Thursday, December 1, 2022

Karnaprayag Uttarakhand- Best Places, Hotels & Ways to Reach

Karnaprayag is intriguing, fascinating, and spiritually satisfying. You associate the place with an eponymous hero, Karna from the Mahabharata. As one of the iconic figures in Hindu mythology, he was a warrior par excellence, an ideal friend, and a virtuous man synonymous with benevolence, generosity and moral uprighteousness. As such, the place acquires religious significance by default. But its natural charm is equally enchanting, making it a highly visited place in Uttrakhand.

Where is Karnaprayag?

Karnaprayag sits 1400 meters above sea level in district Chamoli, Uttrakhand. Enveloping the town is an array of magnificent peaks, rendering it a sublime look that etches into the memory. It marks the merger of the Alaknanda and Pindari rivers, which is why they call it a “Prayag.” It is famous for its pilgrim destinations marked by age-old temples marvelled at as architectural wonders today.

Why Karnaprayag Matters?

Karnaprayag is a small town with a big presence in the tourism landscape. Why? Well, let’s explore.

  • If a legend is something to go by, it was the site where Karna meditated on Sun God in anticipation of boons. Legends also indicate the town as the resting place of the tragic hero. Lord Krishna buried Karna here when Arjuna overpowered him in the Kurukshetra battle.
  • The tranquillity of this place caught the fancy of one of the revered monks in modern history, Swami Vivekanand. He frequented the place for meditation and spiritual pursuits.
  • Located on the way to Badrinath, the location furthers its popularity. Yearly, the town hosts a deluge of devotees heading to Lord Vishnu’s shrine amidst the higher reaches of Garhwal hills.
  • Along with Nandaprayag, Rudraprayag, Vishnuprayag, and Devprayag, Karnaprayag completes the Panch Prayags. For starters, Prayag, standing for the meeting point of rivers, has a cleansing and liberating power. A dip here can free you from sins and guarantee salvation.
  • With natural splendour unfolding in all its vibrance, it is one of the picturesque locations in Uttrakhand. Add to it the hospitable people, tranquil ambience, and refreshing breeze, it’s a godsend for nature lovers and peace seekers. Even adventure-seekers have much to expect.
Karnaprayag at a Glance:
  • Tehsil: Karnaprayag
  • District: Chamoli
  • State: Uttarakhand
  • Height: 860 m (2,820 ft)
  • Temperature: Between 6°C and 29°C
  • Nearest Town: Barsali
  • Closest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun
  • Closest Railway Station: Haridwar
  • Best Time to Visit: October to April
  • Rivers: Alaknanda and Pindar
  • Population: 6,976
  • Time zone: UTC+5:30 (IST)
  • PIN Code: 246444[1]
  • Vehicle registration: UK-11
  • Website:

The Legend of Karna and Karnaprayag 

Karna was an incomparable warrior who could run through the entire Pandava army single-handedly had it not been for Lord Krishna. In the face-off, Arjuna got the better of Karna who was dealing with the sunken chariot wheel. Sensing an opportunity, Arjuna mounted an onslaught on the hapless Karna, inflicting serious injuries. Though incapacitated, Karna continued to breathe.

Karna was a virtuous man with loads of Punya (merit). That forced Dharmaraj to safeguard him from the onslaught and the imminent death. Per Hindu belief, killing someone protected by Dharmaraj is impossible. Quick to gauge the situation, Lord Krishna disguised as a Brahmin asked Karna for his Punya in charity. A generous man, that Karna was, obliged the Brahmin (Lord Krishna). The moment Punya transferred from his account to the brahmin’s, Dharma deserted Karna, leaving him to die. When breathing his last, Karna requested Lord Krishna to do his last rites in Karnaprayag.

Karnaprayag Uttarakhand- Best Places, Hotels & Ways to Reach

Best Places to Visit in Karnaprayag

Despite being a small town, Karanprayag Chamoli has its share of tourist attractions. Notwithstanding your travel goals or preferences, the town keeps you covered. Some of the must-visit ones include:

Nauti Village

Nauti VillagePerched at an elevation of more than 300 meters, Nauti village in Karnaprayag is a quintessential devotional destination. Home to Goddess Nandi, this village is also the commencement point of the Nanda Raj Jat Yatra, conducted every 12 years.

This is considered one of the most extended on-foot pilgrim tours packed with challenging paths and mesmerizing beauty. The procession passes through several villages and halts at Koti for all-night worship followed by a celebration. It is the most extensive tour held in Uttarakhand, and visitors are seen gathering for the same in large numbers.

Karna Temple

Karna TempleKarna is a mythological character from Mahabharata, regarded as the most charitable and righteous of the Pandava brothers. Mind you, he was the eldest (illegitimate) son of Kunti. The town of Karnaprayag is dedicated and named after him. Legend states that this is where Karna meditated on Sun God and pleased him with his dedication and belief.

