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Allahabad

Allahabad, the Sangam city in southern Uttar Pradesh is situated at the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers. Allahabad stands on the site of ancient Prayag, a holy city that was comparable in fame to Varanasi (Benares) and Haridwar. This historically famous city was a centre of the Indian Independence movement and the home of the Nehru family. The city being an important cantonment during the British Raj has some beautiful remnants of colonial architecture. In the early 20th century, Allahabad University was the foremost center of learning in the country. Today Allahabad is a rapidly growing commercial and administrative city in Uttar Pradesh. Primarily an administrative and educational centre, Allahabad has some industry (food processing and manufacturing) and is a market place for agricultural products. The University of Allahabad (1887) has a number of affiliated colleges, and there is an aviation training centre. The city has several museums. Allahabad has a Government House dating from the British period, Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals, and the Jami' Masjid, or Great Mosque. The High Court for Uttar Pradesh is located in this town apart from several important government offices including the High School and Intermediate Board, the biggest examination body of the world. The surrounding area lies entirely on the Ganges Plain. Once known to be famous for its guava production, the city has a relaxed life style. The climate of Allahabad is one of the extreme types with annual range of temperature differing around 12°C. The best time to visit Allahabad is from the month of November to February.

Kumbh Mela


The 'Maha Kumbh Mela' believed to be one of the largest religious gathering in the world, is held every 12 years at the confluence of the holy rivers attracting millions of Hindu devotees. Ardha Kumbh Mela is held every 6th year. The Magh Mela is the annual version of the Kumbh and Ardh kumbh mela which starts every year from Makar Sankranti in Jan. and ends at Maha Shivratri in Feb. 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 last Maha Kumbh Mela was in 2001.

Allahabad at a glance
Area 2,261 sq.km
Altitude 98 m above sea level
Population 49,21,313
STD Code 0532
Best Season November - March
State Uttar Pradesh
Some important road distances are :
Ayodhya 167 km
Bhopal 680 km
Chitrakoot 137 km
Mumbai 1444 km
Agra 433 km
Calcutta 799 km
Ahmedabad Kms. 1207 km
Hyderabad 1086 km
Delhi 643 km
Jaipur 673 km
Jhansi 375 km
Lucknow 204 km
Chennai 1790 km
Nagpur 618 km
Patna 368 km
Trivandrum 2413 km
Udaipur 956 km
Varanasi 125 km
Khajuraho 294 km
Lumbini 406 km

How to reach

By Air

There is no air link to Allahabad. Nearest Airports are Varanasi (147 km)and Lucknow (210 km).

By Train

Allahabad is an important rail junction. Trains from all metros and major cities cross Allahabad. The city has direct rail cnnection to Delhi, Calcutta, Patna, Gwalior, Meerut, Indore, Chennai, Jaipur, Varanasi, Mumbai, Guwahati, Dehradun.

By Road

Allahabad, on National Highways 2 and 27, is connected to all parts of the country by good roads.

Distance from Allahabad to :
Agra 433 km
Ahmedabad 207 km
Ayodhya 167 km
Bhopal 680 km
Calcutta 799 km
Chennai 1790 km
Chitrakoot 137 km
Delhi 643 km
Hyderabad 1086 km
Jaipur 673 km
Jhansi 375 km
Khajuraho 294 km
Mumbai 1444 km
Lucknow 204 km
Nagpur 618 km
Patna 368 km
Trivandrum 2413 km
Udaipur 956 km
Varanasi 125 km

Places of Interest

Sangam

The sacred 'Sangam' is the confluence of three of the holiest rivers in Hindu mythology Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical underground river of enlightenment, Saraswati. At the confluence, the muddy waters of the Ganges and the clear green water of the Yamuna can be distinctly seen to merge into one. Bathing at the Sangam is believed to be auspicious through out the year especially for 15 days in the month of Magh (mid-January to Mid-February) during 'Magh Mela' and longer during Maha Kumbh Mela held every 12 years. Astrologers calculate the holiest time to enter the water and draw up a 'Holy Dip Schedule'. Maha Kumbh Mela attracts millions of devout Hindus and a holy dip then is believed to cleanse the soul. An enormous temporary township springs up on the vacant land on the Allahabad side of the river. The holy Sangam is the site for most of the important fairs and festivals the year round.

Temples

Patalpuri Temple

Patalpuri temple is an underground temple inside the Allahabad fort. Believed to have been visited by Lord Rama, the temple was also seen by the famous Chinese traveler and writer Huan Tsang. The immortal banyan tree or 'Akshaya Vata' within the Patalauri temple, has found mention in the description of several ancient scriptures, writers and historians. The pilgrims used to throw themselves from this tree to achieve salvation.

