Triyuginarayan Temple is a Hindu temple located in the Triyuginarayan village in Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand, India. The Triyuginarayan Temple is located at an altitude of 1,980 meters (6,500 ft) about 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) away from Sonprayag, the confluence of Mandakini and Songanga rivers 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 Hindu pilgrimage sites. A special feature 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 , Treta Yuga , the Dvapara Yuga and finally Kali Yuga which is the present Yuga.
According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati was the 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 failed. Finally, she won Shiva by practicing rigorous penance at GauriKund, which is 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) away from Triyuginarayan. Pilgrims visiting Triyuginaryan temple also visit the Gauri Kund temple, dedicated to Parvati, which is the base camp for trekking 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 Son-Ganga rivers.
Triyuginarayan is believed to be the capital of Himavat. It was the venue of the celestial marriage of Shiva and Parvati, during the Satya Yuga, witnessed in the presence of the holy fire that still burns eternally in front of the temple in a Havan-kund or Agni-kund, a four-cornered fireplace on the ground. Vishnu formalized the wedding and acted as Parvati’s brother in the ceremonies, while the creator-god Brahma acted as the priest of the wedding, which was witnessed by all the sages of the times. The exact location of the wedding is marked by a stone called Brahma Shila, in front of the temple.The greatness of this place is also recorded in asthala-purana (a scripture specific to a pilgrimage center). According to the scripture, pilgrims who visit this temple consider the ashes from the burning fire as holy and carry it with them. It is also believed that ashes from this fire are supposed to promote conjugal bliss. Before the marriage ceremony, there were no people who witnessed the incident, the gods are believed to have taken bath in four kunds or small ponds namely, Rudra-kund, Vishnu-kund and Brahma-kund. The inflow into the three kunds is from the Saraswati-kund, which – according to legend – originated from Vishnu’s navel. Hence, the water of these kunds is considered to cure infertility. The ashes from Havana-kund are supposed to promote conjugal bliss.
The Triyuginarayan temple resembles the temple of Kedarnath in architectural style and hence attracts a lot of devotees. The present shrine is also called Akhand Dhuni temple. It is believed to have been built by Adi Shankaracharya. Adi Shankaracharya is credited with building many temples in the Uttarakhand region. The shrine houses a silver, 2-foot image of god Vishnu (Narayana), accompanied with consort – goddess of wealth Lakshmi and the goddess of music and learning – Sarasvati
The sacred shrine is specifically catching the eyes since the state government has decided to promote it as a wedding destination. This temple has become one of the most popular wedding destinations of India.