Panch Prayag means “Five Confluences”. It refers to the five confluences which takes place at Vishnu Prayag, NandaPrayag, KarnPrayag, Rudraprayag and Devprayag respectively to form river Ganga. Ganga, the most sacred of Indian rivers, is worshipped as the life-giving goddess, which brings salvation to this land. This great river, emerges from the icy glaciers of the Himalayas. Pilgrims bathe in the Ganga on various auspicious days and the water of Ganga is used for purification rituals.
According to the Hindu Mythology when Goddess Ganga started descending to earth, to cherish the mankind, Earth was not able to face the force which Ganga had. To temper her force Ganga was splitted into 12 channels. The siblings again gets unite into single stream after Devaprayag. After the confluence of Alaknanda with Bhagirathi at Devprayag, the river is known as Ganga (Ganges). Four other confluences higher up add up to form the five holy confluences or Panch prayag, which pilgrims visit for worship.
Karnaprayag is located on the way to Badrinath, on the confluence of two holy rivers Alaknanda and Pindar. It is said that Karna of Mahabharata meditated here for many years to acquire the impregnable shield, which made him a formidable warrior in the battlefield. Swami Vivekananda meditated here for eighteen days with his Guru Bhai, Guru Turianand ji and Akharanand ji. It is the sub-divisional head-quarter of district Chamoli. Roads from here go to Almora, Nainital and Jim Corbet National Park.
21 km from Karnaprayag, on the main route to Badrinath, where the Alaknanda and Mandakani rivers meet, is a destination which has become a major tourist halting point. Named Nandaprayag, it honours the pious and truthful King Nanda, who had performed a ‘Yajna’ and gave donations to the Brahmins to win the love and blessings of God. The famous Gopalji temple is also situated here.
One of the Panch Prayag (five confluences) of Alaknanda River, Devprayag is a pilgrimage town in Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers merge to form the holy River Ganga at Devprayag. The small town is situated on the route from Rishikesh to Badrinath and is about 71 km from Rishikesh.
Devprayag literally means the ‘holy confluence’. It is an extremely important religious site for Hindus. Ganga, the biggest and the holiest river in India, starts its journey to the plains and further towards Bay of Bengal from Devprayag.
Situated at an altitude of over 850 metres, Devprayag is the last prayag or confluence of Alaknanda River. Vishnuprayag, Nandaprayag, Karnaprayag and Rudraprayag are the other four confluences of the river. The entire town was destroyed in 1803 by an earthquake. Nonetheless, the heritage structures of Devprayag were restored soon and the ancient charm of the holy town has been retained.
Named after Lord Shiva (Rudra), Rudraprayag is a small pilgrim town located on the holy confluence of river Alaknanda and Mandakini which is venerated as one of the five sacred confluences or the ‘Panch Prayag’. at a distance of about 40 kms. from Kalimath. The meeting of the Mandakini and Alaknanda rivers has a unique beauty of its own and it seems as if two sisters were embracing each other. It is believed that to master the mysteries of music, Narad Muni worshipped Lord Shiva, who appeared in his Rudra Avtaar (incarnation) to bless Narad.
The Shiva and Jagdamba temples are of great religious importance. Till recently, Rudraprayag was a part of district Chamoli and Tehri. In 1997, the Kedarnath Valley and parts of district Tehri & Pauri were conjoined to form Rudraprayag as a new district. it is the junction for visiting Badrinath and Kedarnath Dham.
There are several temples worth visiting in Rudraprayag one of the most prominent being the Koteshwar Mahadev Temple on the shores of the Alaknanda River. Covered with lush foliage, this beautiful cave-temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is believed to have stopped and meditated here.
Hormed by the confluence of the impetuous Vishnu Ganga (known after this point, as the Alaknanda) and the Dhauliganga river, Vishnu Prayag, 1372m, has an ancient temple called Vishnu Kund. It is said that the sage Narad worshipped Vishnu at this sanctified spot. Visitors will find the Kagbhusandi Lake bewitching with its emerald green depths giving it a still surface, while on the banks, blossoms evoke the colours of nature in all her glory. The lake can also be approached from Vishnuprayag beside from Bhundhar village near Ghangaria.
How to Reach Here
By air: Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 239 km
By road: All five Prayag are well connected by road with Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Dehradun, Haridwar and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon hills.
By rail: Nearest railway station is Rishikesh.
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