Panch Badri is counted among the main religious places of Hinduism. 'Shri Badri Narayan', 'Adi Badri', 'Vriddha Badri', 'Yoga-Dhyana Badri' and 'Bhavishya Badri' have been called 'Panch Badri'. The greatness of Badri-Kedar Dham in Devbhoomi Uttarakhand is as much as that of Panch Badri and Panch Kedar. Actually, these temples are also part of Badri-Kedar Dham. Although some of these places remain open for visitors throughout the year, the rest have the same tradition of opening and closing the doors as the Chardham.
1. Shree Badri Narayan
Badrinath Dham is situated at an altitude of about 3133 meters above sea level. It is believed that Shankaracharya built it in the 8th century. At present, according to the prescribed tradition of Shankaracharya, his descendants Namboodiripad Brahmins worship Lord Badari Vishal.
The idol of Badrinath, made of Shalagramshila, is in quadrilateral meditation posture. It is said that this idol was installed by the deities after taking them out of Naradkund. Siddha, Rishi, Muni were its chief archakas. When Buddhists prevailed, they started worshipping it as an idol of Buddha. During the preaching tour of Shankaracharya, the Buddhists threw the idol in Alaknanda while fleeing to Tibet. Shankaracharya again took it out of Alaknanda and established it. After that, the idol was shifted again and for the third time, Ramanujacharya established it by taking it out of the Tapt Kund.
2. Adi Badri
Adi Badri is situated on the Karnprayag-Ranikhet road. This pilgrimage site is a group of 16 temples, the main shrine of which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. A water stream, popularly known as 'Uttar Vahini Ganga', flows in front of the temple complex. It is believed that this pilgrimage site was established by Adi Shankaracharya during the Gupta period.
3. Vridha Badri
8 KM from Badrinath. Vridha Badri Dham is situated in the picturesque banks of river Alaknanda at an altitude of 1380 meters east. The speciality of this temple is that it remains open throughout the year. It is called the fifth Badri.
4. Yoga Dhyan Badri
20 KM from Joshimath. Far away and at an altitude of 1920 meters is situated at a place called 'Pandukeshwar', the third yoga-dhyana Badri. In the sanctum sanctorum of this temple built by Pandu, the sculpted Lord seated on a lotus flower appears in Yoga mudra.
5. Bhavishya Badri
Four km from Tapovan at an altitude of 2744 m above sea level. The future is bad at walking distance. Agastya Rishi is said to have meditated here. But due to the formidable climb, only physically fit travellers can reach here.
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