Complete guide to Sapt Badri Temples


Sapt Badri is a group of seven sacred temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu or the preserver. The Sapt Badri Temples are located in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttrakhand. Most of the temples lie in the Alaknanda River Valley region that extends from Satopanth in the north of Badrinath to Nandaprayag in Chamoli District. The entire region is popularly known as the abode of Lord Vishnu. The region is abundant with berries and hence Sapt Badri derives its name from “badri/berries.”

Sapt Badri group of temples are in the Badri Kshetra with Badrinath shrine as the primary temple located at an altitude of 3133 meters. Other Temples in Sapt Badri circuit are Dhyan Badri, Ardha Nadri, Adi Badri, Bhavisya Badri, Yogadhyan Badri, and Vriddha Badri. Another Vishnu Temple around is Narsingh Badri that is the eighth temple in the Badri Khestra. There is another group of temples that includes only five temples, Badrinath temple, Dhyan Badri, Vridh Badri, Yoga Badri, and Bhavishya Badri. These Vishnu temples together comprise the Panch Badri Circuit.

Sapt Badri Temples is a journey to the seven remarkable temples of Lord Vishnu with origins dated back to the mythological legends mentioned in the Mahabharata. Some of the temples are accessible throughout the year, while Badrinath temple and Bhavishya Badri temple are open only for six months. Snowfall and weather conditions make these two temples inaccessible during winter months.

Adi Badri Temple

The Adi Badri temple is considered as the first amongst the Panch Badri as well as the Sapta Badri circuit of Vishnu temples located in Uttrakhand. It is located at the confluence of the Pindar river and Alaknanda river in Chamoli district of Uttrakhand. The temple Adi Badri was built during the Gupta Period and is known for its beautiful old brick style of architecture. According to the legend, it is believed that Lord Vishnu made this place his abode in Satyug, Treta, and Dwaparyug. It was in Kalyug that Vishnu shifted to Badrinath. Hence the place is named Adi Badri (ancient Badri).

Another legend goes that Sri Mad Bhagwat Puran by Maha Rishi Ved Vyas was written here. It is believed that Maha Rishi Ved Vyas wrote Shri Mad Bhagwat Maha Puran at this spot. Adi Badri is also considered as the emerging spot of Saraswati River. The priests of the temple are the Brahmins from South India. Adi Badri temple is 18 km from Karnaprayag on the road to Ranikhet.

Travel route for Adi Badri Temple:

Rishikesh → Devaprayag (74 kms) → Srinagar (35 kms) → Rudraprayag (32 kms) → Karnprayag (33kms) →Adi Badri (17 kms on NH- 109)

The Badrinath Temple

The Badrinath Temple or the Badri Vishal is regarded as the primary shrine of the Sapt Badri Temple Complex. Located in the Chamoli District with a height of 3,133 m (10,279 ft), Badrinath temple is the chief abode of Lord Vishnu. The beautiful town of Badrinath got evolved because of the temple and is a perfect place where faith and nature come together. It is one out of the 108 temples dedicated Lord Vishnu, known as Divya Desams.

In the Vedic Scriptures, Badrinath has its mention. Meanwhile, according to some accounts, it is believed that earlier Badrinath was a Buddhist shrine. It was Adi Shankara who in the 8th century turned it into a Hindu temple. Another view states that Shankara lived in the Himalayas between 814 to 820. For six months he lived in Badrinath and for the remaining six months in Kedarnath. One day in the Alaknanda river he found the image of Badrinath and placed it in a cave near Tapt Kund.

Another legend associated with Badrinath Temple is that Lord Vishnu came to Badrinath and did great penance. He was too deeply engrossed in the meditation that he became unaware of the weather conditions. In order to protect him from the intense heat of the sun, Goddess Lakshmi, his wife turned herself in a form of a Badri tree and spread over him. Pleased by her devotion, the God decided to reside here named the place as Badrikashram

Every year the Badrinath temple opens in the last week of April or in the beginning of May. The temple remains open till November. In the remaining six months, the extreme cold weather makes it inaccessible. During the winter season through a doli yatra, lord Vishnu is carried to Yogdhyan Badri Temple in Pandukeshwar village. Badrinath temple is also one of the four temples in the Chota Char Dham Circuit in Uttrakhand.

