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History of Badrinath Temple

Badrinath, the seat of Lord Vishnu in His aspect of Badrinarayan is the most revered Hindu Temples situated along the river Alaknanda in the hill town of Badrinath in Uttarakhand state of North India. This holiest temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is the most important site in Char Dham Yatra and is considered to be one of the 108 Divya Desams for the followers of Vaishnavites. Badrinath Temple was originally established as a pilgrimage site by Adi Shankracharya in 9th centaury. He discovered the image of Badrinarayan in the River Alaknanda and enshrined it in the cave near the Tapt Kund, a hot spring. In the 16th century the king of Garhwal moved the image of Badri Narayan to the present temple. Later on in the 17th century he expanded the temple which is now a major pilgrimage for devotees from all across the world. After the earthquake in 1803 the temple was greatly affected by a major earthquake which the king of Jaipur restructured and is again opened for the pilgrims.

Badrinath Temple The temple stands about 50 ft tall with a small cupola on the top which is covered with a gold gilt roof. The temple is divided into three parts. The Garbhgriha is the main shrine area houses the black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan sitting under a gold canopy under a Badri tree. The other idols which are worshipped over here are Nar & Narayana, Narshimha, Lakshmi, Narda, Ganesha, Kuber, Gurada and Navdurga. Second part is known as Darshan Mandap where the puja ceremonies are performed and the third part is Sabha Mandap which is an outer hall where devotees wait for darshan of Lord Badrinath. Tapt Kund a hot sulphur spring with a temperature of about located just below the temple is considered to be medicinal and pilgrims should take bath in the spring before visiting the temple. Although Badrinath sits in the far north of India, the head priest (or Rawalat) traditionally comes from the Nambudiri Brahmin class from the far south of India in Kerala. Hard sugar candy, Tulsi and dry fruits are typical Prasad offered to the devotees. The wonders of nature, pleasant climatic conditions and religious significance make Badrinath Temple as one of the most visited pilgrimage site of India. Throughout the route to Badarinath there are numerous must see pilgrimage sites like Deo Prayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandaprayag and Vishnuprayag. The temple remains open only for the six months from April to the beginning of November due to adverse climatic conditions of Himalayan region Best time to visit Badrinath temple or Char Dham yatra is from May to October.

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