Panch (Five) Badris:
Considered as the holiest of the four important shrines of Hindus, Shri
Badrinath ji is situated in the Garhwal region at the confluence of the
Rishi Ganga and Alaknanda rivers and at an altitude of 3110 M above the
sea level. A great religious importance has been attached to Badrinath Puri, which
was once surrounded
by wild berries or "Badri" and so it was named "Badrivan". This land has
been worshipped by saints and sages and has been the abode of yogies,
and great hermits over the ages.
Shri Badrinath is guarded by the twin mountain ranges of Nar and Narayan
range near the towering Neelkanth Peak. The other hot water tanks are "Narad
Kund" & "Surya Kund" in which pilgrims take the holy bath. Badrinath
stands first in the pilgrimage programs since it bears the supreme
degree of faith and devotion towards God.
Lord Badri Nath is worshipped at five different places under five
different names in Uttarakhand
This place is known as Badri Vishal. At the time of prayer devotees says
to each other "Jai Badri Vishal Ki". This is the main shrine of Lord
In ancient ages King Pandu meditated Pandukeshwar, ever since the lord
is worshipped here in the form of Yogdhyan. This place is 24 K.M. from
Badri Nath and 20 K.M. from joshimath.
This place is situated at a height of 2744 m, above sea level and 17 K.M.
from Joshimath, Bhawishya Badri is worshipped in a small town.
In this temple the idol of Lord Badrinath was worshipped for a short
period by Adi Guru Shankaracharya. This temple is located at Animath,
which is 17 K.M. from Joshimath in the direction of Pipalkoti.
Several temples of Gupta-kal are visible at this place, but Narain
Temple is the main attraction because a black stone idol of Lord Vishnu.
Adi Badri is situated 16 K.M. from Karanprayag on Ranikhet Route.
Panch (Five)Kedar :
After the war of Kurukshetra, the Pandvas set out on a yatra to Varanasi
in order to be blessed by Lord Shiva and be absolved from the sin of
killing their own brothers-the kauravas. Lord Shiva, unwilling to give
darshan to the Pandvas, fled from Kashi to Uttrakhand and lived in
On being detected by the Pandvas, Shiva went ot Kedarnath, but the
Pandavas followed him. He assumed the form of a bull and started grazing
amongst the cattle, but even then could not escape detection by the
Pandavas, At dust, when it was time for the cattle to return home, Bhim
(of gigantic stature, great courage and strength) stretched his legs
across the mountains (standing on either side of the Kedamath Valley) in
order to identify Shiva. All the cattle passed under his legs except
Shiva, whom Bhim noticed. As Bhim bent down to catch hold of him, Shiva
sank into the earth and only his back portion (the hump) was taken in
Bhim's hand. Shiva being pleased with the determination of the Pandavas,
exonerated them from their sin, gave them darshan and requested them to
worship his hump. It is from that date the hump of Shiva worshipped in
the Temple of Sri Kedarnath-in the conical Shiva pinda form.
At Kedar is the hinder part of the Buffallo (Shiva changed himself into
the form of a buffallo, when Bhim chased him.)
At Madhyamaheshvra is the Nabhi or the middle part of the Buffalo-Shiva.
This place is 21 K.M. from Ukhimath (via Kalimatha).
At Tungnath is the Bahu or hand of the Buffalo-Shiva. It is just on the
way to Badrinath and 37 K.M. from Ukhimatha.
At Rudranath is the Mukh (the mouth) of the Buffalo-Shiva. It is about
19 KM. from Mandalchatti.
At Kalpeshwar is the Jata (the hair) of the head of the Buffalo-Shiva.
This place is just opposite to Helangchatti at about 8.7 K.M. from
Helang, on other side of Alaknada.
Rivers in India are considered to be highly sacred in the Hindu
mythology and are glorified as goddesses. And the confluence of these
rivers typically represent immortal piety. Panch Prayag meaning five
confluences is steeped in legends and tradional heritage. Located in the
northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, the Panch Prayag is a must visit
for every Hindu devotee while the sanctity and the glorified fame of the
river confluences draws tourists from all across the globe.
Panch Prayagrefers to the five confluences of the Alaknanda river with
Dhauli Ganga, Nandakini, Pindar, Mandakani and Bhagirathi in the Garhwal
Himalayas. Devotees and pilgrims from all over the country and the world
gather at these meeting points of rivers to worship them and to seek
blessings of the respective goddesses. Given below is a list of all the
five prayags in the Garhwal Himalayan region of Uttarakhand.
Associated with a number of interesting Hindu legends, Rudra Prayaga is
the meeting point of Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers. The place derives
its name from Lord Shiva, also known as Rudra. Hindus believe that the
sage Narad worshipped Lord Shiva here to be blessed with the mastery of
music mysteries. Rudra Prayag also commemorates the event when Sati,
consort of Lord Shiva, took rebirth after her self immolation. The
shrine of Kedarnath is at 84 km from Rudra Prayag while Badrinath shrine
is at 159 km from here.
Held in no less reverence than the Sangam at Allahabad, the Deo Prayag
lies at a distance of just 70 km from the pilgrimage town of Rishikesh.
It is at this point where meets the river Bhagirathi with river
Alaknanda. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama (hero of the Hindu
epic Ramayana) abd his father king Dashratha performed
self-mortification. The Raghunath Temple at Deo Prayag is also a major
attraction for tourists and pilgrims. The temple enshrines a
black-granite idol of Lord Rama. The pilgrimage site is located at 618 m
above sea level.
The point marks the confluence of the Pindari river and the Alaknanda
river. Karna Prayag is located at an elevation of 788 m above sea level.
It is surrounded by dense woods, the one time meeting ground of
Shakuntala C Raja Dushyanta, immortalised the classic by Kalidasa.
Tourists and pilgrims temples dedicated to Kama (after whom Karna Prayag
is named), goddess Uma Devi, Narayan and Gopal, all located at Karna
Prayag. For adventure lovers, Karna Prayag serves as the base from where
they can start for exciting and scenic treks to Roopkund and Bedni
Located at an altitude of 1,372 m above sea level, Vishnu Prayag is the
confluence of rivers Vishnu Ganga and Dhauli Ganga. After Vishnu Ganga
leaves Vishnu Prayag and advances its course, it is known as river
Alaknanda. Kagbhusandi Lake and Vishnu Kund are major attractions for
tourists tourists arriving at Vishnu Prayag in Uttarakhand.
It is where river Alaknanda meets river Mandakini. Located at a distance
of just 22 km from Karna Prayag, Nand Prayag is situated at an elevation
of 914 m above sea level. The holy pilgrimage site derives its name from
Raja Nanda. Besides pilgrims and devotees, a lot of trekkers can also be
seen at Nand Prayag. Trekkers pass through this place on their way to