Devprayag (Deva prayāga) is a town and a nagar panchayat (municipality) in Tehri Garhwal district in the state of Uttarakhand, India, and is one of the Panch Prayag (five confluences) of Alaknanda River where Alaknanda, Saraswati (invisible as it is underground) and Bhagirathi rivers meet and take the name Ganga.
Traditionally, it is considered to be the place where sage Dev Sharma led his ascetic life, giving birth to its present name, Devprayag. It is one of the five sacred confluences in the hills and is an important place of pilgrimage for devout Hindus.
"Devprayag" means "Godly Confluence" in Sanskrit. As per Hindu scriptures, Devprayag is the sacred event of merging two visible heavenly rivers, Alakananda and Bhagirathi, to form the holy Ganga. Its believed that a third river, the mythical Saraswati river is underground and meets these two rivers at the confluence.
Devprayag is the home of the late Acharya, Pt. Chakradhar Joshi (a scholar in Astronomy and Astrology) who established Nakshatra Vedh Shala (an observatory) in the year 1946. This is located on a mountain called Dashrathanchal at Devprayag. The observatory is well equipped with two telescopes and many books to support research in astronomy. It also contains about 3000 manuscripts from 1677 AD onwards collected from various parts of the country. Apart from the latest equipment, it also has ancient equipment like Surya Ghati, Dhruv Ghati, which showcase the pride of Bharatiya's progress in the field of astronomy. Shri Dr. Prabhakar Joshi and Acharya Shri Bhaskar Joshi (Popularly known as Guruji) are currently in charge and caretakers of the observatory.
Other than Sangam and Raghunath Ji Temple in Devprayag, visitors can visit sacred places like Mata Bhuvneshwari temple at nearby village Pundal, followed by Dhaneshwar Mahadev temple, Danda Nagaraja (Lord of Snakes) temple, and Chandrabadni temple.
Devprayag is the place where the rivers Alaknanda & Bhagirathi confluence. According to mythology, there is another river that belongs to this confluence named Saraswati, which originates from Mana Village in Badrinath. In Devprayag, the river comes from the feet of Shri Raghunath Ji in Raghunath Temple. Also, according to mythology, the footprints of Lord Rama are purported to exist at "Ram Kunda."
Devprayag is surrounded by 3 Godly peaks, namely Giddhanchal Parvat, Dashrathanchal Parvat, and Narsinghancal Parvat. Giddhanchal Parvat is on top of Raghunath Ji temple. Narsinghanchal Parvat is in front of Giddhanchal Parvat, and Dashrathanchal Parvat is on the top right side of "Sangam." Lord Shiva is worshiped here in the form of Linga, named Tondeshwar Mahadev and Dhaneshwar Mahadev. Tondeshwar Mahadev is Just in front of Sangam. It is very crowded on the day of Mahashivratri. Many devotees come here to offer Gangajal on the Shiva Linga. Dhaneshwar Mahadev is en route on an old Badrinath Way, which starts from Bah Bajar (a market in Devprayag). This way, devotees can reach another temple of Maa Durga in Pundal Village. In this temple, Maa Durga is worshiped in the form of Maa Bhuvneshwari. The temple of Maa Bhuvneshwari is situated at Pundal village, at the footstep of, and approximately 500m-700m from Dhaneshwar Temple. "Mishras" live here in Pundal village.
Devprayag is divided into three parts. Bah Bazzar (Pouri Side part), Beech Bajar (laying down to the Highway No. 58), and Shanti Bazar, the main bus stand of Devprayag.
