Surrounded by the Nar and Narayan mountain ranges, lies the holy city of Badrinath. Also known as the ‘Abode of Lord Vishnu', the mighty Neelkanth peak forms the backdrop of the place. It is one of the four pilgrimage places, known as the Char Dham which every Hindu is supposed to undertake in order to attain salvation. This place is called Badrinath because of the wild berries found here; badri means 'berries'.
The Badrinath temple is the main complex where the devotees seek blessings. Each year thousands of pilgrims come to visit this place during the summers, since in the winters this place is closed due to excessive snow-fall. It is located at an altitude of 3,133 metres above sea level and it can be reached after a tough trek. This temple stands facing the River Alaknanda. The temple of Badrinath is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is believed to be here since the Vedic Times. But, according to history, Adi Shankaracharya established it here in the 8th century.
The Badrinath temple has three sections to it, a Garbha Griha or the sanctum sanctorium. This is the place where the main deity is placed. Second section is the Darshan Mandap for puja while the third is the Sabha Mandap for the devotees to assemble. In total, there are 15 idols in the complex, all of which are made in black stone. The various idols are those of Lakshmi, Vishun's wife, Garud, his mount and Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati, Ganesha, etc.