Travel route for Badrinath Temple:

Rishikesh → Devaprayag (74 kms) → Srinagar (35 kms) → Rudraprayag (32 kms) → Karnprayag (33kms) →Chamoli (33 kms) →Joshimath (29 kms) →Badrinath (46)

Yog Dhyan Badri Temple

Next amongst the Sapta Badri temples is the Yog Dhyan Badri Temple in the Chamoli district. The temple depicts a meditative posture of Lord Vishnu settled in Pandukeshwar village. Located at an altitude of 1,829 meters (6,001 ft), Yogdhyan Badri temple is on the edge of Govind Ghat at Alaknanda river.  It is around 24 kilometers away from Badrinath and is considered as old as the Badrinath temple.

Yog Dhyan Badri temple is also the winter seat for Badrinath temple. When the Badrinath temple gates are closed during November, the utsava murti or idol of festival is brought here. The idol Udhava or the brother of Vishnu, as well as idol of Kuber, is also worshipped here.

Travel route for Yog Dhyan Badri Temple:

Rishikesh → Devaprayag (74 kms) → Srinagar (35 kms) → Rudraprayag (32 kms) → Karnprayag (33kms) →Chamoli (33 kms) →Joshimath (29 kms) →Vishnuprayag (13 kms) -Yaogdhyan Badri

Bhavishya Badri Temple

The Bhavishya Badri temple is regarded as the future abode of Lord Vishnu and is located in the Subhain village of Chamoli District in Uttrakhand. The temple is at an altitude of 2,744 meters (9,003 ft) and is reached through a six-kilometer trek from the Saldhar village. From Bhavishya Badri temple one gets the panoramic view of the Nanda Devi peaks and up the Dhauliganga river flowing around.

According to the legend, it is believed that when the evil will transcend in the world, Narsingha idol’s ever withering arm at Joshimath will fall off and the mountains of Vijay and Jay will also fall down at Patmila near Vishnuprayag. This will make the route to Badrinath inaccessible. It also asserts that the present the world will be destroyed and a new one will emerge. It is then that Lord Badrinath will emerge here at Bhavishya Badri and this place will become  the new abode of Badrinath

Amongst the seven Badri temples, Bhavisya Badri is unexplored and raw in its natural scenic beauty. It is on the ancient pilgrim route to Mount Kailash and the Mansarovar and is on the way from Tapovan to Lata in the Niti Valley in Garhwal Himalayas. In the present time Bhavishya Badri temple has an idol of Narsimbha, that is the lion avatar of the Lord Vishnu

Travel route for Bhavishya Badri Temple:

Rishikesh → Devaprayag (74 kms) → Srinagar (35 kms) → Rudraprayag (32 kms) → Karnprayag (33kms) →Chamoli (33 kms) →Joshimath (29 kms) →Saldhar (19 kms)→Bhavishya Badri (6kms trek)

Dhyan Badri Temple

Dhyan Badri is popularly known to be built by Adi Shankracharya. It is located near to the Shiva temple, Kalpeshwar. in the Urgam Valley of Chamoli district, The temple is at the banks of river Alaknanda and can be reached by a splendid trek of 12 kilometers amidst the dense forest of deodar and berries.

According to the legend mentioned in the Mahabharata, Dhyan Badri is the place where Urvairishi, son of King Puranjaya of the Pandavas lineage meditated here in the Urgam region. Later the temple for Lord Vishnu was built here. The temple has the idol of Vishnu having four arms carved out of black stone. The idol is in a meditative posture; hence the place derives its name as Dhyan Badri.

