The Land of Gods: A Story by Lakshmi Ajoy

Did you know? The most enriching experiences come from riverbanks; for they are filled with abundance of flora, fauna, joys, adventures, contentment and happy spirits. Riverbanks also form the seeds of life for they are the base where life sprouts.
Riverbanks are the landforms that form the edge of major flowing rivers. It is a miraculous wonder to experience the confluence of rivers as they merge at different places to finally form one major river.
I am the glorious Alaknanda, the child emerging in the lap of Uttarakhand. Known popularly as ‘The land of Gods’ or ‘Devbhoomi’, it is truly so…
One can experience the verdant luxuries in the lap of Mother Nature. From myriad shades of flowers spread across the vast lands to the gentle breeze wafting through the fields, the land is a metaphor of affluence and prosperity.
My gushing streams can be heard from miles away and different rivers merge with me before they finally blend in and emerge as ‘The Mighty Ganges’.
I’m then known as ‘Ganga Maiya’ thereon, as I pass through varied other places and states across the country.
Each piece of land surrounding the areas where other rivers flow to merge with me experiences the deposit of rich minerals and silts thereby rendering abundance and richness to the land and soil there.
Let me take you on my journey of Panchprayag (the five confluences) where other major rivers merge with me.
These five places, naturally considered holy appear in descending order of river convergence.
I originate three kilometers below Mana village from the Alkapuri glacier as Alaknanda. I then begin to flow past the Hindu pilgrimage centre of Badrinath.
At Vishnuprayag, my very first confluence happens with River Dhauliganga in Chamoli district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Vishnuprayag derives its name from Vishnu. According to Hindu scriptures, it is the place where Sage Narada meditated, after which Vishnu appeared before him. It is near the Kagbhusandi Lake.
Nandaprayag is my second confluence with River Nandakini.
Nandaprayag was once upon a time, the capital of the Yadu kingdom.
Karnaprayag is my third confluence with Pindar River. Karnaprayag is the place where Karna had worshipped the Sun God.
Rudraprayag is my fourth confluence with River Mandakini at Rudraprayag district. The road along the Mandakini valley, leading to Kedarnath, was damaged at many points during the floods in 2013.
The fifth and final union takes place at Devprayag where I join River Bhagirathi forming the massive river Ganges, which flows down to the plains.
The lands through which I flow are ensured of high sustainability owing to the rich treasure of minerals and silts that I deposit there. I remind you that the journey is just the beginning.