Rivers in India are considered to be highly sacred in the Hindu mythology and are glorified as goddesses. And the confluence of these rivers typically represent immortal piety. Panch Prayag meaning five confluences is steeped in legends and tradional heritage. Located in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, the Panch Prayag is a must visit for every Hindu devotee while the sanctity and the glorified fame of the river confluences draws tourists from all across the globe.
Panch Prayagrefers to the five confluences of the Alaknanda river with Dhauli Ganga, Nandakini, Pindar, Mandakani and Bhagirathi in the Garhwal Himalayas. Devotees and pilgrims from all over the country and the world gather at these meeting points of rivers to worship them and to seek blessings of the respective goddesses. Given below is a list of all the five prayags in the Garhwal Himalayan region of Uttarakhand.
Asspciated with a number of interesting Hindu legends, Rudra Prayaga is the meeting point of Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers. The place derives its name from Lord Shiva, also known as Rudra. Hindus believe that the sage Narad worshipped Lord Shiva here to be blessed with the mastery of music mysteries. Rudra Prayag also commemorates the event when Sati, consort of Lord Shiva, took rebirth after her self immolation. The shrine of Kedarnath is at 84 km from Rudra Prayag while Badrinath shrine is at 159 km from here.
Held in no less reverence than the Sangam at Allahabad, the Deo Prayag lies at a distance of just 70 km from the pilgrimage town of Rishikesh. It is at this point where meets the river Bhagirathi with river Alaknanda. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama (hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana) abd his father king Dashratha performed self-mortification. The Raghunath Temple at Deo Prayag is also a major attraction for tourists and pilgrims. The temple enshrines a black-granite idol of Lord Rama. The pilgrimage site is located at 618 m above sea level.
The point marks the confluence of the Pindari river and the Alaknanda river. Karna Prayag is located at an elevation of 788 m above sea level. It is surrounded by dense woods, the one time meeting ground of Shakuntala C Raja Dushyanta, immortalised the classic by Kalidasa. Tourists and pilgrims temples dedicated to Kama (after whom Karna Prayag is named), goddess Uma Devi, Narayan and Gopal, all located at Karna Prayag. For adventure lovers, Karna Prayag serves as the base from where they can start for exciting and scenic treks to Roopkund and Bedni Bugyals.
Located at an altitude of 1,372 m above sea level, Vishnu Prayag is the confluence of rivers Vishnu Ganga and Dhauli Ganga. After Vishnu Ganga leaves Vishnu Prayag and advances its course, it is known as river Alaknanda. Kagbhusandi Lake and Vishnu Kund are major attractions for tourists tourists arriving at Vishnu Prayag in Uttarakhand.
It is where river Alaknanda meets river Mandakini. Located at a distance of just 22 km from Karna Prayag, Nand Prayag is situated at an elevation of 914 m above sea level. The holy pilgrimage site derives its name from Raja Nanda. Besides pilgrims and devotees, a lot of trekkers can also be seen at Nand Prayag. Trekkers pass through this place on their way to Roopkund.
DAY 1: MUMBAI/ BANGALORE/ DELHI – RISHIKESH (240 KM/ 6-7 HRS DRIVE)
Morning after breakfast, drive to Rishikesh. On arrival in Rishikesh check into hotel/camp. In the late afternoon visit historically and mythologically renowned bridge Laxman Jhoolathat is 450 ft long & built in the year 1939, Ram Jhoola suspended bridge between Shivanand Ashram and Sawarg Ashram, both are suspended on river Ganga, Triveni Ghat and other temples of Rishikesh. Overnight in Rishikesh.
DAY 2: RISHIKESH – DEVPRAYAG (80 KM/ 3-4 HRS DRIVE)
After breakfast drive to our first Prayag, Devprayag is one of the most prominent place among all 5 Prayags. It is the place where Bhagirathi (originating from Gaumukh near Gangotri) meets Alaknanda (originating from Alkapuri near Badrinath) and becomes Ganga. The Sangam (confluence) attaracts lot many pilgrims, it is believed that by taking bath in the sangam sins get absolved. There is Raghunath temple and an observatory in Devprayag . Evening free for your own activity. Overnight stay in Devprayag.
DAY 3: DEVPRAYAG – RUDRAPRAYAG (70 KM/ 3 HRS DRIVE)
After breakfast drive to Rudraprayag is located at the confluence of Mandakini and Alaknanda rivers and has bifurcations for Kedarnath and Badrinath. Rudraprayag is a newly formed district headquarters. Koteshwar temple near Rudraprayag is located inside a cave and is a favourite destination of lord Shiva devotees. Evening free for leisure. Overnight stay in Rudraprayag.
DAY 4: RUDRAPRAYAG – KARNAPRAYAG (35 KM/ 2 HRS DRIVE)
After breakfast drive to Karnaprayag is located at the confluence of Alaknanda and Pindar rivers. It is a growth centre with a small industrial area nearby at Shimli. Uma and Karna temples are located at Karnaprayag. Evening free for your own activity. Overnight stay in Karnaprayag.
DAY 5: KARNAPRAYAG – NANDPRAYAG (35 KM/ 2 HRS DRIVE)
After breakfast drive to Nandprayag, is located at the confluence of river Alaknanda and Nandakini (originates from a glacier near Nanda Devi mountain) . Gangeshwar and Chandrika Ma temples are situated at Nandprayag. Evening free for your own activities. Overnight stay in Nandprayag.
DAY 6: NANDPRAYAG – VISHNUPRAYAG (60 KM/ 4 KRS DRIVE)
After breakfast drive to Vishnuprayag, is the fifth prayag and the first one on the river Alaknanda. Dhauliganga originating from Niti valley meets Alaknanda here. Vishnuprayag is surrounded by a rocky terrain and has strong currents in rivers. Evening free for your own activities. Overnight stay in Vishnuprayag/ Joshimath.
DAY 7: VISHNUPRAYAG – HARIDWAR (280 KM/ 7-8 HRS DRIVE)
Early morning drive to Haridwar literally means Gateway to the Lord. One of the holiest Hindu pilgrim sites on the banks of the sacred river Ganga, Haridwar is a bustling town with crowded markets, a multitude of temples, ashrams and ghats overflowing with pilgrims desirous of attaining a measure of salvation – in this life or in the next one. On arrival in Haridwar check into the Hotel & relax. Overnight stay in Haridwar.
DAY 8: HARIDWAR – DELHI (210 KM/ 6 HRS DRIVE)
After a holy bath in The Ganga drive to Delhi for your onward journey to your Home.