BADRINATH is a worship place of HINDU god Vishnu. It is also known as BADRINARAYAN Temple. Temple is situated along the holy ALAKNANDA river, in the BADRINATH hill town of UTTRAKHAND state in INDIA. It is the most famous and one of the pilgrim sites from the CHAR DHAM PILGRIM CIRCUIT of HINDUS. It is also one of the 108 DIVYA DESAMS, holy shrines for VAISHNAVITES. The temple is open only for six months in a year due to extreme weather conditions of HIMALAYAN region.
Several MURTIS are worshipped in the temple. The most important is a one meter tall statue of Vishnu as Lord BADRINARAYAN, made of black SALIGRAM stone. The statue is considered by many Hindus to be one of eight SWAYAM VYAKTA KESHTRAS, or self-manifested statues of Vishnu. The MURTI depicts Vishnu sitting in meditative posture, rather than His far more typical reclining pose. In November each year, when the town of BADRINATH is closed, the image is moved to nearby JYOTINATH.
About Badrinath Temple
The temple is approximately 50 ft (15 METER) tall with a small cupola on top, covered with a gold gilt roof. The facade is built of stone, with arched windows. A broad stairway leads up to a tall arched gateway, which is the main entrance. The architecture resembles a Buddhist VIHARA (temple), with the brightly painted facade also more typical of BUDDHISM temples. Just inside is the MANDAPA, a large pillared hall that leads to the GARBHA GRUHA, or main shrine area. The walls and pillars of the MANDAPA are covered with intricate carvings.
The main shrine area houses the black stone image of Lord BADRINARAYAN, sitting under a gold canopy, under a BADRI Tree. There are fifteen more MURTIS around the temple that are also worshipped. These include MURTIS of NARA & NARAYANA, NARSIMHA (the fourth incarnation of Vishnu), LAKSHMI, NARADAS, GANESHA, UDDHAVA, KUBERA, GRAUDA (the vehicle of Lord NARAYANA), and NAVADURGA. Hard sugar candy, TULSI, and dry fruits are the typical PRASAD offered at BADRINATH temple.
On the right bank of ALAKNANDA lies the sacred spot perched at an altitude of 3,133 METERS above the sea level. High temple is dedicated to Lord “VISHNU”, it is built in the form of a cone with a small cupola of gilt bull and spire. Built by ADI Guru SHANKRACHARYA - the philosopher-saint of the 8th century, the temple has been renovated several times due to damage by avalanches. Its COLOURFUL 'Singh DWARA' or the main entrance gate gives it a new, modern look.
The temple divided into three parts - the 'GARBHA GRUHA' or sanctum sanctorum, the 'DARSHAN MANDAP' where the rituals are conducted and the 'SABHA MANDAP, where devotees assemble. The complex has 15 idols. Especially attractive is the one meter high image of BADRINATH, finely sculpted in black stone. It represents Lord Vishnu seated in meditative pose.
About Badrinath Temple Tapt Kund:
Devotees take a holy dip in the natural thermal springs on the banks of the river ALAKNANDA, before entering the BADRINATH Temple. The water of the KUND is believed to have medicinal properties.
History Badrinath Temple
BADRINATH was originally established as a pilgrimage site by ADI SHANKARA in the ninth century. SHANKARA discovered the image of BADRINARAYAN in the ALAKNANDA River and enshrined it in a cave near the TAPT KUND hot springs. In the sixteenth century, the king of GARHWAL moved the MURTI to the present temple.
The temple has undergone several major renovations, due to age and damage by avalanche. In the 17th century, the temple was expanded by the kings of GARHWAL. After significant damage in the great 1803 Himalayan earthquake, it was rebuilt by the King of JAIPUR. It is one of the five PUNYAKSHETRAS (Holy places) where the Hindus offer SHRADDHAKARMAS (oblations) to their 42 line of ancestors (Both from mother's and father's side) (Other four are KASHI, Gaya, PRAYAGA and RAMESHVARAM). It is believed that once the SHRADDHA Karma is performed here, the descendants need not perform the yearly ritual.
BADRINATH is mentioned in religious texts as far back as the Vedic period. Some accounts claim that the temple was built on a former Buddhist temple site.
Why Lord Vishnu is shown sitting in PADMASANA ?
One legend explains the reason that Vishnu is shown sitting in PADMASANA, rather than reclining. According to the story, Vishnu was chastised by a sage who saw Vishnu's consort LAKSHMI massaging his feet. Vishnu went to BADRINATH to perform austerity, meditating for a long time in PADMASANA. To this day, the area around BADRINATH attracts yogis who come for meditation and seclusion.
One more logical Legend explains both name itself and sitting posture as this place was full of BADRI (BAEL FRUIT, “BER” in HINDI) bushes and Vishnu meditating for couple of hundred years, beloved LAXMI stood next to him sheltering him from scorching sunlight turned into a BADRI herself called 'BADRI VISHAL' and her lord(NATH) became the BADRINATH.
Why Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati moved from BADRINATH to KEDARNATH ?
Another legend says that SHIVA and PARVATI were doing tapas in BADRINATH. Vishnu came in disguise as a small boy, crying loudly and disturbing them. PARVATI asked the reason for his crying and he replied that he wanted BADRINATH for meditation. Shiva and PARVATI found that it was Lord NARAYAN in disguise. They then left BADRINATH and moved to KEDARNATH.
According to the BHAGVATA PURANA, "There in BADRIKASHRAM the Personality of Godhead (Vishnu), in his incarnation as the sages NARA & NARAYANA had been undergoing great penance since time immemorial for the welfare of all living entities. The SKANDA PURANA states that “There are several sacred shrines in heaven, on earth, and in hell; but there is no shrine like BADRINATH.