Referred to as Lord Vishnu’s abode on Earth, Badrinath Dham is a crucial part of not only the Char Dham Yatra of Uttarakhand but also that of all India Cha Dham Yatra. Along with this Badrinath or Badri Vishal is also one of the most significant divya desams out of the other 108 that is located all over India. The temple is incredibly vibrant looking and attracts the most number of devotees from all over the world. Surrounded by stunning sites of the snow-clad Himalayan mountain peaks and the lush green rolling hills of the Garhwal mountains you will be drenched in deep devotion for Lord Vishnu.
Perched on an elevation of 3,133 meters above sea level the temple is situated in the Garhwal Himalayan region in the Chamoli districts right against the beautiful backdrop of the overlooking Na and Narayan Parvat. People will also be able to experience the Himalayan beauty of the Neelkanth peak which spreads across the whole region and radiates its peaceful aura. This has to be one of the most easily reachable temples in the Char Dham Yatra circuit where the pilgrims are required to walk only for a few meters to reach the main temple entrance. Located right next to the holy river of Mandakini, Badri Vishal used to be covered in thick forests of Jujube trees (hence the name) which have now gone obsolete.
What to Expect
The temple of Badrinath is extremely vibrant looking and decorated in fine and colorful details all over. There are stone facades and arched windows that add on to the beauty of the temple complete with a conical shaped roof which is made out of a gold gilt. A broad stairway leads the pilgrims up to the main entrance of the temple through the tall and extremely charming looking arched gateway. Present inside the temple is a mandap along with a large pillared hall which leads to the inner sanctum where a 1 metre tall statue of Lord Vishnu stands which is believed to have manifested itself on its own over there.
Best Time to Visit
Just like all the other Char Dham sites of Uttarakhand Badrinath Dham should also be visited during the summer months of April to June when the weather is pleasant and the climate is comfortably warm during the day time. The temperature during this time stays between 15 and 25 degree Celsius. By night no matter what time you choose to make the journey it will be extremely cold so be prepared for that. Avoid traveling on the hills during the monsoon season when the whole place is prone to unexpected landslides.
Opening and Closing Dates
Opening Dates: The doors for Badrinath Dham is scheduled to open up during the holy eve of Akshay Tritiya which will take place on 10th may 2019. The idol of the presiding deity of Lord Vishnu will be brought in from his winter home in Joshimath after a grand procession.
Closing Dates: The gates of Badrinath Dham shuts down every year for the harsh winter months on the holy occasion of Vijayadashami on 8th October 2019. After the closing of the temple and after the idol of Lord Vishnu is taken away to his winter home in Joshimath the temple remains closed for the pilgrims for 6 months.
The main Kapat of Badrinath Dham temple opens up to as early as 4:30 am in the morning and closes at 1:00 pm for lunch and other maintenance services. It opens up once again at 4:00 pm and finally closes down for the night at 9:00 pm after the conclusion of the song Geet Govind.
Puja Rituals and Sevas
There are several aarti and puja services that take place in Badrinath Dham and some of it are – Maha Abhishek, Abhishek, Gita Path, Bhagwat Path and the evening puja rituals include Geet Govind and aarti. All the daily puja rituals and aartis are said to have been prescribed by Adi Shankaracharya himself. Unlike most of the Hindu temples in India, all the puja rituals and procedures even the decoration of the idols, are done in the presence of all the devotees.
Janmashtami – Generally taking place between the months of August to September, this festival is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. Since this festival is dedicated to Lord Krishna (8th avatar of Lord Vishnu) the procession here is done in a grand manner which is attended by a huge throng of pilgrims from across India.
Mata Murti Ka Mela – celebrated during the month of September, this festival is celebrated to pay honor and reverence to the holy mother of Lord Badrinath and it also marks the descending of the holy river of Ganga from its heavenly abode to the earthly realm. Among various holy rituals and activities here during the mela, Vedic scripture renditions of Ashtotram and Sahasranama are done.