panchprayag

Panch Prayag of Uttarakhand, India

The five prayags, called Panch Prayag means “Five convergence” in Sanskrit – also termed as “Prayag pentad”, namely the five river confluences, which are Vishnu Prayag, Nand Prayag, Karn prayag, Rudra Prayag and Dev Prayag, in the descending flow sequence of their occurrence.
The religious towns are named after the confluence sites as: Devaprayag, Nandprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, except Vishnuprayag, where there is no town but it is about 12 km from Joshimath town, along a winding path that extends to Badrinath Temple and beyond. Some devotees do ablution at all the five prayags before worshiping Vishnu at Badrinath.
People of Garhwal, in particular, gather at the five prayags during Uttarayan, Makara Sankranthi, Basant Panchami and Ram Navami festivals for a holy bath in the sacred river confluences.
One can reach to the five meeting locations on the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway is considered from Rishikesh.
The approximate distances from Rishikesh to the five prayags are:
  • 256 km to Vishnu Prayag via Joshimath which is13 km away;
  • 190 km to Nanda Prayag;
  • 170 km to Karna Prayag;
  • 140 km to Rudra Prayag; and
  • 70 km to Dev Prayag.
Vishnuprayag
The Alaknanda River originates form the glacier “Satopanth” which joins the Dhauli Ganga near Joshiath.  It flows in the front of the Badrinath temple.  Dhauli Ganga starts from Niti Pass after it travels around 25 kms from its source to the “Vishnu Prayag”.  This entire route of Alaknanda River is named as the Vishnu Ganga. As per ancient tales, Sage Narada offered his prayers to Lord Vishnu at this convergence.
Nandprayag
This is the second prayag in the sequence of the convergences where the Nandakini River conjoins the Alaknanda river. It is said that a kind King Nanda performed a Yajna, therefore, the convergence is named after him.
Karnprayag
This is the convergence where Alaknanda river is joined by the Pindar river which originates from the Pinder glacier.  As per the ancient tales, Karna earned the protective Kavacha and Kundal from his father, God Son. Therefore, the name of the place derived from the name of Karn.
Rudraprayag
This is the convergence of Alaknanda and Mandakini river.  The place is named after Lord Shiva whose another name is Rudra. According to the mythodology, Lord Shiva performed Tandava dance here and played his rudra veena instrument.
Devprayag
This is the confluence of river Bhagirathi and the Alaknanda river.  Devprayag is the first prayag on Badrinath way.  Beyond this union, the river becomes the river Ganga.
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