Saturday, April 29, 2017
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Badrinath

 
Place : Badrinath, Uttarakhand
Significance : Shrine of Vishnu
Best Time to Visit : May to October 
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Badrinath, a citadel to Lord Vishnu, situated at a height of 3,155 m is the place where Vishnu, Ganga, Saraswathi and Alaknanda confluence. Build in early ninth century AD, Badrinath is one of the most revered Hindu shrines of India dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is also one of the four Dhams restored by Adi Shankaracharya in an effort to unify the country, along with Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu in the south, Dwarkapuri in the west and Jagannath Puri in the east (Sringeri mutt in Karnataka state is also claimed to be the fourth peetha).

Lakshmi
, the consort of Vishnu loved Badri trees that were found in plenty in the area, hence the name Badrinath. It is also known as 'Tapobhumi', the land of meditation and penance and 'Bhubaikunth' (heaven on earth). 

Sri Badrinath Ji temple is located between the two mountain ranges of Nar and Narayan, with the Neelkanth peak(6977m) in the background. In the 8th century AD Adi Sankaracharya came to Badri and restored the ancient Badrinath idol from the Narad Kund and established in the Ganyr cave near Tapt kund. Tapt Kund, the hot water spring with natural curative properties believed to be the abode of Lord Agni faces the shrine. The pilgrims take a holy dip in the Taptakund before entering the temple. The temple remains closed from October to April due to the winter snow, when temperatures fall to sub-zero degrees.

The pilgrims generally pay homage to the departed souls of their near ones in the Brahma Kapal, a flat platform on the banks of the river Alakananda. A rock boulder Sheshnetra, with the impression of Sheshnag, a mythological serpent and Charanpaduka, a boulder with foot prints of Lord Vishnu are of religious significance to the devotees. 

The other places of worship in Badrivishal complex are Gupt kashi (Arddh -Narisvara and Viswanath temples), Panch Kedar (Mad Maheswaray, Tungnath, Rudra nath, Kalpanath and Kedarnath) Vyas Gulfa and Ganesh Gulfa (where saint Vyas dictated the Mahabharata to Ganesha ), Bhim pul (where Bhim and Hanuman met ), Hemkund Sahib are other places where pilgrims offer prayers and oblations.