Comprising of a “group of seven temples” is a Hindu pilgrimage circuit known as Saptabadri. This “pilgrimage circuit” is devoted to Lord Vishnu and is located in the Garhwal district. The temples in this sacred Hindu pilgrimage circuit include Badrinath, Adi Badri, Vridha Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Yogadhyan Badri, Dhyan Badri, Ardha Badri, and Narasingh Badri. Furthermore, it is the Badrinath Temple that is considered to be the main shrine in this sacred pilgrimage circuit.
Read more: CHAR DHAM, AND THE FOUR PILGRIMAGE SITES
a. Best time to visit the Saptabadri Temples
The best time to visit this holy village is throughout the year since the climate is pleasant the whole year around.
b. How to reach Saptabadri Temples
Saptabadri Temple Map
1. By train:
The railway station closest to this sacred circuit is located in Rishikesh at a distance of 25 km. The Rishikesh Railway Station is well connected to major cities in the country.
2. By road:
All the seven shrines are connected via the Rishikesh Badrinath Road. So the ideal starting points for each of the seven shrines would be from Rishikesh and they are as follows
- Via Rishikesh to Badrinath Temple
There are two routes from Rishikesh to the Badrinath Temple, and they are via NH7 and via Karnaprayag-Haridwar Road and NH7.
- Via Rishikesh to Adi Badri Temple
There are three routes from Rishikesh to Adi Badri, and they are via NH7, via NH34 and via NH7, and via NH7 and Karnaprayag Haridwar Road.
- Via Rishikesh to Vridha Badri Temple
There are three routes from Rishikesh to Vridha Badri, and they are via NH7, via NH34 and NH7, and via Karnaprayag-Haridwar Road and NH7.
- Via Rishkesh to Bhavishya Badri Temple
To reach this shrine one would need to drive from Rishikesh up to a place called Saldher via NH7 and via NH34 and NH7, and then trek for about 6 km to reach this temple.
- Via Rishikesh to Yogadhyan Badri Temple
There are three routes from Rishikesh to the Yogadhyan Badri Temple, and they are via NH7, via Karnaprayag-Hardiwar Road and NH7, and via NH534 Karnaprayag-Haridwar Road and NH7.
- Via Rishikesh to Dhyan Badri Temple
To reach Dhyan Badri one would need to drive from Rishikesh up to Helang via NH7, via NH34 and NH7, and via Karnaprayag-Haridwar Road and NH7 before trekking for about 12 km.
- Via Rishikesh to Ardha Badri Temple
To reach Ardha Badri one would need to drive from Rishikesh up to Joshimath via NH7, via NH34 and NH7, and via Karnaprayag-Haridwar Road and NH7.
- Via Rishikesh to Narasingh Badri
There are routes from Rishikesh to Narasingh Badri, and they are via NH7, via NH34, and via Karnaprayag-Haridwar Road and NH7.
3. By air:
The nearest airport to this temple circuit is located in Dehradun at a distance of 25 km. The Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is well connected to major cities in the country.
c. Religious significance of the Sapta Badri
A few of the temples in the Sapta Badri temple circuit possess a certain legend to it, and they are follows
a. Badrinath Temple:
This Lord Vishnu Temple is considered to be the main shrine in this complex. According to a popular folklore Lord Vishnu in the form of sages Nara and Narayana undertook penance in an open site located in Badrinath/Badrikashram. It was during the duration of this penance that Lakshmi wife of Vishnu created a home (for him to reside) in a berry tree i.e. Badri. Hence a temple was built at the site of this berry tree and was named Badrinath.
b. Adi Badri Temple:
The Adi Badri Temple is essentially a complex that consists of 15 other small shrines in close proximity. This complex is said to have been built by Adi Shankaracharya with the intention of spreading Hinduism right throughout this region.
c. Vridha Badri:
According to a popular folklore the idol of Lord Badrinath was first carved by a craftsman called Vishwakarma in order to honour Lord Vishnu. Unfortunately though during Kali Yuga Vishu decided to remove himself from this site. However much later it was Adi Shankara who discovered this idol of Lord Vishnu in a pond and decided to establish a temple at this site
d. Bhavishya Badri Temple:
According to a popular myth when evil enters this world the mountains Nara and Narayan would then act to block the route to Badrinath. This will result in the present world being destroyed and being replaced by a new one. As a result of which Lord Badrinath will appear at the site of this temple and be worshipped by people in the region.
e. Yogadhyan Badri Temple:
According a popular myth it was at the site of this temple that King Pandu, the father of Pandavas underwent penance so as to cleanse his soul from the sin he committed of killing two mating deer’s who were sages in their earlier life. Folklore also states that after completely destroying their cousins Kauravas in the Kurukshetra” battle the Pandavas decided to undertake penance to at the site at which this temple has been built.
f. Dhyan Badri Temple :
According to a popular myth this temple was specifically built by Urvarishi the son of King Puranjaya so as to honour Lord Vishnu. In addition, the idol of Vishnu in this temple is made up of black stone and possesses four arms.
g. Narasingh Badri Temple:
This temple has been built to honour the “Narasimha” avatar (i.e. half man and half lion) of Lord Vishnu. The idol of Narasimha in this temple has been made from Shaligram stone. Now according to a legend it is believed that when an arm of the Narasimha idol at this temple disappears then the Badrinath temple will be blocked to the universe, and it will be transported to the Bhavishya Badri temple. In addition, this transformative event will also mark the end of the Kali Yuga and the beginning of Satya Yuga.