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Allahabad - The Sacred Land Of The Sangam


Allahabad, one of the largest cities of Uttar Pradesh is a city of many dimensions. Apart from being a major pilgrimage centre for the Hindus, Allahabad has played an important role in shaping the destiny of modern India. Formerly known as Prayag, the city finds mention in Indian scriptures, such as the Vedas and the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Allahabad History

Mughal Emperor Akbar renamed this city as Illahabas in 1575 and over a period of time it came to be known as Allahabad. Akbar realised its importance as a waterway landmark in North India and built a magnificent fort on the banks of the holy Sangam.

Centuries later, Allahabad once again rose to prominence during India’s struggle for Independence from the British Rule. It is here in Allahabad that the first Indian National Congress was born in 1885 and Mahatma Gandhi began his non-violence movement in 1920s.

During the British period, Allahabad became the headquarters of North Western Provinces. This particular era finds reflection in the well-preserved Muir College and the All Saints Cathedral.

Allahabad As A Pilgrimage Centre

However, Allahabad is today well known and revered for being a major pilgrimage centre for the Hindus. Mythology has it that Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe’ chose Allahabad for Prakrishta Yajna. He also foresaw the sanctity of the place and accordingly named it Tirth Raj or the king of all pilgrimage places.

Allahabad is home to the Sangam or the confluence of the three holy rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. The sangam, or the confluence, is the focus point of several religious ceremonies and festivals including the Maha Kumbh, which is the largest gathering on earth, with people from India and across the globe converging during the auspicious period for a sacred dip in the rivers.

Kumbh Mela In Allahabad

The Maha Kumbh takes place every twelve years and the one held in 2001, attracted more than 40 million people on the main bathing day, breaking all records for biggest human gatherings ever.

Apart from the Maha Kumbh, Ardh Kumbh is also held after every six years. An annual Magh Mela is also held at the Sangam areas in the month of January, when people braving the bone-chilling cold take a dip in the holy waters to absolve their sins. Allahabad tourism sees a boost during the Kumbh.

Over the period Allahabad has played an important role in defining the religious, cultural and historical ethos of India and has several famous people and scholars to its credit including Mahadevi Verma, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Murli Manohar Joshi. No doubt Allahabad tourism has shades of religion, culture and history.

Tourist Places In And Around Allahabad

Allahabad tourism has lots to offer a discerning tourist. Tourist places in Allahabad include temples, forts, universities, etc. Being a major pilgrimage centre, Allahabad is home to several famous temples including Patalpuri Temple, Hanuman Temple, Bade Hanumanji Temple, Shivkoti Mahadev Temple, Alopi Devi Temple, Kalyani Devi Temple, Mankameshwar Temple, Nagvasuki Temple and Beni Madhav Temple.

Visit Anand Bhawan, the ancestral home of Jawaharlal Nehru, which served as the headquarters for political leaders during India’s freedom movement. The city also has several relics from the British and Mughal era including the Allahabad Fort, Minto Park, Alfred Park, one of the largest green spaces in the city, the Thornhill Mayne Memorial and Khusro Bagh, a walled Mughal garden.

Allahabad was also one of India’s leading centres for learning. The Allahabad University is one of the oldest English language universities in India. The university was initiated by Sir William Muir and the city also has a college, Muir College, named after him. Ewing Christian College is another prestigious centre of learning. The city also has the Allahabad Public Library

Allahabad is home to the Jawahar Planetarium where you can view the solar system and the stars. Also worth a mention is the Allahabad High Court, which was one of the first high courts to be established in India.

Best Time To Visit Allahabad

The best time to visit is from November to March. The temperature during the rest of the months is hot and dry. However, being an important pilgrimage centre, Allahabad attracts a lot of visitor traffic during religious festivals.

How To Reach Allahabad

Travellers planning a trip to Allahabad can reach the destination via air, rail and road.

Allahabad is Famous for

Allahabad Weather

Best Season / Best Time to Visit Allahabad

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How to Reach Allahabad

  • By Road
    Allahabad is served by National Highways 2 and 27. Several buses ply to and from nearby towns and cities.
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  • By Train
    Allahabad is well connected by rail to major routes such as Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. The city has four major railway stations, Daragang, Prayag, Rambagh and Allahabad Junction. Another junction, Prayag Ghat is pressed into service during major religious festivals to deal with the pilgrim traffic.
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  • By Air
    If you are from abroad, the nearest airport is New Delhi airport. From here you can take one of the several connecting Duranto Express trains from Delhi to Allahabad including Kolkata Rajdhani express, Prayag Raj Express, and Duranto Express. The Allahabad airport is also called Bamrauli Field. However, this is essentially a military base which receives one commercial flight run of Air India per day from Delhi to Allahabad via Kanpur. It is far easier to fly in to Varanasi or Lucknow and then take a bus or train to the city.
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