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The Char Dham consists of the four major shrines of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Badrinath is one of the holiest pilgrimage shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas among all these shrines. Badrinath is situated amidst the magnificent background of the Neelkanth mountains in the twin mountain ranges of Nar and Narayan, along the left banks of the Alaknandariver. According to the Hindu Shastras, no pilgrimage is complete unless one visitBadrinath, the abode of Vishnu. Along with Rameshwaram, Dwarka and Puri it is one of the four holiest places in
India and it is a living faith with every Hindu to visit the shrine of Badrinath once in a lifetime. Once, this place was carpeted with badris or wild berries and hance also known as Badrivan. The Badrinath temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple remains closed during the winter season and is open from May to November. There are numerous resthouses and dharamshalas in Badrinath to cater the pilgrims and travellers. In summers, the temperature is very cool during the day and cold at night and in winters, it is covered by snow. The best season to visit Badrinath is from May to November. Hindi, Garhwali and English are the main languages which are spoken here.
History of Badrinath
The shrine of Badrinath is full of legends from mythology. Its sanctity is mentioned in the various ancient scriptures. According to the SkandaPurana, there are many shrines on earth, heaven and hell, but, there has been none shrine equal to Badrinath and nor will be. According to the legend, when the Ganga was requested to descend on the earth to help the suffering humanity, the earth was unable to withstand the force of its descent. So, the Ganga was split into twelve holy channels and Alaknanda was one of them which later became the abode of Lord Vishnu or Badrinath.
Tourist Attractions in Badrinath
The main tourist attraction in Badrinath is the Badrinath Temple. Besides this temple, the TaptKund, Neelkanth, Brahma Kapal and Sheshnetra are the other worth visiting places.
The Badrinath Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple is located on the banks of the Alaknandariver and belongs to the vedic times. This temple is believed to have been built by the Adi Guru Shankaracharya, the 8th century philosopher and saint and has been renovated several times. The temple is built in the form of a cone with a small cupola of a gilt bull and spire. The temple is small and brightly painted in green, blue, pink, yellow, white silver and red. Its colourful 'Singh Dwara' gives it a new and modern look. The temple is divided into three parts-the garbhagriha or sanctum sanctorum; the darshanmandap, where rituals are conducted and sabhamandap, where devotees assemble. This complex has 15 idols. The main idol is the one metre high image of Badrinath, finely sculpted in black stone. It represents the Lord Vishnu seated in a meditation pose. Getting There
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun, about 317 kms. fromBadrinath.
The nearest railway station is located in Rishikesh, about 300 kms.
Badrinath is well connected by road to Rishikesh, Dehradun, Kotdwar, Haridwar and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon region.