Objects and scenes of natural beauty of this universe of phenomena have always fascinated the Hindu mind. Mountains, forests, rivers and seas have invariably provided the inspiration to build places of pilgrimage where human beings can contemplate the Divine and feel elevated.

Of the many rivers of India, Gaṅgā (Ganges) stands unparallelled and supreme with regard to holiness and the number of places of pilgrimage associated with it. Alakanandā is one of its important tributaries which joins it at an early stage.

Taking its birth on the Indo-Tibetan border of Uttar Pradesh, it is joined by Nandākinī at Nandaprayāga, by Piṇḍar at Karṇaprayāga and Mandākinī at Rudraprayāga. It joins Bhāgīrathī at Devaprayāga. Here-after the rivers merged together go by the name Gaṅgā. The famous Viṣṇu temple at Badarīnātha is situated on the bank of Alakanandā.

See also GAṄGĀ.