Karnprayag is one of the famous religious places of Uttarakhand. This pilgrimage place is situated at the confluence of the Alaknanda and Pindar rivers. One name of Pindar is also Karna Ganga, due to which the name of this pilgrimage confluence is Karnaprayag. Uma Mandir and Karna Mandir are famous places of interest here. The culture of Karnaprayag is associated with the most mythological and amazing Nand Raj Jat Yatra of Uttarakhand.
Karnprayag situated at the confluence of the Alaknanda and Pindar rivers is the third among the religious Panch Prayags, which originally used to be an important pilgrimage. Sadhus, sages, sages, and foot pilgrims had to pass through this city while going to Badrinath temple. It was also a flourishing market and people from other parts of the country settled here because of the business opportunities available there. These activities came to a halt due to the Birehi flood of 1803, as the city was washed away. At that time the ancient Uma Devi temple was also damaged. Then slowly everything became normal here, the city was rebuilt and travel and business activities also resumed.
History of Karnaprayag
Karnaprayag is named after Karna, the central character of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Karna was born from the womb of Kunti, thus he was the elder brother of the Pandavas. This great warrior and tragic hero fought on the side of the Kauravas in the Battle of Kurukshetra. According to a legend, the place where the temple dedicated to Karna stands today was once under water and only the tip of a stone called Karnashila was outside the water. After the Kurukshetra war, Lord Krishna cremated Karna by balancing his palm on Karnashila. According to another legend, Karna used to worship his father Surya here. It is also said that Goddess Ganga and Lord Shiva appeared here to Karna. Mythologically, Karnprayag is also associated with Parvati. The temple at Karnaprayag dedicated to him had already been established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. Legend has it that Uma was born in a field in Sankrisera to Dimri Brahmins, who were the authorized priests of Badrinath and are considered her maternal home and the Shiva temple in Kapripatti village as her in-laws.
Nand Raj Jat Yatra
Karnaprayag is also associated with the legend of Nanda Devi; Nauti village from where Nand Raj Jat Yatra starts is near to it. The small village of Nauti, the original home of Rajguru Nautiyals of the royal families of Garhwal, is famous for the arduous Nand Raj Jat Yatra, which is held once in 12 years and is considered as important as the Kumbh Mela. This yatra is dedicated to Nanda Devi, who is the presiding deity of Garhwal and Kumaon. Nanda Devi, believed to be another form of Parvati, has a special place in the hearts of the people of Uttaranchal, inspiring immense devotion and affection. On the day of Nandashtami, a Raj Jat is organized to take the goddess to her in-laws' home, the abode of Lord Shiva in the Himalayas, and special pujas are held at the many Nanda Devi temples in the region.
How to reach Karnaprayag?
The Karnprayag, included in the Panch Prayags of Uttarakhand, is situated on National Highway 58. This city connects Badrinath and Mana village to Delhi. For Karnprayag you have to travel about 170 km from Rishikesh. The distance from Karnprayag to Badrinath remains only 127 km.