Sapta Badri, as the name suggests, is a group of seven temples of Sri Vishnu found in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. The valley of the Alaknanda River from Nandprayag to Satopanth (about 24 km above Badrinath), is known as Badri Kshetra (Abode of Lord Vishnu). One will find several temples dedicated to Sri Vishnu in this area.
The Badrinath Dham is also known as Badri Vishal is the main temple (it is also part of the Char Dham) among the seven shrines, followed by six more, namely Adi Badri, Bhavishya Badri, Yogadhayan Badri, Vriddha Badri, Ardha Badri and Dhyan Badri.
The Panch Badri temple tour consisted of only five temples, omitting Ardha Badri and Dhyan Badri or sometimes Vridha Badri. Narasingh Badri is rarely included in the list of Sapta Badri or Panch Badri.
Seven Famous Badri Temples in Uttarakhand:
1) Badrinath Temple (Badri Vishal):
Badrinath Temple is part part of 108 Divyadesams and Char Dham Yatra. The Badrinath legend states that Vishnu (Mahavishnu) in his incarnation as the sages Nara and Narayana, did penance in an open space at the location of the Badrikashram or Badrinath. Badrinath temple is the First among the ‘Sapta Badri’ temples.
2) Adi Badri Temple:
The Adi Badri is a 16 temple complex and first build among the Sapta Badri temples is an ancient shrine dedicated to Vishnu in Uttarakhand. Adi Badri has located 3 km from Chandpur Garhi. Adi Badri is the second among the ‘Sapta Badri’ temples.
3) Vridha Badri Temple:
Vriddha Badri is located in the Animath village around 7 km from Joshimath. The Vriddha Badri legend says that Vishnu appeared in the form of a Vriddha or old man before sage Narada who performed penance here. Thus, the idol installed at this temple is in the form of an old man. Vriddha Badri is the third among the ‘Sapta Badri’ temples.
4) Bhavishya Badri Temple:
Bhavishya Badri is located in a village called Subhain at a distance of 17 km from Joshimath, and can be reached by trekking. According to the legend of Bhavishya Badri, when evil transcends the world, the mountains of Nara and Narayana would block up the route to Badrinath and the sacred shrine would become inaccessible. Then, Badrinath will appear at the Bhavishya Badri temple and be worshipped here, instead of the Badrinath shrine. Bhavishya Badri is the fourth among the ‘Sapta Badri’ temples.
5) Yogadhyan Badri Temple:
Yogadhyan Badri is also called Yoga Badri, is located at Pandukeshwaron main Badrinath Road. Legend says that Pandu, the father of Pandavas died and attained salvation here. Also, Kunti was married to Pandu at Pandukeshwar at the same spot. Yogadhyan Badri is the fifth among the ‘Sapta Badri’ temples.
6) Dhyan Badri Temple:
Dhyan Badri is located in the Urgam valley, close to Kalpeshwar on the banks of river Kalpa Ganga. It can be reached from Helang which is situated on the Chamoli-Joshimath Road. Dhyan Badri is the sixth among the ‘Sapta Badri’ temples.
7) Ardh Badri Temple :
Ardha Badri is located on the Joshimath-Tapovan road is in a remote village and can be approached only by trekking. As the size of the idol is small, the temple is called Ardha Badri means half Badri. Ardha Badri is the seventh among the ‘Sapta Badri’ temples.
The existing temple of Narasimha at Joshimath is also called as Narasingh Badri or Narasimha Badri, is closely linked to the Bhavishya Badri legend, even though usually it is regarded as not one of the famous Panch Badri or Sapta Badri. Sometimes, it may be included in the Sapta-Badri list instead of Ardha-Badri or Panch-Badri list instead of Dhyan Badri.
Sapta Badri Tour – Suggested Travel Itinerary:
Day 1: Haridwar to Joshimath and visit Narsingh Badri Temple.
Day 2: Joshimath to Pandukeshwar on Badrinath Road and Visit Yog Badri. Travel further to Badrinath Dham and visit Badrinath Temple.
Day 3: Badrinath to Joshimath to Saldhar to Bhavishya Badri (6 kms trek) and back to Joshimath.
Day 4: Joshimath – Vridhha Badri (Animath village) to Urgam Village and visit Dhyaan Badri
Day 5: Urgam to Karnaprayag and visit Adi Badri. Return to Haridwar
Location and how to reach Sapt Badri’s:
The main shrine in Badrinath is well linked by road and Air, but is closed during the winter season due to heavy snow, from October to November, April to May depending on astrological dates set by the temple committee. The Raj Purohit (royal priest) decides the auspicious day for the opening of the Badrinath temple.
The other 6 temples of Sapt Badri and Panch Badri are located in villages, mostly in remote places. Some of them are only accessible by trekking.
While some shrines are accessible by a motorable road, others are accessible from the nearest trekking route, on the main Rishikesh-Badrinath national road. The closest airport to Sapta Badri is Jolly Grant Airport, near Rishikesh, but 25 kilometers from Dehradun.
7 Shrines of Badri from Rishikesh Motorable Road Distance:
Rishikesh to Badrinath – 299 km
Rishikesh to Yogdhyan Badri – 277 km
Rishikesh to Adi Badri – 200 km
Rishikesh to Dhyan Badri – 299 km
Rishikesh to Bhavishya Badri – 280 km
Joshimath to Vridha Badri – 7 km