Cradled in the twin mountain ranges of Nar and Narayan, Badrinath is the holiest of the four main shrines. Badrinath is situated along the right bank of the river Alaknanda. With the splendid Neelkanth mountains as the backdrop, the shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver and falls in the religious itinerary of every devout Hindu. The present temple at Badrinath dates back to the time of Sri Shankaracharya who also founded a Math here in the 8th century AD. Facing the Badrinath temple is a hot water spring known as 'Tapta Kund'. Other famous thermal springs are the Narad Kund and the Surya Kund. With its great scenic beauty and attractive recreational spots in the vicinity, Badrinath attracts an ever increasing number of secular visitors each year.
Sightseeing at Badrinath -
The Temple Complex : There are 15 idols in the temple complex. Finely sculpted in black stone, the Badrinath (Vishnu) image is a metre high. Other images include those of Laxmi (Vishnu's consort), Garurh (Vishnu's mount), Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh etc.
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.
Brahma Kapal : A flat platform on the bank of river Alaknanda. Hindus perform propitiating rites for their deceased ancestors.
Sheshnetra : 1.5 km away is a boulder having an impression of the legendary snake, better known as the Sheshnag's eye.
Charanpaduka : 3 km away is a beautiful meadow where the footprint of Lord Vishnu is seen on a boulder.
Neelkanth : A pyramidal shaped snowy peak (6,59 7mt) towering above Badrinath, presents a dramatic sight. It is popularly known as the 'Garhwal Queen'.
Best Season to Visit : May to October.
Reaching Badrinath -
Air : Jolly Grant airport(317 kms) lies unused so nearest airport would be Delhi.
Rail : 292 km. See Rishikesh for rail connections.
Road : There is no direct bus service to Badrinath. Badrinath is connected by trek routes to Gangotri, which is connected by roads to Rishikesh (297kms), Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Nainital and Almora.
Trek route to Badrinath : Trek route starts from Gangotri, trek along Bhagirthi river and via Tapovan, Vasukital, Kalindikhal Base, Gastoli reach Mana village which is about 14 kms from Badrinath. The whole trek route would last seven days.
STD/ISD CODES -
If dialing from within India ---------++ 01381 (number)
If dialing from outside India ------------++91-1381 (number)
Shopping In Badrinath -
Apart from some basic utilities one can watch out for some local brass artifacts.