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Home » Uttar Pradesh » allahabad


Allahabad

AllahabadAllahabad, 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.

The 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.





Attractions of Allahabad
Kumbha-Mela
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 Devprayag.

Sangam Bath
This 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).





How To Get There - Allahabad

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 and Guwahati.

By Road
Allahabad, on National Highway 2 and 27, is connected to the rest of the country by good, motorable all-weather roads.
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