Panch Prayag Travel Information

Panchprayag confluence of the most sacred rives, is considered the epitome of immortal piety. River confluences in India are considered very sacred, especially since rivers themselves are extolled as goddesses. And outside of Prayag, the great confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna & the mythical Saraswati at Allahabad, the most revered confluences are in Garhwal Himalayas, since the two mighty rivers Ganga & Yamuna and its tributaries trace their source to these mountains, the points at which they meet are sanctified as major pilgrimage centres. It is here that propitiatory &C cleaning ceremonies are performed as part of the tenets of Hindu religion. Five prayags are Vishnuprayag, Nandprayag, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag & Deoprayag.

Deoprayag is regarded as the most complete showcase of legends, heritage & traditions. 70 km from Rishikesh , here the Bhagirathi from Gaumukh & the Alaknanda from Satopanth unite and for most Indians, this confluence is no less holy than the Sangam at Allahabad. These three rivers flowing majestically through sculptured channels carved through the rocks have carved angular blocks of land around the confluence & the town is set into these three angles. Located at a height of only 618 m, Deoprayag is an invocation to the gods who have gfenerously endowed this spot with tremendous natural beauty. It is believed that Lord Rama and his father King Dashratha did penance here. The temple of Raghunathji houses a tall image of Lord Rama made of black granite. The most celebrated event at Deoprayag is the congregation of devotees, who come here to worship at Raghunath temple. There is also a small temple popular as Bharat Mandir of Rishikesh in recluse. It is said that on fearing attack by Aurangzeb the pujaris from Rishikesh installed the same idol at Deoprayag as makeshift arrangement & later took it back to Rishikesh.

Srinagar the ancient capital of Tehri Garhwal is at a distance of 35 km from here.

Named after Lord Shiva (Rudra), Rudraprayag is situated at the holy confluence of Alaknanda & Mandakini rivers, at a distance of 34 km from Srinagar. It is believed that to master the mysteries of music, the sage Narad worshipped Lord Shiva, who appeared in his Rudra incarnation to bless the sage. It was here, also, that Shivas wife, Sati, was reborn after her self immolation because her father humiliated her husband. In her new life, as the daughter of Himalaya, she did penance here to ask the boon of Shiva as a husband once again. The ancient temple of Rudranathji is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Rudraprayag is the point where the two roads branch off to the holy Shrines of Kedarnath (84 km) & Badrinath (159 km).

The entire region is blessed with immense natural beauty, places of religions importance, lakes 8c glaciers.

Karna Prayag
Situated 11 km from Gauchar, the icy flow from the Pindari Glacier becomes the Pindari river, and when it meets the Alaknanda at 788 m, the confluence is known as Karnaprayag. The wooded thickets of the hills surrounding Karnaprayag were the meeting ground for Shakuntala C Raja Dushyanta, immortalised in Kalidasa's immortal classic and a favourite ballad ever since. The place derives its name from Kama, the son of the Queen Kunti and her fiery lover, Lord Surya (sun), Kama's lineage was kept a secret, but he propitiated the Sun God here, and acquired a pair of earrings & armour that made him invincible. Ultimately, he fell in the battle between the Pandavas & Kauravas, but remains a tragic hero for in life he never had the legitimacy he desired. Besides the temple dedicated to Kama, the temple dedicated to Goddess Umadevi, Narayan & Gopal stand at the confluence.

69 km from Gwaldam, Karnaprayag is on the main Rishikesh Badrinath highway. From here, the road to SriKedarnath (115 km) goes through Rudraprayag & the road to Sri Badrinath (128 km) through Joshimath.

Karnaprayag is the base for treks to Roopkund and the Bedni Bugyals and the approach to the Pindari Glacier.

22 km from Kama Prayag, Nand Prayag at 914 m forms the confluence of the Alaknanda & Mandakini (flowing from a glacier near Nanda Devi Peak) rivers. On their way to Tapovan across Kunwari Pass or on their way to Roopkund, it is popular with trekkers. It is said that the confluence is named for the pious Raja Nanda. According to one legend, the king had been promised the boon of Vishnu as a son. Unfortunately, the same boon had been granted to Devki, the imprisoned sister of the tyrant king, Kansa. Ultimately, the gods found an ingenuous if wily solution: Vishnu would be born as Krishna to Devki but would be brought up by Raja Nandas wife, Yasodha.

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.

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