Badri Nath

Badri Nath

 Badrinath or Badrinarayan Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu which is situated in the town of Badrinath in Uttarakhand, India. The temple and town form one of the four Char Dham and Chota Char Dham pilgrimage sites. The temple is also one of the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Badrinath—holy shrines for Vaishnavites. It is open for six months every year (between the end of April and the beginning of November), because of extreme weather conditions in the Himalayan region. The temple is located in Garhwal hill tracks in Chamoli district along the banks of Alaknanda River at an elevation of 3,133 m (10,279 ft) above the mean sea level. It is one of the most visited pilgrimage centres of India, having recorded 1,060,000 visits.

The image of the presiding deity worshipped in the temple is a 1 m (3.3 ft) tall, black stone statue of Vishnu in the form of Badrinarayan. The statue is considered by many Hindus to be one of eight swayam vyakta kshetras, or self-manifested statues of Vishnu.

Mata Murti Ka Mela, which commemorates the descent of river Ganges on mother earth, is the most prominent festival celebrated in the Badrinath Temple. Although Badrinath is located in North India, the head priest, or Rawal, is traditionally a Nambudiri Brahmin chosen from the South Indian state of Kerala. The temple was included in the Uttar Pradesh state government Act No. 30/1948 as Act no. 16,1939, which later came to be known as Shri Badarinath and Shri Kedarnath Mandir Act. The committee nominated by the state government administers both the temples and has seventeen members on its board.

The temple is mentioned in ancient religious texts like Vishnu Purana and Skanda Purana. It is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, an early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD.

Location, architecture, and shrines

The temple is located in Garhwal hill tracks along the banks of the Alaknanda River[2] in Chamoli district in Uttarakhand, a state in North India. The hill tracks are located 3,133 m (10,279 ft) above the mean sea level. The Nar Parbat mountain is located opposite to the temple, while the Narayana Parbat is located behind the Neelakanta peak.

The temple has three structures: the Garbhagriha (sanctum), the Darshan Mandap (worship hall), and Sabha Mandap (convention hall). The conical-shaped roof of the sanctum, the garbhagriha, is approximately 15 m (49 ft) tall with a small cupola on top, covered with a gold gilt roof. The facade is built of stone and has arched windows. A broad stairway leads up to the main entrance, a tall, arched gateway. Just inside is a mandap, a large, pillared hall that leads to the sanctum, or main shrine area. The walls and pillars of the hall are covered with intricate carvings.

The main shrine houses the 1 m (3.3 ft) Shaligram (black stone) image of Badrinarayan, which is housed in a gold canopy under a Badri Tree. The image of Badrinarayan holds a Shankha (conch) and a Chakra (wheel) in two of its arms in a lifted posture and two arms are rested on its lap in a Yogamudra (Padmasana) posture. The sanctum also houses images of the god of wealth—Kubera, sage Narada, Uddhava, Nar and Narayan. There are fifteen more images that are also worshipped around the temple. These include that of Lakshmi (the consort of Vishnu), Garuda (the vahana of Narayan), and Navadurga, the manifestation of Durga in nine different forms. The temple also has shrines of Lakshmi Narasimhar and for saints Adi Shankara (ad 788-820), Vedanta Desika and Ramanujacharya. All the idols of the temple are made of black stone.

The Tapt Kund, a group of hot sulphur springs just below the temple, are considered to be medicinal; many pilgrims consider it a requirement to bathe in the springs before visiting the temple. The springs have a year-round temperature of 55 °C (131 °F), while outside temperature is typically below 17 °C (63 °F) all year round. The two water ponds in the temple are called Narad Kund and Surya Kund.

History

There is no historical record about the temple, but there is a mention of the presiding deity Badrinath in Vedic scriptures, indicating the presence of the temple during the Vedic period (c. 1750–500 bc).As per some accounts, the temple was a Buddhist shrine till the 8th century and Adi Shankara converted it to a Hindu temple. The architecture of the temple resembling that of a Buddhist vihara (temple) and the brightly painted facade which is atypical of Buddhist temples leads to the argument. As per other accounts, it was originally established as a pilgrimage site by Adi Shankara in the ninth century. It is believed that Shankara resided in the place for six years from ad 814 to 820. He resided six months in Badrinath and the rest of the year in Kedarnath. Hindu followers assert that he discovered the image of Badrinath in the Alaknanda River and enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs. A traditional story asserts that Shankara expelled all the Buddhists in the region with the help of the Parmar ruler king Kanak Pal. The hereditary successors of the king governed the temple and endowed villages to meet its expenses. The income from a set of villages on the route to the temple was used to feed and accommodate pilgrims. The Parmar rulers held the title "Bolanda Badrinath", meaning speaking Badrinath. They had other titles, including Shri 108 Basdrishcharyaparayan Garharj Mahimahendra, Dharmabibhab and Dharamarakshak Sigamani.

