Badarinath Dham is considered as one of the most sacred centres of pilgrimage situated in the lofty Himalayan heights in the Garhwal hill tracks (Uttarakhand). Situated at the height of 3133 m (10248 feet) above sea level. The route to Badarinath is one of the most fascinating one due to the lofty hilly terrain, curves and cliffs amidst the most scenically beautiful place on the earth.
Throughout the route to Badarinath there are numerous pilgrimage sites at Deo Prayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandaprayag and Vishnuprayag; as well as Pandukeswar where king Pandu observed Tapasya with his queen Madri and where his sons Pandavas, stayed during their pilgrimage to heaven, and the site where Bhima and Hanuman (sons of Vayu) met.
At 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.
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