One celestial day in heavens, Vishnu was reclining on his shesha shaya on the banks of celestial lake, whilst the Goddess Laxmi caressed his feet, Narad a Doyen of the high learning, happened to pass that way and seeing the blissful scene, rebuked Vishnu for stopping to the ways of worldly comfort, horrified Vishnu sent Laxmi away to the nagkanyas and himself disappeared into the Himalays isolation in a valley covered with wild berries (Badri) on which he fed himself, assumimg a Yogdhyani posture, he meditated for several years Laxmi returned and finding her Lord absent, set out in search, finally she reached Badri van and begged Vishnu to give up “yogdhyani” posture and assume original “Sringaric”form, Lord Vishnu agreed to do if the valley of Badrivan remained a valley of meditation and not worldly pleasures, that he be worshipped in both Yogadhyani and Sringaric forms. The Goddess Laxmi sitting on his left side in the first and on his right in the second, As the spouse of Lord Vishnu Laxmi should be on the left in the singaric form, her being placed on the right instead, carries a meaning, they are both now worshipped as a divine couple but as individual deities with no maritial relations, it is for this reason That the Rawal ( head priest) of the temple must not only be a namboodripad Brahmin from kerala, but also celibate, strict adherence has been given to the three stipulations laid down by the Yogadhyani. during the summer, Vishnu is worshipped in the sringaric form by the pilgrims and in his Yogdhyani during the winter by the Gods, Goddesses and sages.

The Narparbat, over which the Neelkanth peek looms. Almost directly above is beleaved to contain riches beyond belief the wealth of Gods diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, is called Kuber Bhandar treasure of Lord wealth, Kuber idols has pride of place on the right of the Lord in the sanctum Sanctorum, where sits Maha Vishnu, calm serene and in deep meditation.

Samrat Ashok who discarded war as an instrument of conquest, the doctrine swept the land and the Badrinath temple became Buddhist shrine, though the exact date is not known, it is mention in the scriptures.

In the 8th century A.D Adiguru Shakaracharya while meditating at Astha khand an Akashwani said to him that the idol of Lord Vishnu lies asleep in the narad kund. The Adiguru dived in the Narad Kund recovered the Idol of Lord Vishnu, duly enshrined it once again and The temple of Badrinath became a Hindu shrine, made of shaligram(Black stone) the details are not well defined.

Opinions differ as to wheather the Idol is of Vishnu or the Buddha, who is always depicted in an akin posture called the Bodhisattava.

Hindu mythology says the Buddha is the Ninth incarnation of Vishnu so could be considered another form of Badrinath.

Hindu philosophy is a guide to the path of life, the elasticity of the faith permits devotees to see in the idol, Bramha, Vishnu, Shiva, Kali, Mahavir Guru or Buddha. The Shankaracharya preached the docterine of Advaita Vedanta, or unqualified Monism, as apposed to the dualism of matter and sprit, according to him all being may ultimately, refer to once category, idelism, panthonism and materialism are monism.Dualism preached the entire separation of sprit and matter and the two distinct principles of good and evil, shankaracharya achieved the revival of orthodox Bhramanism, and the death in India of Buddhism.

The idol with palms locked in meditation, siddhasna and with matted hair flowing was recovered and installed first at Gurudakoti, hostile elements who disagreed with the Adiguru,s teachings removed the ikon and threw it in to the bog, hoping it would disappear for over, but it reappeared after a few centuries and was reinstalled at Sri Badri Narayan, in the inner most part of the temples three parts, the garb griha, or the sanctum sanctorum, the ikon of Maha Vishnu, or Lord Badri Vishal under a canopy covered with a sheet of Gold presented by the queen Ahalayabai.

General Information About Badrinath

  • Summer Temperature: Max. 10o, Min. 0o || Winter Temperature: Max. Sub-Zero, Min. Snowbound
  • Clothing: Woollens
  • Langauage/Dialects: Hindi & Garhwali
  • Best Season: May to June and September to October

Travel Information

  • Nearest Airport is Jolly Grant,located at Dehradun, which is 315 kms away
  • Nearest Railhead is at Rishikesh, which is at a distance of 292 kms

Best Time To Visit

Ideal time for visiting the shrine will be between May to November. One should,carry Sweaters, woolen clothing, Umbrella and required medicines during the trip. Minimum luggage should be preferred. Non-vegetarian food and alcoholic drinks are strictly prohibited in this place.

