Allahabad is among the largest cities in Uttar Pradesh. Hindu mythology
has it that for the Prakrishta Yaina, Lord Brahma, the creator God
of the Trinity, chose a land on earth, on which the three rivers
would flow in to a quiet confluence. Brahma also referred to it
as 'Tirth Raj' or the 'king of all pilgrimage centres. Recorded
evidence also exists in the revered scriptures the Vedas
and the grand epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, as also in
the Puranas of this holy place formerly called Prayag. Allahabad
stands at the confluence of two of Indias holiest rivers,
the Ganga and the Yamuna. Sangam, as the confluence is called, is
the venue of many sacred fairs and rituals, and attracts thousands
of pilgrims throughout the year. This number swells to millions
during the world-famous Kumbh Mela. A third mythical Saraswati river,
believed to flow underground towards the Sangam, gives the confluence
its other name 'Triveni'.
7 km from Civil Lines, overlooked by the eastern ramparts of the
fort, wide flood plains and muddy banks protrude towards the sacred
Sangam. At the point at which the brown Ganges meets the Greenish
Yamuna, pandas (priests) perch on small platforms to perform puja
and assist the devout in their ritual ablutions in the shallow waters.
Beaches and ghats are littered with the shorn hair of pilgrims who
come to offer pind for their deceased parents.
Boats to the Sangam, used by pilgrims and tourists alike, can be
rented at the ghat immediately east of the fort, for the recommended
government rate of Rs 12 per head. However, most pilgrims pay around
Rs 36 and you can be charged as much as Rs 150. Official prices
for a whole boat are between Rs 100 and Rs 120 but can soar to more
than Rs 250 during peak seasons. On the way to the Sangam, high-pressure
aquatic salesmen loom up on the placid waters selling offerings
such as coconuts for pilgrims to discard at the confluence. Once
abandoned, the offerings are fished up and sold on to other pilgrims
a blatant if efficient form of recycling.
The sacred Sangam is the confluence of three of the holiest rivers
in Hindu mythology Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.
At the Sangam, the waters of the Ganges and the Yamuna can be distinctly
seen to merge into one. It is during the Kumbh/Ardh Kumbh that the
Sangam truly comes alive
attracting the devout from all across
The holy Sangam is the site for Annual Magha Mela/Ardh Kumbh/Kumbh
Mela. Boats are available for visitors.
Hindus traditionally regard river confluences as auspicious places,
more so the the Sangam at Allahabad, where the Yamuna and the Ganges
meet the River of Enlightenment, the mythical Saraswati. According
to legend, Vishnu was carrying a kumbh (pot) of amrita (nectar),
when a scuffle broke out between the gods, and four drops were spilled.
They fell to earth at the four tirthas of Prayag, Haridwar, Nasik
and Ujjain (tirtha means "ford of a river", a place where
the devout can cross from this finite world into divine celestial
realms. The event is commemorated every three years by the Kumbh
Mela, held at each tirtha in turn; the Sangam is known as Tirtharaja,
the "King of Tirthas", and its Mela, once every twelve
years, is the greatest and holiest of all.
The Maha Kumbh Mela - the "Great" Kumbh Mela - is the
largest religious fair in India, attended by literally millions
of rejoicing the vast floodplains and river banks adjacent to the
confluence are overrun by pilgrims, tents, organized in almost military
fashion by the government, the local authorities and the police.
The mela is especially renowned for the presence of an extraordinary
array of religious ascetics - sadhus and mahants - enticed from
remote hideaways in forests, mountains and caves. Once astrologers
have determined the propitious bathing time or Kumbhayog, the first
to hit the water are legions of Naga Sadhus or Naga Babas, the ferocious-looking
members of the "snake sect" who cover their naked bodies
with ash, and wear hair in long dreadlocks. The sadhus, who see
themselves as guardians of the faith, approach the confluence at
the appointed time with all the pomp and bravado of a charging army.
The next Maha Kumbh Mela is due to take place in 2001.
The massive fort built by emperor Akbar in 1583 A.D., the fort stands
on the banks of the Yamuna near the confluence site. In its prime,
the fort was unrivalled for its design, construction and craftsmanship.
This huge, majestic fort has three magnificent galleries flanked
by high towers. At present is used by the army and only a limited
area is open to visitors.The magnificent outer wall is intact and
rises above the water'edge. Visitors are allowed to see the
Ashokan Pillar and Saraswati Kup, a well, said to be the source
of the Saraswati river and Jodhabai Palace. The Patalpur temple
is also here. So is the much revered Akshaya Vat or immortal Banyan
Within this underground temple, inside the fort, lies the Akshaya
Vat or the immortal tree. Believed to have been visited by
Lord Rama, the temple was also seen by the famous Chinese traveller
and writer Hiuen Tsang during his visit to this place.
This gigantic Ashoka pillar, of polished sandstone stands 10.6 meters
high, dating back to 232 B.C. The pillar has several edicts and
a Persian inscription of Emperor Jahangir inscripted on it, commemorating
his accession to the throne.
The immortal tree within the Patalauri temple, has found mention
in the description of several ancient scriptures, writers and historians.
The tree stands in a deep niche above an underground shaft, which
is said to lead to Triveni.
Situated at around 62 km from Allahabad. It is a place traditionally
associated with the Mahabharata, the city was also once a great
Buddhist centre. Lord Buddha is believed to have visited Kaushambi
twice to deliver discourses. The ruins of an ancient fort bear witness
to the antiquity of the place. There are also remains of an monastery.
69 km. On the banks of Ganga, this provincial capital of the Mughals
has many ruins.Sheetla Mata Mandir and Kaleshwar Mahadevji temple
are famous temples of Kara.
The nearest airports are Varanasi (120 Kms from Allahabad) and Lucknow
(200 Kms from Allahabad).
Allahabad is an important rail junction. Trains from all metros
and major cities cross Allahabad. Allahabad is well connected by
trains with all major cities, viz. Calcutta, Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow
Allahabad Station, Ph : 131, 1331
Allahabad city (Rambagh station), Ph : 0532-2606878
Prayag Station, Ph : 0532-2609131
Allahabad, on National Highways 2 and 27, is connected to all parts
of the country by good motorable all-weather roads. State of U.P.
(UPSRTC) runs buses(coaches) from all major cities in U.P. to Allahabad.
Travel agencies operating in all major cities can provide cars on
rentals with chauffeur at reasonable cost.
UPSRTC Bus Stand, Civil Lines, Allahabad.
Ph : 0532-2601257
UPSRTC Bus Stand, Leader Road, Allahabad.
Ph : 0532-2602114
UPSRTC Bus Stand, Zero Road, Allahabad.
Ph : 0532-2400192
Summer:- Max 46.6, Min 27.2
Winter- Max 25.6, Min 10.5
Languages Spoken: Hindi, Urdu,
Best Season: October to March.
General Information & Accomdation info on Allahabad city of
Uttar Pradesh - India