as a black stone idol in a contemplative posture, surrounded by other gods’ idols such as Nar, Narayana, Narad, Ganesha, Garud, and Kuber. The deity of Lord Badri is moved to Yogadhyan Badri in Pandukeshwar during the winter season (Chamoli district).
The fact that Adi Shankara was the one to build the temple at Badrinath gives the site additional historical significance. He discovered the idol of Lord Badri in the Alaknanda River and placed it in a cave near the Tapt Kund. During the 17th century, the monarchs of Garhwal were responsible for constructing and expanding the temple that they had previously built.
However, the Himalayan earthquake that occurred in 1803 caused a significant amount of damage to the temple. After some time, the King of Jaipur undertook the project of rebuilding it, and it was finally finished before the First World War. During her visit to the temple, the queen of Indore presented it with a golden parasol as a gift when it had been finished constructed.
In the 20th century, the region of Garhwal was split into two sections, and one of those portions included the Badrinath Temple. Nevertheless, the King of Garhwal served as the chair of the management committee.
The temple is organized into three portions: the garbha grih or sanctum sanctorum; the darshan mandap or puja hall; and the sabha mandap, where worshippers meet. The gargantuan, multicolored gateway that serves as the primary entrance to the Badarinath temple is often referred to as the Singhdwar.
A natural hot spring is located just underneath the temple and is considered to have medicinal qualities. Before visiting the hallowed temple of Badrinath, a devotee must take a plunge in the holy and hot waters of the Kund. Additionally, near the Tapt Kund are five rocks known as Narad, Narsingh, Varah, Garur, and Markanday in legend.
It is a level platform located 100 meters north of the temple on the banks of the Alaknanda. It is thought that performing propitiatory rituals for dead family members will liberate them from the cruel cycle of life and death.
Charanpaduka is a difficult ascent of approximately 3 kilometers from Badrinath town. It is strewn with rocks and caverns. It is a rock said to have the imprints of Lord Vishnu when he descended from Vaikunth to earth (his heavenly abode).
Between two seasonal lakes on the other side of the Alaknanda, there is a large rock that resembles Shesh Nag, Lord Vishnu’s mythical serpent. The Sheshnetra has a natural mark like the Shesh Nag’s eye. Located 1.5 kilometers from the temple, the snake is said to protect Badrinath’s holy sanctuary.
FALLS OF VASUDHARA
A 122-meter-tall magnificent waterfall set in the peaceful Himalayan environs may be accessed by driving 3 kilometers (up to Mana village) and hiking the remaining 6 kilometers on foot.
BY PLANE TO BADRINATH TEMPLE:
The closest airport to Gangotri is Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun on Rishikesh Road. One may either rent a taxi or take the bus.