The throne of Badrinath was named after the presiding deity; the king enjoyed ritual obeisance by the devotees before proceeding to the shrine. The practice was continued until the late 19th century.During the 16th century, the King of Garhwal moved the murti to the present temple. When the state of Garhwal was divided, the Badrinath temple came under British rule but the king of Garhwal continued as the chairman of the management committee.

The temple has undergone several major renovations due to its age and damage by an 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 largely rebuilt by the King of Jaipur. It was still under renovation as late as the 1870s but these were completed by the time of the First World War. At that time, the town was still small, consisting of only the 20-odd huts housing the temple's staff, but the number of pilgrims was usually between seven and ten thousand.The Kumbh Meld festival held every twelve years raised the number of visitors to 50,000. The temple also enjoyed revenue from the rents owed to it by various villages bequeathed by various rajas.

During 2006, the state government announced the area around Badrinath as a no construction zone to curb illegal encroachment.

Legend

According to Hindu legend, god Vishnu sat in meditation at this place, keeping away from Thuling, a place in the Himalayas which was corrupted by meat-eating monks and unchaste people. During his meditation, Vishnu was unaware of cold weather. Lakshmi, his consort, protected him in the form of the Badri tree (jujube or Indian date). Pleased by the devotion of Lakshmi, Vishnu named the place Badrika Ashram. According to Atkinson (1979), the place used to be a jujube forest, which are not found there today. Vishnu in the form of Badrinath is depicted in the temple sitting in the padmasana posture. According to the legend, 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.

The Vishnu Purana narrates another version of the origins of Badrinath. According to the tradition, Dharam had two sons, Nar and Narayan —both of which are modern names of Himalayan mountains. They chose the place to spread their religion and each of them wed the spacious valleys in the Himalayas. Searching for an ideal place to set up a hermitage, they came across the other four Badris of the Pancha Badri, namely Bridha Badri, Yog Bhadri, Dhyan Badri and Bhavish Badri. They finally found the hot and cold spring behind the Alaknanda River and named it Badri Vishal.

Literary mention

The temple finds mention in several ancient books like Bhagavata Purana, Skanda Purana and Mahabharata.According to the Bhagavata Purana, "[t]here in Badrikashram the Personality of Godhead (Vishnu), in his incarnation as the sages Nar and Narayana, had been undergoing great penance since time immemorial for the welfare of all living entities". The Skanda Purana states that "[t]here are several sacred shrines in heaven, on earth, and in hell; but there is no shrine like Badrinath". The area around Badrinath is also celebrated in Padma Purana as abounding in spiritual treasures.The Mahabharata revered the holy place as the one which can give salvation to devotees arriving close to if, while in other holy places they must perform religious ceremonies.[8] The temple is revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, in 11 hymns in the 7th–9th century Vaishnava canon by Periazhwar and in 13 hymns in Thirumangai Azhwar. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Badrinath.

Pilgrimage

Devotees of all faiths and all schools of thought of Hinduism visit the Badrinath Temple. All the major monastic institutions like Kashi Math, Jeeyar Mutt (Andhra mutt), Udupi Pejavar and Manthralayam Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutts have their branches and guest houses there.

The Badrinath temple is one of five related shrines called Panch Badri, which are dedicated to the worship of Vishnu. The five temples are Vishal Badri - Badrinath Temple in Badrinath, Yogadhyan Badri located at Pandukeshwar, Bhavishya Badri located 17 km (10.6 mi) from Jyotirmath at Subain, Vridh Badri located 7 km (4.3 mi) from Jyotirmath in Animath and Adi Badri located 17 km (10.6 mi) from Karnaprayag. The temple is considered one of the holiest Hindu Char Dham (four divine) sites, comprising Rameswaram, Badrinath, Puri and Dwarka. Although the temple's origins are not clearly known, the Advaita school of Hinduism established by Adi Shankara attributes the origin of Char Dham to the seer.The four monasteries are located across the four corners of India and their attendant temples are Badrinath Temple at Badrinath in the North, Jagannath Temple at Puri in the East, Dwarakadheesh Temple at Dwarka in the West and Sri Sharada Peetam Sringeri at Sringeri,Karnataka in the South.

Though ideologically the temples are divided between the sects of Hinduism, namely Saivism and Vaishnavism, the Char Dham pilgrimage is an all-Hindu affair.There are four abodes in the Himalayas called Chota Char Dham (Chota meaning small): Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri—all of which lie in the foothills of the Himalayas. The name Chota was added during the mid of 20th century to differentiate the original Char Dhams. As the number of pilgrims to these places has increased in modern times, it is called Himalayan Char Dham.

