A bright and high sun yet calm and soothing sun gives the green leaves and mountains a luscious shade of freshness. Imagining such a landscape, the foothills of the Himalayas is the perfect picture. Bollywood movies have got us raving about the bright green forests that become grey and black when covered in the evening fog. To get a soothing touch to our expectations, we have found a place that would serve the perfect exotic yet spiritual blend.
As an avid Shiv devotee, I go to Shiva temples across India. Check out my last trip to Neel Kanth Manahdev. On my recent trip to Tunganath, I had the chance to pass via the majestic town of Devprayag.
As far as the existence of Instagram, Wanderers, and Social media bloggers goes, the presence of the famously cringe quote “Mountains are calling, and I must go.”
What might have seemed an overhyped statement before this would transform into a lifetime experience once you step into Devprayag? If you are married and well aware of the havoc young kids can cause while on a trip, this place covers that. Since the site is inhabited by simple villagers and is also a pilgrimage, it is relatively safer for kids and group travel. Somewhat a tiny town; your kids won’t have much area to run around.
In a roll call for extreme events this year, let’s count the scorching heat of April and May into the list as well. With beaches being too hot to handle and Cold Paradise being just a LITTLE out of budget for the entire summer, the mountains of north India are the best destination.
Here’s an overview of the city, Devprayag, and adjoining areas that we can visit for all who want to escape into the mountains this summer.
Devprayag: The city of River Ganga and our Mini-Cold Paradise.
Devprayag is located in the state of Uttarakhand, at an elevation of around 828 feet from sea level. One of the 5 Prayags, Devprayag is actively famous for its neutral summer and importance as a pilgrimage site.
The city is distributed into three parts: Bah Bazar, Beech Bazar, and Shanti Bazaar. It is covered with mountains and peaks on all sides and has heavy rivers flowing through the city. The average day temperature of the city is 32 degrees, making it ideal for a respite from loo struck towns and cities of the plains.
One can reach by flights, trains, or buses/cars. However, if you are traveling by flight or train, you will have to cover the last 90 or 70 kilometers by bus. If you are from a nearby state, the bus/car route would be the best option as you would also get to witness the surreal mountain roadways.
Way Back in time: The history of Devprayag
The town of Devprayag is known to be the abode of Badri Pandits, accredited initially with the title of being the ones who led to the rise of River Ganga.
It is believed to be the abode of astrologists and astronomers. Devprayag features two well-equipped laboratories, telescopes, libraries filled with ancient texts, astronomical tools (like Dhruv Ghati), manuscripts, research of ancient scholars, etc. Other than this, it is also believed to be the meditational ground of Lord Rama. The town was destructed in the earthquake of 1803 and was reconstructed later.
Suppose you are one of the members of any religious group or carry a holy heart. In that case, Devprayag is the place to offer you pilgrimage and beauty at once.
The Hindu Pilgrim: Religious Importance of Devprayag
Devprayag is the fifth and the last Prayag. It is the place from where the confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi is known as Ganga. It is surrounded by numerous holy places like Raghunath temple, Nagaraj temple, Bhuvneshwari temple, Brahm Kund, Surya Kund, Varah Tirth, etc. The famous “Char Dham” route also passes through this place.
In terms of Mythology, it is believed that when river Ganga had to step on Earth, she (along with her 39 deities) chose Devprayag as her abode.
Apart from the religious significance, the fog-covered mountains and the picturesque small waterfalls add to the surreal beauty of the area.
The place of central attraction: Raghunathji Temple
People visit the town of Devprayag for the famous Raghunathji temple. The temple is a 10,000 years old structure dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Raghunathji is believed to have performed penance at this place to relieve himself of the curse committed by killing Ravana.
A Natural Air Conditioner: The Foothills of Himalayas
Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, the state of Uttarakhand would never be HOT enough for you to avoid visiting it (Unless you are really hot for the town 😉). It’s just like your summer air conditioner but just wholly natural.
