Prayagraj is situated at the converging point of Ganga, Jamuna and Sarswati which is a main religious place for the Hindus. At the interval of every 12 years, the famous ‘Kumbh Mela’ is held here and the ‘Ardh Kumbh Mela’ is held at an interval of efery 6 years. At these occasions, devoteesfrom across globe throng troting the place to take the holy dip into the ‘Sangam’ (union) to accrue ‘Punya (saintly) benefits’.
At a little distances in the west from the ‘Sangam’ (flowing together point), there are ‘Ghritkrytya’, and ‘Madhukritya’ pilgrimage at the banks of Jamuna River. It is said, Brahma Ji had brought into open the fire pits for the sactificial worship-) for performing his yagna. Further aheadwards from these places is the ‘Niranjan Tirth’. The word Prayag is the combination of two words ‘Pra’+ ‘Yag’. The word ‘Pra’ means huge and the word ‘Yag’ means Yagya.
To sum up, since ancient times long, the religious yagna proceeding have been coming to be performed. It is said when king Yudhishthir heard of the arrival of the ‘Kalyug’, he asked the saint Markandeya, “how it would be possible for the humans to rescue themselves from the loss of religion, mercy and truth due to the arrival of the Kalyug?” The Muniraj afterwards replied, “Under such a scenario, touring around the pilgrim places would the best way out of these quandaries”. Prayagraj has been indicated as the highest among the pilgrim places. He told when during the course of the mega catastrophe, all the religion and Vedas would disappear, mere ‘akshayabat’ would be left out in form of the whole origin.
Religious importance of Prayagraj
The importance of Prayagraj was revealed to the shaunakadic Rishies by Lord Shiva Himself. The Lord had thundered thus, “The result of bathing in the ‘Sangam’ during the sun eclipse will equal to the 100 times over bathing in the Ganges Emphasising the importance of Prayagraj, Sheshnag Ji had said thus, “ As to how many number of ‘Tirthas’ in Prayag are there cannot be counted”. Such is the assumption of religiosity that that the persons accrue as many times over the benefits of having performed the‘ Ashwamegh Yagna’ without actually performing them as many steps does he take in Prayagraj taking with the reverence or ‘Tirthatan’ filled in his mind.
It is said when the demons and Gods together had done the churning of the sea, the Mandarachal mountain was made the dasher (churner), Vasuki named serpent ( the king of serpents) was used as the rope to churn the seas, God Vishnu had sat at the base of the Mandarachal mountain in form of a turtle. 14 jewels and gems were recovered from the churning of the sea. The 14nth ratna was the pitcher of the nectar (Amrit). There started a war of sort between Gods and demons for drinking the nectar. Some drops of the nectar had dropped down on Prayagraj, Haridwar, and Nasik and Ujjain during the course of the war and the ‘Kumbhs’ of sun, moon, Saturn and ‘Vrihaspati’ were thus saved from getting broken up. Hence when these four Zodiacs meet together i.e., after a lapse 12 years, Kumbh Mela’ is held on all these four places. It is said a person has no fears against the ‘Yamraja’ (the God of death’ when he takes the holy dips into the ‘Sangam’ during the ‘Kumbf Mela’ period.
Historical importance of Prayagraj
Xuanzang, who was a famous Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar and traveler, had toured Prayagraj 634 century. King Hashvardhana (590-647 C) used to organise ‘Mahamoksha Parishad’ after every 5 years and used to donate much on this occasion. Embracing death under the Sangam’ waters find mentions in books during the period. There was this assumption that breathing last in the ‘Sangam’ water leads to rebirths in heaven. The Mogul emperor king Akbar built fort here and changed its name from Prayagraj to ‘Allah-Abad’ which later on changed to ‘Allahabad’. It wa he, who had put in the ‘Ashoka Astambh’ of Kaushambi in to the fort for its safetyLater on, the Marathas defeated the Pathans and captured Allahabad. The british rule came in 1801. In lieu of surrendering, the Nawabs of Ayodhya handed over Allahabad as gift to the British. During the British rule, Allahabad remained the capital of the united province.
