Panch Prayag – The Confluence of Five Sacred Rivers
Panch Prayag is a hub of mystery in itself, and therefore, it’s always great to have a visit here. Uttarakhand, the holy abode of Gods offers the most religious locale to the pilgrims hailing from all around the world. It is highly famous for its holy shrines that provide solace and contentment to the pilgrims from a deteriorated state of mind. Visiting the Panch Prayag takes pilgrims onto the path of sanctity and tranquility. Therefore, millions of visitors come here every year.
A Synopsis of the Panch Prayag
Panch Prayag takes the devotees to the great and sacred confluences of five holy rivers. All these are very holy, and devotees do the worship at these places. These confluences are the major centers for the pilgrims where they perform the purification process and also prayers to the associated deity.
The five holy confluences are:
Devprayag: Confluence of Alaknanda River with Bhagirathi River Rudraprayag: Meeting of Alaknanda River with Mandakini River Karnaprayag: Locale where Alaknanda River meet Pindar River Nandprayag: Confluence of Alaknanda River with Nandakini River Vishnuprayag: Location where Alaknanda River meets River Dhauli Ganga
Every year, devotees head towards the holy abode of Gods, the state of Uttarakhand to discover the everlasting divinity of the holy confluences of these sacred rivers.
What Hindu Mythology Has to Say About Panch Prayag?
Panch Prayag formation leads to the formation of River Ganga, the holy river that descends on the earth to depart salvation to mankind. Here, river Alaknanda meets the Bhagirathi River after flowing through the other four confluences of Panch Prayag i.e. Vishnuprayag, Nandprayag, Karnaprayag, and Rudraprayag. Later, after meeting with the Bhagirathi River at Devprayag, the river takes the form of sacred river Ganga.
Our Hindu mythology has a detailed theory behind the evolution of River Ganga that states the phase during which River Ganga started descending the earth to cherish mankind and their poor soul.
The historical embodiment of Panch Prayag beholds the story behind the arrival of Goddess Ganga on the earth after King Bhagirath did penance favoring lord Shiva to make Ganga come down on earth so as to free his ancestors from all their sins. Goddess Ganga was powerful and so as to control the force, a division into 12 channels is propounded. Devprayag which is the higher among the Panch Prayag is the birthplace of river Ganga on earth.
Panch Prayag is the places where the confluence of different streams of Ganga takes place at five different places. Alaknanda River meets river Dhauli Ganga at Vishnuprayag, then she meets Nandakini River at Nandaprayag. From there, she moves to create Karnaprayag after uniting with river Pindar and then heads towards Mandakini River to form Rudraprayag. At last, she mixes with Bhagirathi River at Devprayag from where the sacred river Ganga formed up.
Devprayag is the most revered and pious confluence that gained acknowledgment as the birthplace of River Ganga. It is the meeting point of Baghirathi River and Alaknanda River that when merges form Ganga.
The merger or Sangam takes place when Baghirathi River rises from Gaumukh and Alaknanda river rises from Satopanth Glaciers nestled near the Chaukhamba peak and they both meet at a point known as Devprayag, from where the river Ganga emerges.
Rudraprayag is another confluence among the Panch Prayag that showcases the meeting of Alaknanda River with Mandakini River. The Sangam at Rudraprayag takes place when the bright green Mandakini River that hails from Kedarnath gets along with the white Alaknanda River hailing from Badrinath.
Out of the Panch Prayag, Karnaprayag displayed the meeting point of River Alaknanda and River Pindar. For the broad Sangam, river Pindar originates from the Pindari Glacier and meets up with River Alaknanda.
As per the legendary sources, Karnaprayag beholds the story of Karna, the son of Lord Surya and Kunti, how he meditated in this location and granted with the Kundal, tuner, and Kavach that made him unbeatable.
The confluence at Nandprayag formed up after green Nandakini River that hails from Nanda Devi Glacier gets blended with river Alaknanda. At this Sangam, the two rivers meet and flow from here together.
According to Hindu mythology, the ancient name of Prayag was Kanvasu, after the name of renowned sage Kanva. Later on, King Nand performed Maha Yagna at this point and then it was named Nandprayag.
Among the Panch Prayag, Vishnuprayag is the fifth and the last Prayag of Gharwal region. The Sangam at Vishnuprayag beholds the meeting of the Alaknanda River with Dhauli Ganga that hails from the Niti Valley.
Panch Prayag Yatra is a complete journey that purifies your mind, body, and soul. Taking a Panch Prayag Yatra will take you to the land of spirituality and contentment and encompass you with the purified feeling of freedom from all your sins.