Visit Badrinath Temple - Baikunth Dham of Hindu Religion
The town of Badrinath is where divinity meets with the serenity of nature. It is a kind of pilgrimage centre which does not need any description. It is one of the four most famous shrines of India. This religious town of Hindus is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state between the Nar and Naryan mountain ranges. The Badrinath temple is the main delight in the town. It is visited by thousands of flocks of tourists as it is the one of the Char Dhams. Here, Lord Vishnu is worshipped as lord Badri. It is one of the Panch Badri which are namely as Yogadhyan Badri, bhavishya badri, bridha badri (old badri) and Adi Badri.
According to legends, Adi Shankaracharya found a black ‘Shaligram’ stone idol of lord Badrinath in the Alaknanda River in the 9th century. Initially, he enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund (hot water spring). But later in the 16th century the king of Garhwal shifted the statue in a present shrine. The architecture of this temple resembles of Buddhist Vihara with the brightly painted facade. Besides the idol of lord Badri the temple complex houses 15 more statues of other gods and goddesses, all statues are made with black stone as well.
As per its mythological story, lord Vishnu was doing penance at this place, being unaware of cold weather. So, goddess Lakshmi, the wife of lord Vishnu, protected him in the form of the Badri tree (Indian Date). Impressed by the devotion of goddess, lord Vishnu named this place Badrika Ashram.
Joshimath is the winter abode of lord Badri as the main shrine remains close during winters due to the heavy snowfall in the region. Devotees visit this place during the closing period of the main shrine. The temple opens in the late April or in the first week of May on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritya. It is advisable to carry heavy woollen clothes during the visit as the weather can be too chilly.
One can enjoy the spirit of peacefulness during the festivals celebrated in the shrine like Mata Murti ka Mela, which reminds the downwards inclination of river Ganga on earth. The festival of Badri Kedar is the greatest one which is celebrated in both shrines during the month of June. You can also witness several religious activities like Maha Abhiskek, Geeta path, Bhagwat Puja and many more. In this festival artists from all over the country perform here.
Besides the main shrine you can also visit Tapt Kund, just below the temple, it is a natural warm water spring. One has to take a dip in the holy water of this spring and then he can visit the main shrine; Brahma Kapal, it is a platform where people perform propitiating rites for the deceased family members to make then free from the circle of life and death; Neelkanth Peak, it is known as the ‘Queen of Garhwal’ and is set in the background of Badrinath Temple; Mata Murti Temple, this temple is situated on the banks of Alaknanda River. The deity of this temple is believed to be the mother of Nar and Narayan who was twin brother and incarnation of lord Vishnu. Every year in the month of September devotees visit here to attend the Mata Murti Mela. Along with this you can also go for Charanpaduka, Sheshnetra and Vasudhara Falls.
To reach this sacred place you can arrive at Haridwar or Dehradun Airport or Railway Station and carry forward your journey from there. Buses and cabs are easily available. Badrinath town is also easily accessible from many destination of Uttarakhand state through motorable roads.
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