Hanuman Mandir

This unique temple at the Sangam, is the only one in North India, where the idol of Lord Hanumana is seen in a reclining posture. This temple is unique in North India, for its supine image of Hanumana. When the Ganga is in spate, this temple gets submerged.

Nag Basuki Temple

This temple located on the banks of the Ganga to the north of the railway bridge is mentioned in the 'Puranas'

Mankameshwar Temple

Situated near Saraswati Ghat, on the banks of Yamuna, this is one of the famous Shiva temples of Allahabad.

Shankar Viman Mandap

130 ft. high with four floors, it has the idols of Kumaril Bhatt, Jagatguru Shankaracharya, Kamakshai Devi (with 51 shaktipeethas around), Triputi Balaji(with 108 Vishnus around), Yogashastra Sahastrayoga Linga (with 108 Shivas around).

Bharadwaj Ashram

Associated with Rishi Bharadwaj, it is believed that Lord Ram visited this Ashram during his exile.

Beni Madhav Temple

It is an old Laxmi Narain temple in Daraganj locality. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is believed to have paid his homage here.

Churches All Saints' Cathedral

This magnificent late 19th century gothic style cathedral is located in Canning town Opposite the Junction Railway Station. Designed in 1870 by Sir William Emerson, who also designed the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta, the cathedral is the finest of Allahabad's churches. It is a remarkable example of colonial architecture. The cathedral has some exceptional stained glass panels and the marble altar has intricate inlay work.

Holy Trinity Church

The early 19th century church located on Jawaharlal Nehru Marg is the first church of Allahabad. The church was consecrated by Bishop David Wilson, on 19th February 1841. It contains memorials from the Gwalior campaign(1843) and the mutiny(1857).

Jamuna Church

Built in 1847 by John Freeman, one of the first American Presbyterian missionaries who arrived in Allahabad this Church is yet another example of colonial architectural styles prevalent in the first quarter of the 19th century.

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Cathedral

This Italian style Roman Catholic Church build in 1879 is located west of Chandra Sekhar Azad Park between Edmondstone Road and Thornhill Road.

Other places of Religious importance : Kalyani Devi Temple

Alopi Devi Temple

Hanumat Niketan

Shivkoti

Nepali Temple

Nagvasuki Temple

Allahabad Fort

The massive majestic fort built by Emperor Akbar in 1583 A.D fort stands on the banks of the Yamuna near the confluence. The largest of Akbar's forts, it was matchless in its design and construction. Now used by the army, prior permission is needed for a visit except for a limited area open to visitors. The fort has massive walls and three gateways flanked by high towers. Inside the fort there is the Zenana (harem) and the 3rd century BC Ashoka pillar moved to the fort from Kausambi, 'Saraswati Koop'; a well, said to be the source of the Saraswati river, Patalpuri, the underground temple and the much-revered 'Akshaya Vata' or immortal Banyan tree within the temple. The Ashoka pillar standing 10.6 meters high has several edicts and a Persian inscription of Emperor Jahangir encrypted on it, commemorating his accession to the throne.

Khusrau Bagh

Khusrau Bagh located near the railway station, contains the tomb of Prince Khusrau son of the Mughal emperor Jehangir, who was jailed and executed after an unsuccessful rebellion and a plot to assassinate his father. The typical Mughal Garden enclosure is entered through an 18m high archway. Nearby is the tomb believed to be his sisters and the two storied tomb of his Rajput mother.

Allahabad Museum

Allahabad Museum located at Kamala Nehru Road inside Chandra Shekhar Azad Park, has 18 galleries containing a wide range of stone sculptures. The sculptures include 2nd BC pieces from Bharhut and Kausambi, 1st Century AD Kushana from Mathura, 4th-6th century Gupta and 11th century carvings from Khajuraho. The exhibit also has terracotta figurines from Kausambi, Rajasthani Miniatures, coins and paintings by Nicholas Roerich and artifacts donated by the Nehru family. It is open from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm except Mondays.

Anand Bhawan

Anand Bhavan was the former ancestral home of the Nehru family. Donated to the Indian government in 1970 by Indira Gandhi, it was turned into a museum. The exhibits in the two storied building seen through glass panels include personal items of Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru; the first Prime Minister of Independent India, Indira Gandhi (Prime Minister1966-77, 1980-84) and her sons Sanjay Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi (PrimeMinister1984-1989). One can see the room where Mahatma Gandhi used to stay during his visits, Jawarlal Nehru's room and study also. It is open from 9.30 am to 5 pm except Mondays. There is a Jawahar planetarium build in 1979 in the compound. It is Open from 11 am to 4 pm except Mondays

Swaraj Bhawan

Situated next to Anand Bhawan, Swaraj Bhavan was donated to the Nation by Moti Lal Nehru to be used as the headquarters of the Congress Committee. Late Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi was born here. It is open from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm except Monday's.