The journey across the four cardinal points in India is considered sacred by Hindus, who aspire to visit these temples once in their lifetimes. Traditionally, the pilgrimage starts at the eastern end from Puri, proceeding clockwise in a manner typically followed for circumambulation in Hindu temples.

Festivals and religious practices

The most prominent festival held at Badrinath Temple is Mata Murti Ka Mela, which commemorates the descent of the river Ganges on mother earth. The mother of Badrinath, who is believed to have divided the river into twelve channels for the welfare of earthly beings, is worshiped during the festival. The place where the river flowed became the holy land of Badrinath.

The Badri Kedar festival is celebrated during the month of June in both the temple and the Kedarnath temple. The festival lasts for eight days; artists from all over the country perform during the function.

The major religious activities (or pujas) performed every morning are mahabhishek (ablution), abhishek, gitapath and bhagavat puja, while in the evening the pujas include geet govinda and aarti. Recital in vedic scripts like Ashtotram and Sahasranama is practiced during all the rituals. After aarti, the decorations are removed from the image of Badrinath and sandalwood paste is applied to it. The paste from the image is given to the devotees the next day as prasad during the nirmalaya darshan. All the rituals are performed in front of the devotees, unlike those in some Hindu temples, where some practices are hidden from them.Sugar balls and dry leaves are the common prasad provided to the devotees. From May 2006, the practise of offering Panchamrit Prasad, prepared locally and packed in local bamboo baskets, was started.

The temple is closed for winter on the auspicious day of Vijayadasami during October–November.On the day of closure, Akhanda Jyothi, a lamp is lit filled with ghee to last for six months. Special pujas are performed on the day by the chief priest in the presence of pilgrims and officials of the temple. The image of Badrinath is notionally transferred during the period to the Narasimha temple at Jyotirmath, located 40 mi (64 km) away from the temple. The temple is reopened around April on Vasant Panchami, another auspicious day on the Hindu calendar.[32] Pilgrims gather on the first day of opening of the temple after the winter to witness the Akhanda Jyothi.

The temple is one of the holy places where the Hindus offer oblations to ancestors with the help of the priests. Devotees visit the temple to worship in front of the image of Badrinath in the sanctum and have a hold dip in Alaknanda River. The general belief is that a dip in the tank purifies the soul.

Administration and visit

The Badrinath Temple was included in the Uttar Pradesh state government Act No. 30/1948 as Act no. 16,1939, which was later known as Shri Badarinath and Shri Kedarnath Mandir Act. A committee nominated by the state government administers both the temples. The act was modified in 2002 to appoint additional committee members, including Government officials and a Vice chairman.[38] There are seventeen members in the board; three selected by the Uttaranchal Legislative Assembly, one member each by the Zilla Parishads of Garhwa, Tehri, Chamoli and Uttarkashi, and ten members nominated by the state government.

As per the temple records, the priests of the temple were Shiva ascetics called Dandi Sanyasis, who belonged to Nambudiri community, a religious group common in modern Kerala. When the last of the ascetics died without an heir in 1776 AD, the king invited non-ascetic Nambudiris from Kerala for priesthood, a practice that continues in modern times. Till 1939, all the offerings made by the devotees to the temple went to the Rawal (chief priest), but after 1939, his jurisdiction was restricted to religious affairs. The administrative structure of the temple consists of a chief executive officer who executes the orders from the state government, a deputy chief executive officer, two OSDs, an executive officer, an account officer, a temple officer and a publicity officer to assist the chief executive officer.

Although Badrinath is located in North India, the head priest, or Rawal, is traditionally a Nambudiri Brahmin chosen from the South Indian state of Kerala. This tradition is believed to have been initiated by Adi Shankara, who was a South Indian philosopher. The Rawal (chief priest) is requested by the Government of Uttarakhand (Uttar Pradesh government before the formation of Uttarakhand state) to the Kerala Government. The candidate should possess a degree of Acharya in Sanskrit, be a bachelor, well-versed in reciting mantras (sacred texts) and be from the Vaishnava sect of Hinduism. The erstwhile ruler of Garhwal, who is the tutelary head of Badrinath, approves the candidate sent by the Government of Kerala. A Tilak Ceremony is held to instate the Rawal and he is deputed from April to November, when the temple remains open. The Rawal is accorded high holiness status by Garhwal Rifles and the state governments of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. He is also held in high esteem by the Royals of Nepal. From April to November, he performs his duties as a temple priest. Thereafter, he either stays in Joshimutt or returns to his native village in Kerala. The duties of the Rawal starts at 4 a.m. every day with the Abhisheka. He should not cross the river until Vamana Dwadasi and must adhere to Brahmacharya. The Rawal is assisted by the Garhwali Dimri Pundits belonging to the Village Dimmer, Nayab Rawals, Dharmadikari, Vedapathi, a group of priests, Pandas Samadhini, Bhandari, Rasoiyas (cook), devotional singer, clerk of devashram, Jal Bhariya (water keeper) and temple guards. Badrinath is one of the few temples in North India that follow the ancient Tantra-Vidhi of Shrauta tradition more common in the south.