Travel route for Dhyan Badri

Rishikesh → Devaprayag (74 kms) → Srinagar (35 kms) → Rudraprayag (32 kms) → Karnprayag (33kms) →Nandprayag (21 kms) → Pipalkoti (26 kms) →Helang (30)→ Urgam (10 Kms)→Dhyan Badri (2 kms)

Vridha Badri Temple

Lord Vishnu at Vridha Badri Temple is worshipped in a very different form. Virdha Badri Temple is  located at an altitude of 1380 meters (4530ft) in the small town of Animath in Chamoli district. Here Lord Vishnu is worshipped in the form of an old man and hence it derives its name as Vridha Badri.

According to the legend about the Vridha Badri temple, it is said as Narada came to this place and performed penance and prayed to Lord Vishnu. Being pleased by the devotion of Narada, Lord Vishnu answered his prayers and came in front of Narada in the form of an old man. Later a divine craftsmen Vishwakarma crafted the image of Badrinath in the same old man form. It is believed that Vridha Badri was worshipped here before the onset of Kali Yuga. And later due to the floods, the Vishnu idol was displaced. So when Adi Shankara on his journey to the Himalayas, found the broken idol in Nara Kund, he reinstalled the Vishnu idol. It is also believed that Lord Badrinath is enshrined here at Vridha Badri temple first and later at Badrinath temple.

Travel route for Vridha Badri Temple:

Rishikesh → Devaprayag (74 kms) → Srinagar (35 kms) → Rudraprayag (32 kms) → Karnprayag (33kms) →Chamoli (33 kms) →Joshimath (29 kms) →Animath (8 kms)

The temple is accessible through motorable road and followed by a 10 minutes’ walk from tiny pathways within the village to reach the temple.

Ardha Badri Temple

Ardha Badri is the seventh temple in the Sapta Badri circuit. It is in a remote village Hera near Sobhain at an altitude of 3048 meters (1000ft) in Chamoli. The temple can be reached via small yet steep trek passing through the beautiful trails of the village. Ardha Badri is  also known as Little Badri and  has a quite small idol of Lord Vishnu as compared to other Vishnu idols in rest of the temples of Sapt Badri complex

Travel route for Ardha Badri Temple:

Rishikesh → Devaprayag (74 kms) → Srinagar (35 kms) → Rudraprayag (32 kms) → Karnprayag (33kms) →Chamoli (33 kms) →Joshimath (29 kms) →Sobhain (17 kms)→ Ardha Badri

Narsingh Badri

Another Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu that is not considered in the Panch Badri and Sapt Badri Circuit is Narsimbha Badri, also known as Narasingh Badri. It is in Joshimath, in Chamoli. The legend of the Narsingh Badri temple is closely associated with the Bhavishya Badri temple legend. The temple is believed to be constructed during the eighth century by the king of Lalitaditya Yukta Pida of Kashmir. It is said that at the Narsingh Badri temple, the idol is a self-manifested image (swayambhu). The image of Vishnu is 25 cm high and it illustrates Vishnu sitting in the lotus position.

Another legend associated with Narsingh Badri is that once arm in the image is getting weak and will ultimately fall off. Once the arm disappears in the image, the main Badrinath shrine will get closes for the world and Lord Badrinath from Badri Vishal will permanently shift to Bhavishya Badri shrine. This event will mark the end of Kali Yuga and the beginning of Satya Yuga. During the winters, when the door closes at Badrinath, the priests shift to Narsingh Badri temple and worship here.

Travel route for Narsingh Badri Temple:

Rishikesh → Devaprayag (74 kms) → Srinagar (35 kms) → Rudraprayag (32 kms) → Karnprayag (33kms) →Chamoli (33 kms) →Joshimath (29 kms) → Narsingh Badri Temple

Lord Vishnu is “the preserver” out of the holy trio of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He finds his abode in Sapt Badri Temples in the lap of nature at the Garhwal Himalayas. The Sapt Badri Temple complex along with Narsingh Badri temple in Chamoli district of Uttrakhand is comprised of rich history, mythological legends, architectural diversity, and faith that makes it a must-visit for everyone.


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