Allahabad, The Abode of God is one of the oldest cities of India located in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Often referred to as “Prayag” by the locals, the city attracts a huge crowd annually due to its heavenly abode of scenic destinations and charming structures.
Allahabad – The Abode Of God
Allahabad holds remnants from different periods of Indian history making it one of the most historically important cities of India. It has seen the rise and fall of several empires and kingdoms whose tales are inscribed in its land and on its walls. The city is popularly known for its religious tourism and is often considered as the annual destination of several pilgrims. The main places of interest that make Allahabad, The Abode of God have been enlisted below.
”Sangama” is a Sanskrit word which means confluence while “Triveni” refers to three. The name is justified because of the fact that rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati meet at Allahabad. The confluence is of great religious importance which has made it a place of offerings, thus, earning the city it’s name, Prayag. It is also the site of the historic Kumbh mela which is held every 12 years. It is believed that a bath at the confluence is supposed to flush away all the sins of mortal life and free one from the cycle of rebirth. In addition to the religious beliefs encircling this place, it is great site for bird watching as well. The migratory birds lend a picturesque view to the Triveni Sangam. It is also believed that Lord Brahma had once performed the Prakrista Yajna here making it an excellent destination of Hindu mythology.
The majestic Allahabad Fort was built by emperor Akbar during the Mughal rule in the year 1583. The fort is situated at the bank of river Yamuna where it meets river Ganga. Akbar had named the place Illahabad which acts as the primary reason behind the city’s naming. The name was gradually mutated to Allahabad. The fort is a magnificent example of India’s master craftsmanship during the 16th century. There are 10 metres high Ashoka pillar inside the fort. It has three entrances which lead to high rise towers inside. To the viewers awe, there is even an underground temple called the Patalpuri temple inside the fort.
The beautifully designed, Jawahar Planetarium was built in 1979 beside the residence of the Nehru family. However, their house was eventually turned into a museum and the planetarium came under the maintenance of the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial trust which has headquarters in Delhi. It is now more of a science museum, with regular exploration shows held inside for visitors. On the event of the auspicious birthday of Pandit Nehru, the ‘Jawaharlal Nehru memorial lecture’ is organized on November 14th, every year.
The Allahabad museum was founded in the year 1931 and houses huge collections of art. It is funded by the Ministry of Culture and primarily emphaizes in showcasing artistry, unlike most other museums around the state. There are sculptures of Mathura, Bhumra and Jamsot and many other terracotta art works that enhances the cultural aroma of the place. The museum has collections from the Bengal school of art and vivid paintings of artist Nicholas Roerich. It also has the manuscript of the autobiography of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Among several other assests, old manuscripts and scriptures of famous Hindu poets and writers are one of the most cherished belongings of the museum.
Located beside the Jawahar Planetarium, Anand Bhavan is a huge mansion which once served as the residence of the Nehru family. It belonged to former political leader Motilal Nehru who built it for shifting his residence from Swaraj Bhavan. Since 1970, after it was gifted by Indira Gandhi to the Indian government, the place serves as a museum which speaks out the struggle of India during Independence. Often referred to as a house museum, Anand Bhavan serves as an asset to commemorate India’s Independence that took place several years after the house was built.
The Chandrasekhar Azad park of Allahabad is popularly known as the Alfred Park, being named so till 1931. It is considered as one of the most favored spots in the city for both locals and tourists. The Alfred Park was built in 1870 to honour the visit of Prince Alfred to the city of Allahabad. Covering an area as large as 133 acres, the park has several recreational areas along with housing the Thornhill Mayne Memorial. This famous memorial building now serves as the Allahabad Public Library. Accompanying the Thornhill Mayne Memorial is the Victoria Memorial which is popular for its mesmerizing huge canopy of Italian limestone.
The Khusro Bagh is a walled garden that attracts thousands of tourists everyday. It serves as the burial ground of prominent personalities of the Mughal era. One of the three tombs that occupy a substantial area of the garden is the tomb of Shah Begum, the Rajput wife of Jahangir. The garden is perhaps one of the finest specimens of Mughal artwork which is evident from the three exquisite sandstone mausoleums. This has led to Khusro Bagh Park being listed as an Indian Site of National Importance.
Allahabad is truly the abode of God due to its religious and spiritual values. From Mughal forts to British memorials, from mythological places like Triveni Sangam to places of importance of Indian Independence, Allahabad possess diverse religions and eras to its best possible amalgamation. One cannot simply overlook the beauty of this culturally rich and historically important Indian city and Allahabad justly lives upto their expectations. If you ever visit Uttar Pradesh, Allahabad should be the wishlist topper.