Muir Central College - University of Allahabad

Designed by William Emerson and opened in 1886, the college is a fine example of 'Indo-saracenic' architecture. It has a 200 feet tower made of pale-yellow sandstone with marble and mosaic floors. It was later established as the University of Allahabad, one of the most reputed Universities of India. The University has Kausambi Museum with various artifacts from Kausambi including pottery, Terracotta figurines, coins, beads and bangles.

Minto Park or Madan Mohan Malviya Park

Minto Park is located to the west of the fort near the Yamuna river. It was here that the East India Company officially handed over control of India to the British government in 1858. Lord Canning read out the declaration. There is a stone memorial with a four-lion symbol on top here.

Chandra Shekhar Azad Park

Earlier known as Alfred park, this extensive garden park has some fine colonial Buildings, including a public library. Later the park was renamed in honour of the freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad who died in an encounter with the imperialists. Within the park is the Allahabad Museum.

Other places of interest

Kalyani Devi Temple

Aliopi Devi Temple

Nepali Temple

Shiv Koti

Hanuman Niketan

St. Joseph's Cathedral

Archaeological Museum

Nehru Park

Saraswati Ghat Park

Children's park (Bal Udyan)

High Court

Places of Interest around Allahabad

Jhusi(Pratisthanpuri)

For people looking for mental peace and spiritual healing. A place of many Ashrams and Temples. Situated just 9 km from Allahabad, across the Ganga. Approachable by Taxis, Buses, Boats, etc.

Shringverpur

A famous kingdom of Nishadraj (King of Boatmen) situated 40 km from Allahabad. Excavations have revealed a temple of Shringi Rishi. On the banks of Ganga there's a platform `Ramchaura' - said to be the place where Lord Rama stayed overnight while going to the forest and his feet were washed by Nishadraj, before steering Rama across the Ganga in his Boat.

Tons River Aqueduct

A popular picnic spot situated around 43 km from Allahabad.

Upardaha Lake

One of the protected lakes in Uttar Pradesh, just 44 km away from Allahabad.

Kausambi

Kausambi earlier known as Kausam is located 63 km southwest of Allahabad on the way to Chitrakoot. This ancient Buddhist and Jain centre was the capital of the Vatsa king Udayana. Buddha has delivered several discourses in this historical city. Kausambi was first discovered by Cunningham and the coins and terracotta figurines which scattered here are now on display in the Allahabad Museum and the Kausambi Museum. Recent discoveries are made by G R Sharma of the University of Allahabad. The remains of an Ashoka pillar, a palace in ruins are of Archeological interest here. Another Ashokan pillar was removed to Allahabad fort by the Mughals. There is also a Digambar Jain temple here.

Bhita

Situated 18 km from Allahabad on the Yamuna river. Excavations here have revealed the remains of an ancient fortified city. There a Museum which exhibits stone and metal seals, coins and terracotta statues dating from Gupta and Mauryan periods.

Garhwa

Situated 50 km from Allahabad in Garhwa there is a walled enclosure surrounding a group of ruins of temples where several inscriptions dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva can be seen. To the west of the ruins of the fort, there is a big tank knwon as Garhwa Tal. Some of the sculptures of the Gupta period found here has been shifted to the State Museum in Lucknow.

Kara

Situated 69 km from Allahabad on the banks of Ganga, it is famous for the holy Temple of Kara Devi (Shitala Devi). Once the provincial capital of Mughals, its ruins extend to 3.5 km along Ganga. Kalehswar Mahadev Temple, Dargah of Khwaja Karak and Shivala Maharishi Ashram are the other attractions.

Chitrakoot

Chitrakoot 132km from Allahabad is a popular Hindu pilgrimage centre. Bathing ghats line the Mandakini river and there are over 30 temples in this town. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are believed to have taken their incarnations and Lord Ram has stayed here during his exile. There are many places of religious interest here- Kamadgiri, Ramghat, Janki Kund, Hanuman Dhara, Gupt Godavari, Sati Ansuiya Ashram are some of them.

Sita Marhi (72 km)

This sleepy village is believed to be where Sita lived during exile at the Sage Valmiki's Ashram. Her two sons, Lav and Kush, were born here and it was here that Sita is believed to have returned to her mother - the Earth.

Lakshagriha (45 km)

At present a big mound, it was originally believed to have been made to burn the Pandava brothers in the epic Mahabharat.

Important Places from Allahabad

Aindri Devi Temple

Arail (11 km)

Ayodhya (167 km)

Chitrakoot (137 km)

Durwasa Ashram

lmilien Devi Temple

Jhoonsi-Pratishthanpuri (9 km)

Vindhyachal (93 km)

Kaushambi (60 km)

Kara (69 km)

Padila Mahadev

Shringverpur (40 km)

Sitamarhi (72 km)

Sujavandev

Varanasi (125 km)