Triveni is a town in Katari Municipality in Udayapur District in the Sagarmatha zone of south-eastern Nepal.
It is also called as Gajendramoksha Divyadham. According to Varah Purana, once upon a time there was a war between an elephant king (Gajaraj) and a crocodile (Graha) that lasted for hundreds of years. Lord Vishnu heard the prayers of the elephant and descended on Garuda to rescue him. As he arrived at the place, one leg of the elephant was already in the mouth of the crocodile. The God safely rescued the elephant from the menacing jaws of the crocodile. This place is situated in Nawalparashi district near the Indian border at the west bank of Narayani River. It is the point where two rivers: Swarnabhadra and Purnabhadra meet Narayani (Gandaki) river.
There are many temples out of which Laxminarayana Temple and Gajendramoksha temple are famous. This story of elephant Gajendra moksham is different from that given in Srimad bhagavatam. The one which is described in Srimad Bhagavatam happened in heavenly planet. The one which happened here has similar story line up but involves personalities different as per their past lives. Once there lived two brahmana brothers Yuja and Upayuja who were very expert in reciting mantras and conducting sacrifices. Once a great king invited both for conducting a sacrifice. At the end, the king heavily rewarded the brothers with a huge sum of money. This in turn led to disagreement between both. The disagreement turned into anger and in anger both of them cursed each other. One was cursed to become elephant and other cursed to become crocodile. Being cursed, they both came to their senses and sincerely repented and sought help of Lord Vishnu. Lord promised to deliver both of them in their next life and so goes the same story. This fight lasted for a long time and the distance covered during the fight was took place from Devghat to Triveni and then till Sonpur in Bihar. There are still some places between Devghat and Triveni on the banks of river, where you could find elephant footprints embossed on rocky stones. It was at Triveni, that crocodile grabbed the elephant’s legs and then at Sonpur in Bihar, Lord delivered both the animals. On account of Lord Narayan’s coming and rescuing the elephant, River Gandaki is more prominently called as Narayani river between Devghat and Triveni.
A beautiful bhajan in Hindi sung by Vaishnav saint Suradas on this pastimes is famous :
Hey govind hey gopal raakho sharan ab to jeevan haaren
neer piyan hetu gayaa sindhu ke kinaare
sindhu beech basat grah paav dhari pachhade
chaaron pahar yuddh bhayo le gayo majhdhaare
naak kaan duban laage krishna ko pukaaren
sur kahe shyam suno sharan hain tumhaare
abki baar paar karo nand ke dulaare
Meaning Oh Govind Oh Gopal ,keep me in your shelter as I am loosing my life .
I went to drink the water at the bank of river. In the river there lies an alligator who has grabbed my legs and thus he is drawing me in the water.
Whole day we had a conflict but he taken me to the edge, now my nose and ears are drowned and are calling only Krishna .
Sur das ji says that the elephant says Oh Shyam please listen to me I am only in your shelter .Oh dearest of Nand ji this time you take me across this jolt”.