Badrinath Dham History and Interesting Facts

Adorning the bank of the holy Alaknanda River and perched amidst the peaceful and scenic surrounding of the Garhwal Himalayas is the colorfully contrasting temple of Badri Vishal. It is not just a significant part of the Chota Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand but it is also an important pillar of the all index Char Dham Yatra. This Divya Desam invites throngs of devotees from all over the world when the Darshan commences during the summer season and goes on till the time winter season rolls in.

Related Legends:

According to the holy Hindu scriptures there are several legends related to the piety of this place. Here are 2 of the most popular legends regarding Badrinath Dham Temple:

Inside Badrinath Temple

According to the holy Hindu scriptures there are several legends related to the piety of this place. Here are 2 of the most popular legends regarding Badrinath Dham Temple:

  • Once when lord Vishnu had to perform penance he chose Badri Kshetra for this purpose. Unaware of the harsh weather conditions he sat there to meditate and get rid of his offences. As time flew by the weather worsened and his eternal consort goddess Laxmi decided to turn her into a Badri tree and keep him surrounded from all sides in order to keep the lord safe during these harsh conditions. Hence the entire region is named Badrinath or the king of the Badrikashram.
  • In the beginning of time the region of Badrinath was home to Lord Shiva. However 1 day lord Vishnu decided he wanted this place for him to perform penance there. So he tricked the lord by turning himself into a baby and getting an entry to stay inside the house. Lord Vishnu finally acquired the house to himself when the lord and his consort goddess Parvati were outside for a walk and locked him inside. Lord Shiva and Parvati decided to find residence somewhere else.

History of Badrinath Dham:

Ever since its construction (whose date is not clear) Badrinath Dham has seen a very colorful and vibrant historical account which are:

  • In 8th century AD a prominent philosopher and sage made his way up to Badrinath Dham all the way up from Kerala to spread and revive the true message of Hinduism which he felt had been lost due to constant invasions from foreign tribes. He approached the king of Garhwal to place the idol of lord Vishnu which he had found to the currently standing temple.
  • The temple itself has gone through a very long and tumultuous history of destruction and renovations. The kings of Garhwal are responsible for expanding the area of the temple and making it more decorative. Later on in 1803 when the entire state of Uttarakhand was rocked by a devastating earthquake the temple structure was also severely affected and it was again built thanks to the king and the royal family of Jaipur.

Interesting Facts about Badrinath Dham Temple:

The temple of lord Vishnu which has been adorning Devbhoomi against the tranquil backdrop of the peaks of Nar and Narayan is much more than what meets the eyes. Here are some of the lesser known interesting things about Badrinath temple that you may not have known:

  • Old travel writings and resource mention the presence of thick forests of Badri trees which is a sort of a berry tree. Hence this place was given its name by which we know currently. Sadly the forest could not deal with the rapidly changing environment and soon all the trees were lost.
  • Some people believe that due to its architecture and the fact that the temple does not look like any other typical Indian temple, this place was initially a Buddhist monastery. In 8th century Adi Shankara decided to convert it into a temple which made the monks recede further up on the hills.
  • A folk story tells us that the idol of lord Vishnu residing inside the temple was forged by the gods in the heaven themselves and thrown into Alaknanda River. This was later on discovered by Adi Shankara who established a shrine with this sculpture inside in a cave close to the hot water spring of Tapt Kund. Later on a king of Garhwal decided to re enshrine it in the current place where devotees visit every year.
  • - One can also opt for the winter Char Dham Yatra to offer prayer to the gods and goddesses. According to ritual when the Darshan shuts down the idol is brought down to his winter home in Joshimath at Vasudev temple (one can stop by on their way to Auli).

Badrinath Overview

Area Geo Location Population Average Climate State District Language Best Time to Visit Pin Code STD Code
3 km2 (1 sq mi) North India 2,438 (2011) -5 °C - 10 °C Uttarakhand Chamoli Hindi, Garhwali, Kumauni April to November 246422 01381