One of the Holiest Cities in India
Situated on the confluence of Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical river Saraswati, the city of Allahabad is synoymous to 'Sangam'. The Hindi word Sangam means 'confluence'. Allahabad is basically an Adminstrative, Educational and religious city of India. Earlier called 'Prayag', the city is known for its simplicity and calm lifestyle. The city of Allahabad has religious significance for the Muslims as well because it was established by King Akbar by the name of Illahabad, meaning house of Allah. Later the name was modified to Allahabad by the British. Situated in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, close to Varanasi and Lucknow, it is popular for the grand holy fair “Kumbh”,which is of three types. The Kumbh Fair that is organised every year is called 'Minor Kumbh', the one celebrated every 6 years is called 'Ardh-Kumbh' and th ekumbh observed once in 12 years is called the 'Maha Kumbh'. The Maha Kumbh is the largest congregation of humankind on the earth.
It is a city of mixed culture and race, of Hindu, Muslims, Jains and Christans. Many temples, churches and mosques are built across this highly religious and sacred city. It was also the seat of the great sage Bhardwaj, sage Durvasa and Sage Pannas.
Marked by the huge statues of George V, Queen Victoria and Chandra Shekhar Azad, the famous Alfred Park is the largest park in Allahabad. Located behind Allahabad Museum, the park is also called Chandra Shekhar Azad Park and has a historical significance as well. It was the same place where the famous encounter between the British police and Chandra Shekhar Azad took place. Another important highlight of the park are the Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium and a public library, with over 75,000 books and valuable manuscripts. Earlier the park was used to commemorate the visit of Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, to Allahabad and also as a site for the official ceremonies of the British.
The largest of Akbar's forts, the Allahabad Fort is situated on the northern banks of the Yamuna, near Triveni, the confluence. This fort was built by the great Moghul king Akbar in 1583. Being located near the Yamuna, the fort is best viewed from the river side. The fort is popular for the extraordinary fusion of Hindu and Islamic architectural patterns. The major attractions inside the fort are the Patalpur temple, Jodhabai Mahal and the Ashoka Pillar. The Ashoka pillar was built by the great king Ashoka during his reign and? has stood in the courtyard for centuries. A huge well, Saraswathi Koop, also lies in the fort and is believed to be the origin of the river Saraswati. Magnificient galleries, medieval Indian art, marvellous architecture and craftsmanship make the Allahabad Fort a tourist's delight. Presently, only a few parts of the fort are open to visitors. The rest of the fort is used by the Indian Army.
Established in 1931, the Allahabad Museum was inaugurated in the year 1947 by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The museum is known for the rarest collection of Maurya, Sunga, Gupta, late Gupta and early medieval period sculptural masterpieces, coins, paintings, and other antiques. One can find a diverse collection of idols and paintings of different religions in the museum. Its 18 huge galleries comprise of natural history exhibits, archeological findings, art gallery and artifacts donated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The prehistoric and Indus Valley antiquities, textiles, terracotta, stone sculpture, weapons, bronzes, seals, miniature paintings, Buddhist thangkas and medieval land grants are amongst the major attractions of the museum. The museum is open between 10:30 am and 5 pm everyday except Mondays and central government holidays.
Located in the heart of the city, Allahabad University was established in 1887. It also boasts of being the fourth oldest university of India after Calcutta, Mumbai and Madras universities. The university offers all sorts of courses related to Arts, Commerce, Law, Science etc. It started offering Correspondence Courses and Continuing Education in 1978. In 2004, a Bill was introduced in Parliament, proposing recognition of the University as an 'Institution of National Importance', and to restore the Central character of the University. Both Houses of the Parliament duly passed "The University of Allahabad Act, 2005" in May 2005.
Comprising of a huge campus, red-bricked buildings, a rich library (with more than 1,50,000 volumes in total), an open theatre etc., the Allahabad University holds great importance all over India.
Built in a typical Victorian style, Anand Bhawan was the ancestral home of the Nehru?Gandhi family. Established by the great political leader Shri Motilal Nehru in the 19th century, the building was donated to the Government of India by the “Iron Lady of India”, Indira Gandhi (Motilal Nehru's grand-daughter) in 1970. The building was later converted into a museum housing the memorabilia of the Nehru?Gandhi family. The bedrooms and study rooms of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, and Mahatma Gandhi are also on display. This two-storeyed building also exhibits personal items of Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and her sons Sanjay Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi. Anand Bhawan (meaning 'The Abode of Happiness') is open between 9:30 am and 5 pm except Mondays and central government holidays.
Ranked 8th among the top ten Engineering Institutes of India, the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Allahabad, was established in 1999 by the Government of India. Located on the outskirts of the city, at Jhalwa over 100 acres of land, IIIT offers excellent courses in Information Technology and Cyber Law at Graduate and Post-Graduate levels. The institute is designed according to the Penrose Geometric Architectural Pattern. Video? conferencing facility is also available for networking with leading institutions in India and overseas. Another attractive initiative taken by the institute is the campus-based Gyan Vani, which broadcasts educational programms.
Holding a great historical significance, the Khusro Bagh is dedicated to Prince Khusro, the son of Jahangir. This beautiful Mughal Garden is located on the G T Road near Allahabad Junction Railway Station. It is the place where Prince Khusro was murdered by his brother Shah Jahan. Prince Khusro was first imprisoned within the garden after he rebelled against Jahangir, and later killed in 1622 by Prince Khurram (Shah Jahan). The garden has a tomb of Prince Khusro along with the tombs of his sister (Nithar Begam) and mother (Shah Begam).
Minto Park is located near the Saraswati Ghat near Yamuna river. It lies west of the Allahabad Fort and is also called Madan Mohan Malavya Park. The foundation of the park was laid by the British officer Lord Minto in 1910. It was from here that Lord Canning read out Queen Victoria?s Proclamation in 1858, and the power from East India Company was transferred to Queen Victoria. Another major attraction of this lush green park is a white memorial statue mounted on four lions.
The word 'Sangam' literally means confluence. The Triveni Sangam at Allahabad is the place of confluence of three of the holiest rivers of the Hindu mythology, the holy Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. Being the most sacred place in Allahabad, Sangam witnesses millions of Hindus from all over India, offering prayers and taking a dip in the holy waters. According to Hindu mythologies, Sangam is the place where drops of Nectar fell from a pitcher from the hands of the Gods. Therefore, it is believed that a holy dip taken at the Sangam washes away all the sins. The major attractions at Sangam are the Ardh-Kumbh and Maha-Kumbh fairs that are held every 6 and 12 years respectively. The kumbh fair in 1988 recorded the maximum crowd of 15 Million people, who assembled to take a dip in a single day. One can also enjoy a boat ride in the river.