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Badaree Naath Temple

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Badaree Naath Temple
[a personal travel description, by Lalit Mishra]

Badaree Naath is situated in Himaalaya, in the north Indian state of Uttaraakhand, and is one of the Chaar Dhaam. You can reach Badaree Naath from Haridwaar, through Rishikesh, through Rudra Prayaag. From Rudra Prayaag the road to Badaree Naath is a single way route, distance is 155 Kms, passing through mountains with snow-covered peaks in winter.

Rudra Prayaag should be considered as a base station to visit all 4 great holy places i.e. Badaree Naath, Kedaar Naath, Gangotree (Gomukh - source of Gangaa), Yamunotree (source of Yamunaa). Rudra Prayaag is well connected to Rishikesh, Dehra Dun, Uttarkaashee etc places.

In Karn Prayaag there is one ancient Kaal Bhairav temple dedicated to Kaaleshwar and interestingly enough, close to the city there is one mountain also named as MahAa Mritunjaya Parvat.

I traveled to Badaree Naath in Sept 2008, without planning or having any spiritual or divine goal just for fun sake but had such a superb experience that energized me ever whenever I recollect it. On a Friday evening, suddenly, I thought like going to Rishikesh, called a friend started immediately keeping mobile and ATM card in pocket. Reached Rishikesh early morning and saw a bus ready for Badaree Naath, we both boarded that bus and reached Joshee Math in the evening around 5 pm. By that time it started raining and Joshee Math was almost closed down. We were stuck in the middle as soon we discovered that bus service ended at Joshee Math and traveling after 7 pm is not allowed in the Himaalaya, My friend got disappointed with it and soon got discouraged too by increasing rains, but we managed to get a taxi, and proceeded. On the way a rock sliding zone comes where during the rains anytime rock stones roll down, but to our surprise it was raining to a point some 100 meters before rock sliding zone, so we were safe.

On the way we stopped at famous Hanumaan Temple where Shree Hanumaan Jee broke Bheem’s ego challenging him to lift up his tail which Bheem failed to do. There was no priest at Hanumaan Temple, so I had to take Prasaad (Charanaamrit) myself from the pot, I felt sorry for it.

We reached Badaree Naath around 7.30 pm. Guided by street vendors we thought to have bath immediately as Badaree Naath Temple. This is the Tapta Kund where water boils at 30–35 degrees, which is a great life savior to the saints who live in a few clothes. It's a nature-made water resource. The visitor is advised to have a dip before going to main Badaree Vishaal Temple. Me and my friend went near the Kund, he entered into Kund first and I was sitting at it’s side wall, I started thinking, we came to this great place and we will return tomorrow, what’s the significance of this visit, how it’s different from visiting other picnic spots? Does God truly lives here? After some time, I came out of such thoughts and started looking around, there were so many saints, all looked boring, lacked luster, disappointing me but I found a kind of satisfaction on the face of every beggar better than those who looked like Saints, self content is the natural feeling prevalent among helpless beggars there.

This was the time, I saw one mysterious saint walking up to me, He was tall, looking different in crowd, he had enchanting cool face, a crispy voice and very sweet innocent smile. So, this mysterious saint came direct to me, he asked me why I was not taking a dip was sitting at side of the Kund. I said that "I am about to do it". Just thinking of doing it, he came and stood by me, suggested me to not to jump into the Kund rather to enter into it slowly, so that, body can adjust with difference of temperature. I asked his name he said something, that I forgot soon or didn’t notice either. He got engaged talking to me, questioned me if I wished to see something worth memorizing, "definitely", I wanted to see the same. He questioned me back – "Kyon, Guru Mantra mil Gayaa Hai Na" i.e. "You got the Guru Mantra?", "Yes, I have got" , I replied to him, He told - "Then, You sit here and chant your Guru Mantra or meditate on Lord Naaraayan (Badaree Naath), He further advised me not to go behind any of Saints gathered there. He also warned me – “The more you will run after them, the more you will get confused. Always remember, if god wants, he comes to you, why you are still confused, you chant the Mantra your Guru gave to you?"

I found that his warning was rational, and agreed to what he said but I was still not taking him seriously although his voice was very spell casting and pointed. He further said - "You are curious, You wish to realize something here, so, no problem, tomorrow morning onwards your doubt will be over". Anyways, just for the asking sake, I asked him to what place he originally belonged to, where he lived in Badaree Naath and why he took Sanyaas in such a young age?

I said – "OK, no problem, I will wait for morning", I knew morning had to happen. Thought like talking to him more, so I asked him again – "Where do you live?", He said – "I live in this temple only", he was pointing towards Badaree Naath Temple. Still, I didn't take him seriously, I thought may be he is someone from the priest's team. I repeated – “Wherefrom you came to this place?" He said earlier, he used to live a place near Rudra Prayaag but now lives in current Badaree Naath, I again missed understanding what he meant.

He continued – "Come tomorrow morning at 5 am in my temple, you can see me there, my Aaratee begins there at 5 am." Obviously, we had to go to Badaree Naath Temple next morning. Soon after I had taken bath in Tapt Kund, he then repeated – "Every one whom you see here doing a Saadhanaa is a Siddh, but they are Siddh only for themselves not for you; otherwise, this Naangaa Baabaa (Nacked Baabaa) is also a Siddh.” He was point at a naked saint sitting next to me. He had so much command on his voice, that Naangaa Baabaa started looking at him and at me too, but I was not interested in Naangaa Baabaa, I ignored him. He continued to stand there until I took bath and came out of the Kund. Then he turned back to leave the place, started walking towards temple, and me and my friend followed him. He took 2 or 3 steps, again reminded me that he lives in the temple and I can see him tomorrow. When we reached near the big temple, our mind drifted to crowd and river, I saw one old foreigner lady sitting at stairs of the temple and meditating, Temple was closed.

