Also called as Devbhoomi, Uttarakhand is home to myriads of religious places including the ancient temples, holy caves, thermal water springs, and the holy confluence of Alaknanda River. The places where River Alaknanda meets with other rivers are named as Panch Prayag. Hindu devotees flock to these places having an unflinching faith of seeking lifelong blessings. If you are also looking for a place where you can attain serenity, peace, and want to perform the purification ceremony then plan a yatra to cover the sacred Panch Prayag.
The mythology behind the Panch Prayag
Hindu mythology states that when River Ganga descended on the earth with an uncontrollable flow and it was not possible to control the force of the flow. This is why the river was divided into 12 different channels.
Out of 14 important and sacred prayags in India, Panch Prayag in Uttarakhand is enlisted on the second position. Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandprayag, and Vishnuprayag collectively form this revered Panch Prayag.
The holy place where River Alaknanda makes confluence with River Bhagirathi, Devprayag is renowned as the most divine. It is called the birthplace of River Ganges and thousands of pilgrims visit the place to take a dip into River Ganga. You can spot people performing various holy rituals and Shraddha ceremony of their ancestors.
Things to do
- Taking a holy bath in the River Ganges and get rid of all your committee sins. You can also perform the rituals to pay respect to your ancestors.
- Pay homage to the idol of Goddess Ganga located close to the Sangam. Also, visit Raghunath Temple which has been dedicated to Lord Ram and his brother Lord Lakshman. This huge temple is encircled by four other smaller shrines including Shri Garur Mahadev, Annapurna Devi Temple, Hanuman Temple, and a temple dedicated to Narsingh.
- Visit the two famous libraries located closer to the Sangam and get the opportunity to read various manuscripts written in Garhwali and Hindi languages.
The holy confluence where River Alaknanda meets with River Mandakini, Rudraprayag is the Sangam where you can witness the alluring and the grabbing views of water flowing amidst the lap of nature. Taking a dip here purifies the heart, soul, and also the mind of a person.
Things to do
- Take a holy dip in this Sangam and also attend the grand evening Aarti ceremony which gets organized at 6 pm daily.
- Explore the black-colored rock well which is believed to be the place where the great Hindu saint Narad Muni performed a deep meditation for various years in order to learn to play Veena.
- Pay homage at the Rudranath Temple which stands gorgeously under the shade of a Peepal tree and also visits the popular Chamunda Devi Temple dedicated to Goddess Chamunda.
- Also, visit the ancient Koteshwar Mahadev Temple located at a certain distance. While moving towards the shrine you can find various other smaller shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Hanuman, and Devi Durga.
The holy confluence of River Pindari and River Alaknanda, Karnaprayag is one of the holy Panch Prayags. This divine place is located at an elevation of almost 1450 meters above sea level. Also called as “City of Karna”, Karnaprayag is the place where Swami Vivekananda meditated for almost 18 days with his gurus named Guru Turianand Ji and Guru Akharanand Ji. If you are visiting Karnaprayag then you can also explore the stunning Nauti Village and the famous Adi Badri Temple.
Things to do
- Visiting the ancient Uma Temple and the other smaller temples situated along the ghats.
- Visiting Karna Temple dedicated to the mighty Karna of Mahabharata. There are some other temples also which are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Ram, Lakshman, and Goddess Sita.
The holy confluence where River Alaknanda meets with River Nandakini and holds a deep belief among Hindu devout. It is believed that taking a dip at this Sangam washes away all your sins and blesses you with lifelong prosperity. Karnaprayag is located approx. 18 km ahead of Karnaprayag and is nestled beautifully at an elevation of 870 meters above the sea level. According to Hindu mythology, Nand Temple in Nandprayag is constructed on the stone on which Raja Nanda performed meditation for a long time.
Things to do
- Visit the shrines which are still existing in Nandprayag like Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple, Chandika Devi Temple, and Gopal Ji.
- There are not many shrines to visit as the shrines were washed away in the flood occurred a few years back.
- This is the point where River Alaknanda meets with Dhauliganga that originate from the Niti Valley. This holy city is tucked at an elevation of 1372 meters above the sea level. Vishnuprayag lies first in the Panch Prayags in Uttarakhand. This beautiful city is adorned with gorgeous valleys, pristine water streams, lofty mountain ranges, and thick forests. Vishnuprayag is the place where one can attain spirituality along with adventures.
Things to do in Vishnuprayag
- It is pretty unsafe and difficult to take bath at the ghats as to reach there one needs to follow a twisted narrow path. Also, the water flows with great force so it’s not safe for everyone to take a bath here.
- There is a small ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu so you can visit the temple and seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu.