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|Badrinath makes a major religious destination for the followers of the Hindu religion. Situated in the Chamoli district of Uttaranchal, Badrinath is a calm and popular retreat with the towering Neelkanth Peak in the background. Since ancient times it has been a holy ground of many saints and sages who came here seeking salvation.
Badrinath has an interesting legend associated to it. It is said that Lord Vishnu survived on the wild berry of this Badri Van (forest of Badri tree)
|during his penance here making this a holy pilgrim spot of the country. The importance that Badrinath holds is obvious from the popular Indian saying ”There are many sacred spots of pilgrimage in the heavens, earth, and the netherworld, but there has been none equal to Badri, nor shall there be.”
Badrinath has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing especially for the religious-minded tourists. The main centre of attraction is the Badrinath Temple or the Badrikasharam situated on the banks of the wild and turbulent Alakananda. The Tapt Kund, a natural warm water source, is believed to possess curative property. Surya Kund is one of the other major kunds here. Apart from its religious attractions, Badrinath also attracts nature lovers with the Neelkanth peak providing a treat to their eyes.
There are also several places near Badrinath that can be visited on a daylong trip. Most of the attractions are spread along the holy river Alaknanda. The Mata Murli Temple (3 km) is a hallowed place devoted to the mother of Badrinathji. Mana is a serene village situated on the Indo-Tibetan border and forms the base to start your journey to places like the Vyas Gufa, Ganesh Gufa, Bhim Pul, and Vasudhara Falls. The Hemkund Sahib is a revered place of the Sikhs as well as the Hindus. You can also visit the Panchprayag, namely, Devprayag, Nandaprayag, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag and Vishnuprayag. The list of attractions seems to be endless.
||Badrinath temple is the main attraction of Badrinath. The present temple here was built by Adiguru Sri Shankaracharya in the 8th century. But, according to local belief, the temple stands on the site of an earlier temple which was later rebuilt by the Garhwal kings. The temple is divided into three parts—the Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum), the darshan mandap (the place where the prayers are held) and the sabha mandapam (the place where devotees assemble).
Tapt Kund is a natural spring believed to possess curative properties. It is believed to be the abode of Agni (the Hindu God of fire). The temperature of the water is around 45°C. Pilgrims take a holy dip in the Tapt Kund before entering the Badrinath temple.
Besides the Tapt Kund, there are other hot water springs in Badrinath. Surya Kund is one of them. A good number of tourists and pilgrims visit Surya Kund every year. Another spring is Narad Kund, which is a recess in the river near the Tapt Kund. It is said that the idol of Badrinath was found here.
|The towering Neelkanth peak forms the backdrop of Badrinath. The main temple is encompassed on either side by Nar and Narayan, the two mountain ranges just by the bank of the river Alaknanda. The ice-capped Neelkanth peak attracts hordes of tourists during season.
Excursions for Badrinath
Devprayag is situated at the confluence of the two holy rivers, the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda. The rock inscriptions here are of great historical importance while the temples of Lord Shiva and Raghunath are visited by hundreds of devout pilgrims every year.
Hemkund Sahib is an important religious place for the Hindus as well as the Sikhs. The Gurudwara and the Lakshman Temple situated on bank of the picturesque Hemkund lake are major attractions here. Guru Govind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, is supposed to have meditated on the bank of this lake.
Karnaprayag is situated at the confluence of Alaknanda and Pindar rivers. A pilgrimage spot for the Hindus, Karnaprayag has temples dedicated to Uma and Karna attracting the religious-minded tourists all through the year.
Mana is a tribal village situated 4 km away from Badrinath. Mainly inhabited by the Bhotias, it is the last Indian village on the Indo-Tibetan border. Mana is also the base point to start your journey to Vyas Gufa, Ganesh Gufa, Bhimpul and Vasundhara Falls.
Mata Murli Mandir
Situated at a distance of about 3 km from Badrinath, the Mata Murli temple on the bank of the Alaknanda is dedicated to the mother of the legendary figure Shri Badrinathji. Every year in the month of September, a mela (fair) is held in the temple.
Nandaprayag also attracts a good number of tourists. Situated on the bank of the Alaknanda, Nandprayag is famous for its Gopalji temple. The River Mandakini meets the Alaknanda at Nandaprayag.
Rudraprayag is situated just a few kilometres from the Badrinath temple. It is located at the confluence of the two holy rivers, namely, the Alaknanda and Mandakini. Rudraprayag is also famous for its Rudranath and Chamunda Devi temples.
• Area 3 sq. km
• Population 978
• Altitude 3,150 metres above sea level
• Languages Hindi, Garhwali, English
• Best Time to Visit May to September
• STD Code 01381