The sacred Bharat Mandir is a famous temple situated in Rishikesh. According to legends, Rishikesh came into existence with this temple only. In about 789 A.D on the auspicious day of Basant Panchmi, Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya reinstalled the presiding deity in the temple. Every year on this day the Shaligram is taken for a holy bath in the sacred Mayakund. A grand procession accrued the idol through the city back to the temple for the symbolic reinstallation. It is also believed that on the day of Akshya Tritiya any believer who 108 parikarmas (rounds) of Lord Shri Hrishikesh Naranyan attains the blessings equivalent to the pilgrimage to Badrinath.
Bharat Mandir has been mentioned in many religious texts including the 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 said to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in Kaliyuga, the preserving force holding Shankh, Chakra, Gada and Padam in his four hands.
Just opposite to the entrance of the temple there is an age old tree. The tree is actually a combination of three different trees whose roots are entwined a way that it is next to impossible to visualize them as a separate entity. This include old banyan tree i.e vat vriksh, pipal tree and bel tree. All these trees hold a very scared space in Hindu mythology. It is believed that, these three trees represent Tri Dev, Brahama the creator, Vishnu, the preserver and Mahesh the destroyer. Devotees pray to these trees with ultimate devotion and belief.
A broken Buddha statue is kept under this tree which was obtained during the excavation. It is believed that this statue dates back to Ashoka period when Buddhism was spreading all around the country. Though the actual age of this tree is not known but it is believed that it is more than twenty five decade old and was there in same condition since the inception of this temple.