Badrinath is one of the holiest and definitely one of the highest points of pilgrimage for a Hindu to go to.
Located only 24 kilometers from the Indo-China (Tibet) border, at an altitude of 3000m up in the Himalaya’s the pass to the sacred pilgrim town is only open during the summer months.
‘Town’ really is a big word for a bunch of barracks which serves to temporarily house the summer pilgrims on their way to the real deal which is the beautifully decorated Badrinath temple itself
Reference to the lord Badri-Nath has been made in the Vedas. The mountains around Badrinath are mentioned in the Mahabharata, both amongst the main Hindu scriptures.
The Pandavas were said to have expired one by one, when ascending the slopes of a peak called Swargarohini (literal meaning – the ‘Ascent to Heaven’). They passed through Badrinath and the town of Mana, 4 km north of Badrinath, on their way to Svarga (heaven). There is also a cave in Mana where Vyasa, according to legend, wrote the Mahabharata.
The pilgrims take holy baths in the ice-cold riverwater in front of the temple before queuing to enter the sacred site to perform worship and thus fulfilling the Badrinath Yatra, the pilgrimage
According to the amazing accounts brought forth in Yogananda’s classic ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ the deathless saint Babaji is living in a remote valley in the vicinity of Badrinath
And as I was contemplating my existence in the surroundings of Badrinath suddenly a mysterious figure dressed all in white appeared seemingly out of the blue…