In 2012, the temple administration introduced a token system for visitors to the temple. Tokens indicating the time of visit were provided from three stalls in the taxi stands. Each devotee to visit the presiding deity is allocated 10–20 seconds. Proof of identity is mandatory to enter the temple. The temple is reached from Rishikesh, located 298 km (185 mi) away via Dev Prayag, Rudra Prayag, Karna Prayag, Nanda Prayag, Joshimutt, Vishnuprayag and Devadarshini. From Kedarnath, visitors can follow the 243 km (151 mi)-long Rudra Prayag route or the 230 km (140 mi)-long Ukthimath and Gopeswar route.

DAY 01: Delhi - Haridwar (220kms/6hrs Drive) Delhi airport

Kausalya Trip India representative will meet you at a location convenient to you in Delhi and drive to haridwar. On arrival check in at the hotel and after freshen up visit Hari ki Puri. Overnight stay at the hotel in haridwar.

 DAY 02: Haridwar – Barkot (220kms/7-8hrs drive) Rishikesh yatra

Morning breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Barkot via Dehradun & Mussoorie. Enroute visit Kempty Fall and others later drive straight to your Hotel for night halt at Barkot.

 DAY 03: Barkot – Yamunotri – Barkot (36kms drive & 6kms Trek “one side”) Barkot Yatra

Tour Highlights: Drive to Jankichatti/Phoolchatti, trek start from here to Yamunotri (6kms). Either by walk or by horse or by Doli at own cost. Arr. Yamunotri, One can cook rice by packing it in a cloth and dipping it in the hot water of the hot kund. Pilgrims take this cooked rice home as “Prasad”. Here near the temple “Pooja” can be offered to Divya Shila, after taking bath in Jamunabai Kund’s warm water and having “Darshan” of pious “Yamunaji” returning to Jankichatti. Later drive back to Barkot. Overnight stay at Hotel in Barkot,

Yamunotri Temple:

Maharani Gularia of Jaipur built the temple in the 19th Century. It was destroyed twice in the present century and rebuilt again.

Surya Kund:

There are a Number of thermal springs in the vicinity of the temple, which flows into numerous pools. The most important of these is Surya Kund.

Divya Shila: A rock pillar, worshipped before entering the Yamunotri Temple.

 DAY 04: Barkot – Uttarkashi (100kms/5hrs drive) uttarkashi Yatra

Drive to Uttarkashi. Check into Hotel; hear after at evening time visit Vishwanath Temple. Overnight stay at hotel in Uttarkashi,

Uttarkashi: Situated at the bank of river Bhagirathi. The temple of Lord Vishwanath is located here where a massive iron trident is erected.

 DAY 05: Uttarkashi – Gangotri – Uttarkashi (100kms/ 05 hrs each side) Gangotri Yatra

we proceed to Gangotri (3048 mts), enroute we enjoy picturesque Harsil village, Bhagirathi River and the most magnificent view of the Himalayas. After Gangotri Darshan we return to Uttarkashi. Overnight stay at Uttarkashi

Gangotri Temple:

The temple, constructed by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa in the 18th Century, is situated on the right bank of Bhagirathi.

Submerged Shivling:

Submerged in the river, this natural rock Shivling is the place where, according to mythology Lord Shiva sat when he received the Ganga in his matted lock. It is visible in winter months when water level decreases.

Kedar Ganga Sangam:

 Around 100 Yards from the Ganga Temple flows the river Kedar Ganga. Starting from the Kedar Valle, this river meets the Bhagirathi on its left bank.

 DAY 06: Uttarkashi - Guptkashi (210kms/8-9hrs drive) Rudraprayag Yatra

Drive straight to Guptkashi. Enroute you can see the beautiful river Mandakini at Tilwara. The Mandakini River comes from Kedarnath, drive alongside the river to reach Guptakashi. On arrival check in at the Hotel, evening visit Ardh Narishwar Temple. Overnight stay at the Hotel.

