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Allahabad

Location: Allahabad is located at a distance of 121 kms from Varanasi and 87 kms from Mirzapur, in Uttar Pradesh.

How to Reach: Allahabad, being a major city, is very well connected by Air, Rail and Road. From Varanasi you can easily reach Allahabad by Train, Bus or Taxi. Even though there is an airport in Allahabad but there is no direct flight from Varanasi, the flights are only via other cities and readily available via New Delhi.

Highlights

Allahabad is an important city located at the union of the three holy rivers of Ganga, Saraswati and Yamuna. Allahabad is very famous as a holy city which is considered an important pilgrimage by Hindus. Allahabad is also well known for its rich cultural and religious heritage that it exhibits through its great glorious history that extends from Vedic era to the Indian freedom movement. Allahabad is an important tourist destination regarded as the second oldest pilgrimage centers of India having “Sangam” as its main attraction which is the merging point of three holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Allahabad is also home to many colleges and research institutions.
Allahabad hosts “Kumbh Mela”, regarded as the world’s largest gathering with over 100 million travellers taking a holy dip at Sangam. Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh Melas are held in Allahabad every twelve and six years respectively on the banks of the holy Sangam. Hindus believe that during Kumbh Mela the water of the River Ganga is converted to nectar and washes away all sins of the devotees who come to Allahabad and take bath in Ganga. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma performed 'Prakrishta Yagna' here and named the place as 'Tirth Raj,' which means the king of all pilgrimage sites. As per Hindu mythology, it is also believed that Lord Brahma, the Creator of the Universe had attended a sacrificial ritual in Prayag which existed during the Vedic period and has reference in the Veda. The name Prayag is still commonly used.
Allahabad is also known as “Prayag” meaning ‘Place of offering’. The name ‘Allahabad’ literally meaning ‘Garden of Allah’ was given by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1583. Allahabad ranks seventh most populous city in Uttar Pradesh, it is the largest commercial center and has second-highest per capita income in the state. Allahabad is also popular as the "city of Prime ministers" because after independence seven out of thirteen prime ministers of India belonged to Allahabad namely Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Gulzarilal Nanda, Vishwanath Pratap Singh and Chandra Shekhar. These Prime ministers were either born in Allahabad, were alumni of Allahabad University or were elected from a constituency in Allahabad.
Allahabad has an area of 63.07 square kilometers and houses many temples and palaces. Ganga and Yamuna River belt provides city's unique flora and fauna which is documented by Allahabad Museum, one of the four national museums in India. The most common birds found in the region are doves, peacocks, jungle fowl, black partridge, house sparrows, songbirds, blue jays, parakeets, quails, bulbuls and comb ducks. Other animals in the region include reptiles such as lizards, cobras, kraits, and crocodiles. During winters, large numbers of Siberian birds come to wetlands near Sangam.

History of Allahabad

Allahabad was originally known as Prayag and has references in Vedas. Allahabad has a prominent name in history as the city was under the rule of several empires including the Maurya, Gupta, Kushan, Kannauj and Mughal followed by British rule. Mughal ruler Akbar had built a magnificent fort here in view of city’s strategic position and renamed the city as Allahabad in 1583. In 19th century Allahabad became the nodal point of most of the activities of Indian National Congress and was also an important center for India's independence struggle starting from the Indian mutiny of 1857.

Place of Interest in Allahabad

Ganga Gallery

Ganga Gallery was established by National Academy of Science, India and the motive of this gallery is to make people aware for the conservation and restoration of the River Ganga by using a scientific approach in order to highlight the religious, culture, socio-economic and scientific aspects of the river.
Timing: 11 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 5 pm. Ganga Gallery is closed on Monday.
Contact: +91 532 2640224

Sangam

Sacred Sangam is the major tourist attraction in Allahabad as this is the position where the three rivers meet. Sangam is visited by thousands of tourists especially during Kumbh Mela which takes place once in twelve years. Sangam is believed to be one of the most sacred place of the Hindus. At Sangam you can see the merging of brown coloured River Ganga with the Green coloured River Yamuna, priests sitting on small platforms to perform various pujas and assist the devotees in their rituals in the shallow waters. The ghats are scattered with the shaved hair of pilgrims who come to offer pind for their deceased parents. Boats to reach Sangam are readily available for hire. The holy Sangam is also the site for Annual Magha Mela. Sangam offers an excellent view during the sunrise and the sunset.

Allahabad Fort

Allahabad Fort was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1583 at the northern banks of River Yamuna. Only a part of this majestic fort is opened for the visitor whereas the other part is used by the Indian Army. There are three magnificent galleries in this fort which are flanked by high towers on its side. One can get an excellent view of Allahabad fort from the river side.

Allahabad Museum

Allahabad Museum is an important tourist attraction which was inaugurated in 1947 and houses rare pieces of art, archaeological findings, historical exhibits, and terracotta artifacts. There are total eighteen galleries in the museum where one can see the paintings of Nicholas Roerich, terracotta figurines, Rajasthani miniatures, coins and stone sculptures from the second century BC.

Allahabad Planetarium

Allahabad Planetarium was built in 1979 close to Anand Bhavan to promote scientific thinking. There are daily five shows and each show takes the visitor to a celestial journey which features interesting and intriguing aspects related to space and astronomy.

Anand Bhavan

Anand Bhawan is a building established by Indian political leader Motilal Nehru in the nineteenth century and it is of great importance. This building is a tourist attraction because of the fact that the first Prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru resided here. This building has been transformed into a museum which houses the Nehru family's memorabilia. Old Anand Bhavan is also the birth place of late prime ministers of India, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

Swaraj Bhavan

Swaraj Bhavan is situated close to Anand Bhawan and served as the headquarters of the Congress Committee. Swaraj Bhavan was donated to the nation by Motilal Nehru, a freedom fighter and father of Jawaharlal Nehru, in year 1930. At present the Jawaharlal Nehru Trust is housed in this building. In past this building had served as the headquarters of the Congress Committee.

Ashoka Pillar

Ashoka Pillar was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar inside Allahabad Fort which is a polished sandstone pillar. Ashoka Pillar is 10.6 m high and has several edicts.

Khusro Bagh

Khusro Bagh is a major tourist attraction in Allahabad because this historic park houses the tomb of Prince Khusro, son of Emperor Jahangir who created this park in memory of his beloved son. Khusro was murdered by his brother Shah Jahan.

Patalpuri Temple

Patalpuri Temple is located inside the Allahabad Fort and lies underground. It is a holy place of the Hindus. The temple attracts lots of tourists and it is also said that it has been visited by the Chinese traveller Huan Tsang and Lord Rama himself. Akshaya Vat which is also referred as the Immortal Tree is located in the premises of Patalpuri Temple and it is considered sacred by the Hindus.

Hanuman Mandir

Hanuman Mandir of Allahabad attracts thousands of Hindus and famous for the idol of the Lord Hanuman in a reclined posture.

Alfred Park

Alfred Park is the largest park in Allahabad with a huge statue of George V and Victoria which stands in the center of the Alfred Park.

Other Places

There are many important pilgrimage and religious sites in Allahabad including Shankar Viman Mandapam, Alopi Devi temple with no deity and only a doli being worshipped here, Bhardwaj Ashram which is believed to be the place visited by Lord Ram and All Saints' Cathedral which is a 13th century Gothic style cathedral.