Badrinath is a holy town and a nagar panchayat in
Chamoli district in
the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is the most important of the four
sites in India's
Char Dham pilgrimage and gets its name from the
temple of Badrinath.
7 See also
10 External links
Badri refers to a berry that was said to grow abundantly in the area,
and nath means "Lord of". Badri is also the Sanskrit name for the
Jujube tree, which has an edible berry. Some scriptural
references refer to
Jujube trees being abundant in Badrinath.
Badrinath was re-established as a major pilgrimage site by Adi
Shankara in the 7th century. In earlier days, pilgrims used to walk
hundreds of miles to visit
The temple has been repeatedly destroyed by earthquakes and
avalanches. As late as the First World War, the town consisted only of
the 20-odd huts used by the temple's staff, but the site drew
thousands each year and up to 50,000 on its duodecennial festivals
(every twelve years). In recent years its popularity has increased
still more, with an estimated 600,000 pilgrims visiting during the
2006 season, compared to 90,676 in 1961. The temple in Badrinath
is also a sacred pilgrimage site for Vaishnavites.
Badrinath is also
gateway to several mountaineering expeditions headed to mountains like
Badrinath is one of the most popular and religious holy towns of the
Hindus located at
Chamoli district of
Uttarakhand in India.
Badrinath temple in night after closing ceremony.
Neelkanth Parbat from Badrinath
View from Badrinath
Badrinath Temple surroundings
Sheeshtaal (Sheshnaag lake)
Badrinath temple is the main attraction in the town. According to
legend Shankar discovered a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan
Saligram stone in the Alaknanda River. He originally enshrined
it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs. In the sixteenth
century, the King of Garhwal moved the murti to the present temple.
The temple is approximately 50 ft (15 m) tall with a small cupola
on top, covered with a gold gilt roof. The facade is built of
stone, with arched windows. A broad stairway leads up to a tall arched
gateway, which is the main entrance. The architecture resembles a
Buddhist vihara (temple), with the brightly painted facade also more
typical of Buddhist temples. Just inside is the mandapa, a large
pillared hall that leads to the garbha grha, or main shrine area. The
walls and pillars of the mandapa are covered with intricate
According to the Bhagavata Purana, "There in Badrikashram the supreme
being (Vishnu), in his incarnation as the sages Nara and Narayana, had
been undergoing great penance since time immemorial for the welfare of
all living entities." (
Bhagavata Purana 3.4.22)
Badrinath area is referred to as Badari or Badarikaashram
(बदरिकाश्रम) in Hindu scriptures. It is a place
sacred to Vishnu, particularly in Vishnu's dual form of Nara-Narayana.
Thus, in the Mahabharata, Krishna, addressing Arjuna, says, "Thou wast
Nara in a former body, and, with Narayana for thy companion, didst
perform dreadful austerity at Badari for many myriads of
One legend has it that when the goddess Ganga was requested to descend
to earth to help suffering humanity on the request of suryavansh king
bhagiratha, the earth was unable to withstand the force of her
descent. Therefore, the mighty Ganga (Ganges) was split into two holy
channels, with Alaknanda one of them.
Another Legend explains both name and sitting posture as this place
was full of Badri bushes and
Vishnu meditating for, beloved Lakshmi
stood next to him sheltering him from scorching sunlight turned into a
Badri herself called 'BADRI VISHAL' and her lord(Nath) became the
The mountains around
Badrinath are mentioned in the Mahabharata, when
the Pandavas were said to have expired one by one, when ascending the
slopes of a peak in western Garhwal called Swargarohini.(literal
meaning - the 'Ascent to Heaven'). The Pandavas passed through
Badrinath and the town of Mana, 4 km north of Badrinath, on their
Svarga (heaven). There is also a cave in Mana where Vyasa,
according to legend, wrote the Mahabharata.
The area around
Badrinath was celebrated in Padma Purana as abounding
in spiritual treasures.
Badrinath has an average elevation of 3,100 metres
(10,170 feet). It is in the Garhwal Himalayas, on the banks of
the Alaknanda River. The town lies between the Nar and Narayana
mountain ranges 9 km east of Nilkantha peak (6,596m). Badrinath
is located 62 km northwest of
Nanda Devi peak and 301 km
north of Rishikesh. From Gaurikund (near Kedarnath) to
road is 233 km.
As of 2001[update]
Badrinath had a population of
841. Males constitute 55% of the population and females 45%. Badrinath
has an average literacy rate of 89%, ; with 92% of the males and
86% of females literate. 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Badri Narayanan temple
^ "Ziziphus mauritiana - Ber". flowersofindia.net.
^ "Badrinath". Archived from the original on 2012-06-15.
^ a b Wylie, C.G. "Himalayan journal : A PRE-SWISS ATTEMPT ON
NILKANTA(1947)". The Himalayan Club. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
^ EB (1911).
^ The Hindu newspaper, 17 November 2006
^ a b c d e f Nautiyal, Govind Prasad, Call of Badrinath, Shri
Kedarnath Temples Committee, 1962.
^ Randhir Prakashan, The Holy Places of
^ a b Sen Gupta, Subhadra,
Kedarnath - The Dhaams in the
Himalayas, 2002. ISBN 81-7167-617-0
^ Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu mythology
^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed.
India through the ages.
Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,
Government of India. p. 75.
India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities,
villages and towns (Provisional)".
Census Commission of India.
Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
Baynes, T.S., ed. (1878), "Badrinath", Encyclopædia Britannica,
3 (9th ed.), New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, p. 229
Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911), "Badrinath", Encyclopædia
Britannica, 3 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press,
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Badrinath.
Official website of Shri Badarinath - Shri Kedarnath
Badrinath travel guide from Wikivoyage
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Cities and towns in Chamoli district
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in other districts