High up in the Himalayan Mountains of the Indian state of Uttarakhand sits the famous Badrinath Temple. Badrinath is the final and most challenging destination of the four Char Dham pilgrimage sites.
The Badrinath Temple sits in a small town (also called Badrinath) beside the Alaknanda River, at an altitude of 10,300 feet. Heavy snowfall and treacherous roads force this temple to close for six months of the year. The temple is dedicated to the god Vishnu, and at the center of the temple is a three-foot-tall, black, stone statue of Vishnu. The head priest is traditionally a Brahmin from the state of Kerala.
The pull of this temple is so strong that Hindus are willing to take significant risks for a darshan (vision) of the Vishnu statue inside. Despite the looming dangers of cloudbursts and mudslides — such as the one that killed more than 6,000 people in the so-called “Himalayan Tsunami” of June 2013 — pilgrims continue to flock to the temple by the thousands in the summer/monsoon season. Approximately one million pilgrims visit the Badrinath Temple each year; this is an astounding number considering the difficult approach and remote location high in the Himalayas.
The temple is one of the main spiritual strongholds in North India, as visiting it is seen by Hindus as an important step towards moksha (salvation). The beliefs and powers attributed to this (and the other Char Dham temples) are heaping burdens and bondage upon desperate souls as they search for salvation where it cannot be found, and submit themselves to demonic powers as they try to reach the divine.
Only Jesus can offer true salvation, and because of His journey to the cross there is no more need to venture anywhere else in a human attempt to be reunited with our Creator and be liberated from sin.
WAYS TO PRAY:
PRAY FOR the one million Hindus who go on pilgrimage to Badrinath every year between May and October.
PRAY THAT believers would be filled with boldness to reach out to pilgrims journeying to Badrinath. (Ephesians 6:19)
PRAY THAT God will supernaturally remove the spiritual blindness that keeps many from seeing the gospel for what it truly is, salvation from sin and death. (2 Corinthians 4:4)