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Pilgrimage Guide Map for Badri Kedar

Interesting pictorial/allegorical regional map of a portion of Uttarakhand India, published in Haridwar.

The map illustrates the region to the north and east of Haridwar in the Himalayas, extending to the China/Tibet border with India.

The map illustrates the various pilgrimage routes to the temples at:

  • Yamnotri
  • Gangotri
  • Kedarnath
  • Badrinarth

Badrinath was re-established as a major pilgrimage site by Adi Shankara in the 7th century. In earlier days, pilgrims used to walk hundreds of miles to visit Badrinath temple. 

According to the Bhagavata Purana, "There in Badrikashram the supreme being (Vishnu), in his incarnation as the sages Nara and Narayana, had been undergoing great penance since time immemorial for the welfare of all living entities." (Bhagavata Purana 3.4.22)

The Badrinath area is referred to as Badari or Badarikaashram (बदरिकाश्रम) in Hindu scriptures. It is a place sacred to Vishnu, particularly in Vishnu's dual form of Nara-Narayana. Thus, in the Mahabharata, Krishna, addressing Arjuna, says, "Thou wast Nara in a former body, and, with Narayana for thy companion, didst perform dreadful austerity at Badari for many myriads of years."[9][10]

One legend has it that when the goddess Ganga was requested to descend to earth to help suffering humanity on the request of suryavansh king bhagiratha, the earth was unable to withstand the force of her descent. Therefore, the mighty Ganga (Ganges) was split into two holy channels, with Alaknanda one of them.

Another Legend explains both name and sitting posture as this place was full of Badri bushes and Vishnu meditating for, 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 mountains around Badrinath are mentioned in the Mahabharata, when the Pandavas were said to have expired one by one, when ascending the slopes of a peak in western Garhwal called Swargarohini (literal meaning - the 'Ascent to Heaven'). The Pandavas passed through Badrinath and the town of Mana.

The area around Badrinath was celebrated in Padma Purana as abounding in spiritual treasures.

This place is considered holy in Jainism as well. In Jainism, Himalaya is also called Ashtapad because of its eight different mountain range Gaurishankar, Kailash, Badrinath, Nanda, Drongiri, Narayan, Nar and Trishuli. Adinath (Rishabhdev and Vrishabhdev are his another names) has got Nirvan on Kailash mountain situated in the Himalayan range and according to Jain faith (Nirvankand), From Badrinath numerous Jain Muni got Moksha by doing Tapsya. According to Shrimadbhagwat, at this place Rishabhdev’s father Nabhirai and mother Marudevi had done hard time after Rishabhdev’s Rajyabhishek and taken Samadhi.