"The Land of Gods", Uttarakhand is known for several religious and mythological tales. Many destinations are not only popular as tourist places but also as holy sites.
Uttarakhand is the birthplace and confluence point of many rivers; each spot has some mystery behind it. Triyuginarayan Temple is one such mythological place located in Triyuganarayan village in Uttarakhand. The village is part of Rudraprayag district.
Shiva and Parvati's wedding portrayed in painting
Photo Courtesy: Kalyanasundara
The place of Triyuginarayan Temple is said to be the wedding destination of Lord Shiva and Parvati. One speciality of this shrine is the eternal fire that has been burning for years. It is believed that Shiva and Parvati married in front of this fire. Hence, it has been named as Triyugi (a fire which has been there for three yugas). Since the fire is in Narayan Temple, it is known as Triyuginarayan Temple.
As per the legends, Goddess Parvati was Shiva's wife named Sati in her previous life, but she commits suicide when Shiva gets humiliated by her father. She jumps into the fire to kill herself. Later, she is born as the daughter of the King Himavath in her next birth and tries to lure Shiva with her beauty.
Photo Courtesy: Naresh Balakrishnan
Lord Shiva doesn't accept her proposal and all her efforts go in vain. So, Parvati performs a great penance in Gowri Kund and pleases Shiva. Attracted by her beauty and love, he also confesses his love for her. It is believed that today's Guptakashi en route to Kedarnath is the place where Lord Shiva proposed the Goddess. Guptkashi is located on the banks of river Mandakini.
Mandakini River near Guptakashi
Photo Courtesy: Vvnataraj
Finally, Shiva and Parvati's marriage happens in the capital city of Triyuginarayan under the guidance of the King Himavath. Legends say that Lord Vishnu himself becomes the brother of Parvati and Lord Brahma is the priest in this grand wedding. Thousands of sages, gods and goddess, are said to have been the part of this exotic ceremony. Interestingly, the places where they took a bath during the wedding are known as Brahmakund, Rudrakund and Vishnu Kund in Uttarakhand.
The Frozen Gauri Kund Lake
Photo Courtesy: ccdoh1
Devotees who visit the temple put the dried wood pieces to Akhand Dhuni (everlasting fire) and they take the ashes (as Prasad) from this fire. Hence, the shrine is also called as Akhand Dhuni Temple in Uttarakhand. They also visit the Gowri Kund, which is 5 km from here.
Saraswati Kund (pond) located near to this temple acts as the source of water to other three Kunds. It is said that the Saraswati Kund is formed from Vishnu's umbilical cord. People firmly believe that if the childless couples come here, they will be blessed. Since it is the wedding location of Lord Shiva and Parvathi, this shrine is also a sacred for the couples.
How to Reach Triyuginarayan Temple
By Road: Triyuginarayan Temple can be either reached through trekking or by road via Sonprayag. Triyuginarayan Temple is 12 km from Sonprayag.
Sonprayag is also accessible by road from Dehradun and Rishikesh. Sonprayag is 251 km from Dehradun and 212km from Rishikesh.
Best Time to Visit
Tourists can visit Triyuginarayan from October to Mid-March.