Panch Prayag offers the confluence of five rivers within the Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. The word “prayag” refers to the intersection or the meeting point between two rivers or. The mythological basis for the splitting into five stream is when Ganga was coming down the river, Lord Shiva divided it into five streams with His power and force.
The Panch Prayag of Uttarakhand traces the route carved by Alaknanda River when it leaves its Himalayan abode from Satopanth glacier. It is joined by Dhauliganga River at Vishnuprayag, near Joshimath. Nandaprayag is the second confluence in cascading sequence, where Alaknanda River is joined by Nandakini River.
The third confluence of Alaknanda River is at Karnaprayag, where the tragic hero of Mahabharata, Karna, did penance to please Sun God. Here, Pindar River joins Alaknanda. Rudraprayag is the fourth confluence between Alaknanda and Mandakini River. The fifth and final union takes place at Devprayag where Alaknanda River joins Bhagirathi forming river Ganges, which flows down to the plains.
Its Panch Prayag of Uttarakhand trace the route cut through the Alaknanda River when it leaves its Himalayan home and enters Satopanth glacier. It joins Dhauliganga River at Vishnuprayag, close to Joshimath. Nandaprayag can be described as the second confluence of the cascading sequence, in which Alaknanda River is joined by Nandakini River.
Third confluence Alaknanda River is at Karnaprayag which is where the tragic hero from Mahabharata, Karna, did penance to please Sun God. In this area, Pindar River joins Alaknanda. Rudraprayag can be described as the fourth confluence that connects Alaknanda as well as Mandakini River. The fifth and last union is held at Devprayag at the point where Alaknanda River joins Bhagirathi forming the river Ganges that flows into the plains.
Panch Prayag is visited by devotees and pilgrims who participate of Char Dham Yatra. A lot of Char Dham Yatra packages include a visit at Panch Prayag in their itinerary. Devprayag is the most holy of all Panch Prayags and is located near the confluence of Alaknanda as well as Bhagirathi rivers. It is also known by the name of Sangam. Char Dham pilgrimage along with Panch Prayag are both excellent to promote Uttarakhand tourism.
The best time to visit Panch Prayag is from the month of March to June. During summers, the roads remain in good condition and the weather permits the travelling zeal as compared to the monsoon months.
The five confluence sites on the highway Rishikesh-Badrinath is believed to originate as coming from Rishikesh which is the main gateway for the Garhwal Himalayas. Rishikesh is a railhead which connects all areas of the nation and also serves as the closest airport. Jolly Grant Airport is 18 km (11.2 miles) from Rishikesh and 25 km (15.5 miles) away from Dehradun.
The distances between Rishikesh towards the 5 prayers are: