How much do you know about the history and origin of Alaknanda River?

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The Alaknanda, one of the major rivers of India, has a different story. Let us know about some interesting facts related to the origin of this river.

The history of rivers in India is very interesting and old. For centuries, rivers, maintaining their purity, have been irrigating people with their water. Whenever there is talk of purity, the water of rivers is considered paramount. While rivers like Ganga, Yamuna have their own story on one hand, many streams originating from the Ganges also tell their own history and take the form of rivers. One of such holy rivers is Alaknanda.

The Alaknanda River is a Himalayan river located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and is one of the two major streams of the Ganges, considered a sacred river of northern India and Hinduism. The Alaknanda is considered the source stream of the Ganges because of its greater length and discharge. Let’s know the story of the history and origin of Alaknanda River.

Origin of Alaknanda

The Alaknanda River originates at the confluence of the Satopanth and Bhagirath glaciers in Uttarakhand and joins a tributary of the Saraswati River at Mana, India, 21 km from Tibet. Three kilometers below Mana, the Alaknanda flows through the Hindu pilgrimage site of Badrinath. It further joins the Bhagirathi River at Devprayag and proceeds as the Ganges River. This river is mainly located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand and is 195 km long.

Such is the journey of Alaknanda

The Alaknanda river leaves its origin and reaches the Badrinath valley, reaches Hanumanchatti and meets the Ghrit Ganga, a right bank tributary. From Hanumanchatti, this river goes to Pandukeshwar and flows through wide valleys and steep areas. At Vishnu Prayag, the Alaknanda meets the Dhauliganga, a left bank tributary, and flows west to the city of Joshimath. From Joshimath the Alaknanda crosses the Main Central Thrust near Helang. Thereafter it joins the Birhi Ganga, a left bank tributary at Birhi. It reaches the city of Nandprayag and joins with the river Nandakini, a tributary of the left bank. As the Alaknanda flows through Rudraprayag it enters a wide valley near Garhwal. At Devprayag the Alaknanda River joins with the Bhagirathi River and proceeds as the Ganges River. Alaknanda water stream has a great contribution in the flow of Ganga.

Must read this: Know from where the Ganges river originated and some facts related to it

Religious Significance of Alaknanda

alaknanda river origin

The origin of the Alaknanda River holds special significance for the pilgrims visiting the important pilgrimage sites of Uttarakhand. Badrinath, a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, is situated on the banks of the Alaknanda River. This place is surrounded by two mountain ranges of Nar and Narayan on both sides and Neelkanth peak situated behind Narayan range. The location of this holy place on the banks of the river makes it very important.

History of Alaknanda River

Talking about the history of Alaknanda river, this river passes through Chamoli and Rudraprayag, Tehri and Pauri in the state of Uttarakhand. The ancient name of this river is Vishnuganga. The Alaknanda River flows for about 195 km in the valley. Different names of river Ganga are also prevalent in Char Dham where Ganga is known as Bhagirathi in Gangotri, while in Kedarnath it is called Mandakini. In Badrinath it is known as Alkapuri and at Devprayag it is the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda river and its name ends as it merges with river Ganges and its name remains only Ganga. The place of Alaknanda stream in the Ganges water at this place is considered to be higher than Bhagirathi.

Must read: What is the origin story of Narmada river? Know about these interesting facts related to it

Wonderful confluence of two rivers happens in Devprayag

alaknanda river confluence

The Alaknanda stream in Devprayag is light blue in color and the Bhagirathi river is light green in color. At this place, the wonderful confluence of both the streams is clearly visible and attracts tourists. If you also go on a holy visit to this place, then you can clearly see the two different colors of its water.

In fact, the journey from the origin of the Alaknanda River to the confluence at Devprayag is very interesting and presents a very beautiful sight for the travelers. If you liked this article, then do share it and stay connected to read more similar articles on your own website with Harzindagi.

Image Credit:, wikipedia and shutterstock


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