Raghunathji Temple Image of Adi Shankara, who is believed to have established the temple Raghunathji Temple

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Best Time to Visit : February to November

Timings : Summer: 5 AM to 12 noon and 5 PM to 9 PM
Winter: 6 AM to 12 noon and 4 PM to 8 PM

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Raghunathji Temple, Devprayag Overview

One of the oldest temples of Lord Rama, Raghunathji temple is believed to be around 10,000 years old. Made up of huge rocks, the temple is situated on the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda.

Also known as Tirukantamenum Kadi Nagar, it is one of the 108 Divyadesam that are dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple is dedicated to Raghunathji or Rama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The main shrine has an idol of Raghunathji in standing position facing the east direction. A Deula or conical roof crowns the sacred shrine of Rama. Apart from the chief deity, the temple also houses Sita, Lakshman, Badrinath, Adi Shankara, Shiva and Hanuman. The temple made its name in 4 of the 18 holy Puranas namely Padma Purana, Matsya Purana, Kurma Purana and Agni Purana. The Saraswati river flows directly below the shrine of Rama. On certain days, a small puddle of water is found near the deity. Since the time of Rama, the temple is considered to be the ideal place to atone sins.

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Legend of the Temple

According to Hindu legend, the temple had existed since the Ramayana days. It is believed that Raghunathji or Rama performed penance there to free himself from the curse of killing Ravana, the demonic Brahman king. The place where the temple stands came to be known as 'Prayaga' or 'the ideal place to perform penance' after Brahma, the Hindu Lord of Creation made amends for his sins there. The Pandavas also came to the temple at the onset of the Mahabharat war. Sage Bharadwaja too did penance there to become one of the Saptarishis or sacred sages. In the vicinity, Vatika, a banyan tree grows and Vishnu is believed to dwell on the leaves of the tree. The tree mysteriously withstood all earthly calamities and has put up with the same appearance since time immemorial.

History of the Temple

The temple was believed to have been established by Adi Shankara during the 8th Century. Expansions were made later by rulers of the Garhwal dynasty, who ruled the land during that time. Several contributions were showered upon the temple by other rulers, eg. Sahaj Pal donated a bell to the temple in 1551. Such donations were inscribed in the interior of the temple. King Jai Kirti Shah who ruled the region during the 1780s, ended his life in the temple after his Courts men betrayed him. The present temple structure is said to be established in 1835 by Maharaja Gulab Singh, who also founded the empire of Jammu and Kashmir. Decades passed, and the structure was finally completed in 1860, during the reign of Maharaja Ranabir Singh, son of Maharaja Gulab Singh. Unfortunately, the temple was damaged in an earthquake in 1893. Today, the temple is under the care of Tourism development, Uttarakhand.

Festivals

Devotees throng to the temple premises on festivals like Ram Navami, Hanuman Jayanti, Deepawali and Dussehra.

Accommodation

Pilgrims and tourists can choose from a variety of hotels. Some of the stays that are nearest to the temple are Camp Meadows Heights (1.12 km), Altitude Camping (1.57 km), Palette Tehri Club and Resort (2.93 km), etc.

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