Falling under the list of popular travel destinations of the country, Uttarakhand has a lot to offer. Not only is the state famous for its serene and ever-so-beautiful landscapes or the mighty Himalayas, but it is also famous for the Char Dham Yatra, 5 Major Confluences and other touristy attractions. With high mountain ranges, snow covered peaks, thick forests, holy shrines and lush greenery, the whole place is like a heaven on this planet.
During the calendar year, Uttarakhand sees thousands of pilgrims and tourists from all across the country and globe giving a visit. Not only has it given the locals an opportunity to earn a good amount of money but it has also put the state on an international map, to attract more and more tourists from foreign countries. As there are so many yatras being carried out in the region, Panch Prayag is one yatra that is underrated in a place like Uttarakhand. Panch Prayag is a set of five confluences, which can be regarded as major centers for pilgrims and tourists where they perform the purification ceremony and offer their prayers. Let’s take a look at all the five prayags that make Uttarakhand a much more interesting yet scintillating destination in the country.
Amongst the five confluences, it is known to be the most pious one. Devprayag lies on the banks of a major confluence of Bhagirathi River that originates from Gaumukh, and Alaknanda River, originating from Satopanth glaciers that are located on Chaukhamba Peak’s eastern side. At this point, both these rivers merge to form the mighty Ganges, that we all call Ganga.
In the mythology, it is said that if you take a bath in the sangam, your sins of the past wash away. An individual can also perform holy rituals and other shraadh ceremonies. On the banks of such a confluence lies the Raghunath Temple, where you can enjoy the serenity and peacefulness of water merging together. Well, Mother Nature has its own ways of calming our minds down. The Raghunath Temple is surrounded by 4 temples – Narsingh, Annapurna Devi, Shri Garur Mahadev and Hanuman.
How to reach Devprayag
This prayag lies on the Delhi-Badrinath Highway, and is 65-70 kilometers away from Rishikesh. You can either travel to this place via bus or hire a taxi, depending on your own convenience.
Keep driving through Devprayag, travel for some hours and you will come across Rudraprayag where Mandakini merges into Alaknanda. This bright green River, Mandakini flows from Kedarnath, for later to blend into River Alaknanda that flows from Badrinath and make the confluence at Rudraprayag. For tourists who usually set off for Badrinath or JoshimatIt tend to stop by at this beautiful site to appreciate what’s there for the offering.
For the ones stopping or wanting to stop at Rudraprayag, you can either take a dip in the confluence or attend the sangam aarti, which takes place at 6 PM, daily. It does not end there. You can also give a visit to the Rudranath Temple or Gangeshwar Mahadev temple, standing firmly under the Peepal Tree.
How to reach Rudraprayag
Rudraprayag is located about 140 kilometers away from Rishikesh. You can either travel by a public transport (Bus) or can hire a taxi for the same.
One of the five prayags, Karnaprayag is located at the meeting point of the River Pindar, which flows from the Pindari Glacier. At Karanprayag, the Pindar River merges into Alaknanda to form a broad confluence, for which this site is famous. In the mythology, it is believed that at this confluence, the son of Kunti and Lord Surya, Karana meditated. And, later was granted the unassailable kundal (earrings), kavach (armour) and tuneer (arrow case), which made him unbeatable.
While your time at Karanprayag, you can visit an ancient Uma Temple, which the mythology says, the daughter of King Himalaya practiced some of the strict austerities in order to get Lord Shiva. While you drive through this confluence point, you‘ll pass by many temples located on the ghats. You can also choose to visit the Temple Karna and the shrines dedicated to Lord Ram, Lakshman, Sita and Shiva, located next to Karna’s shrines.
How to reach Karnaprayag
This third prayag is located 170 kilometers from Rishikesh. You will reach this place via Rudraprayag and Srinagar. This location lies on NH 58, which connects Delhi with Mana and Badrinath. To reach Karanprayag, you can either take a local bus or hire a taxi, depending upon your comfort and convenience.
Nandprayag is the fourth prayag that holds itself on the banks of River Nandakini that flows from a glacier located close to Alaknanda Nanda Devi. These two rivers flow together from here after merging into each other, creating a confluence. According to what legends say, this prayag was earlier known as Kanvasu after Maharishi Kanva.
This prayag may not be as big as the other ones, but it has its own attractions. You can walk by the shrines of Gangeshwar Mahadev, Chandika Devi and Gopalji. These shrines are worth every step you take, and moreover, enjoy the serene environments of the vicinity.
How to reach Nandprayag
This prayag is located about 190-195 kilometers from Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, and can be reached by taxis, local or private buses.
The fifth and final prayag, Vishnuprayag is the confluence point of the River Dhauliganga, which flows from the Niti Valley and here merges into the River Alaknanda. A lot of us choose to stop by at places like these that have historical relevance and spend some time on the ghats/banks of the confluence to feel the soothing air and the mesmerizing sound of river currents.
Here at Vishnuprayag, you can visit the temple that is devoted to Lord Vishnu to purify your inner grieves, mind, body and soul, and in the process, take Lord Vishnu’s blessings.
How to reach Vishnuprayag
This fifth prayag, Vishnuprayag is located about 270-275 kilometers from Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. If you are an adventurer, you can hire a bike to drive through the panch prayag or choose to travel via local buses and taxis.
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