1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Badrinath

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BADRINATH, a village and celebrated temple in British India, in the Garhwal district of the United Provinces. It is situated on the right bank of the Vishnuganga, a tributary of the Alaknanda river, in the middle of a valley nearly 4 m. in length and 1 in breadth. The village is small, containing only twenty or thirty huts, in which reside the Brahmans and the attendants of the temple. This building, which is considered a place of high sanctity, is by no means equal to its great celebrity. It is about 40 or 50 ft. in height, built in the form of a cone, with a small cupola, on the top of which is a gilt ball and spire, and contains the shrine of Badrinath, dedicated to an incarnation of Vishnu. The principal idol is of black stone and is 3 ft. in height. Badrinath is a favourite resort of pilgrims from all parts of India. In ordinary years the number varies from 7000 to 10,000; but every twelfth year, when the festival of Kumbh-mela is celebrated, the concourse of persons is said to be 50,000. In addition to the gifts of votaries, the temple enjoys a further source of revenue from the rents of villages assigned by former rajas. Successive temples have been shattered by avalanches, and the existing building is modern. It is situated among mountains rising 23,000 ft. above the level of the sea. Elevation of the site of the temple, 10,294 ft.