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Shri Badrinath ji
Shri Badrinath ji ji (Shri Badrivishal ji) is situated in the lap of Nar-Narayan Parvat, with the towering Neelkanth peak (6,597mts.) in the background. Also known as the Vishal Badri, the largest among the five Badris, it is revered by all as the apt tribute to Lord Vishnu.
It is believed that to revive the lost prestige of Hinduism and to unite the country in one bond, Adi Guru Sri Shankaracharya built four pilgrimage centres in four corners of India. Among them were Badrikashram (Badrinath ji) in the north, Rameshwaram in the south, Dwarkapuri in the west and Jagannath Puri in the east. Badrinath ji situated at an elevation of 3,133 mts. is considered to be amongst the most pious.
The revered spot was once carpeted with wild berries which gave it the name 'Badri Van' meaning 'forest of berries.' Built by Adi Shankaracharaya, the philosopher-saint of the 8th century, the temple has been renovated several times due to damage by avalanches and restored in the 19th century by the royal houses of Scindia & Holkar. The main entrance gate is colourful & imposing popularly known as Singhdwar.
Shri Badrinath ji Temple
The opening date of Badrinath ji Temple is fixed on Basant Panchami by Raj Purohit and closure date is fixed on Vijaydashmi by Mandir Committee. The temple opens every year in the month of April-May & closes for winters in the third week of November. Joshimath is the winter deity of Badrinath ji.
Special booking of pujas can be done at Badrinath ji Mandir Committee by paying some fees. The pooja is organized before the temple is open for general public. Some festivals celebrated in Badrinath ji are: Mata Murti ka mela, Krishna Janamashtami and Badri-Kedar utsav.
Places to Visit Shri Badrinath ji
Badrinath ji - Various places of interest for every kind of visitor. While there is Tapt Kund, Panch Shila, Narad Kund, Brahma Kapal for pilgrims, at the same time there is Neelkanth Parvat and Vasudhara fall for the nature lovers.
Tapt kund is a natural hot water pool fed by a sulphur spring which is said to be the abode of Agni, the god of fire. It is customary to bathe before entering Sri Badrinath ji temple. This water has a temperature of 130 degrees C. To the left of this pool is the Surya Kund fed by a branch of the same thermal spring. These waters are said to be very nourishing to the body. The Alakananda flows swiftly just below these kunds and the boiling water falls into the icy waters of the river giving rise to clouds of steam.
The Panch Dharas (five streams) which are famous in Badrinath ji are Prahlad, Kurma, Bhrigu, Urvashi & Indira dhara. The most striking of these is the Indira dhara, about 1.5 km north of the town Badaripuri. Bhrigudhara flows past a number of caves. The one on the right of river Rishi Ganga, originally from the Neelkanth range is Urvashi dhara. Kurma dhara water is extremely cold whereas Prahlad dhara has lukewarm water, which glides majestically down the rocks of Narain Parvat.
Aound the Tapt Kund there are five blocks of mythological importance calledNarad, Narsimh, Barah, Garur & Markandeya Shilas (stone). Standing between Tapt and Narad Kund is conical formed Narad Shila. It is said that the sage Narad meditated on this rock for several years. Standing in the waters of Alaknanda just below the Narad Shila is a huge stone looking like a lion with its gaping jaws and hooked claws. It is said that Bhagwan Narsimh after killing the demon King Hiranyakashyapa remained in the shape of a block of stone forever.
1.5 km away is a boulder having an impression of the legendary snake, better known as the Sheshnag's eye (Shesh meaning Sheshnag and Netra meaning eye).
3 km away is a beautiful meadow carpeted with wild flowers in the summer. Here is a boulder bearing the footprints of Lord Vishnu. It is said that when Lord Vishnu descended from Vaikunth (the heavenly abode of Lord Vishnu) he stepped on this boulder. The area is a steep climb from the town and is full of caves & boulders.
A pyramidal shaped snowy peak (6,597 mt) towering above Badrinath ji, presents a dramatic sight. It is popularly known as the 'Garhwal Queen'.
Best Time to visit Shri Badrinath ji
The best time to visit Badrinath ji 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.
CLIMATE (Weather) in Badrinath ji Summer: Cool during the day and cold at night.
Winter: Snow-bound. Touching sub-zero.
CLOTHING Summer: Light Woollens.
Winter: Very Heavy Woollens.
How to reach Shri Badrinath ji
Badrinath ji is well connected through road. The National Highway (NH 58, total length 538 km) from Delhi to Mana is accessible throughout the year.
There are two routes to Badrinath ji from Delhi:
Airways: Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun (317kms.)