Panch Prayag- The confluence of five rivers: There are many such states in India that are famous not only in the country but also abroad for their natural beauty, cultural heritage as well as religious heritage. One of these is Uttarakhand located in North India which is also known as Dev Bhoomi. The high mountains, waterfalls, big bugyal, and rivers, etc., spread their natural shade here.
Many tourists or pilgrims pass through the famous Panch Prayag of Uttarakhand to visit the famous Panch Kedar and Panch Badri of Uttarakhand. There are five major places in Uttarakhand where two rivers (Ganga and its tributaries) meet. These five main places are known as Panch Prayag.
Panch Prayag: The confluence of five rivers
The confluence of rivers is considered very sacred from Uttarakhand to the whole of India, especially because the rivers are considered to be the form of Goddess. The famous Panch Prayag of Uttarakhand, Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag, Nandprayag, and Vishnuprayag is situated at the confluence of the Ganges River and its main tributaries.
- Vishnuprayag: The confluence of the Dhauli Ganga and Alaknanda rivers
- Nandprayag: The confluence of Nandakini and Alaknanda rivers
- Karnprayag: The confluence of the Alaknanda and Pindar rivers
- Rudraprayag: The confluence of the Mandakini and Alaknanda rivers
- Devprayag is the confluence of the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers
The confluences of the Garhwal-Himalaya region of Uttarakhand are considered the most sacred after the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati at Allahabad, located in Uttar Pradesh, as it is the origin of the Ganges, Yamuna, and their tributaries. The places where their confluence takes place are considered to be major pilgrimages. It is here that the rituals of Shradh take place.
Meaning About Prayag
The meaning of Prayag in the Hindu Sanatan Dharma tradition is the confluence of two or more rivers where bathing before worship, reverence (funeral rites) for one’s departed, religious rites, and the river as an expression of God or Goddess. There is a custom of worship. In Sanatan Dharma, Prayag in Allahabad, where three rivers, the Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati Sangam are considered the holiest, is followed by Panch Prayag in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand.
Prayag is not only rich in tales of Puranas and legends, but also in the natural beauty of the snow-capped peaks and enchanting valleys of the Himalayas. It is also believed that the Char Dham Yatra and the Panch Prayag on the Badrinath route refer to the ascension to heaven. After completing the circumambulation of the earth, the Pandavas following the path to attain salvation also ascended them through Prayag where they have associated these places and Sanatan Dharma.
Panch Prayag of Uttarakhand
Like Chardham, Panch Prayag located in the state also has a lot of importance. These Sangam places have their own importance and a large number of travelers reach there. These places full of natural beauty are not only important for religion but also in terms of tourism. In view of this, now the Uttarakhand government is preparing to develop Panch Prayag on the lines of Chardham according to their importance. If you are interested in traveling to the pilgrimage destination of Uttarakhand then you must visit here. Let us know about these Panch Prayag of Uttarakhand, for their mythological importance and fame.
“Vishnuprayag” is considered to be the first among the famous Panch Prayag of Uttarakhand, which is located in the Chamoli district. Vishnuprayag is situated at the confluence of the Dhauli Ganga and Alaknanda rivers. The ancient temple and Vishnu Kund adorned with the idol of Lord Vishnu are visible at the confluence. “Vishnuprayag” is one of the famous Panch Prayag and major pilgrimage sites of Uttarakhand. The source of Alaknanda is “Satopanth” and the source of Dhauliganga river is “Niti Pass” and it joins the Alaknanda of Bade.
Vishnu Prayag is located on the Joshimath-Badrinath motorway. To reach here, you have to reach the confluence place named Vishnuprayag at a distance of about 12 km from Joshimath by motor road and about 3 km by foot. Here is the confluence of Alaknanda and Vishnuganga (Dhauli Ganga). The description of this pilgrimage has come in detail in Skanda Purana. Here 5 kunds are described in Vishnu Ganga and 5 in Alaknanda. This is where the subtle Badrikashram begins. At this site, there are two mountains to the right and left, which are known as the gatekeepers of the Lord. The right is Jai Parvat and the left is Vijay Parvat.
Must Read: Panch Badri 5 Temples Of Lord Vishnu
Nandprayag is a famous tourist place of Uttarakhand and one of the famous hill pilgrimages of the Hindu religion. Nandprayag is situated at the confluence of the Nandakini and Alaknanda rivers originating from the foothills of Trishul mountain, which is considered to be the second Prayag after Vishnu Prayag. It is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand at an altitude of about 2805 feet above sea level. Historically, the importance of Nandprayag lies in the fact that it is the main stopover for the pilgrims visiting the Badrinath temple and it is also an important commercial and tourist destination.
Nandprayag is the holy confluence of Nandakini and Alaknanda, about 21 km further north of Karnprayag on the Badrinath road. According to the legend, Nanda Maharaj meditated here to please Lord Narayana and get him in the form of a son. There is also a very beautiful temple of Nanda Devi here. Nanda’s temple, Nanda’s penance place, and Nandakini’s confluence, etc. The name of this place is Nandprayag.
