The Panch prayag is the confluence of the holy rivers flowing through Uttarakhand. The name Panch Prayag means the confluence of five rivers. The confluence point has emerged as a popular pilgrim place over the years. Also the natural beauty and therapeutic serenity attracts thousands of tourists each year.
Devotees visit the five sacred locations to revive their life force and bathe in purity. Apart from the Char Dham Yatra and the Panch Kedar Yatra, Panch prayag Yatra is one of the most popular pilgrim tour in India.
As The Story Goes…
The mighty Ganges wanted to come and reside in Earth with the mortals. However, her force and water volume was too much for Earth to take in at a single blow. Hence, Shiva, the Lord intervened and divided the mighty Ganga into 12 different streams to counteract its force.
Thus, Ganga entered Earth through different channels. And with time all the divided streams meet and become one at a sacred confluence after Devprayag. This is how all other confluence point was born. They are :
- Devprayag : Where Bhagirathi River meets Alaknanda
- Rudraprayag : Where Mandakini river meets Alaknanda
- Karnaprayag : Where Pindar River meets Alaknanda
- Nandaprayag : Where Nandakini River meets Alaknanda
- Vishnuprayag : Where Dhauliganga River meets Alaknanda
“The main stream is the Alaknanda River, where the five other streams namely, Bhagirathi, Mandakini, Pindar, Nandakini, Dhauliganga meets Alaknanda”
Mythological Significance of the Confluence
- Bathing at the confluence can purify the body and mind of the devotee.
- The holy water can cure sinful souls.
- The last rites of the relatives and dear ones, performed near the confluence is very pious.
- The water at the confluence is extremely pure and therapeutic.
How to Start Panch Prayag Yatra ?
The Panch Prayag lies in the state of Uttarakhand in the Garhwal Himalayas. You need to come to the nearest junction in Uttarakhand and preferably book a cab for the entire visit of the Prayags. Haridwar or Rishikesh is the most suitable junction for your visit.
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun. You can take a cab to reach Haridwar for your onward journey.
How Many Days are Required For the Tour ?
A minimum of a week, 7 days is required in hand to complete the Panch Prayag Yatra. But a 10 days stretch is considered to be a standard time.
Travelling daily can be hectic without proper rest. Below we are giving you the distance of the trip with a suggested plan.
Haridwar to Devprayag
This confluence point is one of the most spectacular one in terms of scenic beauty. The Bhagirathi River originating from the Gomukh joins with the Alaknanda here.
The mighty Ganga is formed again that goes in toward the country. The Devprayag is also historically important as Lord Ram and Laxman came here for penance. The famous Raghunath Math is situated here.
Accomodation : You can stay at a hotel in Devprayag. But you must pre book your hotel as last minute booking may be inconvenient.
Devprayag to Rudraprayag
Rudraprayag is the convergence Point of Mandakini River with the Alaknanda. This place is associated with the legends of Shiva. It is said that Shiva performed the Tandava, here and played a special instrument, the Rudra Veena which attracted Lord Vishnu and made him into water.
There is a black rock known as the Narayan Shila at the site. The temples of Chamunda Devi and Rudranath perched atop a steep set of stairs, leads to the confluence of the rivers. You can climb down the stairs to bath in the confluence water below.
Accomodation : Some budget hotels and standard hotels are available in the vicinity. Pre book the hotels to get your hands on the best one by the river bank.
A true Shiva devotee should also learn about 12 jyotirlingas in India.
Rudraprayag to Karnaprayag
The Pindar River originating from the Pindar glacier flows down to Uttarakhand to merge with Alaknanda in Karnaprayag. This place is located in the Chamoli district. Legends have it that Karna, the giver, meditated and received the Kavacha (golden breastplate) from Sun God, Suryadev.
It is also believed that Krishna, performed the last rites of Karna at this spot. The confluence of the two rivers against the rocky, mountains side make it a place replete with natural beauty.
You will find many temples dotting the river bank near the confluence. A holy dip in the gushing waters and a visit to the shrines will make your visit quite a rich experience.
Accomodation : Budget hotels with friendly staff and good service is available here. Book your stay in advance to get the best deals.
Karnaprayag to Nandprayag
River Nandakini joins the River Alaknanda at this point of confluence. The Yadava King, Nanda owes his name to this place. Legends say that Nanda mediated here to get the blessings whereby he could father Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, Krishna.
A temple of Krishna known as the Gopalji temple is situated here. Devotees bathe in the holy waters and offers prayer at the temple. This place is known as the gateway of the Badri-kshetra. The panch Badri is located nearby to this area. The clear water and the beautiful ambiance is a perfect spot for meditation.
As a devotee finds true inner experiences, he will find ample of reasons to visit Uttarakhand because of its serenity and spiritual vibes.
Accomodation : Standard hotels with basic amenities are found in the area. During the peak season, on-spot booking is a bit difficult to get.
Nandprayag to Vishnuprayag
This will be the last leg of the Panch Prayag trip. The Dhauliganga River meets the Alaknanda River here. This very same river flows in front of the Badrinath Temple, one of the most sacred of the Vishnu temples in India.
Narada, the mythical deity is said to have meditated here to get the blessings of Lord Vishnu. Devotees have reported that the strong currents in the place of confluence, makes bathing difficult. Please ensure the safety limits before going for a holy dip here.
Accomdoation : Several hotels and lodge have come up in the area to accommodate the teeming devotees. You will get a place of your choice to stay in Vishnuprayag.
With, Vishnuprayag your Panch Prayag yatra in Uttarakhand will come to an end.
P.S: Many devotees club this trip with Badrinath Yatra as Vishnuprayag is very near to the Badrinath temple. Less than 40 kms by road. You can reach Badrinath via Joshimath. Then after your visit you can go back to Rishikesh or Haridwar via Joshimath. And cover your journey back home.
Also Learn about yatra by helicoptor to Char Dham.
Travel Tips :
- If you are travelling during the winters, carry heavy woolens as the place can become chilly.
- Try to book one single cab for the entire journey. Booking cabs separately can be more expensive and inconvenient.
- Take spare and easy to dry clothes to take a dip in the river. Your clothes might not dry up faster during the winter months. Carry storage bags.
The Panch Prayag trip is a trip with a different flavor. The dips in the holy water of the rivers will rejuvenate your soul, body and mind. Many people travels to these places as a therapeutic journey.
The sound of the water lashing against the rocks is believed to have healing powers. Our country has such marvelous places of scenic beauty, that it would be a pity to miss them.
Plan your Panch Prayag trip at the earliest and find yourselves immerse in the wondrous journey. It will surely take your breath away.
Uttarakhand is a hub of happiness where you will have soul replenishing experiences like never before. Check out 20 best places in Uttarakhand which not to be missed by hill lovers.