Badrinath is a Hindu temple located in the Garwhal region in Indian state of Uttarakhand. Badrinath forms one of the Chardham Yatra and also a part of Chota Char Dham Yatra. The main attraction of Badrinath in the Badrinath Temple which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Badrinath Temple is nestled at an altitude of around 3133 meters (10,279 ft). The temple remains open for six months i.e. (from the end of April to the beginning of November). As due to the extreme weather conditions in this high altitude region the temple gets covered with snow. Badrinath lies on the Chamolin district on the right bank of River Alkananda. Badrinath temple is divided into three parts Sambha Mandap (convention hall), Darshan Mandap (worship hall) and Garbhagriha (sanctum). The main shrine is placed in the Garbhagriha. Beside the Badrinath temple there are a group of three hot springs namely Tapta Kund, Narad Kund and Surya Kund. Legend says that Lord Vishnu greeted Agni Dev with blessings which resulted in the birth of the Tapta Kund. Due to the presence of sulphur found in the water of Tapta Kund along with other minerals, it is considered to have high medicinal values which also act as a healing power of several diseases. The temperature remains around 40 degree Celsius throughout the year. The presiding deity worshiped in the temple is a 01 ft long statue of Lord Vishnu made of black stone in the form of Badrinarayan. The word Badrinath is a derivative of Badri which means a place where berries grow abundantly. It says the present stone carved idol of Badrivishal was thrown in the Alkananda River during the Buddhists period. But later Adi Shankarcharya rescued it and established it in a cave near Tapt Kund. Later Ramanujacharya established the sculpture in the present Badrinath temple. The Nar Parbat Mountain is located opposite to the temple, while the Narayana Parbat is located behind the Neelkanth peak. The Neelkanth mountain range, the elevation of which is 6596 meter high is clearly visible at the backdrop of Badrinath temple. The architecture of the Badrinath temple has a conical-shaped roof of the sanctum which is approximately 15 m (49 ft) tall with a small cupola on top, covered with a gold gilt roof. The facade is built of stone and has arched windows with a broad stairway that leads up to the main entrance that has a tall, arched gateway. Just inside is a mandap, a large, pillared hall that leads to the sanctum, or main shrine area. The walls and pillars of the hall are covered with intricate carvings.

Nearby Attractions:

Mata Murti Temple: Mata Murti Temple is dedicated to Mata Murti the mother of Nar and Narayan (Lord Vishnu or Nar – Arjuna and Narayana – Krishna in other births). The Mata Murti temple is located around 03 km from Badrinath temple on the right bank of River Alkananda. Tourists can opt for a short trek of about 30 minutes from Badrinath to reach Mata Murti Temple. Every year during Sharavan Dwadashi or Vaman Dwadashi a local fair and festival is hosted near this temple.

Charanpaduka: Charan Paduka is rock engraved with the foot impressions of Lord Vishnu and is located around 03 km above Badrinath temple and nestled at an altitude of about 3880 ft. Charan Paduka is a one of the popular tourist’s attractions near Badrinath. It is believed that when Lord Vishnu descended from Vaikunth he stepped first on this boulder. The Charan Paduka rock lies within beautiful meadows carpeted with wild flowers all over. Though the route to Charan Paduka is full of boulders and caves, its periphery offers a stunning view of Neelkantha Mahadev peak.

Mana Village: Tourists visiting Badrinath temple can opt for a two night stay. The first day tourists will visit temples while the second day can be reserved for Mana village. Mana is a small village of about 600 odd population located within 03 to 04 km stone thrown distance from Badrinath. Mana village is considered to be one of the last villages of India inhabited by Indo – Mongolian tribes often known as Bhotias. Mana village is at the far end of North Eastern Uttarakhand where India shares the border with Tibet, tourists are required to get special permission to enter the village. River Saraswati flows through Mana village and meets up at River Alkananda. At Mana Village tourists can visit Ganesh Gufa (cave) and Vyas Gufa (cave). Around 500 ft from the main entrance of Mana village there is Ganesh Cave where Lord Ganesh wrote Mahabharata as sage Vyas was rendering it. Ganesh Gufa is a simple cave while Vyas Gufa looks like a monumental book from outside created by layers of stones.

Bheem Pul (Bridge): Bheem Pul has great significance according to Indian mythology. Bheem Pul is located at Mana Village near Badrinath. Bheem Pul is an amazing rock structure which is believed to be lifted by Bheema and put on the top of River Saraswati in order to create a natural bridge for his beloved wife Draupadi during their journey to heaven known as Swargarohini. Bheem Pul is basically a monolithic stone doubling as a bridge. Bheem Pul offers enchanting views of the valleys.

