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Panch Badri: Sacred Shrines of Lord Vishnu
Apart from Ganga & Yamuna, spirituality and meditation are irrevocably linked with Devbhoomi since time immemorial. The place is also gifted with home to one of the 108 temples of Lord Vishnu, where his four-handed feature with look of different names gives special status to Uttarakhand.
All sages and hermits share the common denominator---they know without gravitating towards pilgrim places, the life is worthless. All the material comforts of life are ephemeral and everlasting peace & happiness lies only at the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu. Surrender yourself at His will and go for transcending experience.
What is Panch Kedar?
“Panch” is a Sanskrit word which means five. Panch Badri is five sacred shrines of Lord Vishnu, which are located in high altitude regions of Chamoli Garhwal in Uttarakhand. These highly spiritual places are held in high esteem by the pilgrims and the locals and offer the highest perfection of life.
Adi Badri, Badrinath, Bhavishya Badri, Vridh Badri & Yogdhyan Badri are collectively known as Panch Badri. All the illusions and deceptions of dual world disappear as you enter in the holy milieu of Badri Kshetra (region). It paves the way for inner journey to connect you with super consciousness soul.
- Lord Vishnu is worshipped in five different forms
- Without understanding Shiva, one can’t understand Hari
- Shivalinga & Shaligram are treated equally by devotees
- Ganga originates from Vishnu’s toes before entering Shiva’s tresses
Badrinath (3,300 m)
Badrinath along with Dwarka, Puri and Rameshwaram are four ancient pilgrim places (char dham) in India. Parched at an altitude of 3300 m above the sea level, it is also known as Badri Vishal. The lost idol was recovered from nearby Narad Kund and re-installed by Adi Shankaracharya in the eighth century AD.
The place was originally belonged to Lord Shiva and offered to Lord Vishnu who was fascinated by the divine charm of the place. He mediated for many years under the shade of Badri tree. Later, many sages like Narada, Kapila Muni, Ved Vyas, Gautam & Kashyap also meditated & penanced here for salvation in caves.
Yogdhyan Badri (1829 m)
Close to famous Govind Ghat, this place is also known as Yoga Badri. Here, the idol of Lord Hari seems to be lost in meditation that is also known as Yogeshwar. As per legend, King Pandu meditated for many years to please Vishnu and to free him from the killing of a pair of mating deer. The Pandavas were born here.
The bronze statue of Vishnu is one of the most sought after attraction in Pandukeshwar village of Chamoli region. The devotees visit here from different parts of the country to take blessings after offering prayers. It is also the winter abode for the festival image of Badri Dham.
Bhavishya Badri (2,744 mts)
It is arduous trek of 6 km and narrow in some stretches from sleepy Saladhar village, nearly 18 km from Joshimath. The place recently caught the national electronic media’s attention with recurring self-created images of various gods including Lord Vishnu appearing in a secluded cave.
As per legend, when Jai-Vijay (or Nar-Narayan) mountains will merge in future at the end of this Kaliyuga, the path going to Barinath will be blocked and inaccessible. It has been mentioned in Skand Puran clearly in Sanskrit aphorism. Then, it will be future Badri Dham.
As per another legend, in a statue of Narasimha in Joshimath, the wrists of idol are thinning steadily. One day, when it will fell down, the two mountains will merge. Then, Kedarnath and Badrinath will disappear, and shifted to another place for devotees.
Vridha Badri (1,380 mts)
“Vridha” means old and Badri is region dedicated to lord of preserver of life. It is a small temple with amazing sightseeing at the backdrop. As per legend, Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of old man before sage Narada who penance for many years in the sylvan surroundings of Himalaya.
It is situated near Animath village en route to Kalpeshwar, and nearly 7 km from Joshimath. Before Badrinath temple came into existence, the original idol was the creation of Vishkarma at this very place. Later, the idol was shifted to Badrinath. It remains open for devotees all the year round.
Adi Badri (2, 135 mts)
This temple is located in Pandukeshwar nearly 17 km from Karnaprayag. One can clearly see yogic pose of Lord Vishnu in black stone with his favorite belongings of mace, lotus and chakra. During winter season when Badrinath remained closed for devotees, people come here for offerings and prayers.
It is part of 16 tiny shrines standing at the lap of mountains. The main temple complex is built on a raised platform with a small enclosure of a geometrical shape. Adi Shankarachaya also visited this place to revive the fading Hindu religion and cemented the bond of unity in diversity.
Contributor - Udit Khanduri