There is a divine temple of Lord Shankar at the confluence. From here Laxminarayan temple, Gopalji’s temple, and scenic pilgrimage sites are furnished in the major tourist places of Uttarakhand. It is a cool, quiet resting place that is ideal for a relaxing holiday. There is indeed a lot to see in the city which can be explored comfortably.
Karnprayag is a major tourist and pilgrimage site of Chamoli district in the Garhwal division of Uttarakhand state. The Pindar River originating from Pindari Glacier in the Bageshwar district meets with the Alaknanda River at Karnprayag. Karnprayag, situated on the confluence of Alaknanda and Pindar rivers, is the third among religious Panch Prayag. One of the names of Pindar is also called Karna Ganga, due to which the name of this pilgrimage confluence is known as Karnprayag.
Sadhus, rishis, tourists & travelers, and foot pilgrims had to pass through here while going to Char Dham Yatra and Badrinath temple. The culture of Karnprayag is associated with the most mythical and wonderful “Nand Rajajat Yatra” of Uttarakhand. The Uma temple and Karna temple are visible here. There is a very ancient temple of Bhagwati Uma here. To the west from the confluence are the ascetic and temple of Danveer Karna in the form of a rock. It is here that the worship of Lord Surya by Mahadani Karna and the receipt of impenetrable armor coils is famous.
Due to being Karna’s penance, this place was named Karnaprayag. Surrounded by small hills, this city is situated on both the banks of the Pindar River. Karnprayag is a dormant city where people are seen soaking in the sun in winters. During the summer travel season, it suddenly presents a scene of a wake-up call as buses full of passengers keep coming here and the passengers either take rest or stay overnight. Apart from the tourist facilities, there is a lot available for travelers to see and do in this city.
Rudraprayag is a city in the Rudraprayag district of the state of Uttarakhand and one of the major tourist places in Uttarakhand. Rudraprayag is the fourth Prayag in Panch Prayag of Uttarakhand. Near Kedarnath, the Mandakini river originating from the Charabari glacier meets the Alaknanda river at Rudraprayag. The confluence of the Mandakini and Alaknanda rivers is a unique beauty in itself.
Seeing them, it seems as if two sisters are hugging each other. Rudra Prayag is situated at a distance of about 139 km from Rishikesh. This city is situated on Badrinath Motor Road. It is believed that Narada Muni had worshiped “Rudranath Mahadev” to know the mysteries of music on it.
At a distance of 37 km north of Srinagar, at the holy confluence of Mandakini and Alaknanda, there is a holy shrine named Rudraprayag. It is here that Devarshi Narada, after thousands of years of penance, had received the “Sangopang Gandharva Shastra” by interviewing Lord Shankar on the orders of Brahma.
It was here that Lord Rudra also presented a Veena named ‘Mahati’ to Shri Naradji. A little above the confluence, there is a Linga of Lord Shankar named ‘Rudreshwar’, whose philosophy is said to be very virtuous. From here the yatra route goes to Kedarnath, which joins the main travel route of Badrinathji at Chamoli via Ukhimath, Chopta, Mandal, Gopeshwar. Tourist places like Guptkashi, Chopta Tungnath, Khirsu, Gaurikund, etc. located in Rudraprayag, where tourists come here every year to see the snow-capped mountains and beautiful places.
Devprayag is a famous pilgrimage center located in the Tehri district of Uttarakhand state. Devprayag is situated at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers originating from Gaumukh (Gangotri Glacier) in the Uttarkashi district. After this confluence point, this river is known as Ganga. The road distance of Devprayag from Rishikesh is about 70 km.
In the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, the Bhagirathi river is called mother-in-law and the Alaknanda river is called daughter-in-law. There is a Shiva temple and Raghunath temple in Devprayag, which are the main attractions here. Devprayag is also known as Sudarshan Kshetra. Devprayag is full of natural wealth. The beauty here is unparalleled. Nearby Danda Nagraj Temple and Chandravadani Temple are also worth visiting. This place is considered to be the fifth of the Panch Prayag of Uttarakhand state.
How to reach Panch Prayag Uttarakhand?
- By Air: To travel to Panch Prayag, if you have chosen the air route from another state or other city, then let us tell you that the nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport. Tourists can choose this airport which is located in Dehradun city. From here you can take a bus or taxi.
- By Train: The rail route to travel to Panch Prayag is only up to Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun, although the Rishikesh rail route is being connected up to Karnprayag, the work of which is still going on. You will easily get buses and taxis from both these stations to reach Panch Prayag.
- By Road: Devprayag is the first stop to travel to Panch Prayag, from where it is very easy to reach, first you reach Haridwar or Rishikesh, then from both these places you will get bus or taxi, you can also go by your vehicle if you talk about distance. The distance from Rishikesh to Devprayag is approximately 74 km. It is further connected by road to reach Rudraprayag and its distance from Rishikesh is about 141 km and from Haridwar, it is about 160 km. Going forward in this sequence, it falls to Karnprayag, Nandprayag, and Vishnu Prayag. This famous Panch Prayag of Uttarakhand is connected by only one road which leads you to Kedarnath Badrinath.