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It is the most ancient, most sacred & most famous temple situated at the heart of the city. It is believed that city's existance came into being 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. 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 fullfilled and it is equivalent to the piligrimage to Badrinath
The temple is mentioned in Vishnu Puran, Shrimadbhagwat, Mahabharat, Vaman Puran & 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 & Padam in his four hands.