Rishikesh is like a two faced coin, on one side it comprises of the activities like Camping in the foothills of Himalayas, thrilling river rafting in Ganges, Trekking and on the other side it is the most loved holy place, amongst it there is Bharat Mandir, located in the centre of the city, this sacred temple is believed to be one of the oldest religious sites in the entire country and one of the sought after tourist places in Rishikesh. According to the common folklores, the existence of Bharat Mandir is as old as that of Rishikesh! Legends has it that the present day deity of this temple was reinstalled by Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya during 789AD on the auspicious day of Basant Panchnami.
Even till date, devotees flocks this temple on the same day of the Hindu calendar and attend a grand procession wherein the idol of Lord Hrishikesh is taken out for a dip in the holy water and reinstalled in the temple. Believed to be named after 'Bharat', brother of Lord Ram, the main deity of the temple is Lord Vishnu, and has an idol carved from a single piece of black stone.
Legends also has it that after the battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandava brothers while on their way to heaven, took shelter and also offered their prayers to Lord Hrishikesh Narayan in this temple.