Nandaprayag is one of the five confluences of river Alaknanda (Panch Prayag). It is present at the confluence of Alaknanda with Nandakini, in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. According to mythology, it was once the capital of Yadu Kingdom. Devotees believe that a dip at Nandaprayag can absolve one of the sins.
It is a famous pilgrimage destination on the Char Dham Yatra map route. It is the second confluence following Vishnuprayag. The other confluences of river Alaknanda following it are Karnyaprayag, Rudraprayag, Devprayag.
What is the history of Nandaprayag?
According to a tale related to the history of Nandaprayag, King Nanda performed yagna at this place. Hence the name of the confluence is after him. Also, sage Kanva performed penance here and king Dushyanta married Shakuntala at this place. There is a temple nearby, for Gopala, a form of Krishna.
According to mythology, Lord Vishnu granted the boon of a son to his devotees Nanda and Yashoda, as well as Vasudeva and Devaki. So he made sure that the son that was born to Vasudeva and Devaki was fostered by Nanda and Yashoda.
What is the significance of Nandaprayag?
The significance of Nandaprayag is that in Hindu tradition, ‘Prayag’ refers to a confluence of two or more rivers where the worship of the river as well as the last rites for the dead take place. The calm atmosphere of Nandaprayag is ideal for meditation.
River Alaknanda emerges from Satopanth near Badrinath Dham. On the other hand, Nandakini river emerges from Nanda Devi Peak. Devotees also believe that the panch prayag are the ‘Svargarohana route’ that the Pandavas followed during their ascent to heaven.
How to reach Nandaprayag?
Here’s how to reach Nandaprayag:
- Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, at a distance of 214 Km.
- Train: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh railway station, 195 Km away.
- Road: Buses to Rishikesh are available from ISBT Kashmere Gate. One can then use state transport buses and taxis to commute to Nandaprayag.
Where to stay near Nandaprayag?
Here are some places where one can stay near Nandaprayag while undertaking the Char Dham Yatra are:
- Regal Restaurant and Hotel: The hotel offers an economic and hygienic accommodation, separate restaurant, luggage storage, hot water facility.
- GMVN Tourist Rest House: The hotel offers comfortable accommodation in rooms and dormitory, fine food and parking facility. It also provides travel assistance and hot water shower. The hotel is a good choice for budget travellers.
- Ashwamegh Lodge: The hotel only provides basic facilities and services. These include a comfortable accommodation, fine food, as well as luggage storage facility. The lodge is good accommodation option for budget travellers.
What are the other Panch Prayag destinations?
The other Panch Prayag destinations are:
- Vishnuprayag: Vishnuprayag is present 1372 metres above sea level and is the first prayag, according to the descent of the river Alaknanda. According to beliefs, Narada meditated here to impress Lord Vishnu, who eventually appeared before him. Hence, this place derives its name from Lord Vishnu.
- Karnyaprayag: It is present at the confluence of river Alaknanda with river Pindar, in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Devotees believe that it is the place where Karna of Mahabharata worshipped the Sun God. It is the third confluence following Vishnuprayag and Nandaprayag.
- Rudraprayag: It is present at the confluence of river Alaknanda with river Mandakini, in Uttarakhand. It has an average elevation of 895 metres. It is the fourth confluence following Vishnuprayag, Nandaprayag and Karnaprayag. Also, famous temples located in the region are Kedarnath Temple, Omkareshwara Shiva temple, Madmaheshwara Temple and Trijuginarayan temple.
- Devprayag: It is present at the confluence of river Alaknanda with river Bhagirathi, in Uttarakhand. From here on, rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi meet and take the same name, i.e., Ganga or Ganges. Devprayag draws its name from sage Devsharma who led his life here.
The Panch Prayag are a part of the Char Dham Yatra within Uttarakhand.