Karna Prayag is one of five sites where the confluence of sacred rivers occurs. The five prayags are Vishnuprayag, Nandprayag, Karanprayag, Rudraprayag and Devprayag. Allahabad where the Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati join is known as Prayag and is one of the holy places of Hindu pilgrimage. The confluence of the Pindari River, which arises from the icy Pindari glacier, and the Alaknanda occurs at Karanprayag.
There is a temple dedicated to Karna, a mythical hero from the Mahabharata, at Karanprayag. Karna was the child of Surya the Sun god and Kunti. Karna worshipped his father here and received boons from him of impenetrable armour and protective earrings, which made him unvanquishable.
Karanprayag is on the main highway between Rishikesh and Badrinath. It is also the starting point for treks to the Pindari Glacier and Roopkund.
NANDA RAJ JAT YATRA
Nanda Raj Yatra takes place every 12 years. The continuity of this tradition for five thousand years speaks of the tremendous faith that is widespread among the people of Kumaun and Garhwal
The Nanda Raj Jat Yatra is organized under the patronage of the descendants of the king of Garhwal. On the auspicious day of Basant Panchami a male descendant of the royal dynasty of Garhwal and resident of Chand Garhi visits Nauti village and worships the famous "Sri Yantra". It is widely believed that Sri Yantra is the breath of Divinity and the world is evolved from this breath. The worship is done with all the Tantric rites and rituals for emission of vital energy and invocation of the spirit of the Goddess Nanda to the gold idol. At this invocation ceremony Goddess Nanda is invited from her husband's Himalayan abode, Nanda Devi mountain, to visit her parental home at Nauti village. Meantime news is conveyed to the prince that a mysterious four horned ram is already born heralding the advent of Goddess Nanda in the village. The ram is brought to the prince's custody. He undertakes full responsibility for its upkeep. The animal is reared and fed with rich fodder for a period of six months when it grows up. Seventeen days before Bhadra Ashtami day in the month of August the adult ram is taken back to Nauti village once again along with a silver palanquin. Preparations are made for undergoing a 22 day long journey. Ornaments are prepared for adorning the ram and precooked food items for the journey.
The challenge of the elements and the spirit of adventure has attracted a large number of foreign tourists to accompany this yatra. They visit Nauti Village and mingle with the local people while participating in the festival. It is an awe inspiring and overwhelming moment to walk around the age old legendary Himalayan trek that has so much of traditional religious significance. The beauty of the trek is a picture perfect fusion of high mountain valleys, lakes, streams, glaciers and luminous dense green forests and it is a veritable paradise for trekkers. There is plenty to interest botanists and bird watchers and also anthropologists. And the above is merely an eye opener... The the Nand Raj Jat Yatra is a spectacular festival. The reality surpasses the written word. Plan your holiday for an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.
In the vast amphitheatre of the Indian Himalayas Nanda Devi mountain occupies the central place in the alluring arena of the Garhwal and Kumaun region which has a 70 mile barrier ring on which stand twelve measured silvery peaks over 21000 feet high and which has no depression lower than 17000 feet. Its perpetually snow clad camel humped white summit is the most important peak that soars upto 25,660 feet. This gorgeous silvery top resplendent with the lustre of spiritual aura is highly revered in Hindu scriptures as the abode of Shiva's consort, Parvati. The name Nanda in Sanskrit means "bliss giving goddess" and is worshipped as the supreme deity all over Kumaun in Garhwal region
There are two ways to Karanprayag's Nauti village. One is through Hardwar and second from Kathgodam.
From Hardwar: Important trains connecting Hardwar to other parts of the country are Ujjain Express from Bombay, Bombay Dehradun Express from Calcutta and Shatabdi Express, Mussoorie Express from New Delhi and Dehradun Allahabad Express from Allahabad.
Regular bus services ply between Hardwar, New Delhi, Lucknow, Moradabad, Bareilly etc. Private tourist taxies and coaches are also available for onward journey. Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam also runs its coaches and taxis for all major hill destinations.
Due to close proximity of Hardwar to Rishikesh it is easy to stay in the latter and proceed straight to Karanprayag from there. However if you want to stay at Hardwar the Govt. Tourist Bungalow has double rooms and dormitories. Its tariff suits every pocket.
Karanprayag is only 174 km from Rishikesh.
Accommodation at Karanprayag: all types of rooms, deluxe, executive, ordinary, dormitory, family suite are available in GMVN tourist bungalow Karanprayag. For advance reservation and enquiries for official Nanda Raj Jat Yatra please contact to the Hotel Manager directly or Yatra office Muniki Reti, Rishikesh.
From Kathgodam: Kathgodam is the railhead. There are evening trains from Lucknow, Agra, Howrah and Delhi. Buses ply between Kathgodam and Almora which is 90 km away. Almora is well connected with all the major cities.
For reaching Karanprayag you have to catch a bus for Gwaldam town which is 78 km from Almora. There is a tourist rest house at Gwaldam. You can reach Karanprayag the same evening if you catch the early morning bus at 5 a.m. which goes to Srinagar Garhwal and drops you at Karanprayag.
In case you wish to meet the Raj Jat Yatra midway you can catch the bus from Gwaldam to Debal to Mundoli (which you can reach by shared jeep) and drive further north. There are forest rest houses at Debal, Lohajang (just above Mundoli) and Wan. Your Itinerary can be as follows:
Day 01 Almora to Mundoli via Debal -- 103 km by bus or Taxi. (Next yatra in 2012)
Day 02 Mundoli to Wan -- 14 km trek.
Day 03 Wan to Bedni Bugyal -- 13 km trek.
Day 04 Bedni Bugyal to Bhagupassa - 9 km trek.
Day 05 Bhagupassa to Shailsamundar via Roop Kund -- 8 km trek
Day 06 Shailsamundar to Hem Kund -- 6 km trek
Day 07 Hem Kund to Bhagupassa -- 14 km trek.
Day 08 Bhagupassa to Bedni Bugyal -- 9 km trek.
Day 09 Bedni Bugyal to Dedna -- 8 km trek.
Day 10 Dedna to Mundoli -- 9 km trek.
Day 11 Mundoli to Almora -- 103 km by bus or taxi