Uttarakhand, the Land of Gods, is counted among the popular travel destinations by pilgrims because of its religious significance. With snow covered mountains, high mountain ranges, thick forests, lush greenery and holy shrines, the place is like a heaven on earth that attracts travelers and pilgrims from around the world. Every year thousands of pilgrims travel to this beautiful and holy place to offer prayers to their Lord and get some fresh healthy air and peace of mind. There are numerous sacred yatras that you can undertake in Uttarakhand. Panch Prayag yatra is one such journey that provides the peace and support you may be seeking for your soul, mind and body.
An Overview About the Panch Prayag
Panch Prayag are five confluences, which are regarded as major centers for pilgrims where they can perform their purification ceremony and offer prayers. The five holy places of Panch Prayag include:
A yatra to Panch Prayag will take you to five divine places that stand for holy rituals and worship. The place is regarded as the essence of everlasting piety.
Hindu Mythology behind the Panch Prayag
The Alaknanda river flowing along the four confluences of Panch Prayag – Vishnuprayag, Nandprayag, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag- finally meet the Bhagirathi river at Devprayag, the fifth Prayag, to form the Ganga, the holy river of India that has brought salvation to this land.
According to Hindu legends, earth was unable to bear the force of the Ganga when it started descending to earth. To control its force, Ganga was divided into 12 channels. At Devprayag, Alaknanda meet Bhagirathi to form the Ganga, higher up from Devprayag, four other meeting form the sacred Panch prayag that pilgrims visit for prayers, bath, purification and worship. Panch Prayag of Garhwal is the second most important prayag out of 14 prayags in India.
Panch Prayagis famous for its religious significance. So, let’s take a look on all the pious destinations of the Panch Prayag in detail.
Out of the five confluences, Devprayag is believed to be the most pious. It is the point where the Bhagirathi that rises at Gaumukh and the Alaknanda, which originate from from the Satopanth glaciers located on the eastern side of Chaukhamba Peak, merge to form the Ganga. Devprayag forms the birth place of river Ganga.
How to reach Devprayag?
The place is located on NH 58, Delhi-Badrinath highway. It is approximately 69 km from the north-east of Rishikesh via Shivpuri and Kandi. You can either take a bus from the Chandrabhaga Depot which will charge Rs 80 for 3 hrs journey or a taxi from Rishikesh which will cost Rs 1,100 but take less time. Buses from the depot are available between 5 am and 4 pm only.
Things to do in Devprayag:
The bright green Mandakini, which flows from Kedarnath, blend with the white Alaknanda, which flows from Badrinath, and make the sangam at Rudraprayag. It offers attention-grabbing views of flowing waters in the lap of nature.
How to reach Rudraprayag?
Located 140 kms from Rishikesh, you can take a taxi or bus to reach Rudraprayag via Devprayag and Srinagar.
Things to do in Rudraprayag:
Karnaprayag is situated at the meeting point of river Pindar that flows from the Pindari Glacier and the river Alaknanda forming a broad sangam. It is believed that here the son of Lord Surya and Kunti, Karana meditated to be granted with the unassailable kundal (earrings), tuneer (arrow case) and kavach (armour) that made him unbeatable.
How to reach Karnaprayag?
Located 170 kms from Rishikesh via Rudraprayag and Srinagar, Karnaprayag lies on NH 58 that connects Delhi with Badrinath and Mana Pass. From Rishikesh, you can take a private taxi or bus to reach there.
Things to do in Karnaprayag:
Nandprayag holds the bank of green Nandakini River which flows from a glacier close to Nanda Devi and Alaknanda. The two rivers meet and flow together from here. According to legends, this prayag was known as Kanvasu earlier, after Maharishi Kanva. It was named Nandprayag after King Nand performed a Maha Yagna.
How to reach Nandprayag?
Nandprayag is located 191kms from Rishikesh. You can use a Volvo bus or taxi to reach here from Rishikesh.
Things to do in Nandprayag:
At Vishnuprayag, the impulsive Vishnu Ganga known as Alaknanda blend with the river Dhauliganga that flows from the Niti Valley. It is the fifth and final prayag out of five prayags of Garhwal.
How to reach Vishnuprayag?
Vishnuprayag is 272 km away from Rishikesh. Both buses and taxies are available from Rishikesh to reach Vishnuprayag.
Things to do in Vishnuprayag:
All these five places together constitue the Panch Prayag pilgrimage tour to India. You can purify your soul, mind and body by undertaking a Panch Prayag yatra in Uttrakhand. Moreover, you can also get rid of all the sins of your previous birth by planning a trip to the holy Panch Prayag.