Triyuginarayan ‘A Small Village housing Lord Vishnu’s Temple’
The word Triyuginarayan originates from ‘tri’ meaning three, ‘yugi’ denoting Yuga and Narayan is another name of Vishnu. It is a toy town nestled on the confluence of Mandakini and Sone-Ganga rivers. It is named after the famous Triyuginarayan temple is cradled in Rudraprayag district.
This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu “The Preserver”. The Triyuginarayan temple at 1,980 metres is the place, where the marriage ceremony of Lord Shiva and Parvati was solemnized by Lord Vishnu.
Triyuginarayan Temple or the Akhand Dhuni Temple:
Triyuginarayan Temple is also referred to as “Akhand Dhuni temple” due to the presence of the eternal flame. One of the interesting sights is the perpetual fire that blazes in front of the temple. The flame is believed to burn from the time of Lord Shiva and Parvati’s union. Therefore, it is known as Akhand Dhuni temple. The location of the temple is marked by a stone called “Brahma Shila” placed in front of the temple.
Architecture of Triyuginarayan Temple:
The architecture of Triyuginarayan temples is inspired by Badrinath temple as both were built by Adi Shankaracharya. The sanctum houses a 2 feet silver idol of Lord Vishnu accompanied by his consort Lakshmi. The idols of Badrinarayan, Sita Ramachandra, and Kubera are also enshrined in the temple. An idol of Shiva and Parvati blessing devotees in newlywed form is placed near the perpetual fire.
Just outside, there is a Shaligram Shila of Lord Vishnu in resting posture alongside Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesha. The devotees can also see the four sacred ponds namely Rudra kund, Vishnu kund, Brahma kund and Saraswati kund in the vicinity of the temple. Saraswati Ganga which originates in the courtyard of the shrine fills these ponds.
Religious Significance of Triyuginarayan Temple in Hinduism:
It is believed that Triyuginarayan was once the capital of Himavat and was the venue for Lord Shiva and Parvati’s celestial marriage during the Sat Yuga. Lord Vishnu performed the wedding rituals as Parvati’s brother and Lord Brahma “The Creator” acted as a priest.
The temple holds an utmost importance in Hinduism as its name has been cited in Sthala-Purana (a scripture denoting pilgrim centres). According to the Sthala-Purana, pilgrims who visit this temple collect the ashes from Akhand Dhuni as they consider it as holy. It is also believed that the ashes from this perpetual fire promote conjugal bliss.
Holy Kunds or Bathing Ponds near Triyuginarayan:
One can witness the presence of four kunds or bathing ponds located near the temple. It is believed that several Hindu gods took a sacred bath in these ponds to cleanse themselves before witnessing the marriage ceremony. Saraswati River that originated from Vishnu’s navel was the source of these kunds. Hence, the water of these kunds is considered to cure infertility.
How to reach Triyuginarayan:
Triyuginarayan in Rudraprayag district is located at a distance of 27 km from Kedarnath, 13 km from Gaurikund and 10 km from Sonprayag. The famous Triyuginarayan temple is located in the heart of Triyuginarayan village in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. The nearest railheads to Triyuginarayan are at Rishikesh and Dehradun. The closest air connectivity is at Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun.