Panch Prayag Yatra is one of the most popular and an extremely significant expression which is used to indicate the confluences of five holy rivers in the Garhwal Himalayan region of Devbhoomi – Uttarakhand. The entire state of Uttarakhand is host to innumerable temples which are created all along the banks of these holy rivers. Pilgrims and devotees make it a point to take a dip in the holy waters of these Prayags with an aim of getting rid of all their sins and purifying their souls. A number of Hindu legends find its origin on these rivers and these spots have also found mention in some of the holiest books of Hindu religion. Winding, bending along the curves and making its way through Uttarakhand, Panch Prayag are some of the most significant parts of Hindu puja rituals.
Here is the PanchPrayag in Uttarakhand:
This is one of the most important locations of Panch Prayag which is of River Alaknanda and Dhauliganga. This confluence point is located in Chamoli district and derives its name from Lord Vishnu, as depicted in the holy Hindu scriptures. This is the exact point where Narad had done severe meditation after which he was visited by Lord Vishnu himself. The path of Vishnuprayag starts off from the eastern slopes of glacier fields in Chaukhamba which meets the holy Saraswati River close to Mana and gushes out in front of Badrinath Dham. This part of the river is then met with DhauliGanga River which finds its origination point from Niti Pass. Adorning this point is an octagonal temple which was constructed back in 1889 by Maharani of Indore – Ahilyabai.
Nearby Places to Visit – Hanuman Chatti, Auli, Govindghat, Valley of flowers, Joshimath
Best Time to Visit – April to May and October to march
Located at an elevation of 2,936 feet above sea level, Rudraprayag is also one of the most important sites of the confluence of the holy rivers. Here the holy rivers of Alaknanda and Mandakini meet and pass through this holy town. This Prayag is one of the five other Prayags and blessed with ample natural and scenic vistas. Legend has it that Lord Shiva had blessed Narad by appearing in front of him in the form of a Rudra avatar. Also popularly known as the ‘abode of gods’, this site holds immense religious significance to devout Hindus. People visit this place during their holy Kedarnath Yatra of Chota Char Dham pilgrimage in Uttarakhand.
Nearby Places to Visit -KoteshwarMahadev Mandir, Agastyamuni, DharaDevi Mandir, Kedarnath Dham.
Best Time to Visit – January to June and September to December
Formerly an ancient capital for the Yadu kingdom, Nandprayag represents the confluence of Rivers Alaknanda and Nandakini. The source for Alaknanda is located in Satopanth Tal close to Badrinath Dham shrine which finds its origin point on the foot of Nanda Devi peak. Located at a distance of 18 kms from Karnaprayag, this is the exact spot which is said to be located on the point where Raja Nanda is said to have performed his Yajna atop a stone which was later on used as a foundation stone for the famous and pious Nand temple of Nandprayag. People visit this confluence point with an aim of taking a dip in the holy waters which is believed to wash away all their sins. You also have the option of performing some deep meditation among the serene ambiance.
Nearby Places to Visit – RaghunathMandir, GopalMandir, NandMandir
Best Time to Visit – April to June.
Sitting majestically on the confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Pindar River the holy town of Karnaprayag is situated at an elevation of 1,451 metres above sea level. Pindar River originates from the Pindar glacier which is situated right below the Nanda Devi mountain range. As per the Hindu epic Mahabharata it is believed that Karna performed some immense penance at this spot and earned his protective gears of kavacha (armour) and kundala (earrings) from his father, sun god. Other than that Swami Vivekananda has been said to meditate on this confluence for 18 days. With the backdrop of lush greenery and the frothing river cutting majestically through the town this holy confluence is one of the most highly reveres holy sites in Uttarakhand.
Nearby places to visit – Uma Devi Mandir, Adi Badri, KarnaMandir, ChandikaDevi Simli.
Best time to visit – March to May and October to February.
Devprayag (Tehri Garhwal)
This is one of the most sacred confluence points among the remaining PanchPrayag. This is believed to be the place where Sage Devasharma had led all his ascetic life. This town marks the merging points of two of the holiest rivers of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi making it the birthplace of River Ganga – the holiest river of the subcontinent. The magnificent surrounding peak, gushing river waters and unparalleled natural beauty makes this place not only one of the most important holy destinations but also attracts a number of peace seekers and adventure travelers. This is also one of the prime destinations for river rafting, rock climbing, trekking and rappelling.
Nearby Places to Visit – Teen Dhara, Dashrathshila, RaghunathMandir
Best Time to Visit – March to May and October to February