If Kedarnath is the kingdom of Shiva, then Badrinath worships Vishnu, whose earthly home is in Vaikuntha beyond the Valley of Flowers. The living shrine of Badrinath Dham situated on the left bank of river Alaknanda and said to be the favorite place of Lord Krishna. In the Mahabharata, he is quoted as asking his disciple Uddhava to go to Badrinath to purify his soul. It is one of the Char Dhams, the four places of pilgrimage established in the main directions of the country are Dwarka, Puri, and Rameshwaram.


Badrinath is a Hindu holy city and a Nagar panchayat in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Badrinath Dham situated at an altitude of 11204 feet (3415 m) in the shadow of the Neelkanth Peak and is a sacred Hindu shrine situated on the banks of the Alaknanda River, amidst the Nar-Narayan hills.

From Rishikesh down there is a journey uphill with high winding turns of roads clinging precariously to the sides of the hills with deep valleys. Badrinath is 300 km from Rishikesh and at an altitude of 10,000 feet, it is situated between two hills of Nar Parvat, a man’s mountain, and Narayan Parvat, the God’s mountain. The site is an ancient one, mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam as the place chosen by the sages for their ashrams where they composed many of the sacred texts of the Vedas. It is also called Narada Kshetram because Narada Rishi attained salvation here.

Badrinath Dham


One of the myths of Badrinath tries to explain the unusual symbol of Vishnu in the temple. The weathered black stone idol is seated in a yogic, cross-legged Padmasana posture commonly seen in the symbol of a meditating Shiva and Buddha. According to the story, once the Lord allowed his wife Lakshmi to massage his feet and was punished by a sage for such worldly pleasures. An ascetic Vishnu fled to Badrinath and began to meditate in the yoga posture of Padmasana. He eventually abandoned his ascetic path at the request of Lakshmi, but on the condition that the Badrinath region remained a valley reserved for meditating ascetics.

Legend has it that an ancient Vishnu temple standing here destroyed 1200 years ago. The original temple dates back to the 8th century when the peripatetic sage Swami Shankaracharya arrived here after traveling across India. His journey had started in Kerala and he had come here to meet a famous scholar named Badrayana, who wrote the Vedanta Sutras. Shankaracharya wrote a commentary, commentary on the text. At Badrinath he and his disciple Padmapadacharya established first maath, a Vidya Mahavidyalaya, and then the temple. Even today the priests of the temple come from the Brahmin community of Rawal Namboodiris of Kerala.

Badrinath Dham

Here Vishnu appeared to Shankaracharya in his dreams in the form of Shree Narayan. This was the idol that stood in the old temple centuries ago. When the temple destroyed the idol thrown into the Narada Kund, a pond in the Alaknanda River. Vishnu asked Shankaracharya to find the idol and install it in a new temple. The sage entrusted the task to Padmapadacharya, who retrieved the idol and built a temple as per his guru’s wish.

Significance of Badrinath Dham 

The temple of Shankaracharya  expanded and adorned by the Garhwal kings 400 years ago and the shikhara gilded by Ahilyabai, the Maratha queen of Indore. The temple constructed of stone which for some reason covered with bright garish paint. It is not an architecturally significant structure but the great antiquity of the site, the presence of the spirit of Shankaracharya, and the pilgrims and their prayers have given it great sanctity.

Badrinath Dham

The Temple

In the sanctum sanctorum, there is black stone inlaid images of Badrinarayan sitting in the yoga posture of Padmasana under a gold umbrella. At the entrance of the sanctum is a gaddi, the seat where Shankaracharya meditated. There are many hot sulfur springs like Tapatapani and Narad Kund where Agni, the god of fire said to reside, and the icy waters of Alaknanda flow just below the hot springs in a marvel of nature. With the arrival of winter snow, the temple gets closed and the worship continues at Joshimath.

Believe and Rituals

It is believed that by offering Tulsi leaves, God can be appeased. It said that only one Tulsi leaf makes God happy. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the tradition of offering Tulsi leaves here has been going on for years. But here, as Prasad, not Tulsi offered to Lord Vishnu, but Panch Tulsi garland, raw gram lentils, sugar candy, and kernels offered. Here you will get to see the idol of Lord Vishnu painted with yellow sandalwood.

It is customary here that no common person can touch the idol of Badrinath. Only one person inside the temple has the right to touch this idol, whose name is V. Kesavan Nambuthiri Rawal. They say that only the people of the elite section of Kerala can touch the main statue of this temple. Let us tell you that you cannot take any kind of photos inside this temple. Cameras, mobiles, and electronic devices not allowed inside this temple. The priests have to say that taking photos here and putting them on the internet hurts the religious sentiments of the people, so it is forbidden to take photos here.

Badrinath Dham also called Moksha Sthal. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that here in Pitra Paksha you will find thousands of devotees offering Pind Daan on the banks of the Alaknanda River. Often people consider the Ganges River as the most suitable place for bone immersion after death. Similarly, Badrinath Dham is also famous for attaining salvation. When Lord Vishnu sets out on his Char Dham Yatra, first of all, Lord Vishnu makeup up Badrinath. After this, after going to Dwarkadhish, they do makeup, and after doing meditation, they come to Puri and take prasad. Eventually, Lord Vishnu goes to Rameshwaram and takes a bath.


It said that this is the same area when Lord Shankar convicted of killing Brahma, then the head which kept in the trident of Lord Shankar was freed after coming here. Since then, it also called Moksha Kshetra. It said that one attains salvation immediately after feeding the prasad found here to the ancestors.


There is a holy water tank in Badrinath which surrounded by walls from all sides. The special thing about this pool is that Agnidev himself seated in this pool. There is a miraculous element in this pool, due to which the water of this pool keeps on boiling. The more surprising thing is that no one harmed by this boiling water. The miraculous incident related to this pool is also that no one knows from where the water of this pool comes, nor is there any water source nearby. It said that a mere bath in this pool washes away the sins of the people.


How To Reach Badrinath Dham

By air

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 317 km from Badrinath. Taxis and bus services are available from Dehradun airport to Badrinath Dham.

By train

Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun all have their railway stations. The nearest railway station from Badrinath is Rishikesh (about 297 km). Badrinath can be reached by bus/taxi from Rishikesh.

By road

Badrinath Dham has situated on National Highway No. 58. State transport buses run regularly between Badrinath and Rishikesh (297 km). Local transport Union and state transport buses and taxis run regularly between Badrinath and Rishikesh (297 km), Haridwar (320 km), Dehradun (340 km), and Delhi (530 km).

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