Tirth Raj Prayag – Allahabad

Allahabad, one of the sacred pilgrimage centres of India, not only witnesses a confluence of holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati (mythical) but also that of culture, history and religion. It is one of the largest cities of Uttar Pradesh, located in the eastern part of the State. It finds it’s name among the list of ancient cities of the world; also finding it in the holy scriptures of the Hindus-the Vedas and the Purans, then being named as Prayag or TirthRaj (king of the tirths i.e. pilgrimage centres) Prayag. The name also finds mention in the grand epics-the Ramayana and the Mahabharat. It was renamed “ILLAHABAS” by Akbar back in 1575 who used it as a strategic location for it’s waterway landmark which connected the area to Bengal through river Ganga. He also built a grand fort on the bank of river Yamuna, which is now renamed as Allahabad Fort. It is worth visiting especially for History lovers.

Allahabad also finds a mention in the Hindu Mythology. According to Hindu Mythology, the Gods considered the spot (Prayag) as auspicious and so the pot (Kumbh), containing the nectar of immortality (amrit) which was churned out of the Ocean of Milk was placed at Prayag. From that day onwards, Maha Kumbh Mela is being organised every 12 years at Prayag (Allahabad).

Maha Kumbh Mela is one of the largest religious fair in the world, attended by millions of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. It is held on such a large scale that Allahabad becomes one of the most populous cities in the world. The environment is totally ethereal during the Maha Kumbh. An annual magh mela is also held in the month of January every year. In addition to this, Ardh Kumbh Mela (semi-kumbh) is also held once every 6 years. Thus, January is the ideal month to visit Allahabad.

Kumbh Mela Allahabad
Pilgrims Bathing In Ganges, Maha Kumbh Mela, Allahabad | Credits: Ayse Topbas

Also read: January 2014 Indian Festivals and Events you should attend

Historical Places to visit in Allahabad:

1) Allahabad Fort- It was built by Mughal emperor Akbar on the bank of river Yamuna to utilize the strategic location and thereby use the waterway which connected the Northern plains with Bengal.

2) Company Garden- Also known as Chandra Shekhar Azad or Alfred Park (known during British times), this is the place where freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad laid down his life fighting the Britishers.When he was left with a single bullet left in his pistol, he shot himself refusing to surrender himself to the British policemen. The pistol with which he shot himself before killing many British policemen, now forms a place in the Allahabad Museum.

The Alfred park was later renamed to Chandra Shekhar Azad Park in his memory.The park is spread over a vast area of greenery,encircling the Allahabad Museum, Victoria Memorial and the Public library.

3) Swaraj Bhawan-The ancestral home of the Nehru clan, the Swaraj Bhawan has a lot of historical importance. The house has witnessed several important and historical meetings and events which mark our Indian freedom struggle. Former Indian Prime minster late Smt. Indira Gandhi was born in Swaraj Bhawan. It also served as Congress Headquarters for a few years.

4) Anand Bhawan- Located besides Swaraj Bhawan, Anand Bhawan was built by the first Prime Minister of India Pt. Jawahar lal Nehru.Indira Gandhi was married in Anand Bhawan. Both the Swaraj Bhawan and the Anand Bhawan now serve as museums.

5) Minto Park- It is located on the bank of river Yamuna. It finds an important place in the Indian History as the control over India was passed from the British East India Company to the British Crown by the Government of India Act 1858 also known as “Queen’s Proclamation”. The event took place on the 1st November,1858 at the Minto Park. The park also houses a replica of the famous Ashokan Pillar.

Minto Park Allahabad
Ashokan Pillar at Minto Park

6) Khusro Bagh- Khusrau was the elder son of Mughal emperor Jahangir, who died in 1615. The tomb was completed 7 years later and has Persian inscriptions printed on the walls.Entrance is made through the old gateway which is about 62 feet high.

Allahabad, therefore, is a must visit place for History lovers. Each part of the city has a rich and compelling presence of Indian history and culture which takes us to to a spectacular, titillating and ethereal level altogether. It would be fecund enough to get a chance to talk to the erudite Professors of History Department at the Allahabad University.

Although I wanted to mention the other grand places to visit at Allahabad but all that would be in my upcoming articles as mentioning it here would be digressing from the topic.

The people of Allahabad are fun-loving and full of fervor for the visitors in the city. Go visit Allahabad and Happy travelling!!

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