Yogadhyan Badri, also called Yoga Badri, is located at Pandukeshwar at the elevation of 1,829 metres (6,001 ft), close to Govind Ghat and is as ancient as the main Badrinath temple. Pandukeshwar is located en route from Govind Ghat to Hanuman Chatti, 9 kms away from Hanuman Chatti. Legend has it that King Pandu, father of the five Pandavas - heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, meditated here to god Vishnu to cleanse him of the sin of killing of two mating deer, who were ascetics in their previous lives. The Pandavas were also born here and Pandu died and attained salvation here.
Pandu is believed to have installed the bronze image of Vishnu in the Yogadhyan Badri shrine. The image is in a meditative posture and thus the image is called Yoga-dhyan (mediative) Badri. The idol is life size and has been carved from Shaligram stone. According to legend, the Pandavas, after defeating and killing their cousins Kauravas in the Mahabharata war, came here to repent. They handed their kingdom of Hastinapur to their grandson Parikshit and went to perform penance in the Himalayas.
Copper plate inscriptions found here indicate rule by early Katyuri Rajas and the region was known as Panchal Desh, now officially designated as Uttarakhand. One inscription extols the grant of land given by King Nimbarana. Another historic location is the Suryakund, on top of Milam glacier, which is a hot water spring, where Kunti - mother of Pandavas gave birth to her illegitimate son Karna, fathered by the sun-god Surya. Kunti was married to Pandu at Pandukeshwar.
Yogdhyan Badri is also considered the winter abode for the Utsava-murti (festival-image) of Badrinath, when the temple of Badrinath is closed. Hence, it is religiously ordained that a pilgrimage will not be complete without offering prayers at this place. Bhatts (priests) from South India serve as chief priests in the temple.
May to October is the ideal time for one to visit.
Pandukeshwar is well connected by roads to major cities of Uttarakhand. Rishikesh is 297 Kms. and Kotdwara 327 Kms. away from Pandukeshwar. The distance beyond the above mentioned places have to be covered by either through bus or taxies.
Nearest railheads are at Rishikesh 297 km away and Kotdwara 327 km away, which are connected with major cities of North India. Rishikesh is directly connected by rail with Howrah, Bombay, Delhi & Lucknow. The distance beyond this has to be covered by road either through bus or taxies.
Nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport located at Dehradun, which is 315 kms away. It is connected by direct flights to Delhi at regular intervals. The distance beyond this has to be covered by road either through bus or taxies.