The name Gupt Kashi means “Hidden Benares. Mythology describes how when the Pandava brothers were searching for a glimpse of Shiva, Shiv ji first concealed himself at Gupt Kashi, but later fled from them further up the valley to Kedarnath, where the Pandavas finally got their wish fulfilled. There are more tangible connections as well-the Kedarnath pandas (hereditary pilgrimage priests) live in Gupt Kashi during the winter months, and after the Kedarnath temple closes for the winter, the image of Kedarnath passes through Gupt Kashi on its way to Ukhimath (across the valley), where it stays for the winter.

DAY 07: Guptkashi – Kedarnath (30kms by road & 20 kms Trek) Guptkashi Yatra

Morning drive to Sonprayag, Trek start from Sonprayag to Kedarnath (3584 mts) on foot or on by pony/Doli, Tour members should carry personal medicines, heavy woolen, toiletries and clothes for an overnight halt at Kedarnath. Check in Hotel. Later visit Kedarnath Temple. Overnight at Kedarnath.

Kedarnath: The Kedarnath shrine, one of the 12 Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva, is a scenic spot situated, against the backdrop of the majestic Kedarnath range. Kedar is another name of Lord Shiva, the protector and the destroyer. According to legend, the Pandavas after having won over the Kaurava in the Kurukshetra war, felt guilty of having killed their own brothers and sought the blessings of Lord Shiva for redemption. He eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull. On being followed he dived into the ground, leaving his hump on the surface. The remaining portions of Lord Shiva appeared at four other places and are worshipped there as his manifestations. The arms appeared at Tungnath, the face at Rudranath, the belly at Madhmaheshwar and his locks (hair) with head at Kalpeshwar. Kedarnath and the four above-mentioned shrines are treated as Panch Kedar.

DAY 08: Kedarnath – Rudraprayag (19Kms down Trek & 75kms/4hrs by Road) kedarnath Yatra

Early morning, after Temple Darshan trek down to Sonprayag, Later drive to Rudraprayag via Guptkashi, Check in Hotel at Rudraprayag. Overnight at Rudraprayag.

Rudraprayag:

 Rudraprayag is one of the Panch Prayag (five confluences) of Alaknanda River, the point of confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Mandakini. Kedarnath, a Hindu holy town is located 86 km from Rudraprayag. The famous man eating Leopard of Rudraprayag hunted and written about by Jim Corbett (hunter) dwelled here.

DAY 09: Rudraprayag – Badrinath (165kms/7hrs) Pipalkoti Yatra

Drive to Badrinath via Joshimath. Check in Hotel. Later at evening visit Badrinath Temple for Aarti. Overnight stay at hotel in Badrinath.

Badrinath:

one of the ‘Four Dhams’ is one of the most celebrated pilgrimage spots of the country and is situated at an elevation of 3,133 meters, guarded on either side by the two mountain ranges known as Nar & Narayan with the towering Neelkanth Peak providing a splendid backdrop. This revered spot was once carpeted with wild berries. Thus the place got the name “Badri van”, meaning “forest of berries”.

Tapt Kund:

Natural,thermal springs on the bank of the river Alaknanda, where it is customary to bathe before entering the Badrinath temple.

Narad Kund:

A recess in the river, near Tapt Kund, forming a pool from where the Badrinath idol was recovered.

Brahama Kapal: A flat platform on the bank of river Alaknanda. Hindus perform propitiating rites for their deceased ancestors.

Sheshnetra:

1.5kms. Away is a boulder having an impression of the legendary serpent, better known as the Sheshnag’s eye.

Charanpaduka:

3kms. Away is a beautiful meadow where the footprint of Lord Vishnu is seen on a boulder.

Mata Murty Temple: Devoted to the mother of Sri Badrinath ji. Other important temples include Sesh Netra Temple, Urvashi Temple and Charanpaduka.

Mana Village:

 Inhabited by an Indo-Mongolian tribe, it is the last Indian village before Tibet.

Vasundhara:

As the name suggests, vasundhara is a magnificent water fall. This place is 5 kms. From Badrinath out of which 2 kms. is motor able up to Mana.

Bhim Pul:

 On the other side of Mana village, a massive rock forming a natural bridge lies over the roaring Saraswati River. It presents a spectacular view of water thundering down through the narrow passage under the rock and is believed to have been placed there by Bhim, the second eldest among the five Pandava brothers.

Vyas Gufa (cave):

Near Mana Village, this is a rock-cave where Ved Vyas is believed to have composed the Mahabharata and the pauranic commentaries.

