Pilgrimages

ALLAHABAD - UTTAR PRADESH

AllahabadAccording to Hindu mythology, for the 'Prakrishta Yagna', Lord Brahma, the creator - God of the Trinity , chose a piece of land on earth, on which the three rivers - the Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati - would flow into a quiet confluence. That land, blessed by the Gods, came to be called 'Prayag' or 'Allahabad', as it is known today. It is one of the most sacred pilgrimage centres of India.

From the realms of mythology and legends, the history of Allahabad, then moved through time to 1575 A.D., when Emperor Akbar founded a city, of lavish proportions, and named it Allahabad. The monarch realized its strategic importance, as a waterway landmark in North India, and also built a magnificent fort, on the banks of the holy 'sangam'. Allahabad, today, is an important city where history, culture and religion create a magical confluence .... much like the sacred rivers that caress this blessed land.

What to See


Sangam : The sacred Sangam is the confluence of three of the holiest rivers in Hindu mythology - Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. It is believed that it is at the Sangam, that a few drops of the nectar 'Amrit Bindu' fell .. making its waters truly magical. It is during the Kumbh Mela and the Ardh Kumbh that the Sangam truly comes alive .. attracting the devout from all across the country.

Allahabad 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.

Patalpuri Temple:
Within this underground temple, inside the fort, lies the Akshayavat - or the immortal tree.

Ashoka Pillar:
This gigantic Ashoka pillar, of polished sandstone, stands 10.6 m high, dating back to 232 B.C. The pillar has several edicts, and a Persian inscription of Emperor Jahangir inscribed on it, commemorating his accession to the throne.

Hanuman Temple: This unique temple at the Sangam, is the only one in North India, where the idol of Lord Hanuman, is to be seen in a reclining posture.

Mankameshwar Temple : Situated near Saraswati Ghat, on the banks of the Yamuna, this is one of the famous Shiv temples of Allahabad.

Anand Bhawan :
The erstwhile ancestral home of the Nehru family, the Bhawan has witnessed several epoch - creating events of the freedom struggle. The main building houses a museum, displaying the memorabilia of the Nehru family.

Jawahar Planetarium :
For a celestial trip of the scientific kind, visit the planetarium. It is an experience worth a lifetime. All Saints Cathedral Dedicated to the memory of people of all ages and places, who have kept their faith in the Almighty, this Cathedral is one of the finest cathedrals, in the country. Designed more than a century ago, by Sir William Emerson, the structure has some truly exceptional glass murals.

Khusru Bagh: This garden houses the tomb of Khusru, son of Salim and Shah Begum.

Festivals

Kumbh Mela:
One of the largest congregations of devout Hindus from all over the world, the Kumbh Mela is held once every 12 years, on the banks of the Sangam. A holy dip in the sacred waters, and offerings to the Sun-God, are believed to cleanse the soul.

Ardh Kumbh Mela: The half Kumbh, this festival is held once every six years, on the banks of the Sangam.

Dussehra:
Dussehra time in Allahabad is an experience, unrivalled by any other in the rest of northern India. During this period, in the evening and at night, beautifully decorated tableau are taken out from different localities, depicting various scenes from Indian mythology.

How to get there

By Air: The nearest airports are Varanasi, Kanpur and Lucknow.

By Rail: The city has direct rail connections with important cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Patna, Gwalior, Meerut, Chennai, Mumbai, Varanasi and Guwahati.

By Road: Allahabad, on National Highway 2 and 27, is connected to the rest of the country by good, motorable all-weather roads.


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