Triyugi Narayan or Trijugi Narayan -Tucked away in a picturesque village in Uttarakhand is a small temple where Hindu gods Shiva and Parvati got married. Now it is not very often that a wedding is remembered because of the guests who attended it, but in this case, this is exactly what happened. Lord Vishnu was among the gods and goddesses present at this celestial wedding, and since he was considered the lord of that age, the place was named after him as Triyugi and the temple is called Triyugi Narayan.
Triyugi Narayan is a about 5 hours away from Sonprayag where rivers Songanga and Mandakini confluence in the Rudraprayag district. The Triyugi Narayan temple is located at a height of 7500 feet (or 1980metres) and is a small stone structure, resembling the Kedarnath Shrine, where Shiva and Parvati wedded.
The celestial wedding
This temple, situated in the lower Himalayan region of Uttarakhand, is a holy place of religious importance for Hindus and dedicated to lord Vishnu, though it lies low on the popularity scale. Triyugi literally means “three ages” or “three eras”. Narayan is another name for lord Vishnu.
It is believed that Vishnu solemnised Shiva-Parvati’s wedding, with lord Bramha also in attendance. The wedding took place in Satya Yuga, the first of the four yugas. It is believed that the current yuga, Kali Yuga, is the fourth in chronology.
According to Hindu mythology, Vishnu acted as Parvati’s brother during the marriage ceremony. The fire, around which Shiva and Parvati took the seven pheras as a part of the wedding ritual, is still burning in the temple premises. This eternal holy fire is called the Dhananjay Agni, while the temple is also sometimes called Akhand Dhuni Temple. So the temple also gets its name from this fire, which has been burning for three yugas.
The fire is kept akhand (or unbreakable) by the temple preist till date, as pilgrims offer wood as offering to the temple and take holy ash in return.
There are some ponds (kunds) in Triyugi Narayan which contain fresh water and are fed by Saraswati Kund. The three major ponds are Rudrakund, Vishnukund and Bramhakund. Devotees have to walk some distance to reach the temple, but not deters the enthusiastic visitors here.
The village is extremely calm and peaceful, and travellers have marvelled at the way the priests allows devotees to spend as much time as needed to complete the puja (prayers).
If you are not the religious kind and temples don’t impress you much, even then Triyugi Narayan is a place worth visiting. The time you spend on road to get here will give you an amazing glimpse of the Garhwal hills of Uttarakhand.
Trekking around Triyugi Narayan
There are some good trekking trails near Triyugi Narayan which would surely grab the interest of an adventurer. The jungles and mountainous terrain of the state offers an exquisite chance to get close to nature in its purest form and the Himalayas at its majestic best.
Triyugi Narayan lies on the way to Kedarnath Shrine, which is one reason it gets reasonable number of visitors every year. It is at a distance of 10 km (roughly 5 hours trek) from Gauri Kund, which offers travellers a great view of the Himalayas against the lake. Kankhalia Khal is also another camping site 11 kms away from Triyugi Narayan.
Ghuttur (12km), Panwali Kantha and Kedarnath (25km) are some rigorous trekking trails which enthral even the best of adventurers.
Getting to Triyugi Narayan
In order to visit this village, you first need to get to Sonprayag, which is at a distance of 251km from Dehradun and 212 km from Rishikesh. Both these cities are connected by rail with frequent trains from Delhi. Dehradun and Rishikesh can also be reached by bus from major nearby cities like Chandigarh and Shimla.
The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun.
Sonprayag can be reached by buses run by state transport and some private operators, as well as by hiring a vehicle. There are budget hotels and rest houses in Sonprayag and Triyugi Narayan to cater to travellers going to Kedarnath. There is a PWD Guesthouse in Triyugi Narayan as well, however, it is better to make reservations in advance.
Triyugi Narayan is covered in snow during the peak winter months of November-February; hence it is best to avoid travelling to this place at that time.