Badrinath is a part of four Char Dham and Chota Char Dham pilgrimage yatras, widely celebrated for the sacred Badrinath Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Sitting atop the Garhwal hill tracks near Alaknanda River in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, this heavenly abode offers panoramic views of Nar and Narayan mountain ranges with Neelkanth Mountain as an awe-inspiring backdrop. The natural beauty in these surroundings makes it more than just another spiritual destination!

The Badrinath Temple, perched atop 10,279 feet of elevation and erected originally by Adi Shankaracharya, is home to a majestic 1m tall black stone statue of Lord Vishnu. It’s one of the 8 swayam vyakta kshetras or self-manifested statues dedicated to Vishnu in India as well as mentioned in 108 Divya Desams devotedly honoring him.

Every year, the Badrinath Temple shuts its doors from November to April. On Bhatridwityia, an auspicious day in October, a lamp is lit and kept burning for six months before the temple reopens on Akshaya Tritiya in April. During that time period, a representation of Badrinath is relocated to Narasimha temple at Jyotirmath.r.

Badrinath Temple is home to the sacred Tapt Kund, a hot sulphur spring known for its healing properties. The Alaknanda River originates from this destination as well. Furthermore, two annual festivals—the Mata Murti Ka Mela and the Badri Kedar Festival—give travellers an even greater incentive to visit this holy site!

According to Hindu mythology, Badrinath first appeared when Nar-Narayan (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) was in meditation there. Because the area abounded with berry trees, it earned its name from Sanskrit word ‘Badri’, meaning berries. The spot where Nar-Narayan meditated is now known as the Badrinath temple and a large berry tree even provided shelter to him during rain or strong sunlight.

According to the local legend, Mata Lakshmi transformed into a tree to save Lord Narayan – after his journey of Tapasya was complete. He proclaimed that people should always take her name before him; this is why we always refer to them together as Lakshmi-Narayan. This tale dates back all the way to Satya Yuga and thus it is regarded as the first Dham in both Chota Char Dham yatra and Bada Char Dham Yatra circuits. The term Badrinath translates directly from Sanskrit as “Lord of Berry forest”.

Badrinath is accessible by an abundance of buses and taxis from Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun and other neighbour cities when the roads open during May through October. These vehicles will take you straight to Badrinath Temple in less than a kilometre away from Narayan Palace Road.The Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun, only 317 km from Badrinath, is the closest air gateway to this holy temple. If rail travel appeals more to you, then hop on a train for Rishikesh or Kotdwar which are 297 and 327 km away respectively. Or make use of helicopter services available from Dehradun straight into Badrinath! For local transport options within the city limits – take your car/taxi but don’t forget walking around is always the best way to discover any town’s hidden gems!

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