Devprayag is the home to the priests of Badrinath. They are known as "Pandas." Every Panda has his own region in the whole country. A thousand years ago, when Adiguru Shankaracharya came to the area in Badrikashram in the 8th century, many South Indian Brahmins from different regions and of different castes came to Devprayag with Aadiguru. These were "Tetriya Krishna Yajur Brahmins." Inspired by the wisdom of the Brahmins, the Maharaja of Garhwal assigned them to worship Lord Ram in Raghunath Temple in Devprayag. When these Brahmins arrived at Badrinath, they were worshiped by the pilgrims. Since then, these Brahmins are known as Panda in Dham and everywhere. Pandas serve devotees of the same area of each region they offer. Every Panda plays a significant role in the life of devotees, referred to as Yátris, who arrive in Badrinath for Puja or Darshan. While in Badrinath, Pandas look after them very carefully. Pandas organize everything for their Yatri like food, accommodation, puja's tickets, and everything which is really needful to the yatri. Pandas have thousands of years of literature on their devotees. This literature is purported to have information about the devotee's last 3 or 4 generations. Every Panda has various types of books related to his Yatri's information, like Bahi, Daskhati, and others. Every Yatri is identified with the help of these books. The Pandas of Devprayag spend 6 months of a year at Badrinath, 2-3 months in Devprayag, and the rest in their own regions. It is quite hard for a Panda and his family as He spends very less time with the family. Many peoples say that Pandagiri is a very normal and less prestigious occupation. But as it belongs to their God Almighty and this is their patrimonial occupation, it automatically becomes more prestigious rather than the other occupations. The cuisines of Devprayag are also rich and famous as Devprayag. Dishes like Singori and Bal Mithai keep an important place in Devprayagi's heart. Singori, traditionally made with khoya wrapped in form of a cone with Maalu leaves. The khoya absorbs the smell of Maalu leaves. On the other hand, Bal Mithai is a brown chocolate-like fudge, made with roasted khoya, coated with white sugar balls.
Devprayag is a small town situated in Tehri Garhwal district in the state of Uttarakhand. Apart from that some of its area comes under Pauri Garhwal District. It is also a Nagar Panchayat and a division of Panch Prayag. Devprayag is the last prayag of River Alaknanda. Devprayag is located on the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway.
The Alaknanda rises at the confluence and feet of the Satopanth and Bhagirath Kharak glacier in Uttarakhand near the border with Tibet. The headwaters of the Bhagirathi are formed at Gaumukh, at the foot of the Gangotri glacier and Khatling glaciers in the Garhwal Himalaya. These two sacred rivers join to form the Ganges (Ganga) in Devprayag.
Devprayag is 70 km from Rishikesh. Devprayag has an average elevation of 830 metres (2,723 feet).
As of 2001[update] India census, Devprayag had a population of 2144. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Devprayag has an average literacy rate of 77%, higher than the national average of 74.5%; male literacy is 82% and, female literacy is 72%. In Devprayag, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age. The town is the seat of the pandas of the Badrinath Dham.
In popular culture
Devprayag has been featured prominently in the film Kisna: The Warrior Poet.
How to reach
The nearest railway stations is at Rishikesh. However, Rishikesh is a small railway station not connected by fast trains. Haridwar railway junction, 24 km farther from Rishikesh, has train connections to most of the major cities in India and is, therefore, the railhead for Devprayag.
Devprayag lies on national highway NH58 that connects Delhi with Badrinath and Mana Pass in Uttarakhand near Indo-Tibet border. Therefore, all the buses and vehicles that carry pilgrims from New Delhi to Badrinath via Haridwar and Rishikesh in pilgrim season of summer months pass through Devprayag on the way to Joshimath and further north. Rishikesh is the major starting point for road journey to Devprayag and regular buses operate from Rishikesh bus station to Devprayag. The road distance from Rishikesh to Devprayag is 74 km (46 mi).
- Haridwar to Rishikesh 24 km
- Rishikesh to Devprayag 74 km
- Devprayag to Srinagar 34 km
- Srinagar to Rudraprayag 33 km
Confluence OctBhagirathi Alaknanda.jpg|The Bhagirathi (left) joins the Alaknanda (right) at Devprayag File:Alaknanda devprayag.jpg|The sediment-laden Alaknanda river flowing into Devprayag. File:Devprayag - Confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda.JPG|Devprayag the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers. The river gets the name "Ganges" (or Ganga) beyond Devprayag File:VKdevpryag2.jpg|Alaknanda and Bhagirathi sangam at Devprayag. Now the river is known as Ganga </gallery>
- Fast facts[permanent dead link] Devprayag Official website.
- Map of Pauri Garhwal district[permanent dead link] Pauri Garhwal District Official website.
-  Tehri Garhwal district, Official website.
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Devaprayag". Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 120.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
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