 DAY 10: Badrinath – Joshimath – Rudraprayag (160kms/7hrs) devprayag Yatra

Early morning, pilgrims after having a bath in the Taptkund have the Darshan of Badrivishal. Brahamakapal is significant for Pinddan Shraddh of ancestors (Pitrus). There are other interesting sightseeing spot like Mana, Vyas Gufa, Maatamoorti, Charanpaduka, Bhimkund and the “Mukh” of the Saraswati River. Just within the three kms of Badrinathjee. Later drive back to Rudraprayag via Joshimath. Check in Hotel. Overnight stay

Joshimath is situated on the slopes above the confluence of the rivers Alaknanda and Dhauliganga. Of the four ‘Maths’ established by Adi Shankracharya, Joshimath is the winter seat of Badrinath. The idol is brought down to Joshimath and installed in the temple for people to worship. There are many other temples in the township. The most important is the temple of Nir Singh with the idol of Lord Vishnu. The left arm of this deity is getting destroyed with time and the popular belief holds that the day the arm completely withers Badrinath valley will cease to exist and the Gods will transfer the residence into the neighboring Niti Valley at Bhavishya Badri.

DAY 11: Rudraprayag – Haridwar (165 kms / 8 hrs) devprayag Yatra

Drive to Haridwar, en-route visit of Rishikesh the ‘place of sages’ is a celebrated spiritual town on the bank of Ganga and is surrounded by Shivalik range of the Himalayas on three sides. It is said that when Raibhya Rishi did hard penances, God appeared by the name of” Rishikesh” and this area hence firth came to be known as Rishikesh. Check in Hotel. Later visit Rishikesh Temples & Sight Seeing – Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Triveni Ghat, and Bharat Mandir, and Shivananda Ashram. At evening visit Ganga Aarti at Parmarth Ashram and overnight at hotel.

DAY 12: Haridwar – Delhi (220Kms 6 hours) delhi Yatra

Drive back to Delhi. On Arrival in Delhi, transfer to Railway Station/Airport. Tour Terminate.

Puja Rates of Badrinath Temple Details of Puja/Paath and Aarti and Rates in Indian Rupees

Morning Pooja 4:30 to 6:30 AM
1. Maha Abhishek (3 Person) Includes VIP Mahaprasad             Rs 751 : 8852.00
2. Abhishek Puja (2 Person) Includes VIP Mahaprasad              Rs 751 : 7052.00

6:30 AM to 12 Noon & 3 PM
3. Ved Path (3 Person) :                                                                      RS     1801.00
4. Geeta path (3 Person) :                                                                  RS  2701.00

Badrinath Special Puja

1. Shrimad Bhagwat Saptah Path :                                                RS 27001.00
2. Entire Pujas of a day Includes VIP Mahaprasad                     Rs 751 : 27752.00

Evening Aarti/Archana & Path (6 PM to 9 PM)

1. Swarna Aarti (2 Person) :                                                          RS  601.00
2. Vishnusahasranam Path (2 Person) :                                    RS 701.00
3. Kapoor Aarti (2 Person) :                                                          RS  251.00
4. Shayan Aarti (2 Person) :                                                        RS 1801.00

Daily or Periodical Puja/ Bhog & Akhand Jyoti
1. Akhand Jyoti Annual :                                                              RS  3801.00
2. Ghrit Kambal Ghee on closing day :                                     RS 3801.00
3. Ghee for Deepak on closing day :                                         RS 2701.00
4. Akhand Jyoti One day                                                              RS1100.00

Puja on Special Occasions
1. Bhagwan Nar-Narayan Janmotsava (in Srawan Month) : RS 3801.00
2. Shrawani abhishek (in Srawan Month) :                               RS 9001.00
3. Shri Krishan Janmastami Utsava :                                         RS 8101.00

Other offerings
1. Donation for Renovation work :                                               RS1001.00 or above

For Advance Bookings of Badrinath Mandir Pooja Contact:

Shri Badrinath – Shri Kedarnath Temples Committee 
Maa Chandra Badni Temple,Near Kargi Chowk & Oberoi Nissan Motors,
Kargi Grant, Haridwar By-pass road,Dehradun, Uttarakhand – 248001. INDIA.
Telefax: + 91 – (135) 2627122
E-mail: admin@badarikedar.org; chairman@badarikedar.org; pramod@badarikedar.org

During your visit to Char Dham, It is advisable not to hurt the religious sentiments of the people or litter the waste in such remote and scenic locations. We have managed to list down few tips, things to do and things to avoid during your CharDham Tour of Uttarakhand. The following yatra tips will help to make your Char Dham  Yatra comfortable, hastle free and will keep you healthy and fit during the entire trip.

1.       The chardham or the four pilgrimage destinations are accessible only for six months (May to October) throughout the year. The region becomes inaccessible during the other half of the part of the year due to snowfall. You can check opening and closing dates of Char Dham Temples.

