|Allahabad, sacred city of Hinduism
was formerly called 'Prayag' in commemoration of a sacrifice done by Lord
Brahma. It is best known as host to the mind-boggling number of Kumbh
pilgrims who visit this endearing city every 12 years. According to Hindu
mythology for the 'Prakrishta Yagna' Lord Brahma chose a piece of land on
the earth on the confluence of the three rivers - the Ganga, the Yamuna, and
the mytical Sarswati. would merge into a confluence. The land being
surrounded by these 3 rivers would serve as the prime and central altar and
came to be known as 'Prayag' today known as Allahabad.
most sacred spot in Allahabad is Triveni Sangam, the confluence of three of
the holiest rivers of the Hindu mythology, the holy Ganga, Yamuna and the
mythical Saraswati. Devout Hindus from all over India come to this sacred
pilgrimage point to offer prayers and take a dip in the holy waters. It is
believed that a holy dip taken at the Sangam washes away all sins.
The Prakrista Yajna was performed here by Lord Brahma. That is how it
received its ancient name, Prayag. Allahabad is also called Tirtha-Raja,
king of all holy places. It is said that Lord Rama visited Allahabad when He
was in exile.
Allahabad is one of the oldest cities in India. It is located 135 km west
of Varanasi, at the confluence of India's two most important rivers-the
Yamuna and Ganges. It is 585 km southeast of Delhi and 160 km south of
Ayodhya. The main spiritual reason for coming here is to take bath in the
Sangam, to confluence (where rivers meet), of the Yamuna, Ganges, and the
underground Saraswati Rivers. It is one of the major pilgrimage sites in all
Pilgriamage Attraction of Allahabad
Kumbha -mela is held here every 12 years. It also takes place in
three other holy places in India every 12 years-Haridwar, Ujjain and
Nasik. The Kumbha-mela in Prayag (Allahabad) is considered
especially auspicious. It draws about 15 million people and is the
largest attended event in the world. This is a very interesting
event.There are several especially auspicious bathing days. A huge
temporary city is created for the millions of pilgrims that arrive
for the most auspicious bathing days.
Every 6 years there is an Ardha-mela (half mela), which draws about
7 million people. Each year there is a regular Mela during the month
of Magha, January-February, which draws one or two million people.
The next Kumbha-mela is January, 2001. One of the most auspicious
bathing days is Amavasya, the new moon day.
Kumbha-mela is like a "Yogi Convention", where yogis,
sadhus(saints), holy people, and pilgrims come from all over India.
Many sadhus come from various holy places, the most remote forests,
and mountain caves in the Himalayas. The most famous are the Naga
Babas, Siva worshipers who are completely naked. They cover their
bodies only with ash and wear their hair in dreadlocks.
On the most auspicious bathing days there is a big parade, and the
bathing order is very strictly observed. Not only are there
especially auspicious days, but there are especially auspicious
times of the day to bathe, and people are willing to die to bathe at
the most auspicious time. The first to enter the water are the Naga
Babas, who arrive dancing with enthusiasm. Then each different
religious group enters the water in a prearranged order.
- Holy Ganga
The holiest of all the rivers, Ganga or the Ganges is a perennial
river, which is held in high regard by the Hindus. The Ganga river
has an exalted position in the Hindu ethos.
The Gangotri Glacier, a vast expanse of ice five miles by fifteen,
at the foothills of the Himalayas (14000 ft) in north Uttar Pradesh
is the source of Bhagirathi, which joins with Alaknanda (origins
nearby), to form Ganga at the craggy, canyon-carved town of
- Sangam Bath
is where the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati meet. This place is
considered to be the most important holy bathing place in India. The
muddy-colored Ganges in shallower and more rapid. The Yamuna is
bluer and deeper. The most auspicious time to bathe in the Sangam is
during Kumbha -mela. It is also especially auspicious to bathe here
during the month Magh (January-February).
- Hanuman Temple
Hanuman is in a reclining posture, a few feet below the ground,
instead of his usual standing posture. It is said that every year
the Ganges floods until it touches the sleeping Hanuman's feet and
then it starts receding.
This temple is located by the Sangam side of the Fort and is busy
small temple open to non-Hindus. There are nice carvings on the
nearby Sri Adhi Shankara Temple, which has a Sri Tirupati Balaji
- Patalpuri Temple (Undying Tree)
It is located through a small doorway, in the wall of the fort, on
the way to the boats that go to the Sangam. It is an underground
temple with many different deities carved in stone. The Akshayavata
Tree is said to never die, even when the entire world is destroyed.
It is located in the underground temple. The tree is on a deep
niche, above an underground hole that is said to lead to the
- Bharadwaja Ashram
This ashram is mentioned in the Ramayana. Allahabad University now
occupies the place where the ashram of Bharadwaja Rishi and his
10,000 disciples is said to have been located. There are the temples
of Bharadwajeswara Mahadeva, Rishi Bharadwaja, and Kali here. It is
said that Lord Rama and Sita visited this place when they began
Their 14-year exile.
- Sri Rupa Gaudiya Math
There is a Gaudiya Math temple, the Sri Rupa Gaudiya Math, on South
Mallaca Street, in the Madhavapur area. This temple is by the Ganges
River on the way to the Sangam from downtown. Srila Prabhupada took
initiation here from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Maharaja.
At Ramchaura-Shringverpur(40 km.), on the bank of the Ganges, there is a
platform called Ram Chabutara, which marks the spot where Lord Rama is
supposed to have stayed before going to the forest in exile. It is said that
before Lord Rama corssed the Ganges here, the boatman washed His feet. There
are also temples dedicated to Panchmukhi (five-faced) Hanuman and Shring
Rishi. Lakshagriha (45km) is said to be the place where the house of lac of
the Pandavas was located. A big mound marks this spot.
- 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.
The half Kumbh, this festival is held once every six years, on the
banks of the Sangam.
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
How to Get
- 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
- By Road
Allahabad, on National Highway 2 and 27, is connected to the rest
of the country by good, motorable all-weather roads.
: 12 Days / 11 Nights
: Haridwar - Syana Chatti - Yamunotri - Uttarkashi - Gangotri - Rudraprayag - Badrinath
to Vaishno Devi & Other Shrines
: 6 Days
: Delhi, Jammu, Katra, Darshini Darwaja,
Banganga Temple & Bridge CharanPaduka Temple, Adikumari,
Hathimatha Ascent & Holy mother Shrine
: 15 Days / 14 Nights
: Delhi - Haridwar - Yamunotri -
Uttarkashi - Gangotri - Rudraprayag - Kedarnath - Badrinath -