Bharat Mandir – Bharat Mandir in Rishikesh
Bharat Mandir (Temple) is the most ancient, most sacred, most famous temple in Rishikesh. Temple is located in the heart of the city (middle of the city). Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya reinstalled the presiding deity in the temple on the day of Basant Panchmi in 789 A.D. On this day every year the Shaligram is taken for a holy bath in the scared Mayakund and then carried in a grand procession through the city to be taken back to the temple for the symbolic reinstallation. It is also believed that if any pilgrim on the day of Akshya Tritiya takes 108 parikarmas (rounds) of Lord Shri Hrishikesh Naranyan at this temple and seeks the blessing at his feet (it is only day when Lord’s feet are uncovered), all his wishes are full filled and it is equivalent to the pilgrimage to Badrinath.
The temple is mentioned in Vishnu Puran, Shrimadbhagwat, Mahabharat, Vaman Puran and Narsingh Puran. Lord Hrishikesh known as Shri Bharatji Maharaj is different from Lord Rama’s younger brother Bharat. He is known by the name of Bharat because he is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in Kaliyuga, the preserving force holding Shankh, Chakra, Gada and Padam in his four hands. It is said that the five Pandavas along with Draupadi visited here on their way to heaven. Having stayed here for some period and performed worship of Lord Hirishikesh Narayan.
It is said that the main temple is named after the Bharat, Rama’s brother who meditated here at the time of the Tretayug along wth his other brothers. There is in fact a belief that in the kalyug, Vishnu will be worshipped as Bharat. The other temples in the vicinity are dedicated to Rama or Raghunath, Lakshmana and Shatrughana.
The four armed idol of Lord Hrishikesh Narayan in the temple signifies that the sage Raibhya conquered over the senses and attained Lord Vishnu.
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