Until there are religious beliefs people will keep travelling and also keep visiting holy pilgrimage sites. The experience that one gets by seeing the culture and traditions of India, through its famous temples or shrines, cannot be explained in words.
Among such many famous religious sites, the Badrinarayan temple occupies a prominent position. The Badrinath temple, located at the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand is a sacred location for many Hindus and majestically stands amid the snow clad Neelkanth peak and Nar-narayan mountain ranges.
Lakhs of tourists visit this temple each year, to fulfil all their wishes, get rid of their sins and pay tribute to Lord Badrinath.
But before visiting the holy Badrinath temple, devotees never forget to dip themselves in Tapt Kund and visit the Narad Kund, which are two holy ponds, located at close proximity to the temple.
These ponds produce natural hot sulphur springs that are believed to have therapeutic healing properties and cure all the ailments and diseases that one might possess. The hot water bath energizes and refreshes one’s soul, irrespective of the cold temperatures outside the Kund.
Famous Story Behind Narad Kund
The Narad Kund is named after the famous Narad Muni who was considered to be a popular storyteller, travelling musician and an enlightened preacher of the Hindu Dharma. Epics point out that Narad Muni was Brahma’s son and narrated Lord Brahma’s stories in innovative ways.
The Narad Kund which lies just 500 meters from the Badrinarayan temple, is considered to be the sacred pond where Narad Muni meditated for a very long time and until today people believe that Nard Muni exists in the Narad Kund in a spiritual, unidentified form.
As a proof to this belief, the ghee diyas or lamps, which are lit by the priests before closing the Badrinarayan temple in the monsoon and winter months, can still be seen burning even after they reopen the temple in the month of May.
It is said that Narad Muni keeps the diyas from burning away and worships the deity every day, which is nothing but a miracle. It is also told that Narad Muni wrote the Narada Bhakti Sutra at the Narad Kund.
According to another legend, the Narad Kund is that spiritual pond, where saint Adi Shankarchaya discovered the image of Lord Vishnu during the Hindu renaissance and also placed the Lord’s image himself, in the present Badrinarayan temple.
It is believed that Lord Vishnus image was made of a black stone which is similar to granite and remained in the Kund for several number of years during the Buddhist period before it was discovered. Therefore, proper details of the image cannot be verified due to the weathering process it has undergone.
Scenary in & Around the Narad Kund
The Narad Kund is considered to be very sacred and people are not allowed to take bath in this holy pond. But one can definitely sit on the banks of the Narad kund for some time and admire the small ducks, birds, turtles and even water snakes, which add life to this Kund.
The wooden area surrounding the Kund and the calmness that one feels, away from the regular noises and blaring horns, makes the Narad Kund worth the visit.
There is a special Paras people tree which can be seen near this Kund and also grows four different types of flowers on its branches. It is considered to be very special because, it is considered as the fifty-first grandson of the tree that lived near Narad Kund during Narad Muni’s era.
Surrounding the Narad Kund, one can also find five rocks or Shilas which are known by the names of Narad Shila, Narasingh Shila,Varaha Shila, Garur Shila and the Markandey Shila, dedicated to five different gods. The water found in the Narad Kund is believed to first originate or spring out of the Garur Shila before falling into the pond.
Best time to visit and how to reach?
The thermal hot springs of Narad Kund is best visited within the months of May to October. During the monsoon and winter periods, the main Vishnu temple is closed and also there would be heavy snowfall, which can be dangerous and risky.
Narad Kund is located in the famous town of Badrinath and is very near to the shrine, so once can easily access the location by Air, Rail or Road.
- By Air: Take a flight from Dehradun’s, Jolly grant airport which is the nearest airport to Badrinath, situated at a distance of 311 kms. One can easily reach Dehradun from the various flights that connect from New Delhi.
- By Rail: The nearest railway station to Badrinath is the Rishikesh railway station which is situated at a distance of 294kms from Badrinath. Rishikesh is a popular destination and is thus well connected to many other major cities of India.
- By Road: The NH58 connects Badrinath with Ghaziabad and one can reach Badrinath easily from other major cities as well, given its well-connected network of roads. So, you can choose to take frequently running buses or hire a taxi from various popular places in Uttarakhand like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Rudraprayag, Chamoli etc and reach Badrinath by road.
Other Places to visit near the Narad Kund
Once you enjoy your time at the Narad Kund, you can head to the Alaknanda river and watch it flow in all its glory. The river is just a few feet away from Narad Kund and one can capture some amazing scenic views from the river area.
Also, Badrinath temple, which is well known for its Lord Vishnu’s Image, the Tapt Kund which lies just below Narad Kund, the Brahma Kapal and Mata Maruti temple are a few locations, which can be of interest to tourists and devotees.
Hence, your trip to Badrinath would be incomplete without visiting the Narad Kund. So, take an hour or so to see this holy pond and soak in the natural surroundings and the peacefulness that the place offers.