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Karnaprayag Mesmerizing Place From The Past Of Mahabharata

Karnaprayag is one of the sacred ‘Panch-Prayags’ and is at an altitude of 4750 feet above sea level. This is where the Alaknanda River meets the Pindar River, which originates in the Pindari Glacier almost 200 km further north in the mountains. Karnaprayag gets its name from Karna, of the Mahabharata.

Karna the Generous

According to legend, Karna performed rigorous penance here, seeking the blessings of Suryadev. The town is named after Karna, reflecting its deep connection to his story.

Karna, one of the major characters of the Mahabharata was the son of Kunti and the half-brother of the Pandavas. This was not known to the Pandavas and they came to know only after he had died. In the Mahabharata war, Karna fought on the side of Duryodhana and the Kauravas.  

Stories of Karnaprayag

There are two stories connected with Karnaprayag. The first is that Karnaprayag is the place where Karna worshipped Surya Dev. Pleased with Karna’s prayers, Suryadev gave him a shield that would protect him from any weapon.

The second story tells us this is the place where Karna was cremated by Lord Krishna. Karna was killed in the great Mahabharata War by Arjun. 

Another legend says Lord Krishna cremated Karna at this place. It was not possible to kill Karna as he was protected by his massive accumulation of good deeds. He was eventually killed by trickery. Before dying he requested Lord Krishna to cremate him in a place where none other had been cremated. That is why his body was brought to Karnaprayag for the last rites.

Sangam Rivers Names

Sangam Rivers Photos

Sangam Rivers Name Karnaprayag

Alaknanda River: One of the headwaters of the Ganges River, considered sacred in Hinduism.

Pindar River: A tributary of the Alaknanda River, named after the legendary King Pindar.

Sangam Rivers Name Karnaprayag

Karanprayag Photos

Alaknanda River: This is one of the headwaters of the Ganges River and is considered sacred in Hinduism.

Mandakini River: This is a tributary of the Alaknanda River and is also considered sacred. It originates from the Chorabari Glacier near Kedarnath.

Places to Visit in Karnaprayag

1. Karnaprayag Sangam – This is the meeting place of the two rivers – Alaknanda and Pindar. The unimaginable beauty of this spot has to be seen to be believed. The two rivers gushing down from the mountains and incredible views all around fill you with awe and reverence.

2. Karna Temple – A beautiful temple dedicated to Karna near the confluence of the rivers. This is believed to be the spot where Lord Krishna cremated Karna.

3. Uma Devi Temple –  A temple with unique but simple architecture and design. Along with Uma Devi, the Murtis of Nanda Devi,  Mahadev and Karna are also enshrined In the sanctum.

4. Chopta – is an incredibly beautiful destination with rolling meadows, evergreen forests and colourful flowers blooming all around. This is also the base for the Tungnath trek. It is about 50 km from Karnaptayag.

Besides these places, there are a number of small but quaint temples in and around Karnaprayag. Walking along the rivers or on the countryside slopes is another enjoyable activity here.

Places To Visit Near Karnaprayag

  • Karnaprayag to Nandaprayag Distance: Another of the Panch Prayag, located 22 km away.
  • Karnaprayag to Rudraprayag Distance: 34 km from Karnaprayag, known for the confluence of the Alaknanda and Mandakini Rivers.
  • Karnaprayag to Badrinath Distance: Located about 170 km from Karnaprayag, Badrinath is a major pilgrimage site.

Rishikesh To Karnaprayag Railway Project

A new railway line is being built in Uttarakhand, India. It will connect the Rishikesh and Karnaprayag areas. This project is part of India’s plan to develop infrastructure along the border with China. It is being closely monitored by the Central Government’s PRAGATI portal because it is seen as vital for the country. 

The line will be 125.20 km long, single-track and will have 12 stations, 17 tunnels and 35 bridges. Most of the line will run through tunnels, with the longest one expected to be 15.1 km long, between Devprayag and Lachmoli. When finished, it will be India’s longest railway tunnel.

Rishikesh-Karnaprayag line will be finished by December 2024 or 2025. Approximately ₹16,200 crore (US$2.0 billion) will be spent on the project. The trip from Rishikesh to Karnaprayag will take only 2.5 hours thanks to the line. It is expected to increase tourism in the area as well.

How to reach Karnaprayag

By Road

By Road

This is the most popular route to get to Karnaprayag. The roads provide beautiful views of the Himalayas and are kept up well. From large cities like Delhi, Haridwar, or Rishikesh, you can travel by bus, car, or taxi.

By Train

By Train

The closest train station to Karnaprayag is Rishikesh, which is approximately 172 kilometres away. Unfortunately, there isn’t currently a train route that connects Karnaprayag with Rishikesh directly. By December 2024 or early 2025, work on the Rishikesh-Karnaprayag line is expected to be finished. that will be the easiest way to travel.

By Air

By Air

The nearest airport is Dehradun Airport, about 185 km from Karnaprayag.

Karnaprayag Local Food

Garhwali Dal: A lentil stew packed with flavour.

Kumaoni Raita: A refreshing yoghurt-based dish, often flavoured with cucumber, mint and sometimes beetroot. It adds a cool counterpoint to spicier dishes.

Mandua Roti: A type of flatbread made with finger millet flour, a gluten-free and nutritious option. It pairs well with dals and curries.

Aloo Gutke: A simple yet flavorful dish made with potatoes and spices. It’s a common vegetarian option.

Bhaang Chutney (Seasonal): A local chutney made with cannabis leaves.

Dharamshala in Karnaprayag

There are various options ranging from budget lodges to comfortable hotels. Some recommended places to stay include GMVN Guest House and private hotels offering scenic views of the confluence.

You Can Also Check Out the Best Accommodation At Karnaprayag.

Distances from Karnaprayag

  • Srinagar – 982 km
  • Ranikhet – 163 km
  • Rishikesh – 211 km
  • Haridwar – 190 km
  • Dehradun – 206 km 
  • Kedarnath – 103 km(After Walk)
  • Nainital – 186 km
  • Yamunotri – 287 km(After Walk)
  • Badrinath – 170 km
  • Nandprayag – 20.5 km
  • Delhi – 397 km
  • Lucknow – 559 km

Best Times to Visit Karnaprayag

Karnaprayag is during the spring and autumn seasons, specifically from April to June and September to November.

Summer(July-August): Karnaprayag experiences hot weather, with temperatures rising to 35°C. This is the off-season, so despite the uncomfortable weather, you might find cheaper lodging and deal-seekers are going to discover fewer people.

Monsoon(September-October): brings moderate rainfall to Karnaprayag. Occasional landslides may occur, but the lush greenery and cascading waterfalls create a scenic landscape.

Winter (December-February): Karnaprayag has cold winters, with temperatures dropping below freezing (0°C) at night. There is Snowfall is occasional, but it can be enough to close some roads.

Things To Carry

  • According to the season: Light clothes for spring/autumn, add rain gear for monsoon and warm clothes for winter.
  • Sturdy shoes.
  • Essentials and toiletries.
  • Cash for remote areas.


Karnaprayag is a place of religious importance and natural beauty. You can visit the serene temples, experience the scenic confluences and hear mythological stories. Your visit to Karnaprayag will be fulfilling.

1. Where is Karnapraya?

Karnaprayag is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India. It’s nestled amidst the Himalayas, along the banks of the Alaknanda River.

2. who cremated lord Krishna?

According to the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna’s body was cremated by Arjuna, his closest friend and one of the Pandava brothers.

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