The Panch Prayag is a popular pilgrimage for the Hindus visiting the godly Indian State of Uttarakhand. The Ganges is the holiest river in India and it is believed that it purifies the soul of its sins. Thus confluences of the Ganges with its tributaries are helmed as the spiritual places of divine salvation otherwise called ‘Prayag’.
The Himalayas in Uttarakhand is the sources of the Ganges. Starting from the top, the Alakananda or the Vishnu Ganga River arising from the Satopanth Glacier meets with the Dhauli Ganga River near Badrinath to form the Vishnuprayag. The mighty stream then converges with the Mandakini River to form the Nandaprayag, named after King Nanda who conducted the divine ritual pyre here. Downstream, the Alakananda River is joined in by the Pindar River to create the Karnaprayag confluence, coined because Karna performed his Sun meditation here. The Rudraprayag is however, the most aesthetic. The green Mandakini River from Kedarnath tributes to the main Alakananda River. It is at this confluence that Lord Shiva performed his cataclysmic dance on Lady Sati’s demise. Further down the slope, near the foothills of the Garhwali Himalayas, lies the most pious confluence of all – the Devprayag. Here the gentle & massive Alakananda River converges with the roaring & swift Bhagirathi River, originating from Gomukh Glacier, to give birth to the holy Ganges.