Originally known as Prayag, Allahabad is one of the major cities of Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Prayag is a Hindi word which means place of offerings. This name has come from a unique attraction of the city- Sangam. Sangam is the point of unison of three holy rivers of Hindus- Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Allahabad, being the second oldest city of India, also holds an important place in ancient Hindu scriptures and heritage.
Allahabad is also well known for being the city of Prime Ministers because seven out of the fourteen Prime Ministers India has had since independence belong to the city of Allahabad. In the present day, Allahabad is emerging as one of the fastest growing commercial and administrative cities of Uttar Pradesh.
Major tourist attractions
- Sangam – Also known as Triveni Sangam, this is the meeting point of three sacred rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati and is the most sacred place for Hindus. Besides, it is also the most important tourist attraction of Allahabad. This place is flocked by pilgrims from the entire country during the Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh Mela.
- Allahabad Fort – Situated on the northern banks of river Yamuna, this fort was built by Akbar in the year 1583. The dazzling design and architecture of the fort is its most important feature. The Fort is also famous for being house to the Ashoka Pillar. One part of the fort is open for visitors whereas the other part is used by the Army.
- Anand Bhawan – The building is famous for being the residence of India’s first Prime Minister. Now it has been converted into a museum with Nehru-Gandhi family’s memorabilia.
- Swaraj Bhawan – Situated near Anand Bhawan, Swaraj Bhawan is the birthplace of Smt. Indira Gandhi.
- Patalpuri Temple and Akshay Vat – Visiting this temple is a must for those who are on a pilgrim trip to Allahabad. The Patalpuri temple lies underground inside the Allahabad Fort. Legends have it that the temple was visited by Hindu’s Lord Rama and also the Chinese traveler Huan Tsang. The spirituality of this place is beyond words. Also located in the temple periphery is the Akshay Vat, which is a sacred tree and is considered to be immortal.
Other important places in Allahabad
- Hanuman Mandir
- Alfred Park
- Khusrau Bagh
- Minto Park
- Jawahar Planetarium
- University of Allahabad
- Allahabad Museum.
Festivals and Fairs
The major festival attraction of Allahabad is the Maha Kumbh Mela held every 12th year. This fair is the biggest religious fair for Hindus all over the world. Millions of devotees flood the city of Allahabad during this festival. The previous Kumbh Mela was held in the year 2013.
Besides the Maha Kumbh, the other most prominent fair of Allahabad is the Magh Mela or the Ardh Kumbh held every 6th year in the months of January and February. At this time, taking a holy dip at the Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati is considered to be very auspicious for Hindus.
Best time to visit
Summers in Allahabad are extremely hot and dry and last from the month of April to June. Whereas rainy season from the months to July till September becomes unpredictable owing the possibility of rise in water levels of river Ganga. So the best time to visit Allahabad is between October to March when the weather here is pleasant and tourists can enjoy their trip to the fullest.
How to Reach
Air – The Bamrauli airport is at a distance of 10km from Allahabd but presently only a few flights are available to and from this airport. However, Varanasi airport which is 150 km away from Allahabad run daily flights to and from all cities of rest of the country.
Rail – Allahabad Junction railway station is well connected with rest of the country by way of many super-fast and express trains.
Road – National Highway 2 and 27 link the city of Allahabad with all other parts of the country. State and private transport services are also available from all major towns and cities of northern India.