Char Dham Yatra (September 11 Days; # 330)
Cradled in the twin Mountain ranges of Nar and Narayan is the holiest of the four main shrines – Badrinath along the left bank of river Alaknanda with the towering Neelkantha Peaks as the splendid backdrop. Once the spot was carpeted with ‘badass’ or wild berries and hence was famous as Badri van. Legend has it, when the Ganga was requested to descend to earth to help suffering humanity; the earth was unable to withstand the force of its descent. Therefore, the mighty Ganga was split into 12 holy channels. Alaknanda was one of them that later became the abode of Lord Vishnu or Badrinath.
A recess in the river, near Tapt Kund, forming a pool from where the Badrinath idol was recovered.
It is a flat platform a few yards north of the temple and on the bank of river Alaknanda. It is an important place for shradh ceremony or offering of pounds to ensure a heavenly place for dead ancestors or manes. It is said that offering finds here, the manes are permanently enshrined in heaven and no more pains are to be done elsewhere. Ever afterward have it that when Shiva chopped off the fifth head of Brahma, it got stuck to his trident. Lastly with the blessing of Lord Vishnu at Badrivan, the head of Brahma fell down from the trident at this place and hence the name Brahma-Kapal (head).
It is a large block of stone between two small seasonal lakes carrying an eye of “Sheshnag” The eye formation is quite natural, 1.5 km away is a boulder having an impression of the legendary serpent, better known as the Sheshnag’s eye, it is believed that the Sheshnag waits at this place patiently to accompany the lord on his reincarnation.
Inhabited by an Indo-Mongolian tribe, it is the last Indian village before Tibet. The women of the village offer Choli to the deity on the closing day of the temple each year.
On the other side of Mana village, a massive rock forming a natural bridge lies over the roaring Saraswati River. It presents a spectacular view of water thundering down through the narrow passage under the rock and is believed to have been placed there by Bhim, the second eldest among the five Pandava brothers.
VYAS GUFA (CAVE):
Near Mana Village, this is a rock-cave where Ved Vyas is believed to have composed the Mahabharata and the Pauranic commentaries. Overnight stay at hotel in Badrinath