Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Badrinath

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From volume III of the work.
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BADRINATH, a town and celebrated temple in Hindxi- stan, in the British district of Garhwal, situate on the right bank of the Vishnuganga, a tributary of the Alaknanda River, in the middle of a valley nearly 4 miles in length, and 1 in breadth, in 30 44 N. lat. and 79 32 E. long. The town is small, containing only twenty or thirty huts, in which reside the Brahmans and the attendants on the temple. The building, however, which is considered a place of high sanctity, by no means corresponds to its great celebrity. It is about 40 or 50 feet 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 feet in height. Badrinath is the 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 Meld 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. Some years ago the temple was shat tered by an earthquake, and has only been partially restored. It is situate among mountains rising 23,000 feet above the level of the sea. Elevation of the site of the temple, 10,294 feet.