Yog Dhyan Badri (Pandukeshwar) – Pandava’s Father Did Meditation Here

Badrinath visit was the original tour plan from Rishikesh, but I have to stay for a night at Joshimath because next day I was meeting my tour guide. Next day after the meet we planned to visit Pandukeshwar first and then Badrinath.

At 9:50 we started our journey from Joshimath by sharing the jeep and 10:30 we reached Pandukeshwar.

Total journey/travel time from Joshimath to Pandukeshwar – 40 minutes approx.

Joshimath to Pandukeshwar is 18 km approx. distance. Jeep fare Rs. 40 per person.

History of Yog Dhyan Badri as told by Rajan Prasad Dimri – priest of the temple:

Pandukeshwar is meditation place of King Pandu. King Pandu was the ruler of Hastinapur and is popularly known as father of Pandavas. He was a great archer. Once while hunting in forest he unintentionally killed a sage who was engaged in love in the form of a deer. The dying sage curse Pandu whenever he will make love with a woman he will die.

To get rid of sage curse King Pandu arrive at this location and did tapasya (meditation). It is said Madri and Kunti queens of King Pandu also left Hastinapur. One day as Madri was taking bath in Alaknanda River, King Pandu got attracted towards her and died due to sage curse.

10 months later Madri gave birth to two children named as Nakul and Sahdev and later committed Sati. The two brothers – Nakul and Sahdev were handed over to Kunti by sages, and they went back to Hastinapur. Later during 12 years of exile in the forest, it is said Pandavas visited this place and stayed and did antyesti (hindu funeral rites) of their father. It is also said Arjun did meditation at this location which made King Indra worried. He sent Pari (angel) to distract Arjun attention, but nothing happened and at last Indra appeared and blessed Arjun. It is said Vishnu idol present at the temple is the one that was presented by Indra to Arjun.

There are three idols in the temple – Lord Vishnu, Goddess Laxmi and Madri. All these idols are pratisthit (installed) by dharmaraj Yudhisthira. Actually there is a shivling inside the temple and above shivling these three idols are installed.

Because in Kalyug devotees wont be able to tolerate the bright rays of shivling that is why Dharamraj Yudhisthira installed three idols on top of the same.

Lord Shiva is the ancestors God of Pandu/Pandavas thus this place is known as Pandukeshwar.

Next to the temple is another temple known as Vasudeva (Lord Krishna) temple also established by Pandavas. And another temple currently in building stage known as Laxmi Narayan temple.

Why Yog Dhyan Badri the temple name – I ask the question.

Because King Pandu was doing Yog (meditation) and Badri Narayan (Lord Vishnu) appeared and blessed Pandu.

And festivals – I ask another question?

There are two festivals at Yog Dhyan Badri temple. One is ‘Devwar’ the day Kuber ji and Udhav ji leave Yog Dhyan Badri temple for Badrinath and other festival day is when Kuber ji and Udhav ji arrive.

Note: Badrinath opening date is decided by Tehri Maharaj’s Guru on Basant Panchmi day and closing of Badrinath temple during winter days is decided on Vijayadashami.

Knowledge enhanced. Thank you said I. Thanks a lot.

After visiting Yog Dhyan Badri temple and spending one night at Pandukeshwar next day we started our journey towards Badrinath but to find one sharing jeep was extreme difficult. No jeep owner or driver was ready for Badrinath because they were saying while returning they won’t get passengers for Pandukeshwar. At last we found one jeep driver but from Pandukeshwar to Badrinath he charged Rs. 100 per passenger.

The distance between Pandukeshwar to Badrinath is approx. 20 Kms.

8:40 we started our journey and by 9:35 we were at Badrinath.

Total travel/journey time from Pandukeshwar to Badrinath – 55 minutes.

Many times I think to re-start motorcycle journey but then I think am I traveling for myself only or I am traveling for self and for tourists who wish to visit Uttarakhand. Local conveyance mode one of the best.

A Sadhu Resting

This photo was taken at Lambargarh near Pandukeshar in Uttarakhand.

Lambargarh is approx. 3 km from Pandukeshwar. In the picture one can watch snow capped ‘Nanda Ghunti’ mountain (as per grocery shop owner) but Dev – The guide said – No, it is not Nanda Ghunti Mountain.

Devotees Journey from Kurukshetra to Badrinath by Cycle Rickshaw

During evening walk from Pandukeshwar to Lambargarh (approx. 20 km before Badrinath) I met Ganga Nath, Shankar Nath and Janki Devi. I was amazed to watch cycle rickshaw at 6,000 feet altitude. Upon the query they said – one month four days since they started their journey from Kurukshetra, Haryana. Though they have visited Badrinath before but this time they thought of reaching by the cycle rickshaw. Further, they said – after reaching Badrinath one day stay and then back to Kurukshetra. Originally they are from Badaun, Uttar Pradesh.

Sadhus Journey from Pashupatinath Temple to Char Dham by Foot

I met two sadhus Shri Narayan Giri (71 years) and Shri Pashupati Nath (50 years) at Pandukeshwar in a resting place near by the road as we too stop to rest after the long walk. They invited us for food but we had food, just half an hour before so we said thank you but the talks continue.

I was amazed to know they have started their journey two and a half months back by foot from Pashupatinath temple, Kathmandu, Nepal, via Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Almora, Garam Pani, Haldwani, Rudrapur, Bilaspur, Rampur, Moradabad, Nagina, Dhampur, Haridwar, Rishikesh and currently at Pandukeshwar only 20 Kms approx. far from Badrinath to complete Char Dham yatra.

Each day they walk between 12 to 21 km on an average.

After visiting Badrinath, they will stay there for two or four days and then will re-start their journey to Kedarnath then to Gangotri and then to Yamunotri to complete four Dham. And back to Pashupatinath.

It will take them another 4-5 months to reach Nepal.

I asked him which Yatra he finds the toughest till-date.

Shri Pashupati Nath said – Narmada Yatra was the toughest. The Yatra as per rules if one follows will be of 3 years 3 months and 13 days. One has to take holy water from Omkareshwar and walk on the edges of the river Narmada passing via Amarkantak till again they reach Omkareshwar. One does not have to cross any river because one is carrying holy water.

He said – We cross Madhya Pradesh from where we get the holy water and Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Shri Pashupati Nath is doing yatra since 20 years and 40 years of journey by Shri Narayan Giri.

One has/have to be strong-willed to start and finish such walking journeys.

Amazing – said I and a donation of few rupees to them. Best Wishes!