confluence of the most sacred rives, is considered the epitome of
immortal piety. River confluences in India are considered very sacred,
especially since rivers themselves are extolled as goddesses. And outside of
, the great confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna
& the mythical Saraswati
the most revered confluences are in Garhwal Himalayas
since the two mighty rivers Ganga & Yamuna
tributaries trace their source to these mountains, the points at which they
meet are sanctified as major pilgrimage centres. It is here that
propitiatory & cleaning ceremonies are performed as part of the tenets
of Hindu religion. Five prayags
Nandprayag, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag & Deoprayag.
When the Alaknanda and the MandaKini,
two of the most beautiful among Himalayan rivers, meet,
the confluence is called Rudra Prayag. Here so says
legend, the sage Narada came, hoping to complete with Shiva
( or Rudra ) in a music composition. The smug sage was
humbled, however, when the nymphs of musical composition complaint about his
insensitive handling of musical composition. It was here, also that
Shiva's wife, Sati was reborn after her self - immolation
because her father had humiliated her husband. In her new wife, as the
daughter of Himalaya, she did penence here to ask the boon
of Shiva as a husband once again.
The dense forests around this region are full of wildlife.
and were held ransom to a man - eating tiger that was shot by the famous
conservationist hunter , Jim Corbett.
Deo Prayag is regarded as the most
complete showcase of legends, heritage and tradition. If on one hand
Lord Rama and his father King Dashratha did penence here.
On the other, some of the oldest stone inscriptions in the region can be
found here. However, the most celebrated event at Deo Prayag
is the congregation of devotees, who come here to worship the image of
Lord Rama at Raghunath temple.
Located at a height of only 618 mts, Deo Prayag
is an invocation to the gods who have generously endowed this spot
with tremendous natural beauty. Other believes its name comes from a Brahmin
priest who meditated here for long years, asking for the birth of Vishnu's
incarnation, finally granted in the guise of Ram. For most Indians, this
confluence is no less holy then the Sangam in Allahabad
The icy flow from the Pindari glacial becomes the Pindari
river, and when it joins the Alaknanda at 788mts,
the confluence is known as Karna Prayag. The wooded thickets of the hills
surrounding Karna Prayag were the meeting ground for Shakuntala
and Dhyanta, immortalised in Kalidasa's immortal classic of
the same name, and a favorite ballad ever since, There is a temple dedicated
to Karna here, the son of queen Kunti and her fiery lover , Lord Surya.
Karna's lineage was kept a secret, but he practiced austerities before his
father and was granted the boon of a pair of earrings and armour that made
him invincible, Ultimately, he fell in the bettle the Pandavas and Kauravas,
but he remin a tragic hero for in life he never had the legitimacy he
desired. Other temple at the confluence are dedicated to Narayan,
Gopal, Shiva and Uma.
Formed by the confluences of the impetuous Vishnu
Ganga (known, after this point, as the Alaknanda)
and the Dhauliganga rivers, Vishnu Prayag, 1,372 mts. has an
ancient temple here by a pool called Vishukund. It is said
that the sage Narada worshipped Vishnu at this sanctified
spot, and the Lord, pleased with his austerities, had given him his
Visitors are find the Kagbhusandi lake bewitching with
its emerald green depths giving it a still surface, while on the banks,
blossoms evoke the colours of nature in all her glory. The lake can be
approached from either Bhundar village near Ghangaria or
from Vishnu Prayag.
The confluences of the Alaknanda and
Nandakini rivers forms Nand Prayag at 914 mts.
Trekkers are often seen here on their way to Tapovan across Kunwari pass, or
on their way to Roopkund. This beautiful spot is a major
tourist point. It is said that the confluence is named for the pious
Raja Nanda who had performed a huge fire purification
ceremony here. According to one legend, the king had been granted to
Devaki, the imprisoned sister of the tyrant king Kansa.
Ultimately, the gods found an ingenuous if wily solution:
Vishnu would be born as Krishna to Devaki
but would be brought up by Nanda's wife, yashoda.