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Protected on either side by two mountains named as Nar and Narayan, the Neelkanth Peak offers an impressive backdrop to Badrinath, which is one of the ‘Four Dhams’. Being one of the most celebrated pilgrim places in the country, it significantly plays host to the renowned Badrinath Temple. Legends say that Lord Vishnu visited the area, known as 'Badri Van', (berry garden) to meditate when Narad rebuked him for being involved in worldly pleasures. The main deity here is of a meditating Lord Vishnu.
This famous temple dates back to two centuries and was built by the Kings of Garhwal. It has three sections-Garbhagriha (Sanctum), Sabha Mandap and The Darshan Mandap. The Garbhagriha (Sanctum) houses the idols of Lord Badri Narayan, Narad Rishi, Kuber (God of wealth), Uthavar, Nar & Narayan. Lord Badri Narayan is armed with Shankh and Chakra in his two arms in a lifted posture while his two arms rested on the lap in Yogamudra. The main idol is of black stone, representing Vishnu seated in a meditative pose. The temple houses Garuda and Goddess Mahalaxmi and the statues of Adi Shankar, Swami Desikan and Shri Ramanujan Guru. The ancient Shisya Parampara is believed to have its roots here.
Places to Visit
It is a natural hot water pool which is said to have medicinal properties. It is customary to bathe here before visiting Badrinath temple. The Alakananda flows swiftly below the kunds.
There are five blocks of mythological importance around the Tapt Kund. These are known as
Narad, Barah, Narasimha, Garur & Markandeya Shilas (stone).
Panch Dharas in Badrinath
The famous Panch Dharas or five streams in Badrinath include Prahlad, Bhrigu, Kurma, Urvashi & Indira dhara. It is believed that the sage Narad meditated on this rock for few years.
Towering above Badrinath is a snowy peak. This pyramidal shaped peak offers a dramatic view and is known as the 'Garhwal Queen'.
It is situated in the north of Sri Badrinath temple. The spot is known as Brahma Kapal where Lord Brahma is believed to reside. Different ceremonies for departed souls like 'Shradh' and 'Pind daan' are performed here.
How to Reach
By Air: Jolly Grant, situated in Dehradun is the nearest airport.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is at Rishikesh.
By Road: Visiting Badrinath by road is also a convenient option.