imposing sight, standing in the middle of a wide plateau surrounded by
lofty snow covered peaks. The present temple, bulk in 8th century A.D.
by Adi Shankaracharya, Stands adjacent to the site of an earlier temple
built by the Pandavas. The inner walls of the assembly hall are
decorated with figures of various deities and scenes from mythology.
Outside the temple door a large statue of the Nandi Bull stands as
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the exquisitely arhitectured Kedarnath temple
considered to be more than 1000 years old. Built of extremely large,
heavy and evenly cut grey slabs of stones, it evokes wonder as to how
these heavy slabs had been handled in the earlier days. The temple has a
"Garbha Griha" for worship and a Mandap, apt for assemblies of
pilgrims and visitors. A conical rock formation inside the temple is
worshipped as Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form .
Perched at an altitude of 3,133 mt. above sea-level, in the middle of
a beautiful valley, it is located on the right bank of holy river
Alaknanda. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple of Shri Badrinathji is
15 mt. in height, built in the form of a cone with a small cupola of a
gilt bull and spire.
Legend dates the temple prior to the Vedic age, though the present
temple is believed to have been established by Aid Shankaracharya, the
8th century A.D., Hindu reformist.
The temple has been renovated several times due to earlier damages by
avalanches and looks modem now with a colourful "Singh Dwara"
or the main entrance gate. The temple has three parts - Garbha Griha
(the sanctum sanctorum), Darshan Mandap (for pujas) and Shobha Mandap
(for devotees to assemble).
It is believed that the image of Badrinath had been thrown into the
Alaknanda river during the time of the Buddhist era and later
retrieved and reinstalled by Shankaracharya during the following Hindu
There are 15 idols in the temple complex. Finely sculpted in black
stone, the Badrinath (Vishnu) image is a metre high. Other images
include those of Laxmi (Vishnu's consort), Garurh (Vishnu's mount),
Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh etc.
With its great scenic beauty and attractive recreational spots in the
vicinity, Badrinath attracts an ever increasing number of secular
visitors each year.
(a) Prahalad Dhara (b) Kurma Dhara (c) Urbasi Dhara (d) Bhrigu Dhara
(e) Indra Dhara.
(a) Narad Shila (b) Varaha Shila (c) Garurh Shila (d) Markandeya Shila
(e) Narsingh Shila.
is wrapped in timeless devotion to Lord Krishna, the evergreen hero of
Hinduism, the lover of Radha, the cowherd-prince and the re-incarnation
of Lord Vishnu. Mathura without Lord Krishna is like Bethlehem without
Christ. Welcome to Brajbhoomi or Krishna-land.
Brajbhoomi - The city of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, the
nucleus of Brajbhoomi, is located at a distance of 145 km south-east of
Delhi and 58 km north-west of Agra. Covering an area of about 3,800 sq.
km., today, Brajbhoomi can be divided into two distinct units - the
eastern part in the trans-Yamuna tract with places like Gokul, Mahavan,
Baldeo, Mat and Bajna and the western side of the Yamuna covering the
Mathura region that encompasses Vrindavan, Govardhan, Kusum Sarovar,
Barsana and Nandgaon. In a nutshell, the land of Braj starts from Kotban
near Hodel about 95 km from Delhi and ends at Runakuta which is known
specially for its association with the poet Surdas, an ardent Krishna
An Ancient City - An ancient city, Mathura's strategic
location at the cross roads of various trade routes - that went
westwards to West Asia and the Roman Empire; northwards, via Taxila,
Pushkalavati and Purushapur to Central Asia and the Silk Route and
eastwards to China - ensured its position as a centre of trade and a
meeting point for varied cultures. By the 5th century BC, during the
time of Buddha, it was a major metropolis and the capital of the
Surasena Kingdom. Mathura saw its `golden age' during the rule of the
Kushanas and the able governance of rulers Kanishka, Huvishka, and
Vasishka, when the arts flourished and economic wealth grew. It remained
a centre of power during the Mauryan period, through the enlightened
rule of Emperor Ashoka (3rd century BC) to the Gupta era (4th century
Land - It
has often been said that it is easier to count the number of dust
particles on the surface of the earth than to count the number of holy
places in Mathura. Each of the Ghats, for instance, has its own Krishna
myth. Here He rested after killing his evil and tyrannical uncle, King
Kansa; This is where His mother tied him after he stole butter; This is
the sacred grove where Krishna and Radha spent lazy, love-filled times -
the list is endless. In Mathura-Vrindavan, it is difficult to know the
dividing line between reality and myth.
A Divine Career - Lord Krishna was born in a prison
cell in Mathura. His father Vasudev aided by several celestial forces
stole him out of Mathura, across the raging river Yamuna and into the
house of Nand in Gokul. Krishna spent his early childhood here and
revealed the first signs of his divinity. His uncle Kansa's muderous
attempts forced Krishna to leave Gokul and move to Nandgaon, a more
secure home high up on a hill. From here, the adolescent Krishna, the
cowherd, would wander into the Vrindavan forests to play with his
friends and dally with Radha, his lady love. Vrindavan, is still a
transcendental world, a place of Krishna's leela, (play), of deep
eroticism and an archetypal connection to nature. Each tree in the area
speaks, as it were, of the love of the divine couple.