Rishikesh was a popular pilgrim’s destination from time immemorial, known for its famous temples, which are spread in al the corners of the town. Some of them are as old as the town of Rishikesh. Veerbhadra temple is one of the oldest temple in the area.
Virbhadra temple is one of the most ancient temples in southern part of Rishikesh towards Haridwar. Every year a very famous festival is held here on the day of Shivratri, where thousands of locals from Rishikesh town and near by villages come and enjoy the Mela and visit the temple.
Virbhadra – Temple & Ancient town of Rishikesh
Built from 1st Centuary till 7th centuary this area started as an Shaiva temple and later as residential area around it. The remains of all that can be seen at the Archaeological site of Veerbhadra. This is protected site of Archaeological Survey of India where a excavation work was completed ins seventies.
Shiva as Virbhadra
Virbhadra was an incarnation of Lord Shiva which came out of his anger. As per the mythology whnd Godess Uma (sati) insulted by his father Daksha Prajapati at Kankhal ( Out skirts of Haridwar) for not Inviting her husband Lord Shiva to the Yagya, she jumped in to the fire of Yagya Kund to immolate her self for her husbands dishonour. Later knowing this Shiva became very angry and pulled out his hear and thrashed on the ground. This angry incarnation was Shiva as Virbhadra.
Maha Shivratri festival is celebrated here with great enthusiasm when thousands of locals come here to offer milk & Ganga Jal to the Shivlinga & enjoy the Mela after words ”Team Rishikesh
Till just 2 decades before the whole area was a forest and the Mela was spread in quite a few miles periphery. Today the urbanisation has limited the Mela to the temple premises only, and only very few thousand religious people make it to the temple, which was once the festival of Rishikesh town, where people used to wait for it & almost every one residing in the town used to go there on Maha Shivratri.
Location of Virbhadra temple
The Virbhadra temple is located ni southern part of Rishikesh after the AIIMS. After you cross AIIMS hospital you take the left road after 500 yards which will take you to the Virbhadara temple which is situated on a hillock and can be seen from a distance.
Location of Virbhadra Archaeological Site
The Archaeological site is just 500 meters from the temple area. The area is protected & wired and one can only see it from out side.
“Once the Ganga river used to flow next to the temple area and the small town near by. After the construction of Chilla Hydro electricity plant’s feeding canal the natural course of the river is shifted a bit”Team Rishikesh