Karnaprayag is one of the five confluences of river Alaknanda (Panch Prayag). It is present at the confluence of river Alaknanda with river Pindar, in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. An array of peaks like Trisul, Drona Giri, Narad Ghunti, Mrigathuni and Maiktoli surround it.
Devotees believe that it is the place where Karna of Mahabharata worshipped the Sun God. It is a famous pilgrimage destination on the holy pilgrimage of Char Dham Yatra route. It is the third confluence following Vishnuprayag and Nandaprayag. Other confluences of river Alaknanda following it are Rudraprayag and Devprayag.
What is the history of Karnaprayag?
According to a legend associated with the history of Karnaprayag, it is the confluence where Karna worshipped the Sun god. Hence, the god granted him an impregnable armor. As per another version, after Arjuna used the Anjalika astra on Karna, Krishna found that he was wounded but still alive.
So he told Arjuna that Dharma-Devta, the goddess of righteousness was protecting Karna herself because of his selfless charity throughout life. Hence, Krishna disguised himself as a brahmin and asked Karna to give him his abilities as a warrior in charity. Karna donated his blood to the brahmin, and his skills along with it.
After that Karna asked Krishna to cremate him at a place where nobody else was present. Hence, devotees believe that Krishna cremated him at Karnaprayag.
What is the significance of Karnaprayag?
The significance of Karnaprayag is that it is of mythological importance in relation with the epic Mahbharata. However, there is also a famous Uma temple in the region, dedicated to Goddess Sati, the wife of Lord Shiva. Her reincarnation in the form of Goddess Parvati is also popular.
Devotees say that Swami Vivekananda meditated here along with Guru Turianand Ji and Akharanand Ji for eighteen continuous days. Moreover, Karnaprayag lies at the place from where one can travel to either Badrinath or Kedarnath. Along with religious importance, Karnaprayag also contains lush green scenic beauty which is a treat to the senses, hence it is an important stop while taking a tour of the Char Dham Yatra destinations within Uttarakhand.
How to reach Karnaprayag?
Here’s how to reach Karnaprayag:
- Air: Nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport at a distance of 192 Km.
- Train: Nearnest railway station is Rishikesh, at a distance of 172 Km.
- Road: Buses to Rishikesh are available from ISBT Kashmere Gate. From here, one can avail state as well as private transport for commuting to Karnaprayag.
Where to stay near Karnaprayag?
Some of the places where one can stay near Karnaprayag while undertaking the Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand are:
- The Kedar Dev’s: The hotel offers facilities like front desk, room service, parking and many more. In any medical emergency doctor on call facility is available. Every room in the hotel is uniquely designed with cozy interiors and offer exclusive facilities and services.
- Shri Krishna Palace Hotel and Restaurant: The hotel set amidst beautiful natural surroundings, provides many deluxe facilities and services required for a comfortable and refreshing quick trip. The hotel offers comfortable accommodation, delightful dining at its exclusive restaurant, travel assistance, hot water facility, room heaters and number of other personalized services.
- Hotel Riverview: Hotel River view offers a comfortable accommodation in its neat and clean rooms. The rooms are aesthetically designed with soothing interiors and well-equipped with the most basic facilities such as comfortable beds, blankets, room service, attached bathroom with hot water facility etc.
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.
- Nandaprayag: According to mythology, it was once the capital of Yadu Kingdom. Devotees believe that a holy dip in the confluence of Nandaprayag can absolve one of his/her sins. It is the second confluence following Vishnuprayag.
- 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.