Triyugi Narayan Temple
Triyugi Narayan temple is located in the Triyuginarayan village in Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand. The ancient temple is dedicated to god Vishnu. Its fame is credited to the legend of god Shiva’s marriage to goddess Parvati witnessed by Vishnu at this venue and is thus a popular pilgrimage centre. A special attarction of this temple is a perpetual fire, that burns in front of the temple. The flame is believed to burn from the times of the divine marriage. Thus, the temple is also known as Akhand Dhuni temple.
The temple courtyard is also the source of a water stream, which fills three sacred bathing ponds (kunds) nearby.
The word “Triyugi Narayan” is formed of three words “tri” means three, “yugi” denotes the period of time – Yuga and “Narayan” is another name of Vishnu. Pilgrims have been offering wood to the fire in the havana-kund (fireplace) since the three Yugas – hence the place is given the name “Triyugi Narayan”. Yuga in Hindu philosophy is the name of an epoch or era within a cycle of four ages. The four Yugas are Satya Yuga (1,728,000 human years), Treta Yuga (1,296,000 years), the Dvapara Yuga (864,000 years) and finally Kali Yuga (432,000 years), which is the present Yuga.
The name “Akhand Dhuni temple” also originates from the eternal flame legend, “Akhand” means perpetual and “Dhuni” means flame.
According to Hindu mythology, goddess Parvati was daughter of Himavat or Himavan – the personification of the Himalayas. She was the rebirth of Sati, the first wife of Shiva – who sacrificed her life when her father insulted Shiva. Parvati initially tried to allure Shiva by her beauty, but fails. Finally, she won Shiva by practicing rigorous penance at Gauri Kund. Pilgrims visiting Triyuginaryan temple also visit the Gauri Kund temple, dedicated to Parvati, which is the base camp for trek to Kedarnath Temple. Mythology states that Shiva proposed to Parvati at Guptakashi, before they got married in the small Triyuginarayan village at the confluence of Mandakini and SonGanga rivers.