Lord Badrinath: Temple history and facts about Badrinath!
Lord Badrinath is one of the Char Dhams of Hinduism. Shri Badrinath temple's history is related to Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati.
The Legend of Lord Badrinath and his temple!
Amongst the magnificent mountains and cliffs of Uttarakhand, Lord Badrinath stays here in his majestic temple. Lord Badrinath is one of the most revered God in the Hindu religion.
This temple of him is also very important as because it comes under one of the Char Dhams of Hinduism or the four sacred places of worship.
It is said that Lord Vishnu is present here to bless his devotees in the form of Shri Badri Vishala or more commonly known as Sri Badrinath.
However behind this temple, a very interesting legend of Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati lies here which tells the origin of this temple.
The Temple of Badrinath is so revered that it comes in the 108 Divya Deshams or sacred temples of Vaishnavite people or the followers of Vishnu.
It is said that even Guru Adi Shankaracharya, a very prominent Hindu spiritual leader visited here and established this grand temple of the Lord.
In this Blog post, I would be telling you about Lord Badrinath, his temple's history and the legend behind this Teertham. If you want to know more about such fabulous temples, read our blog post: 9 mysterious temples in India.
The story behind this temple
According to the Puranas, this is the place where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati came to stay and meditate. Once they went on for walking down the hills. When they came back, at the porch of their home a little baby was crying.
Looking at this child crying out, Parvati’s maternal instincts came up and she wanted to go and pick up the child. Shiva tried to stopped her and said, “Don’t touch that child.” Parvati replied, “How cruel and bad. How can you say that?”
Shiva said, “This is not a good baby. How did he came at our doorstep by himself? There is no one around, no footprints of parents in the snow. This is not a child.” But Parvati said, “Nothing doing! The mother in me will not allow me to let the child be like this,” and she took the baby into their house. The child was very comfortable, sitting on her lap, smiling, looking at Shiva. Shiva knew the consequence but kept quiet.
Parvati comforted and fed the child, left him at home and went with her consort for a bath in the nearby water lake. When they came back, they found the doors of their house were locked from the inside. Parvati was shocked. “Who has closed the door?”
Shiva said, “I told you, don’t pick up this child. You brought the child into the house and now he has locked the door.” Parvati said, “What shall we do?” Shiva said, “Let’s go somewhere else. Because it’s your beloved baby, I cannot touch it.”.
It is also believed that Nara and Narayana, the manifestations of Lord Vishnu also resided here and used to meditate in the forests nearby. In the temple, there is a shrine dedicated to Nara and Narayana.
History of the Badrinath's Temple
The present day temple is believed to be established by Shri Adi Shankaracharya who was a prominent spiritual leader. Before it, the temple was a small shrine.
This temple has a very deep importance in Hindu Scriptures. It is mentioned in several Puranas such as Skanda Purana and Bhagavad Purana etc.
It is also one of the 108 sacred Vishnu temples called "Divya Deshams". The Badrinath temple comes in the series of "Char Dham" or the "4 most sacred temples of Hinduism". It is believed that if a person visits this temple and gets Darshan of the God, he will definitely receive Moksha.
The temple has shrines of Adi Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Nara and Narayana, Lakshmi-Narasimha and Ghantakarna.
Some Amazing facts about Lord Badrinath
- The Hindu texts mention that Lord Vishnu used to meditate under the Badri tree which is a very common species of trees found in Himalayas. Hence the place got it's name as Badrinath.
- The Badrinath temple is also one of the Chota Char Dham temples which consist of Kedarnath(Lord Shiva), Yamunotri(Yamuna Glacier), Gangotri(Ganga Glacier).
- The great sages like Kapila, Gautam rishi, Kashyap rishi, Nara and Narayana had done meditation here. They had performed penances and attained divine powers while staying here.
- According to history, Buddhist people had thrown the Vigraha of the god in the Alaknanda river in their era and established a Buddhist pagoda in the shrine.
- But when Adi Shankaracharya came, he re-established the deity in his place and reverted the Pagoda back to a temple. The architecture style of the temple indicate that it was a Pagoda.
- It is said that the Gods themselves had established the Vigraha here and built a temple in Badrinath.
- Shri Adi Shankaracharya, when built the temple, gave it's maintenance to his people; the Namboodri sect of Kerala. From then the tradition is going on.
- Till today, the main priest of the temple known as Rawal comes from the Namboodri Brahmins sect from Kerala as the tradition was established by Adi Shankaracharya.
- Like the Kedrinath temple, this temple also remains closed for 6 months during the winter solstice. It only remains open for 6 months during the time of summer.