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Allahabad

Allahabad, also known as Prayag, is situated on an inland peninsula, surrounded by the rivers Ganga and Yamuna on three sides, with only one side connected to the mainland. This is significant in Hindu scriptures for it is situated at the confluence, known as Triveni Sangam, of the holy rivers. It is one of four sites of the Kumbh Mela, held once every 12 years. Legend has it that Lord Brahma chose Allahabad for the 'Prakishta Yagna', on which the three rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati, would flow in a quiet confluence and is the place where Lord Brahma offered his first sacrifice after creating the world. In 1583, the Mughal emperor, Akbar, gave it the name ‘Illahabad’ meaning ‘the place of god’ in Arabic and that became Allahabad in the English language.

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sabamonin/3601010641/

History: 

Allahabad is an ancient town, a fact illustrated by references in the Vedas (circa 1500 b.c.) to Prayag, where Brahma, the Hindu Creator of the Universe, supposedly attended a sacrificial ritual. Excavations have revealed Northern Black Polished Ware objects in Allahabad, further corroborating the conjecture that Allahabad existed as a town as early as 1100 b.c. Other objects unearthed in Allahabad indicate that the area was part of the Kushana Empire in the 1st century a.d.

In addition to the mythological past, Allahabad's history has a Mughal influence in recent times. In 1583, the Mughal emperor, Akbar, gave it the name ‘Illahabad’ meaning ‘the place of god’ in Arabic and that became Allahabad in the English language. The city of "Allah" became the provincial capital of the Moghuls. Briefly, Allahabad was captured by the Marathas. In the last century, Allahabad became a hot bed for India’s independence movement from the British.

The British made Allahabad the headquarters of the Northwest Provinces and Avadh (Lucknow). In 1858, a year after the Sepoy Mutiny, Lord Canning announced the transfer of power from the East India Company to the British Crown, in Allahabad.

Accessibility: 

Air: Allahabad has its own domestic airport named Bamrauli airport which is 15 km away from the heart of the city. Airport is connected to metros like Delhi, Kolkata and Lucknow. Airport to city taxi charge is about Rs 400. Abroad travelers need to get connection flights from Delhi or Kolkata.

Rail: Allahabad has a major railway station in the heart of the city and is well connected to all the important cities in India

Road: Very good road services are available in Allahabad. UPSRTC buses give service to most of the cities in Uttar Pradesh. From Allahabad bus services are available to Delhi (650 km) and Kolkata (800 km).

Shopping: 

Allahabad is a religious town therefore the best things you can buy here is religious paraphernalia. The city has number of shops offering items used for rituals such as sandalwood, incense, incense stick, vermilion and camphor among others. The city is also famous for its bookshops. What Eton and Oxford is to English language, Allahabad is to Hindi. The city has hundreds of publishers who publish books on the range of subject. Books based on religious hymns and philosophies are must buys here. The city is also famous for aprons used during rituals.

Traditionally, the main market areas of the city are Civil Lines, Chowk and Katra. However, newer market places have developed in recent years, Allahpur being the prime example.

The major shopping areas in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh in India are the Katra, Chowk and the Civil Lines. The display of the things in its own special way in the shops has attracted tourists to indulge more in shopping at Allahabad.

The best thing to buy while shopping at Allahabad comprises of the things used for religious purposes. Incense stick, sandalwood, camphor and vermilion should be bought while shopping in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh in India. Shopping in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh in India while on a Tour to Allahabad can also center on buying books. The book publishers of Allahabad are the most famous ones. Most of literary pieces in Hindi languages are published by the Allahabad publishers. Books of Philosophies and rituals can also be on the shopper’s list while shopping in Allahabad.

Accommodation: 

There are various categories of Hotels in Allahabad - ranging from luxurious star category First Class Hotels to medium-priced Economy Hotels and cheap Budget Hotels in Allahabad. Known for providing professional services and homely comfort, these hotels serve as the perfect retreats to unwind and relax amid a calm and peaceful setting.

Most of the hotels in Allahabad India are conveniently located, at close proximity to major business areas, shopping centers and tourist places in the city. These Allahabad Hotels are favored for providing a perfect blend of Luxury and Comfort, Sightseeing and Recreation. These hotels offer you an ambience of grand splendor and luxury.

Attractions: 

Maha Kumbh Mela

Allahabad is also the site for the mammoth Maha Kumbh Mela that is held every 12 years, and draws over 2 million people, both from India and abroad. During the Ardh Kumbh Mela that takes place once in six years, thousands of devotees come to Allahabad to bathe in the holy waters of the Ganga and Yamuna.

The Magh Mela is held annually, in January and February, and lasts for 15 days. These melas (fairs) commemorate the struggle between gods and demons over a kumbh (pot) of amrit, the elixir of life. When the amrit surfaced from the bottom of the ocean, Lord Vishnu, the Hindu Preserver of the Universe ran away with the pot of amrit. While he was running, four drops of the elixir fell on the sites that are now the holy towns of Allahabad, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain.

Dussehra of Allahabad

Dussehra of Allahabad is unique in the entire northern India. During Dussehra period, in the evening and at night beautifully decorated "Chowkis" (tableau) are taken out from different localities, depicting various scenes from Indian mythology. Every 'Chowki' is decorated so tastefully that it is a sight to behold. There is a sense of pride and spirit of competition in bringing out the most beautiful 'Chowki'.

District: 
Allahabad
STD Code: 
0532
Best time to visit: 
October to March
Famous For: 
Kumbh Mela is one of the biggest festivals and attractions in Allahabad. Held once every twelve years