Greater Huston Rath Yatra
SKAI Foundation

The Badrinath Dham is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu situated in the Badrinath town at a height of 10,400 feet above sea-level in the Garhwal Mountains a part of the larger Himalayas, in the state of Uttaranchal, on the banks of the Alaknanda River. The town lies between the Nar and Narayana mountain ranges and in the shadow of Nilkantha peak (6,560m). The temple and town form one of the four Char Dham and Chota Char Dham pilgrimage sites. The temple is also one of the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Badrinath—holy shrines for Vaishnavites.

The Badrinath Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and it is believed that he had done his penance at this holy place. According to the mythological beliefs, when Goddess Mahalaxmi saw Lord Vishnu undertaking his penance in open, she took the form of Badari tree and provided him shelter to protect him from adverse weather conditions. Hence, the temple is named as Badari Narayan. The Kings of Garhwal have built the present structure of the temple. The temple has three structures; the Garbhagriha (sanctum), the Darshan Mandap (worship hall), and Sabha Mandap (convention hall). The conical shaped roof the sanctum, the garbhagriha, is approximately 15 m (49 ft) tall with a small cupola on top, covered with a gold gilt roof. The facade is built of stone and has arched windows. A broad stairway leads up to the main entrance, a tall, arched gateway. Just inside is a mandap, a large, pillared hall that leads to the sanctum, or main shrine area. The walls and pillars of the hall are covered with intricate carvings. The main shrine houses the 1 m (3.3 ft) Shaligram (black stone) image of Badrinarayan, which is housed in a gold canopy under a Badri Tree. The image of Badrinarayan holds a Shankha (conch) and a Chakra (wheel) in two of its arms in a lifted posture and two arms are rested on its lap in a Yogamudra (Padmasana) posture. The sanctum also houses images of the god of wealth - Kubera, sage Narada, Uddhava, Nar and Narayan.

Mata Murti Ka Mela, which commemorates the descent of river Ganges on mother earth, is the most prominent festival celebrated in the Badrinath Temple.

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