2.       While visiting Hindu mythological sites, shrines and temples, one should remove shoes and cover head with a piece of cloth before entering the Holy Place.

3.       Carry heavy woolen clothes to protect from cold weather during the month of October-November and carry moderate woolen during Summer Season.

4.       Carry woolen Blanket, an umbrella, Raincoat, Torchlight, minimum luggage and canvas shoes with you. You can carry woolen sweater, monkey cap and muffler, which will      enable you to with stand cold winds, at the upper level of Himalayas.

5.       Do carry creams, moisturizers, sunscreen creams.

6.       Pack a medical kit with painkillers, antibiotics, cough lozenges, Antiseptic cream, Iodine, tube-squeeze cream and medicines for cold and fever.

7.       Carry your routine medicines, as you might find only limited and general medicine at such remote locations.

8.       Carry dark choclates, dry fruits, Glucose (Glucon D), toffees. They will provide your instant energy during the trekking and during long jams.

9.       When asking for directions, speak to shopkeepers, not pedestrians. Check with at least two persons or more.

10.   Do not take pictures if cameras are not allowed in any particular area. Do not play with the sentiments of any particular religion.

11.   At least a month before the Yatra, it is advisable to start preparatory exercises for the trip 4 months in advance.

12.   Though self-managed tours happen to be economical, it is advisable for your Chardham yatra to go for a guided tour arranged by an expert local travel agent.

13.   Carry extra batteries and films for your camera, as electricity is not regular in such remote places.

14.   Do not travel in the rainy season as there are a lot of landslides during that time.

15.   Book hotel rooms in advance if you are travelling close to the temple opening dates, there is a heavy rush of pilgrims. Check hotels on CharDham Route.

16.   Alcohol or non vegetarian food is not permitted during Char Dham Yatra Tour.

17.   Drink packaged water or boiled water only.

Clothing during Char Dham Yatra

Summers (May, June, July, August)- Moderate Woolens

Winters (April, September, October, November)- Heavy Woolens

Medical Emergency Number

In case of any serious medical emergency, call 108 (The Mobile emergency service from Government of Uttarakhand). Don't make fake calls, as it is punishable offence.

Train Connectivity:

 Rishikesh, Haridwar, Kotdwar and Dehradun are well connected to major cities of India by Railway Network. From here you can get bus or you can hire taxi as well.

Air Connectivity:

Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun. Helicopter service to Kedarnath and Badrinath is available from Delhi, Dehradun, Phata, Augustmuni and Gauchar near Rudraprayag and Jollygrant Airport Dehradun.

Driving Tips in Uttarakhand during Char Dham

1.       Always keep your vehicle on left side of the Road

2.       Use Horn at curves on hills, Never overtake the overtaking vehicle

3.       One should not drive more than 8 hours a day in hilly region

4.       Avoid driving after sunset, as it is not allowed in hilly area of Uttarakhand

5.       Use shoes instead of slippers while driving

6.       Check your Brakes and Hand Brakes before starting journey

7.       Check the Headlights, Break light and Parking lights of your vehicle

8.       Always give way to uphill vehicles

9.       Keep your vehicle's valid documents with you to avoid inconvenience

10.   Before journey, make sure that fuel tank of your vehicle is full, in case of landslides you might have to take alternate long routes

11.   Ensure to refuel, where ever easily you get chance, during season there might be long queues in Petrol Pumps at main stations

12.   Carry first aid box with you

13.   Do not drink and drive

14.   In case of traffic jam, park your vehicle at the end of the queue. If you initiate a parallel queue, the traffic from other side might force you to drive in reverse gear, till you reach again at end of the original queue. And you may find it very difficult to drive long in reverse gear on a hilly road

15.   Do not compete with local vehicles/drivers. They know the terrain very well.

 

 

 

Trip Facts

 Few Interesting Things You Might Not Know About Chardham

Chardham is the name given to the four most divine pilgrimages of India comprising Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath located in the state of Uttarakhand. According to Hindu legends, undertaking a journey to the Chardham in Uttarakhand helps one to wash away sins and get Moksha. From time immemorial, devotees and saints from around the world have been visiting these sacred shrines to quench their spiritual urges and get god’s blessing. While most of the people are aware of only these popular facts associated with the four religious dhams, there are yet many other unknown facts that are hardly known to the devotees.

Scroll down to unmask these lesser known facts before embarking on a journey to Uttarakhand’s Chardham.