Distances from Important Cities

  • Haridwar – 321 kms
  • Rishikesh - 297 kms
  • Joshimath - 42 kms
  • Karnaprayag - 123 kms
  • Rudraprayag – 155 kms
  • Deoprayag - 225 kms
  • Dehradun - 343 kms

Places to See Near Badrinath

The pilgrimage centre boasts of two natural hot water springs – Tapt Kund and Surya Kund. The sulphurous waters have a temperature of 55oC. A bath in these springs is believed to purify the body and soul and is done before visiting the temple.

Panch Badris

Vishal Badri: Refers to the main Shri Badri Narayan Temple and is considered to be the most sacred.

Yogathyan Badri: Located at a distance of 24 kms from Badri Nath and at 20 kms from Joshimath. This is also the place where Maharaj Pandu (father of the Pandava princes) prayed to Pandukeshwar.

Bhavishya Badri: This is located at 17 kms from Joshimath and is a small village.

Preetha Badri: Located at 17 kms from Joshimath at a place called Animath. Adi Shankar is believed to have worshipped Lord Badrinath here for some time.

Adi Badri: This is located at a distance of 16 kms from Karnaprayag. Several temples constructed during Gupt Dynasty are here of which Mana Narayanan temple is considered to be the most popular one.

Village Mana

3 km north of Badrinath is the last Indian village of Indo- Tibet border, situated on the slope of stabilized debris in the Alaknanda at the confluence of two rivers, The Himalayan semi- nomads who form a small group, similar to the jadhs, and move down in the winter to Joshimath and Chamoli, when the village is deserted and covered with thick blanket of snow.mostly ajputs , the people are poor known also as marchyas have lost their traditional ties with Tibet without gaining any substitute, with mechanization of the roads many changes are coming into their way of life, mountaineers visit the area to climb Chaukhamba and Neelkanth.

Vyas Gufa

It was in this cave, Vyas Maharishi composed the Mahabharata. And gave to the world the immortal words of Krishna This was done at the orders of his mentor Kalpatru Maharishi who appeared in his dream. Mahabharata depicts the history of Pandavs, Kauravs including Kurukshetra War and most importantly Bhagawad Gita authored by Krishna (reincarnation of Vishnu). Ganesh, the son of Shiv & Parvati, Faithfull Ganesh to whom the sage poet dictated the words, live in the adjoining cave, it is beleaved he wrote on the massive rocks that abounded in the area, closely on the outskirts of cave are the records of manuscript, piled up, In addition to Mahabharat, Vyas Maharishi composed 18 puranas (legendary stories), Brahma Sutras and classified the Hindu Vedas into 4 parts – Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. It is only in this cave that Adi Shankara is believed to have met Vyas Maharishi and discussed his Bhashyam (explanatory notes) for Brahma Sutras.

Rock formation inside the Vyas Gufa appears to resemble the orderly stacking of palm leave manuscripts – oldest writing material and is worshipped as Vyas Pusthak. Vyas Maharishi is also considered, by some, as reincarnation of Vishnu.

Valley of Flowers

One of the most idyllic valleys in the world, was discoverd by Frank S. Smythe, in 1931. The valley is profuse with a plethora of vibrant flowers, hence the name. Nearby, flows the river Pushpavati, while the massive Rataban peak forms a splendid backdrop.


Situated between Joshimath and Badrinath, Gobindghat is the starting point for the trek to the valley.

Lok-Pal Hemkund

One of the most famous Gurudwaras in India, Hemkund Sahib is located here, at an altitude of 4320 metres above sea level. Nearby, is the Lok-Pal Hemkund lake, with its crystal clear waters, and four peaks surrounding it.

Mata Murti Mandir

About 3 km from Badrinath, on the right bank of the Alaknanda stands this temple, dedicated to the mother of Shri Badrinath.

Vasuki Tal

This is a high altitude lake which can be reached by an 8 km trek that ascends to 14,200 feet. Vyas Gufa, Ganesh Gufa, Bhimpul and Vasudhara Falls 6 km. All these destinations are famous for their links with Hindu mythology and form part of the pilgrimage to Badrinath.


This place is believed to have been established by King Pandu, father of Pandavas. It is situated at 4kms from Govind Ghat, 219 kms from Kedarnath and 24 kms from Badrinath. There are two temples – one for Lord Yogabadri Narayan and the other for Lord Vasudev. During winter, Lord Vasudev temple will function as the abode for Lord Badri Narayan and all the daily rituals connected with worship are performed here. Both the temples are quite old.

The temple remains closed from October to April due to severe winter conditions. During this period the idols of Utsavo murti are taken to Pandukeshwar.