Allahabad is one of the oldest cities in India. It is crowned in ancient scriptures as ‘Prayag’, ‘Prayagraj’ or ‘Teertharaj’ and is considered the holiest of pilgrimage centres of India. It is situated at the confluence of three rivers- Ganga, Yamuna and the invisible Saraswati. The meeting point is known as Triveni and is very sacred to Hindus. The Kumbh held in every six years and Mahakumbh in every 12 years at Allahabad (Sangam) are the largest gatherings of pilgrims on this earth.
Geographically, Allahabad is located at 25.45°N 81.84°E in the southern part of the Uttar Pradesh. To its south and southeast is the Bagelkhand region, to its east is middle Ganges valley of North India, or Purvanchal, to its southwest is the Bundelkhand region, to its north and northeast is the Awadh region and to its west along with Kaushambi it forms the part of Doab i.e the Lower Doab region. In the north Pratapgarh, in the south Rewa (M.P.), in the east Sant Ravi Das Nagar and in the west Kaushambhi districts are located. The total geographical area of the district is 5482 Sq. Km. The district is divided into 8 Tehsils, 20 development Blocks and 2802 populated Villages.
The Ganges (Ganga) is a trans-boundary river of Asia which flows through India and Bangladesh. It begins at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers at Devprayag in Uttarakhand. It is 2,525 km (1,569 mi) long.
The Ganges is known to be the most sacred river to Hindus. It is also a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along its course depending on it for their daily needs. This river is also historically significant with many former provincial or imperial capitals (such as Pataliputra, Kannauj, Kara, Kashi, Allahabad, Murshidabad, Munger,Baharampur, Kampilya, and Kolkata) located on its banks.
The Triveni Sangam is the confluence of three rivers. The point of confluence is a sacred place for Hindus. It is said that a bath here washes away all of one’s sins and frees one from the cycle of rebirth.
One such Triveni Sangam, in Prayag (Allahabad), has two physical rivers Ganges, Yamuna, and the invisible or mythic Saraswati River. It is a place of religious importance and is also the site for the historic Kumbh Mela held every 12 years. Ardhkumbh Mela (held once in 6 years), and Maha Mela (held every year) are held on the banks of the Sangam too. Ashes of several national leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, were immersed here. Watching the sunrise and sunset at the Triveni is an amazing experience.
Standing as a testimony to Mughal architecture is Khusro Bagh. This Historic walled garden was created by Moghul Emperor Jahangir, in memory of his beloved son Khusro. Khusro was murdered by his brother Shah Jahan. Apart from the tomb of the murdered prince, it also surrounds the tombs of Shah Begum, Khusro’s mother (died 1604), a Rajput princess and Jahangir’s first wife, and that of Princess Sultan Nithar Begam (died c.1624), Khusrau’s sister.
The garden is also famous for Guavas and mangoes.
The largest fort built by Akbar, the Allahabad Fort is a popular tourist attraction in Allahabad. It was one of the most prized citadels of the Mughal Empire. Today, the fort is under the control of the Indian Army and only a section of the fort is open to tourists.
Built in 1583, the fort is near the confluence of the Yamuna and Ganga Rivers and stands testimony to the grandeur of medieval architecture.
The regal fort has three gateways and enormous walls. The outer wall has withstood the test of time and is a good condition which can be seen if you take a boat ride.
There is an Ashoka Pillar made from sandstone that stands almost 35 ft tall which is believed to have been built in 232 B.C. and a major attraction for archaeologists and historians. The pillar has royal edicts of Ashoka inscribed in it with descriptions of the victories in battles of Samudragupta, a couple of monographs and a petition to keep the memories of Jahangir’s accession to his crown in order. Many visitors like Birbal, who visited the fort in 1575, have had their names inscribed on the pillar.
Mansion built by Motilal Nehru in the nineteenth century, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi were born here. The main building has been converted into a museum displaying the memorabilia of the Nehru–Gandhi family. Anand Bhavan is open between 9:30 am and 5 pm. Entry to other places of Anand Bhavan is free. Closed on Mondays and central government holidays.