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This sacred place of Vishnu worship forms an iconic landmark in Chamoli against the majestic backdrop of Nar and Narayan mountain peaks. The overall environment here is filled with good vibes and positivity which makes it one of the most highly revered Char Dham pilgrimage centres in India. The story of this temple goes back to the Vedic ages and to the time when Nar and Narayan had worshipped lord Vishnu here and in fact Vishnu himself is said to have performed penance here. All these facts makes it one of the most iconic and legendary heritage that is admired by devotees and pilgrims from all over the world.
The temple is steeped in mysticism which is clear through its architecture and design. Although it does not look like a traditional temple its unique features also have been attracting pilgrims and devotees ever since the ancient ages. Here is a whole picture about the temple, inside out so that you get to know the actually value of this place:
Although the colorful exterior of the temple may not give it a typical look of a Hindu Mandir in the traditional sense but the insides are exactly what a temple in India is supposed to be. The interiors of the temple is divided into 3distinct sections namely Garbhagriha, Darshan Mandap and Sabha Mandap. Badri Vishal’s iconic conical shape roof covering the sanctum is completely covered in golden gilded roof. The entrance leading up to the temple is with the help of a large staircase from where the façade of the Mandir can be seen built in stone and traditional arch windows and gateways. It truly is appalling to see how this beautiful architectural feat took place in the absence of technology.
The interior of this temple from its walls to pillars tells a whole different story. Although colorful and brightly colored on the outside the insides are filled with intricate designs and carvings. On entering the main entrance and just crossing the Mandap part of the temple you shall be welcomed with a large hall with pillars all around which gives way to the main sanctum or the inner shrine of the temple where the idol of Badrinath Ji is presided.
The main shrine idol is in the form of a glistening black stone which is known as Shaligram and is 1 feet tall. This idol where the pilgrims offer their prayer can be seen holding a Shankh or conch and a chakra or a wheel in his other hand and he is also seated in a Padmasana position. Idol of other gods and goddesses include lord Lakshmi, Garuda, Nav Durga, Nar and Narayan, Adi Shankaracharya and others.
After or before entering the temple for the holy Darshan every pilgrim makes it a point to take a holy dip in the naturally occurring hot water spring which is said to contain medicinal properties. Located just behind the temple of Badri Vishal is a large pond like area which attracts pilgrims to this place which is said to be the holy abode of goddess Lakshmi. It is said that doing so will also get you rid of joint and skin related issues. A visit here is a must for a complete and wholesome Badrinath experience.
In 7th / 8th century Adi Shankaracharya, a prominent mystic, sage, seer and philosopher saw the depleting value of Hinduism in the country as a result of constant attacks and invasions. He decided to set up Mathas and pilgrimages all over India with an aim of evoking and re - igniting the feeling of deep spirituality and Hinduism within the hearts of the Hindu population. The temple initially was serving as a Buddhist monastery when the region used to be inhabited by the Buddhists. Later on Adi Shankara decided to convert it into a Hindu temple of Vishnu worship and installed a Shalingram form of lord Vishnu as an idol inside the temple. Eventually it became one of the most sought after parts of Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand and India in general and till now it is held at a very high accord.