Badrinath temple is in Chamoli Garhwal Himalayas, on the banks of the Alaknanda River. Badrinath temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and it is one among the Char Dham. This is one of the most sacred temples for Vaisnavaities. As per legends, the idol of Badrinaryana was discovered by Bhagavan Adi Sankara during the 9th century, and he consecrated this idol inside a cave near Taptkund. Later during the 16th century, the idol was removed for there and placed at the current location.
It is said that Lord Vishnu is performing severe penance here in his incarnation as the sages Nar Narayana. Another legend says that Lord Vishnu himself did the penance here and to protect him from harsh sunlight his consort Goddess Laxmi turned herself into Badri fruit and covered the whole of the mountain thus the name came to be the Nath of Badri, husband of Badri, Badrinath. This place used to be Badri forest which is not found there today.
The temple only remains open for six months and closed for winter on the auspicious day of Vijyadasami during October-November. The same day a lamp is lit filled with ghee which could last for six months. It is said that Devtas do the puja of Badrinath during these six months. Chal vigrah of Badrinath is transferred, after a special puja by the chief priest, to the Narasimha temple at Joshimath. Josimatha is located 64km far from the temple.
On the auspicious day of Basant pancami, April month, the temple is reopened and thousands of pilgrims gather to witness the Akhanda Jyoti, ghee lamp which as lit before 6 months.
The major pujas performed here are Mahabhisheka every morning, Gita path and Bhagvat Puja and Aarti. Other than this Gita Govinda path, Madhurastkam and recital of Vishnu Sahsranama stotra and Ashtotarsatnama also practiced.
There is a group of hot sulphur springs just below the temple famous as Tapt Kund. These Tapt Kundas are believed to have medicinal value, and it is believed that it is required to have a bath in Tapt Kund before you visit the Temple. The temperature of these Kundas remains static all around the year, about 55°C. The name of two Kundas, which are just below the temple, Narada Kunda and Surya Kunda.