Badrinath is one of the holy towns of the Hindus located at Chamolidistrict of Uttarakhand in India. It is the most important of all the four dhams in India. The town of Badrinath lies between Nar and Naryana mountain ranges and in the shadow of Nilkantha peak, 301 km north of Rishikesh. The town is located at an elevation of 3,133mts above sea level on the left bank of Alakananda River.The main attraction of Badrinath is the Badrinath temple also known as the Badrinarayan temple. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is also one of the 108 Divya Desams or holy shrines of Vaishnavities. The present temple is conical in shape built two centuries ago by the Garhwal kings. 15 idols are present in the temple complex, each built in black stone. Lord Vishnu is represented here in a meditative posture and is flanked by Nar and Narayan. According to legend, the temple was originally established by Adi Shankaracharya which was renovated several times after its establishment. Badrinath is also one of the Panch Badris. The other four badris are Yogadhyan Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Bridha Badri or the 'Old Badri' and Adi Badri.Badarinath Lord MahaVishnu is believed to have done his penance. Seeing the Lord doing his penance in the open, Goddess Mahalaxmi is believed to have assumed the form of Badari tree to provide him shelter to face the onslaught of the adverse weather conditions, therefore the name Badari Narayan. It is believed that Lord Vishnu revealed to Narad rishi that Nar & Naryans forms were his own. It is also believed that Narad rishi, who also did his penance here, is even now worshipping the supreme God with Ashtakshara mantras.The image of Badarinarayan here is fashioned out of Saligramam. Badarinarayan is seen under the Badari tree, flanked by Kuber and Garuda, Narad, Narayan and Nar. Mahalakshmi has a sanctum outside in the parikrama. There is also a shrine to Adi Sankara at Badarinath.
Behind the temple of Lord Badarinarayan is the Lakshmi Narsimh mandir, with shrines to Desikacharya and Ramanujachary.At Badarinath one can witness one of the greatest wonders of Nature in the Hot water springs of Taptkund on the banks of ice chilled river Alaknanda. The temperature of the water in the Kund is 55 degree centigrade whereas the normal temperature in this region for most part of the year remains at 9-10 degree centigrade to sub-zero levels. Before visiting the temple the pilgrims take a holy bath in the Taptkund.The Temple's present structure was built by the Kings of Garhwal. The Temple has three sections - Garbhagriha (Sanctum), the Darshan Mandap, and Sabha Mandap. The Garbhagriha (Sanctum) houses Lord Badari Narayan, Kuber (God of wealth), Narad rishi, Udhava, Nar & Narayan.
Lord Badari Narayan (also called as Badari Vishal) is armed with Shankh (Conch) and Chakra in two arms in a lifted posture and two arms rested on the lap in Yogamudra.The principal image is of black stone and it represents Vishnu seated in meditative pose. The temple also houses Garuda (Vehicle of Lord Narayan). Also here are the idols of Adi Shankar, Swami Desikan and Shri Ramanujam. Guru-Shisya parampara is supposed to have its roots here.
Some of the other attractions of Badrinath include the Tapt Kund a natural thermal spring on the banks of the Alakananda. It is believed that the water of this kund has medicinal properties. An important pilgrimage detination of both the Hindus and the Sikhs is Hemkund Sahib located at a distance of 43kms from Badrinath. Neelkanth is another prime attraction of Badrinath which is a snow-covered peak of Badrinath. You can also visit the Panch Prayag i.e. Devprayag,Rudraprayag, Nandprayag, Karnaprayag, Vishnuprayag; from Badrinath. You can also visit the Mata Murthi temple which is dedicated to the mother of Sri Badrinathji. 3km from Badrinath is Mana village inhabited by an Indo-Mongolian tribe.