Yogadhyan Badri, also called Yoga Badri, is located in Pandukeshwar (30 ° 38′2 ″ N 79 ° 32′51 ″ E) at an elevation of 1829 meters (6001 feet), near Govind Ghat and is as old as the main Badrinath Temple. Pandukeshwar is located on the route from Govind Ghat to Hanuman Chatti, 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) away from Hanuman Chatti. Legend has it that King Pandu, father of the five Pandavas, heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, meditated here before the god Vishnu to cleanse him of the sin of killing two mating deer, who were ascetics in their previous lives. The Pandavas were also born here and Pandu died and achieved 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 therefore 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 Kaurava cousins in the Mahabharata war, came here to repent. They handed over their kingdom of Hastinapur to their grandson Parikshit and went to do penance in the Himalayas.
Copper plate inscriptions found here indicate the rule of the early Katyuri Rajas and the region was known as Panchal Desh, now officially designated as Uttarakhand. An inscription extols the land grant granted by King Nimbarana. Another historical place is Suryakund, on top of the Milam Glacier, which is a hot spring, where Kunti, the mother of Pandavas, gave birth to her illegitimate son Karna, begotten by the sun god Surya. Kunti married Pandu in Pandukeshwar.
Yogdhyan Badri is also considered the winter abode of the Utsava-murti (festival-image) of Badrinath, when the Badrinath temple is closed. Therefore, it is religiously ordained that a pilgrimage is not complete without offering prayers at this location. The bhatts (priests) of South India serve as chief priests in the temple.