The nighttime temperature falls to around 12–14-degree Celsius, while the average day temperature is 32 degrees even on the hottest days.
The mountain ranges of Devprayag witness fog and cold breeze, both in the early morning and after sunset. Water bodies in the main town keep the temperature cooler. At the same time, the mountains will take over the responsibility of maintaining ideal temperatures for you in the city’s outskirts.
Your Options to sleep in
Being a developing tourist attraction, the number of hotels providing all the amenities is quite limited. However, plenty of house stays, tents, guest houses, and shelters are available. All the basic amenities are readily available, but you might have to make a few compromises here and there.
The city is adjoined by various tourist spots famous for their beauty and adventure sports. Thus, you can also resort to staying in a nearby town and traveling to Devprayag.
Recreational Activities at Devprayag
“We live in a beautiful world full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if we seek them with our eyes open.”
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru
Abiding by the words of Pandit Nehru, keep your eyes open for all the adventures the city of Devprayag has to offer you. Key landscape elements, the town has some VERY COOOOL adventure options.
Devprayag offers a lot of water sports. The vast stretch of Ganga River allows for safe and yet adventurous water sports like river rafting, zip-lining, and river diving.
The town offers several camping options, trekking to the Dashrathachal, Giddhanchal, and Narsinghanchal peaks, kayaking, yoga and meditation centers, and local handicraft markets.
A never-ending affair: Us and Food
Uttarakhand is surrounded by states that offer great cuisines. The state has kept its traditional food taste, variety of dishes, and fantastic roadside food stalls. Taste amazing food like Aras, Guthiya, Khadi, kafuli, etc.
Most of the food is slow-cooked on a ‘chulha’ fire. Any food enthusiast among us would definitely know the delicious taste of smoke and fire in food. Excuse me if your mouth has started watering already as well.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
The list of places you could visit near Devprayag is definitely longer than this blog has been so far. However, if we have to talk only about selected and famous areas near Devprayag, here’s a smaller list.
- Tehri Lake and Dam: Tehri Dam is the highest water dam in India and one of the highest in the world. Generating over a thousand megawatts of electricity, the water stored from the dam forms the Tehri Lake. Located in the middle of a mountain range, this place is a scenic beauty found at a 2-hour drive from Devprayag. As we know what they say about water,
“Live by the water, Love by the moon.”
A visit to this place during a soothing sunset and the vivid and summery shade of orange over water would be enough to make you fall in love right there.
- Shivpuri: Located at a distance of 53 kilometers from Devprayag is the town of Shivpuri. The place has one of the most expansive stretches of river Ganga and hence is also the most famous place for all water sports. Remember your friend’s Instagram post about water rafting near a waterfall? THIS PLACE RIGHT HERE is your location to go and enjoy.
- Rishikesh: None the less is a famous place in Rishikesh. It takes two hours to reach Rishikesh from Devprayag. The area is renowned for river rafting, pilgrimage, meditation and yoga centers, decadent cuisine, and riverside camping. The recreational experience of yoga and meditation at the Ghats of Ganga waits for you while going to Devprayag.
- Haridwar: One of the safest places for female solo and group travelers is the city of Haridwar, located a 3-hour drive from Devprayag. The place offers a lifetime experience of witnessing the spectacular Ganga Puja.
Devprayag offers a rich array of local cuisines and handicrafts and its famous temples and religious significance.
The ideal stay duration in Devprayag is one day unless you want to go camping. In terms of only sightseeing, the place doesn’t qualify as one of the first priorities.
The place is a holy grail for anyone seeking a spiritual experience or pilgrimage with some sightseeing. Compared to the main town on Devprayag, the nearby cities of Srinagar, Shivpuri, Tehri, etc., are more commonly preferred locations for wandering around as tourists. However, Neel Dhara and Dashrathachal (places in Devprayag) are places of spectacular beauty as well.
The ideal route would be through Devprayag via Rishikesh and Srinagar or Tehri to enjoy a holistic experience on your female group’s travel, solo trip, or a family vacation.