Site Name: Adi Badri
Site Type: Ancient Hindu temple
Location: Near Karnaprayag, Uttarakhand state, India
Highlights: Gupta period temples
Nearest Railway Station: Rishikesh
Nearest Airport: Dehraduns
How to reach: Reachable on road from Karnaprayag, which is at a distance of around 17 kms
Climate: Sep to Nov - winter; Dec to Mar - snow bound; the other months are pleasant
Best time to visit: May - Oct
Clothing: Light woolen in summer; heavy woolen in winter
Hotel: Mid-range to star hotels are available in the nearby hill stations; people stay right from Rudraprayag to Gaurikund
Restaurants: In Karnaprayag - vegetarian option alone
If you live in India, it is unlikely that you would not have heard about Kedarnath or Badrinath. They are two of the most popular pilgrimages for Hindus. It is located on the Himalayas in Uttarakhand state of India. Around 17 kms from Karnaprayag, Adi Badri is situated. It has the ancient Adi Badri temple. Let us explore about this site in this article.
Adi Badri is an architectural marvel on the Himalayas. Unlike other temples of Himalayas including the most important temples such as Badrinath and Kedarnath which have the recent structures, the structure of Adi Badri is very ancient.
Adi Badri is not a single temple. But it is a cluster of 16 small temples. 14 out of these 16 temples still exist in the original form. 7 temples in this group were built in the late Gupta period, that is sometime between the 5th century CE to 8th century CE.
The main temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is situated on a raised platform and is surmounted by a pyramidal roof. The other temples are dedicated to Kali, Shiva, Janaki, Hanuman, Gauri Shankar, Satya Narayan, Ganesha, Garud, Annapurna, Chakrabhan, Lakshmi Narayan, Kuber and Kali. All the temples look similar in style though vary slightly in size. Few temples have the niche images of Dwarapalas and few other niche images at the entrance. As otherwise, all the temples' exterior are plain. The deities inside the temples do not seem to be old.
As per the legend, Lord Vishnu resided in Adi Badri in the first three Yugas and shifted to Badrinath only in Kali Yuga. It is also believed that Vyasa wrote Bhagawat Gita in Adi Badri.
Similar to the other Himalayan temples, it is believed that this temple was also originally constructed by Adi Shankaracharya.
The Kund that is found inside the temple premises is believed to be the origin of the river Saraswati.
Sapta Badri and Pancha Badri:
The seven temples of Badri in and around Badrinath are called as Sapta Badri temples. They are Badrinath, Adi Badri, Vridha Badri, Dhyan Badri, Ardha Badri, Bhavishya Badri and Yogadhayan Badri. Hence, Asi Badri is one of the Sapta Badri sites. Some people include Narasingha Badri as one of the Sapta Badri sites.
Five Badri temples are considered as Pancha Badri sites. They are Badrinath, Adi Badri, Vridha Badri, Bhavishya Badri and Yogadhayan Badri. Few people omit Vridha Badri and instead include Narasingha Badri.