Paanch Prayag is an expression in Hindu religious scriptures, specifically used to denote the five river confluences in Garhwal, Himalayas in Uttarakhand, India. Paanch Prayag is the name given to five confluences, regarded as major centres of pilgrimage, where one can perform purification ceremony and offer prayers.
Prayag in Hindu tradition means confluence of two or more rivers where bathing before worship, religious rites like the last rites (Shraddha) and worship of the river itself as manifestation of God are prevalent. The Prayag at Allahabad, where the three rivers the Ganges, the Yamuna and the Saraswati converge, is considered the holiest. The Paanch Prayags of Garhwal Himalayas are next in the order of piety, which are rich not only with stories from puranas and legends but also in scenic beauty consisting of the snow-covered Himalayan peaks and enchanting valleys. It is also inferred that the Paanch Prayag located on the road to Badrinath refer to the Svargarohana (ascend to heaven) route followed by the Pandavas to attain salvation after they completed circumambulation of the earth.
The five holy places of Paanch Prayag
Devprayag is the place where river Alaknanda meets river Bhagirathi
Rudraprayag is the place where river Alaknanda meets river Mandakini
Karnaprayag is the place where river Alaknanda meets river Pinder
Nandprayag is the place where river Alaknanda meets river Nandakini
Vishnuprayag is the place where river Alaknanda meets river Dhauli Ganga
A yatra to Paanch Prayag will take you to five divine places that stand for holy rituals and worship. The place is regarded as the essence of everlasting piety.
Mythology behind the Paanch Prayag
The Alaknanda river flowing through the four confluences of Paanch Prayag – Vishnuprayag, Nandprayag, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag- finally meets the Bhagirathi river at Devprayag, the fifth Prayag. This forms the Ganga, the holy river of India.
According to the Hindu Mythology when Ganga started descending to earth, it was not able to face the force with which Ganga had come. To tamper her force, Ganga was split into twelve channels which unite into single stream after Devaprayag. After the convergence of Alaknanda with Bhagirathi at Devprayag, the river is known as Ganga (Ganges). Four other confluences higher up add up to form the five holy confluences or Paanch prayag, which pilgrims visit for worship.
Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 239 km
Nearest railway station is Rishikesh.
All five Prayag are well connected by road with Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Dehradun, Haridwar and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon hills.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Morning 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.