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Pilgrimages of Uttarakhand - Chamoli district
Badarikashrama Mahatmya from Skanda Purana:
Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Badarikashrama Mahatmya 2): Beginningless: In the dialogue between Lord Shiva and Skanda, Shiva told about Badarikashrama to Skanda. The sacred place of Badari is beginningless like the Vedas where Hari Himself is the presiding deity.
Kapalamochana: During Kritayuga Lord Brahma looked at his own daughter with lustful eyes. Lord Shiva in great fury cut off the fifth head of Brahma. But due to the sin of severing the head of Brahma, the skull (kapala) stuck to the hands of Shiva. Shiva went to various tirthas in heaven, earth and nether worlds and resorted to various penances to get rid of the skull. But he was not successful. Finally he went to Vaikuntha and told Hari about his distress. Hari advised him to go to Badari. Shiva went to Badari and his sin was at once removed and the skull dropped off from his hands (kapala mochana). Lord Shiva told that his linga was established there in the form of Kedara which is resorted to by the devotees of Shiva.
Penance of Agni at Badarikashrama (Agnitirtha): Once Agni wanted to get rid of his sins due to his omnivorousness. He consulted an assembly of great sages. Sage Vyasa told Agni to go to Badari. Agni went to mount Gandhamadana and arrived at Badari. After taking bath in the holy waters of Ganga, he went to the hermitage of Narayana and eulogized the Lord. Lord Narayana was pleased and told Agni to choose a boon. Agni asked about a way of redemption due to his sin of omnivorousness. Lord Narayana said that seeing this holy spot his sins will get destroyed and by His grace he will not incur any sin. Thereafter Agni made his abode there (at Agnitirtha).
Penance of sage Narada at Badarikashrama (Naradi shila): Once sage Narada performed a severe penance at Badari to get the vision of Lord Vishnu. He stood on a rock taking only air and products of trees for sixty thousand years. Lord Vishnu initially came in the form of a brahmana and later revealed His true form to sage Narada. Narada eulogized the Lord with various hymns. The Lord told Narada to ask for a boon. Narada asked for unflinching devotion to His lotus feet and His presence in the rock where he performed penance. The Lord granted the boon and thus was Narada tirtha created.
Penance of sage Markandeya at Badarikashrama (Markandeyi shila): During Tretayuga, sage Markandeya knowing himself to be short-lived worshipped Lord Vishnu. He repeated the twelve-syllabled mantra of the Lord. He visited various pilgrimages and met sage Narada at Mathura. Narada advised him to go to Badari where Hari is perpetually present. Markandeya went to Badari and after taking bath in the holy river, sat on a rock and repeated the eight-syllabled mantra of the Lord. Within three days, Lord Janardhana appeared in His true form holding conch, discus, club and lotus. Markandeya was charged with devotion and he eulogized the Lord. He invoked the grace of the Lord to save him from the miseries of the samsara. The Lord became pleased and told Markandeya to choose a boon. Markandeya prayed to the Lord to grant him steady devotion and make His abode in the rock where he performed his worship. The Lord granted the boon.
Penance of Garuda at Badarikashrama (Garudi shila): Garuda wanted to become the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. He performed penance on mount Gandhamadana on the southern side of Badari. Taking only fruits, roots and water, he stood on only one foot and performed japa for thirty thousand years. The Lord appeared to him in His true form but Garuda could not hear His voice due to absorption in meditation. Then the Lord blew His conch, but still Garuda was not awakened from his meditation. Finally the Lord entered through his breath and made his mind extroverted. Seeing the Lord, there was horripilation on his body due to devotion. Garuda eulogized the Lord with various hymns. Then Garuda invoked Ganga and washed the feet of the Lord. The Lord was pleased and told Garuda to ask for a boon. Garuda asked for great strength and the boon to become His vehicle. He also asked the Lord to make the rock where he performed penance to be known after his name. The Lord granted the boon and told him to go to Badari. By taking holy bath there and observing fast for three days with purity it is easy to get His vision. Thereafter Garuda went to Badari and after performing the holy rites saw the Lord stationed at Narada tirtha.
Presence of Lord Varaha at Badarikashrama (Varahi shila): After killing the demon Hiranyaksha and recovering the earth from the nether world, Lord Vishnu came to Badari and stayed there till the end of the kalpa. The Lord stationed Himself there in the form of a rock (Varahi).
Presence of Lord Narasimha at Badarikashrama (Narasimhi shila): After killing the demon Hiranyakasipu the devas were frightened to see the terrible form of the Lord. They eulogizd the Lord from a distance. The Lord was pleased and asked them to choose a boon. They prayed the Lord to withdraw His terrible form and assume the benign form with four arms. The Lord went to Badari and stationed Himself in the middle of the waters. Then the sages came there and eulogized the Lord. The Lord was pleased and told them to ask for a boon. They prayed the Lord to stay permanently at Badari. The Lord granted the boon and stayed there in the form of Narasimhi rock.
Bharatavarsha - The Land of Gods and Sages:
1. Stotras by Deity:
Initial: Ganesha -
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu -
Tridevis: Saraswati -
(Lakshmi - Tulasi - Bhoomi) -
Others: Murugan -
Final: Vedas -
2. Pilgrimages by Deity:
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu -
Tridevis: Saraswati -
(Parvati - Shakambari)
3. Sadhana: Sadhana - Hermitages - Penances
4. Saints: Ramakrishna - Vivekananda - Ramana - Saints
5. Sacred Geography:
7. Religious Life:
8. Other Aspects:
Sanskrit - Arts - Music - Dance - Medicine - Architecture - Astronomy