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Alakananda River

The Alakananda River is a Himalayan river in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is one of the two headstreams of the Ganga, the other being Bhagirathi. Alakananda is the source stream of the Ganges on account of its greater length and discharge. This river is in Garhwal region and has a length of 195 km.

            The Alakananda River rises at the confluence of one foot of the Satopanth and Bhagirathi Kharak glaciers in Uttarakhand. From its origin, it travels to the village of Mana and meets with the Saraswati River, a right-bank tributary. Continuing downstream through narrow villages, it reaches the Badrinath valley at Hanuman Chatty. At Vishnu Prayag, it meets dhauliganga, a left-bank tributary, and travels west to the town of Josimath. At Rudra Prayag, it meets with mandakini river, a right-bank tributary. At Dev Prayag, the Alakananda River converges with the Bhagirathi River and travels onward as the Ganges River.

The Alakananda contributes larger volumes of water to the flow of the Ganges than the Bhagirathi. Alakananda collects water from Chamoli, Tehri, and Pauri districts Alakananda River has much religious Significance. The pilgrims visit Alakananda while visiting other tirthas of Uttarakhand. Badrinath the most holy destination is located near the bank of the Alakananda River. This place is surrounded by two mountain ranges-Nar and Narayan. As the river flows downwards the towns along its banks are Badrinath, Vishnu Prayag, josimath, Chamoli, Nanda Prayag, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag, and Dev Prayag.

Apart from religious significance, this river presents a unique natural beauty. A tourist says-

“For the people who don’t want the buzzing of city life and for a few days of relaxation then come to the shores of Alakananda River. Dev prayag, kkarna prayag or Rudra prayag. What a soothing experience-the Sunrise and sunset both look spectacular at the sides of the Alakananda River.

Mother nature is at its best. View changes according to seasons, giving the best feeling, the places to meditate, roam, enjoy, relax, and chill. The cool breeze here will give you an authentic feeling. The Alakananda has clean and limpid water. Incredible India is not just a catchphrase. The two words combine the country’s rich heritage and myriad attractions. A picture from above where Alakananda meets Bhagirathi is a wonderful picture.

The Alakananda River has a puranic legend. In Dwapara Yuga Alakananda was a pious lady, the sister of Akrura, the minister of King Kansa. Devaki, the mother of Krishna was an intimate friend of Alakananda. When Devaki was imprisoned along with her husband. Vasudev and were tortured like anything, Alakananda was perturbed and became a saintly woman boycotting this materialistic world. She started an Ashram in the forest.

Mahabharata war had been over. Lord Shri Krishna took Arjuna to the same forest where Alakananda had her Ashram. Being thirsty, both Krishna and Arjuna reached Ashram for water. After drinking water they saw three swords in the front room of Alakananda. Curiously Krishna and Arjuna asked why these violent weapons were in a saintly Ashram. Alakananda said she had kept those swords to kill three persons-yasoda, Draupadi and Arjuna as they harassed Krishna. Then Alakananda asked Krishna-who are you? Lord said-I am Shri Krishna, the son of Devaki. Hearing this Alakananda became emotional to the extent that she died then and there. Incredible India is not just a catchphrase. The two words combine the country’s rich heritage and myriad attractions. A picture from above where Alakananda meets Bhagirathi is a wonderful picture.

The Alakananda River has a puranic legend. In Dwapara yuga Alakananda was a pious lady, the sister of Akrura, the minister of the king Kansa. Devaki the molher of Krishna was an intimate friend of Alakananda. When Devaki was imprisoned along with her husband Vasudev and wee tortured like anything, Alakananda was perturbed and became a saintly woman boycotting this materialistic world. She started an Ashram in the forest.

(The views expressed are the writer’s own.)

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Radhakanta Seth is a former Income tax officer in Sambalpur.  He is a freelance writer and his articles have been published in some Oriya dailies like Sambad, Samaj, Dharitri, and English dailies like The Telegraph and in a sociological journal ‘Folklore’ published in Kolkata.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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