Sri Badrinath Dham
Badrinath is in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is the most important of the four sites in India's Char Dham pilgrimage. Badrinath is a magical blend of divinity and natural beauty. The most auspicious pilgrim spot of Hindus offer the thrill of conquering nature in freezing cold days and serves as the holy bridge which takes the visitors to heaven. Soak your sense in the inescapable spiritual aura and the breathtaking beauty of Neelkanth in its full glory under a full moon in Badrinath.
The relevancy of name and sitting posture as this place was full of Badri (Bael Fruit,'Ber' in Hindi) bushes and Vishnu meditating for couple of hundred years,beloved Lakshmi stood next to him sheltering him from scorching sunlight turned into a Badri herself called 'BADRI VISHAL' and her lord(Nath) became the BadriNath. The principal image of Badrinath is regarded as the first tirthankar, Rishabhanath by Jains.
One legend has it that when the goddess Ganga was requested to descend to earth to help suffering humanity, the earth was unable to withstand the force of her descent. Therefore the mighty Ganga (Ganges) was split into twelve holy channels, with Alaknanda one of them.
Another fact says that, it is at this temple that the Pandavas encountered Rishi Balkhily at Bhrigu Parvat when they were on the lookout for Shiva after the Kurukshetra battle. The Rishi directed them to the site of the confluence to meet an old man meditating there. But when the Pandava got there, the old man vanished and instead, a shivling appeared there. Rishi Balkhily instructed the Pandavas to embrace the Shivling in order to free themselves from their sins. Their impressions are stamped on this Shivling – the biggest Shivling in northen India.