The Sun God himself gifted him impregnable armour. During the war of Mahabharata, Karna’s last wish to Lord Krishna was to be buried in the sacred place. As Lord Krishna obliged, it became his final resting place. To pay respects to Karna, believers from all across the country visit this temple, located between Pindar and Alaknanda rivers.

Chandika Devi Temple

Chandika Devi TempleA famous temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, Chandika Mata Mandir in Karnaprayag is located 10 kilometers outside the town. This shire worships Chandika, the most extreme version of Goddess Kali but the most warm-hearted mother of all time. Another reason for the acclaim of this temple is the Tantriks and Sages that visit here from across the world.

Commercialization of the temple is strictly prohibited. As per a famous legend, anything a visitor wishes for, with a pure intention, gets fulfilled at this divine destination. Earlier, animal sacrifice was a common practice here, replaced by a more peaceful offering of coconuts and sweets over the years.

Adi Badri Temple

Adi Badri TempleThe Adi Badri temple in Karnaprayag is located 17 kilometers from the city and is a part of ‘Panch Badri,’ which is a series of temples and holy destinations dedicated to Lord Vishu. These consist of Adi Badri, Badrinath, Yogdhan Badri, Vridha Badri, and Bhavishya Badri.

Adi Badri is believed to have been established by Adi Shankaracharya during the 5th and 8th centuries AD. The temple complex possesses the marvellous architecture of the Gupta Dynasty and consists of 16 temples, out of which the main one is dedicated to Lord Vishu. A black stone idol of Lord Vishu holding a lotus and a mace in each hand is worshipped here.

Uma Devi Temple

Uma Devi TempleAccording to a famous legend, Goddess Parvathi visited Dimri Pandit in his dreams and commanded him to build this temple. Located on the convergence of Alaknanda and Pindar Rivers, this revered shrine is dedicated to Goddess Parvathi, daughter of the Himalayas.

One of the most renowned religious processions takes place at this temple every twelve years. They transport the effigy of Goddess Uma to Dimmer village, which is believed to be her maternal home. Towns and tourists take part in this divine activity in large numbers.

Best Ways to Reach Karnaprayag

Best Ways to Reach KarnaprayagKarnaprayag, being a prominent tourist destination, is well-connected and easily accessible.

By Air: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport located near Karnaprayag. You need to travel almost 190 kilometres to get to the city. Being a popular tourist spot, Karnaprayag enjoys frequent private and public means to transport plying from the airport to the city and back.

By Road: Situated on National Highway 58, Karnaprayag is easily accessible through major cities, especially Delhi and Haridwar. Buses and cabs offer a convenient mode of transport. However, you can drive down to Karnaprayag using a private vehicle as well.

By Railways: If railways are your preferred mode of transport, Haridwar station is the nearest Karnaprayag. It is situated almost 200 kilometres from the city, but buses and other transport facilities can be availed right outside the train station. You can also consider the Rishikesh to Karnaprayag train route map if you wish to include Rishikesh in your itinerary.

Special Recommendations

Although the Karnaprayag temple can be visited all year round, the most suitable time to plan your trip would be between October to April. During winters, the Karanprayag temperature plummets to under 5 degrees celsius. This region of Uttarakhand is famous for the nuisance monsoon causes here. Tourists are advised to follow all Karanprayag weather-related warnings, especially in a landslide-prone zone.

Karnaprayag Hotels

Karnaprayag HotelsThe Karnaprayag hotel’s options are extensive to meet all budgets and requirements. While planning your trip, one of the most popular accommodation options is Kedar Dev’s Hotel. The stay here is highly affordable and comfortable, backed by modern amenities like Wifi, all-day room service, and activities like fishing and sightseeing.

Luxurious resorts and hotels are rare in this area. The most common stay option for tourists is provided in the form of small resorts and homestays owned by the locals.

Karnaprayag Food

Karnaprayag Food

At the same time, you must have an idea of the type of cuisines available at Karnaprayag. At local joints and Dhabas, you can enjoy a variety of North Indian cuisine. A few hotels alongside the highway also serve Chinese-based food items. However, it is challenging to look for fancy meal options or international cuisines in this area. Being a popular holy destination, shops and restaurants serving alcohol are few in numbers as well.


In conclusion, visiting a place like Karnaprayag would be an experience to cherish for a lifetime. Surrounded by divinity from all sides and nestled close to popular tourist destinations, traveling to this city would be an unforgettable journey!

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Sameeksha Medewar
Sameeksha Medewar
Sameeksha is passionate about cooking and trying several new recipes. Her passion for cooking and baking has led her to be a food blogger, where she shares vegetarian recipes. Her recipes are a good blend of health and good taste.

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