As being part of the char dham it is regarded mandatory by hindus to visit the temple once in their lifetime. The temple is located 3000 meters above sea level in garhwal hills.The temple has the hills of nar and narayan as its backdrop. It is believed that the deities nar and narayan are still meditating in the hills from time immemorial for the betterment of human civilization and to negate the bad deeds performed by the human race.
The architecture of temple bear semblance to buddhist vihara.The sanctum of the temple houses the idol of lord badrinath, nar and narayan, goddess laxmi and lord kubera which are said to be found by lord adi shankaracharya of Kaladi(Kerala) from the bottom of alaknanda river bed.These idols are said to be the only way of hari darshan in this age of kaliyuga. Town of badrinath also consist of village Mana which was crossed by the legendary pandavas on their way to heaven and where the scripture of mahabharata was written in one of its cave by ved vyasa.
The highest most jyotirlinga among the 12 is situated at 12000 ft above sea level. It is believed that at this temple the pandavas worshipped lord shiva for atonement of unfair practices committed by them during the kurukshetra war. Lord shiva who was very angry with them did not wanted to meet pandavas so he took form of nandi the bull but was recognised by them so he tried escape into the ground and only the parts of his bull avatar was visible at different spots around the earth. This one at kedarnath is the hump.
The present form of the temple was constructed by Adi shankaracharya in the 8th century. The temple can only be accessed through 20 km trek which starts from Sitakund. At gaurikund while on the trek one comes across a shrine of goddess parvati where she performed penance to win over lord shiva and a sulphur hot spring where it is believed that lord ganesha was beheaded.
Helicopter services are also available for the darshan and bus service is available from rishikesh which is 220 kms away.
Gangotri is one of the starting point wellsprings of Holy River Ganga (Ganges), and one of the imperative Char Dham journey in Hindu Religion. The primary source of the stream is "Gaumukh" which is an icy mass found 19 km far from gangotri sanctuary. Ganga stream is the longest and most holy waterway in world.
Gangotri is situated at an elevation of 3100 meters above ocean level, on the banks of Bhagirathi stream. Gangotri is the beginning stage of Ganga stream where the goddess Ganga workshipped by the Pilgrims or Devotees. In Ancient time the waterway is called Bhagirathi and achieves the name Ganga from Devprayag onwards where Bhagirathi meets with Alaknanda frame Ganga River. Gangotri is the home place of numerous ashrams, little hallowed places and sanctuary.
Part of the chota char dham yatra in uttarakhand the temple is dedicated to goddess yamunotri. The river yamuna originates from the champasar glacier on the kalind mountain. Since the trek towards the mountain is impossible the temple was established at the foothills of the mountain.Even the temple is only accessible through 13 km long trek which has two hotsprings , scenic jungles and waterfalls.There is long established practice of boiling the rice and potatoes wrapped in clothes in these hotspring by the sages which is then consumed as prasad.Goddess yamunotri in the form of river yamuna is responsible for the prosperity of indian civilization along with river ganga which run parallel to each other as the rivers makes the region highly arable. The distance of Rishikesh to yamunotri is 220 kilometers which takes around 7 hours to complete.