Panch Prayag means “five confluences”. “Prayag” in Sanskrit means a combination of a river. The five combinations of Vishnuprayag, Nandaprayag, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag, and Devprayag respectively called Panch Prayag. The most sacred Ganga river is worshiped as the goddess, which was made freed on this land. This glorious river originated in the Gomukh glacier of the Himalayas. The pilgrims’ bath in the Ganga on different auspicious days and the water of the Ganga is used for purification. During the journey of Chardham, these holy places provide a hint to visit as a chomping from here cleanses all the sins of the devotee. Pilgrims usually come for the five Prayag mainly on the events of Capricorn, Basant Panchami, Ram Navami.
There are reports that the goddess Ganga wanted to bless mankind by descending to the earth, but her power was too much to accept. To induce his emphasis, the Ganga was divided into 12 channels. Lord Shiva decided to divide the power and distribute it evenly across all countries. After going through the five majors Prayag, the Ganga River was once again complete. The rivers originating in the Himalayas and merge before the formation of the Ganga. Starting from Vishnuprayag, one can follow the course of the river through Nanda Prayag, Karna Prayag, Rudra Prayag, and Dev Prayag. Satopantha, Bhagirathi, Alakananda, Vishnuganga, Dhauliganga, Nandakini, Pindar, and Mandakini meet at various places along this route and eventually form the Ganga at the holy god Prayag Point.
Each of these Prayags has different stories –
Nandprayag Pilgrimage is one of the most sacred cities. Located in Chamoli dist., this sacred site marks the confluence of the holy river Alaknanda and Nandakini. This place is of religious importance and carries religious significance for the Hindus of India. Significant religious importance is King Nanda who came here to perform a great sacrifice to Lord Vishnu so that he could receive his blessing as his son. Another important historical implication is that the great saint Kanva came here to perform his austerities. Besides, the place is home to a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna and makes it the perfect travel route for nature lovers.
Of the remaining 5 Prayag, Vishnu Prayag is the confluence of Dhauliganga and Alaknanda. Situated at an altitude of 1,400 meters and hiking through the high mountains of the Himalayas, this is a sight to see. It is a sacred place of Lord Vishnu and it has been found in several ancient holy Hindu scriptures. If you are not a religious person and just looking for some quiet time away from the city, you must visit this sacred antique city. The place lets you have a unique experience of cleanliness. It is said that Narada meditated here and did penance to Lord Vishnu. On seeing his devotion, Vishnu appeared before him and blessed him with cosmic power.
It is the place where the two main streams of Alakananda and Bhagirathi flow and meet. Not only does the place provide an unparalleled level of spirituality but it’s also the perfect place to stay on a thrilling holiday. Another important temple here is Raghunathji Temple which is a very old temple. The religious significance is that it is believed that Lord Rama and King Dasarathacontemplated here. It also serves as the home of pandas (priests)of Badrinath Dham.
This spiritual place is located in the state of Uttarakhand and the holy confluence of the two glorious rivers Alakananda and Mandakini. Rudraprayag, also known as the holy abode of Lord Shiva, is named after Shiva. Locals believe that Rudraprayag appeared in the same place as Lord Rudra in front of Narada. Narad did a deep penance to appease Shiva. There is an interesting story that states that Sati was born again after the tragic death.
It is 145 m high and is situated on the banks of the Pindar and Alaknanda rivers. Mahabharata worshiped Karna of fame to get such a shield. There is a temple dedicated to Karna and Uma Devi.
Pancha Prayag tour map should be like this-
Haridwar – Rishikesh (1 night)
Rishikesh – Devprayag(1 night)
Devprayag –Rudraprayag (1 night)
Rudraprayag – Karnaprayag (1 night)
Karnaprayag – Nandaprayag (1 night)
Nandaprayag – Vishnuprayag (1 night)
Vishnuprayag – Haridwar (halt somewhere for one night)