1. Chardham Parikrama:

As per the Hindu tradition of parikrama, pilgrims undertake this holy journey from left to right. Pilgrimage to Chardham yatra begins from Yamunotri Temple, the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal dedicated to the Goddess Yamuna, before proceeding to Gangotri Temple which is devoted to Goddess Ganga, and then further moves to Kedarnath temple which stands as one of the 12 ‘Jyotirlingas’ of Lord Shiva and finally concludes at Badrinath temple which is devoted to Lord Vishnu.

2. Chardham Represents Three Major Sectarians:

The sacred sites of the Chardham in Uttarakhand are not allied to any single sect. Rather, it represents three major sectarians with the Vaisnava site at Badrinath, joined by a Saiva site at Kedarnath and two Devi sites at Yamunotri and Gangotri.

3. The Original Shrine of Lord Badri:

The original shrine of Lord Badrinath was not where it is today. According to history, the original Badrinath idol was discovered by Adi Shankaracharya in the Alaknanda River and the temple of Lord Badrinath was built in the Garud Caves, which are located near the hot springs of Tapt Kund. Many centuries later, the king of Garhwal moved the shrine to its present location.

4. Jalamagna Shivalinga:

Located near Gangotri temple, Jalamagna Shivalinga is a natural rock Shivling which is visible only during the winter, when the level of the water goes down. This site is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva held Ganga in his matted locks.

5. Surya Kund:

Located close to the freezing Yamunotri glacier, Surya Kund is another hot water spring which holds an important religious significance. The water of this spring is so hot that the Prasad is prepared in the water of kund only that too within just a few minutes.

6. Story Behind Kedar’s Construction:

According to the historical facts, the initial temple of Kedarnath which now stands adjacent to the present temple was built by the Pandavas. After winning the battle of Mahabharata, the Pandavas felt guilty of killing their own brothers and therefore came here in search of Lord Shiva, who kept hiding from the Pandavas. Finally Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers was able to recognize the Lord who was hiding in the guise of a bull. Thereafter, Lord Shiva runaway from that place leaving behind his back part. Even today, the hind part of Shiva is worshipped in Kedarnath.

7. Gauri Kund:

 

Situated at a height of 6500 feet, Gauri Kund serves as the base camp for the pilgrims on their way to Kedarnath. It comprises a temple and a hot water spring dedicated to Goddess Gauri. According to legends, Gauri Kund is a place where Goddess Gauri, wife of Lord Shiva carried out her yogic practices.

8. An Ancient Buddhist Temple:

It is believed that the existing site of the Badrinath temple was once an ancient Buddhist shrine, probably before the 8th century, because of its noticeable Buddhist architecture.

9. The Emergence of Bhavishya Badrinath:

According to the hindu mythology, the present Badrinath and Kedarnath temples will become inaccessible in future. This is because it is believed that when the arm of the Narasingha idol at Joshimath falls off and the two mountains Jay and Vijay near Vishnuprayag become one, the way to the pious Badrinath and Kedarnath temples will become unapproachable. After that the worship of Lord Vishnu proceeds at Bhavishya Badri near Joshimath. At present, the arm of the idol of Narasingha is as thin as a single hair, which means that there is still time for Bhavishya Badri to appear as new Badrinath.

10. Three Parts of Badrinath:

The Shrine of Badrinath is divided into three parts, i.e. the ‘Garbha Griha’ in which the idol of Lord Badrinath is seated and covered with gold sheet, the ‘Darshan Mandap’ in which rituals are performed and the ‘Sabha Mandap’ where devotees gather and wait for darshan of Lord Badrinath.

11. Tapt Kund: 

Located just below the Badrinath temple, Tapt Kund is the holy hot water spring where devotees take bath before visiting the Badrinath temple. The water of the kund is believed to be infused with medicinal properties. The springs of Tapt Kund are known to be the home of Lord Agni, the Hindu God of fire.

12. Narad Kund:

Located close to Tapta Kund, Narad kund is believed to be the recovery source of the Badrinath idol. The hot water springs comes out from under the Garur Shila and falls into a tank. Devotees visiting the Badrinath temple take a dip in this kund before heading into the temple.

13. Blowing of the Conch is prohibited in Badrinath:

There are many scientific reasons and legends behind the ban of the conch in Badrinath temple. One of the famous legends states that when the great sage Agastya was killing the demons in Kedarnath, two demons Vatapi and Atapi managed to run away. While demon Atapi took shelter in the Mandakani River, demon Vatapi took refuge in the conch to save his life. It is supposed that if anyone blows the Conch, the Vatapi demon would come out of the conch. So, the conch is not blown in Badrinath.

Knowing these facts about the Chardham Yatra is worthwhile for all those who are planning to proceed on this route in search of salvation from the sins of their previous birth. Make sure to update yourself with all these facts which are worth knowing before you actually land in this divine place.

 

 

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