Located in Uttarakhand district in the Garhwal Himalayas, the Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines have been opened to the public. At 3,133m, the temple and its surrounding areas are affected by snowfall for most part of the year and remain closed for about six months. Along with these two temples, Gangotri and Yamunotri are visited by Hindu and Jain devotees as part of ‘Chaar Dham Yatra’ pilgrimage.

Shankara is believed to have discovered a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda River, near the current temple. But he enshrined the idol in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs.  It was moved to its current place by the King of Garhwal in 16th century. Lord Badrinath is worshiped here.

The 50-foot temple has witnessed many avalanches and has been damaged and repaired many times, over the years. The temple’s cupola is covered in a gold gilt roof. Arched windows, stone façades and a wide stairway leading to a tall arched gateway, all resemble a Buddhist vihara.

To reach this temple town of Badrinath, you’ve to take a flight to Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun, 317km away, or catch a train to Haridwar (310km) or Rishikesh (297km). You can get buses from New Delhi, Haridwar and Rishikesh. Make sure that you wear/ carry enough warm clothes.