Badrinath or Badrinarayan Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu which is situated in the town of Badrinath in Uttarakhand, India. The temple and town form one of the four Char Dham. It is open for six months every year (between the end of April and the beginning of November). The temple is located in Garhwal hill tracks of Chamoli district along the banks of Alaknanda River at an elevation of 3,133 m (10,279 ft) above the mean sea level. The temple is surrounded by the Nar and Narayan mountains, which lies 9 km east of the Nilkantha peak.
Badrinath Temple is shut down for winter months every year while prayers to the Badri Vishal ‘Utsav Murti’ continue at the Narasimha temple in Joshimath. The priests of Badrinath Temple continue to perform the rituals on the ‘Utsav Murti’ at Narasimha temple during the winter season. Joshimath is the winter seat of Badrinath Temple. An advantage of the winter yatra at Badrinath is that there is much less rush of people and the landscape also looks different.
Badrinath yatra route is one of the fascinating ones due to the lofty hilly terrain, curves, and cliffs, amidst the most scenically beautiful places on the earth. Along with Badrinath temple, there are many places of sightseeing namely Panch Prayag temple, Badhri Narayanan Temple, Vasudhara Falls, Hot Geyser (tapt kunds or hot water springs), Bheem Pul, Mana Village, etc. Badrinath yatra can be done either by road or through helicopter. Hot water springs are among the natural wonders at Badrinath. Transport is also available in A/c & Non-A/c vehicles for the whole yatra of Badrinath.
Due to picturesque surroundings, high altitude mountain region (Himalayas), dense forests, large valleys and enthralling environment give an opportunity for visitors to unwind themselves by breathing fresh air with experience of majestic Badrinath. The most prominent festival held at Badrinath Temple is Mata Murti Ka Mela. Some of the places to visit in Badrinath are Auli, Gopeshwar, Nandaprayag, etc. There are two natural hot water springs in the pilgrimage center- Tapt Kund and Surya Kund.
Badrinath yatra highlights include Har Ki Pauri, Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karanparyag, Joshimath, Nursing Mandir, Mana Village, Byas Gufa, Ganesh Temple, Saraswati River, Bheem Pul, Badrinath Temple, Narad Kund. Badrinath town is also the part of Panch Badri temples including Yog Dhyan Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Adi Badri, and Vriddha Badri, along with Badrinath temple. Thus, Badrinath forms one of the four Chardham of Uttarakhand.
Badrinath yatra route during winters is full of stunning beauty of nature with dense forests, snow clad Mountains, holy river with surrounding green valley which attracts tourists from india as well as from abroad. Badrinath is the only Shrine which is part of both Chota Char Dham and India Char Dham.