Panch Prayag
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Panch Prayag

June 30, 2009 | Post By: Vinay Dobhal | Editor: Jyoti Painuly




Prayag meaning "confluence" in Sanskrit, constitutes a group of five sacred river confluences in the Garhwal Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand, India. This great river, emerges from the icy glaciers of the Himalayas. It starts with the Vishnu Prayag on the Alaknanda River, which is one of the two source streams of the most sacred river Ganges in the Garhwal Himalayas and other streams are the Dhauliganga, Mandakini, Pindar and the Bhagirathi - the head stream of the Ganges.

These five river confluences, are Vishnuprayag, Nandaprayag, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag and Devprayag. 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.

According to the Hindu Mythology when Goddess Ganga started descending to earth, to cherish the mankind, Earth was not able to face the force which Ganga had. To temper her force Ganga was splitted into 12 channels. The siblings again gets unite into single stream after Devaprayag.



Vishnuprayag

Vishnuprayag

This confluence is dark and mostly in the shadows. To make this confluence the river Alaknanda, the main tributary of the Ganga, rises near Badrinath and flows down to meet the Dhauli Ganga River, 10 kms north of Joshimath at VishnuPrayag. It cuts a deep gorge into the mountains. Vishnu Prayag, 1372 m, has an ancient temple of Lord Vishnu which stands here next to a pool called Vishnu Kund.

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Nandprayag

Nandprayag

20 km from Karna Prayag, at this confluence in Nandprayag, there is a temple dedicated to Gopalji, Lord Krishna. At Nandprayag which is 190 kms short of Rishikesh on the Uttarkashi road, the River Nandakini joins with Alaknanda. The place Nandprayag derives its name from Raja Nanda. According to one legend, the king Nanda was promised the boon (aashirwaad) that Vishnu will be his son.

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Karnprayag

Karnprayag

Situated at 12 km from Gauchar and 31 km from Rudraprayag, Karnprayag has two temples in this confluence, one dedicated to Goddess Durga (Uma) and other dedicated Karna (the tragic hero of the Mahabharata). At KarnPrayag Alaknanda meets with Pindar river which flows out of the Nanda Devi glacier to form this confluence.

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Rudraprayag

Rudraprayag

Named after Lord Shiva (Rudra), RudraPrayag has a Rudranath and Chamunda Devi temple at this confluence. At RudraPrayag, which is 137 kms from Rishikesh, the Alaknanda meets with the streams of Mandakini river. This place is also an important commercial place. It is believed that here Narad worshipped Lord Shiva to master the mysteries of music.

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