Prayagraj- central place of independence movement
The name of Allahabad had hogged the headline during the independence struggle. The big lieutenants of the freedom movement operated from here prominent among them being personalities Moti Lal Nehru, Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya, Purushottam Das TandonLal Bahadur Shastri, , Chandra shekhar Azad including other freedom fighters.
Anand Bhawan located in Allahabad between the University and the Bhardwaj Ashram is a magnificent historic building. This building was the Head Quarter of the freedom fighters during the freedom movement. This building was bought by Moti Lal Nehru in 1899 at a cost of 20,000 rupees.
Viewable spots in Allahabad
- Jawahar Planotiruim is located in the Anand Bhawan premises which is worth visiting. In it are shown photos and films based on stars and comets.
- Then there is the temple of ‘Nagraj Vasuki’ situated in Daragunj at the banks of River Ganges which was used as the dasher during the churning of the sea. A huge fair is held every year here during the time of ‘Vasant Panchami’.
- Just near Daragunj is located the ‘Lalitadevi’ ( Alopidevi) Temple which is a very famous sacred seat of religion. Fair is held here on every Monday and Friday.
- Then there is the Chandra Shekhar Azad Parkwhich is the most widely develpoed beautiful Park of Allahabad which was formerly known by the name of Alfred Park. Chandra Shekhar Azad had shot himself after being surrounded by the British here at this place. His statue at the entrance of this park is worth viewing.
- There is the popular Hanuman Temple located at the ‘Sangam which is worth seeing.
- Other viewable places of importance are University, University temple, fort, museum, High Court, children park, Khusaru bagh, Cathedral Church, Botanical garden etc.
How to go?
- Air route:
There is no Air Service available for Allahabad. Its nearest Air Port is in Varanasi which is 147 km away from here.
- Rail route:
Allahabad is connected with all main routes of the nation. Rail service from here is available for Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Luchnow etc.
- Road route:
Allahabad is connected with the NH number 2 and 27 from where Agra is at a distance of 435 km, Delhi- 643 km, Mumbai-1444 km and Kolkata- 799 km.
- Local transport:
There are the arrangements for local movement in place of auto rikshaws, bagghies, taxies and cycles.
Where to stay?
- Hotel Kanhaiya Shyam (4 Star), stretchi road, civil lines, phc-2560123,32
- Hotel Grand Continental (3 Star), Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel Marg, Civil Lines, phc- 2605888, 2605999
- Hotel Kohinoor, 10, Nerula Road, phc-2656323, 2655501
- Hotel Allahabad Regency, 16, takshat Marg, Allahabad, phc-(0532) 2601519,
- Hotel Samrat, 49, A/25, AMG Marg, Civil Lines , Allahabad, phc-(0532) 2561120-7,
- Hotel Yatrik, 33, Sardar Patel Marg, Civil Lines, Allahabad, phc- (0532) 2601714.
There are additional stations besides the Allahabad station such as Prayag, Daragunj, Naini, Rambaugh, Subedar Gunj etc which operate all the trains coming in from the entire country. There are dharamshalas, lodges etc available at Prayagraj for the stay of the devotees and the tourists of all budget sizes.
|Author: Ramachandran Pattabiraman 16 Feb 2012 Member Level: Gold Points : 1|
|Ashish, a good but descriptive guidance. It tempts one to make immediate trip to there. One small correction,as for as my knowledge,the name of Allahabad is as 'Allah Abad' which means established by Allah. Further the city 'Allahabad' reveals the Hindu Muslim Unity as the city is crowded by Hindus which is formed by a Muslim Great King (He is a king who patronized Hindus well during his ruling).|
|Author: Ashish Kumar 16 Feb 2012 Member Level: Diamond Points : 0|
|I have corrected accordingly Ramchandran Ji as you have suggested.Thank you!|
|Author: K Mohan 03 Jun 2013 Member Level: Platinum Points : 4|
|Two years back I had been to Allahabad and had the chance to have seven dips in the Triveni Sangamam where in three rivers confluence. This is really great achievement for any Hindu who has the chance to bathe at the Triveni Sangam. I really enjoyed the boating which takes us to the bathing spot amid seaguls and other birds which are seeking grains and other offerings from the pilgrims. The atmosphere is serene and I could see young and old with children having gala time bathing for hours in that confluence of great rivers.|