Weather had turned very very cold, In this 20 – 30 seconds time, I missed to note where that mysterious saint had got lost, We also sat on the stairs for some time, It was very sweet to sit there down the stairs, Closing eyes I saw Lord Vishnu with all his four hands having Shankh, Chakra, Padm and Gadaa. It surprised me, I just opened my eyes quickly.

We were hungry, had not taken any hotel also, and it seemed like snowfall was to begin, so had our food and snowfall started, It was impossible to spend a night in that situation, somehow we could go to a rest house managed by a family of chief priest of Temple, the Nambuthiree priest from Kerala. I forgot everything in the night as it was so cold, even my fingers lost sensation.

Next morning, I woke up around 7.00 am, Badaree Naath is a place where life is still, the morning and evening Poojaa are the only activities there. We having forgotten the Saint and all our conversation with him, went to Tapt Kund to have a dip. After the dip, I recalled that mysterious saint, he was not there, I thought, we might meet him in the Temple, recalled what he said - "I live in the Temple, My Poojaa begins at 5 am." As Poojaa was still going on in the Temple, we went inside the temple, after doing Pranaam to God. I thought to locate that mysterious Saint, so went inside the Temple. There were several idols, each and every idol was attended by members of Priest - Raval's team.

But the saint was not there.

I joined the queue moving towards sanctorum, The queue was not so long, in just 10 minutes, my turn came to have the Lord Vishnu’s Darshan, and here was the extreme of the miracle, The God Vishnu, that I saw while closing eyes, exactly the same idol was placed by the wall in sanctorum, but this was not the main idol in the Temple, this idol was placed in a side. Other people told me that the main idol is a Shaali Graam covered under flowers.

Now, I turned greedy, I wanted to go to inside the sanctorum, main central place of the temple, but it was not allowed, impossible for a simple person like me, and everybody stood disciplined, not attempting to go there. Only one person, looking very rich, requested to go there, I also dared going to Raval stood there for Poojaa, I mean the person that was heading the Poojaa that time and requested him to allow me to main central place. He said it was prohibited, I felt inside that he won’t stop me, so I asked him again and he permitted me to go inside the sanctorum for doing Pranaam. I went inside, chanted my Mantra, prayed the God to clean my mind, clean my heart, clean my sins and give me his love, strength and blessings.

Now, I wanted to see that mysterious saint back, he was not there, look vise he was completely different from the crowd and available priests. He couldn't be the part of that priests' team, and according to Rawal, everybody appointed for doing Poojaa was available there, no body was absent that day. Nobody was allowed to leave the Poojaa session in between, I again tried to search for him, but he was not there. While, coming out of the Temple, it was like echoing to me - "I live in the Temple, come to my Temple at 5 am when my Aaratee begins."

Who was he, was he God (Vishnu) Himself or some Deity sent by him? How somebody can live in the Temple, what was his meaning and how come that I didn't notice his plain words? I had so many questions running in my mind ...

Now, my doubt was over as he said to happen in the next morning. Only question remained Who he was? .. who he was to suggest to not to go behind anybody, not behind any saint present over there, and instructed me to do Mantra Jaap sitting there, advising me "If God wants, He comes himself." Whatever it was, whosoever he was, thinking about him, made me happy instantly.

After the Poojaa we decided to go back to Rudra Prayaag. I bought a book on history of Badaree Naath and tossed up reading in the Book that ancient Badaree Naath was situated near Rudra Prayaag and was called as "Aadi Badri". It was so astonishing reading in the history of Badaree Naath, exactly, what that mysterious saint told – "Earlier, I used to live near Rudra Prayaag."

You know, on the return journey, a few villagers stopped us near same Hanumaan Temple in which I took Charanaamrit. Surprisingly, this time there was a Bhandaaraa going on by Indo-Tibetan Police and the Priest was distributing Kheer and other dishes from his hand, We had Kheer and also sat for enjoying the full food in Bhandaaraa.

There are 5 Badaree in Uttaraanchal in addition to current Badaree Naath Dham, the remaining 4 Badaree are -
1. Vriddh Badaree : Located at 7 km before Joshee Math, on the main road from Rishikesh –> Rudra Prayag –> Joshi Math, When Badaree Vishaal Temple was ruined by Budhists in Bauddha period, This Badaree Vishaal's Poojaa was performed here, Shankaraacharya himself did Poojaa here, before exploring the Badaree Vishaal at Badaree Naath.
2. Aadi Badaree : Located between Rudra Prayaag and Karn Prayaag, which is some 70 KM before Joshee Math. It's believed that Lord Sun gifted Kavach and Kundal to Karn here in Mahaabhaarat age, There is a Karn temple also in Karn Prayaag. Aaadi Badaree Temples were supposed to be built during Gupta Period, There are 16 temples, 7 out of them are most ancient, Aaadi Badaree is boarding at Karn Prayaag at the confluence of Alaknandaa and Panaree rivers, near the bridge, on the way to Badaree Naath.
3. Yog Dhyaan Badaree - Located at Paandukeshwar (1920 m) just 24 km before Badaree Naath on Haridwaar–Badaree Naath highway.
4. Bhavishya Badaree : Located at Subain near Tapo Van about 17 km East of Joshee Math, Traditionally it is believed that a day will come in future when the present route to Badaree Naath will be inaccessible and Lord Badaree Naath will be worshipped here. Thus the name "Bhavishya Badaree" which literally means the Badaree of the future.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 09/30/13