Vishnuprayag is one of the five confluences of river Alaknanda (Panch Prayag), present in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. According to beliefs, Narada meditated here to impress Lord Vishnu, who eventually appeared before him. Hence, this place derives its name from Lord Vishnu.
Vishnuprayag is present 1372 metres above sea level and is the first prayag, according to the descent of the river Alaknanda. It is a famous pilgrimage destination on the route to the Four Dhams of Uttarakhand. Other confluences following it are Nandaprayag, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag and Devprayag.
What is the history of Vishnuprayag?
The history of Vishnuprayag is that according to a legend in Hindu mythology, sage Narada once meditated at this place to impress Lord Vishnu. Later, Lord Vishnu appeared to bless him with his cosmic energy in a nearby spot where a Vishnu temple is now present.
Maharani of Indore, Ahalyabai constructed an octagonal temple near the confluence in 1889. Though originally it was built to install a Shiva linga, it now has a statue of Lord Vishnu. A stairway from this temple leads to Vishnu Kund, which is a pool of water.
What is the significance of Vishnuprayag?
The significace of Vishnuprayag is that here, Alaknanda merges with Dhauli Ganga. This stretch of Alaknanda is also popular as ‘Vishnu Ganga’. In Hindu tradition, ‘Prayag’ is a confluence of two or more rivers where the worship of the river as well as last rites for the dead take place.
Devotees also believe that the panch prayag located on the road to Badrinath are the ‘Svargarohana route’ that the Pandavas followed during their ascent to heaven.
How to reach Vishnuprayag?
Here’s how to reach Vishnuprayag:
- Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, 280 km away from Vishnuprayag.
- Train: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, 261 km away from Vishnuprayag.
- Road: One can avail taxis or buses from Rishikesh railway station to Joshimath. From here, one can use local transport to reach Vishnuprayag.
Where to stay near Vishnuprayag?
Here are some of the places where one can stay near Vishnuprayag while undertaking the Char Dham Yatra are:
- Hotel Grand Kailash: Featuring free WiFi, Hotel Grand Kailash offers accommodations in Joshīmath. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free private parking is available on site.
- Hotel Mount View Annexy: Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free private parking is available on site. Every room comes with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Some accommodations have a sitting area where you can relax. All rooms include a private bathroom fitted with a bathtub.
- Panchvati Inn: Featuring free WiFi, Panchvati Inn offers pet-friendly accommodations in Joshīmath. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. There is room service at the property. A range of activities are available in the area, such as skiing and hiking. The hotel also provides ski equipment.
What are the other Panch prayag destinations?
The other Panch prayag destinations are:
- 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.
- Karnaprayag: 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.