Vashudhara Falls: While at Badrinath trekkers can opt for a trek to the Vashudhara waterfall. The trek to Vashudhara waterfall starts from Bheem Pul at Mana Village which is about 07 km. On the way to Vashudhara tourists will get a great sight of the Swargarohini. It takes about 03 to 04 hours to complete the trek. On this trek trekkers will come across breathtaking views of mountain ranges and small glaciers as well. Beyond the last tea stall after crossing Saraswati River temple and Bheem Pul at Mana village, trekkers will enter at the doorway of Satopant glacier that rolls down towards the bottom of Vashudhara. The ideal time for trekking to Vashudhara is when the Badrinath temple remains open (i.e. between May and October) as after this the path gets covered with thick layers of snow making the trek more difficult to access. From Vashudhara trekkers can move further towards Satopanth Tal or Satopanth Glacier via Laxmi Van Forest. Trekkers are advised to carry adequate drinking water and dry foods while trekking to Vashudhara waterfall. Vashudhara waterfall is nestled at an elevation of about 12000 ft and it drops from a height of 122 meters (400 ft).

Panch Dharas: Panch Dharas is a group of five water streams that originated near Badrinath. These five water streams are known as Prahlad Dhara, Kurma Dhara, Bhrigu Dhara, Urvashi Dhara and Indra Dhara. These five water streams are collectively called Panch Dhara. All these five water streams have different significance of their own. Among these Indra Dhara is the most striking and is located 1.5 km from Badrinath temple, Urvashi Dhara is located on the right of River Rishi Ganga, Bhrigu Dhara passes through number of caves, the water of Kurma Dhara is extremely cold while the water of Prahlad Dhara is lukewarm.

Panch Shilas: Panch Shilas are a group of five stones collectively known as Panch Shila located near Badrinath temple. These five stones are named differently as Garud Shila, Nar Shila, Narsingh Shila, Varah Shila and Markandeya Shila. These five stones are situated around the Tapt Kund in the form of five blocks. These five stones have high mythological significance.

Pilgrims Visit: Pilgrims visiting Badrinath from Joshimath have to encounter through gate systems. The route to Badrinath from Joshimath is quite narrow and it is also a one way route, therefore this gateway system helps the local authorities to manage the traffic. Tourists are advised to start their journey to Badrinath as early morning as possible because after 05.00 pm tourists are not allowed to trek this route. Badrinath temple usually opens for visitors at 04.30 am and closes at 01.00 pm and again at 04.00 pm and closes at 09.00 pm.

How to Reach:

By Air: The nearest Airport to Badrinath is Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun. Flights like Spice Jet, Jet Airways, Air India reaches Dehradun. Badrinath is around 314 km from Dehradun by motorable road. From Jolly Grant Airport hired cars are available to Badrinath.

By Rail: The nearest rail head to Badrinath is Rishikesh and Haridwar. Badrinath is located around 320 km from Haridwar and 295 km from Rishikesh. Badrinath is well connected with all the major tourist destinations of Uttarakhand. Trains like Doon express leave Howrah Jnc at 08.30 pm and reach both Haridwar and Rishikesh the third day. Kumbh express (except Tuesday and Friday) leaves from Howrah Jnc at 01.00 pm and reaches both Haridwar and Rishikesh the next day. Upasana express leaves Howrah Jnc (only Tuesday and Friday) at 01.00 pm and reaches both Haridwar and Rishikesh as well the next day. From Haridwar around 24 km is Rishikesh.

By Road: Badrinath is well connected with strong motorable road networks with major tourist destinations of Uttarakhand. From Rishikesh a direct bus reaches Badrinath, which leaves at 04.30 am. Tourists and Pilgrims are advised to make a night halt at Joshimath and from there reach Badrinath the next day as because after 05.00 pm vehicle service is not available for Badrinath. From Joshimath around 43 km is Badrinath. From the jeep stand of Joshimath tourists will get shared jeeps for Badrinath, which is From the jeep stand tourists will get shared jeeps for Badrinath which is about 1.5 hours journey. While leaving behind Joshimath tourists will encounter several small and narrow hairpin bends towards Badrinath. Badrinath is well connected with Gaziabad on NH58.

Best time to visit: Badrinath temple is best visited between May to September. From the end of October snowfall starts. During the monsoon season it becomes very uneasy to travel on the roads of Uttarakhand. But to get the best of the view of numerous flowers monsoon is the best time to travel.