Panch Prayags are five holy sites at the confluence of five rivers in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Snowy mountains, tranquil environment, and sacred temples make Panch Prayag a go-to place for tourists and pilgrims equally. After Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, Panch Prayag is the most revered confluence among the Hindus. There are as many as 14 prayags in India. Panch Prayag Yatra is a spiritual journey at the confluence of mighty rivers.
The literal meaning of Prayag is the place where rivers converge. Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag, Nandprayag and Vishnuprayag are the five confluences where Bhagirathi, Mandakini, Pindar, Nandakini, and Dhauliganga flow into Alaknanda. Together these rivers form River Ganga.
Devotees flock here for Sangam Pooja and Panch Prayag darshan. Sangam snan is very sacred when pilgrims take a holy dip in the rivers before entering the temples. This holy dip brings you close to Moksha and helps you break free from the cycle of birth and death. People come here to perform the last rights of their deceased relatives at confluences.
As per legend, Ganga descended on earth with vehement force, and Shiva divided it into multiple streams to contain its flow. After passing through five major confluences, Ganga surges down again to purify the world. Stay updated about the latest news on Panch Prayag and other prominent pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand with Dehradun News.
Places to Visit in Panch Prayag comprise temples, ghats, the confluence of holy rivers, and valleys. Keep yourself updated on Panch Prayag tourism with news portal Dehradun live. Here are the details of Panch Prayags in the order of their descent from holy mountains.
Vishnuprayag is a holy site on the banks of Vishnu Ganga and Alaknanda River. Jai-Vijai mountains surround both sides of the confluence. Alaknanda originates from the Satopanth Glacier, and Vishnu Ganga is a tributary of the Ganga. Vishnu Ganga flows from the Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. Vishnu Kund and Vishnu Temple are the main highlights. As per legends, Narad muni meditated here to get the blessings of Lord Vishnu.
Nand Prayag is the site at the confluence of Alaknanda and Nandakini rivers. Nand Prayag Sangam is 22 kilometers from Karnprayag on Rishikesh-Badrinath road. As per legend, King Nanda did penance here, which is why it is named after King Nanda. Chandika Devi, Gangeshwar Mahadev, and Gopalji are the holy shrines to visit.
Karnprayag is at the confluence of Alaknanda and Pindar River, around 174 kilometers from Rishikesh on Rishikesh-Badrinath road. Pindar River originates from the Pindar glacier in the Bageshwar region. This place connects the Garhwal region with the Kumaon region. From here, you can travel to Kedarnath and Badrinath. You can take a motorway to reach Nanda Devi. Magnanimous Karna worshipped the sun and earned armor, so the site is named after Mahabharat warrior Karna. Karna Temple and ancient Uma Temple are the main attractions.
Rudraprayag shrine is one of the Panch Prayag at the confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini Rivers. It serves as a pit stop for the pilgrimage of Badrinath and Kedarnath, 139 kilometers drive from Rishikesh. Its name was Rudravat in the Mahabharata era. Rudraprayag has motorways to reach Nagnath Pokhari, Badrinath, and Kedarnath.
Narad Shila, Rudranath or Gangeshwar Mahadev, Chamunda Devi, and Koteshwar Mahadev are the main temples in Rudraprayag. Sangam Aarti in the evening and holy dip at Sangam are the religious activities at Rudraprayag.
Devprayag is at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers. Alaknanda flows from the Satopanth glacier, and the Bhagirathi rises from Gaumukh. Both the rivers merge here to form Ganga. The confluence is known as Saas-Bahu Sangam, with Bhagirathi as mother-in-law and Alaknanda as a daughter-in-law.
Devprayag is the most pious Prayag among Panch Prayag. Ganga Temple, Raghunath Temple, Chandeshwar Mahadev Temple, Vashistkund, Brahmakund, and Shankaracharya Gufa are the main attractions. It is 72 kilometers from Rishikesh. Sudarshan Kshetra and Indraprayag are other monikers of Devprayag. King Dashratha and Lord Rama meditated here after killing Ravana. Vamana avatar of Vishnu asked three steps of land at Devprayag. Shraadh ceremony and holy bath are sacred rituals here.
Panch Prayag is a year-round destination with a pleasant climate and scenic spots throughout the year. May to October is the best time to visit Panch Prayag for clear roads and a monsoon experience.
No railway station or airport exists in Panch Prayag, but it has road connectivity with major towns in Uttarakhand. Rishikesh is the most convenient starting point for Panch Prayag Tour.
Air: The Jolly Grant airport, Dehradun, is the nearest airport from Panch Prayag. Taxi, public transport, and helicopters are available for onward journey.
Rail: Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun are the nearest railway stations to Panch Prayag. Board a bus or hire a taxi to reach Panch Prayag.
Road: Roadways is another option to reach Panch Prayag. Government buses, private buses, and taxis are available at Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun.
Accommodation in the Panch Prayag comprises budget Dharamshala, lodges, hotels, and luxury resorts in all price ranges. Some of the hotels will give you a rejuvenating experience after visiting the holy confluences of rivers.
Apart from natural beauty and spiritual ambiance, Panch Prayag has some of the most delicious local cuisines, including Arsa, Singori, Chansu, Kumauni Raita, Jhangora ki Kheer, Fanu, Badi, Kandli ka Saag, Garhwal ka Fannah, Dumpling, Aloo Ka Jhol, and hemp chutney.
Panch Prayag pilgrimage is a spiritual journey to purify your soul and mind, take a holy dip, and get rid of sins generated due to the karmic cycle.