Allahabad is situated in Uttar Pradesh's southern part in North India. It is encircled by Bhadohi (east), Kaushambi (west), Pratapgarh (north) and Rewa (south). It is spread across an area of 63.07 kilometres, which has a number of suburbs. While the several municipalities govern some surroundings of the city, Allahabad City Council governs a major portion of Allahabad district. This city is the Allahabad district's administrative headquarter.
The city is considered very sacred as it is located where rivers Ganges, Saraswati and Yamuna unite. Being the oldest Indian city, it has many temples and also plays an important role in Hindu scriptures.
Most of the prime ministers of India including Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jawaharlal Nehru, Chandra Shekhar, Gulzarilal Nanda and Vishwanath Pratap Singh were born or were in Allahabad University's alumni or were elected from Allahabad constituency. Hence, it is called as 'city of Prime Ministers'.
One of India's and the world's biggest religious gathering is hosted by Allahabad called as the 'Maha Kumbh Mela'. This festival is celebrated once in every 12 years and Ardh Kumbh Mela once in every six years. These are the prime attractions for most tourists coming to Allahabad. Allahabad Tourism gets a boost with Kumbh Fair organised every 12 years for a month.
All the pilgrims are seen crossing Ganges River for the fair. This time showcases the real Hindu culture, where thousands and hundreds of people come together at this divine place to celebrate. The people coming together include tourists, sadhus and sants, pilgrims and ascetics long Kumbha for taking holy dip at sangam and perform religious rituals and ceremonies. Also Magh Mela is organised annually on January-February(Magh month of Hindu Calendar) and millions visit to take holy dip at Sangam.
However, one coming to the city can witness the Magh Mela every year around the month of January or February, which is Magha month according to Hindu calendar. Usually, this time is highly auspicious to get married. If you ever plan you visit during this time, you are bound to see bustling marriage processions during the night time.
Other festival when one can plan their vacation to Allahabad is during Dussehra or Durga puja.
Places to Visit
There are many famous places to visit in Allahabad, of which some are mentioned below.
Allahabad Fort: This fort was built in 1583 by Akbar. It is located at the two rivers' junction. This is the largest among Akbar`s forts. The entrance of this fort has 35 feet tall Ashoka Pillar made with polished stones.
Khusro Bagh: The entrance of Khusro Bagh has an old and tall doorway of 60 feet. This place is open from eight in the morning to eight in the evening. Khusrau was Emperor Shah Jahan's elder brother, who died in 1615. The tomb finally was made after seven years of his death. Allahabadi Guavas are famous here.
Anand Bhawan: If history interests you, you can visit Anand Bhawan for the Indian struggle for freedom's intricacies during the beginning of 20th century. Anand Bhawan (also called as Swaraj Bhawan) is known as Nehru clan's ancestral place. It remains closed on Mondays.
Jawahar Planetarium: Astronomy lovers will love the interesting show here. The show charges are Rs 20 and have shows every hour. Entrance is free for children under seven years of age. It also remains closed on Mondays.
Thornhill Mayne Memorial: It is a marvelous and beautiful monument and has been the legislative assembly's house in the British era. Recently, it has taken a shape of a public library.
Allahabad Museum: This museum is another historic marvel. It is the best way to explore the history of Allahabad.
All Saints' Cathedral: Keeping the Gothic style in mind, it was made by William Emerson in 1877. The cathedral stands straight on green grass, wearing the red and white sandstone attire.
Minto Park: It is situated between the Yamuna Bridge and Allahabad Fort. The 'Company Raj' came to an end here.
The city has many temples like Nagvasuki Temple, Ankaleshwara Temple, Shankar Vimana Mandapam, Dashaswamedh Temple, Bare Hanumanji Temple, Jhusi-Tallest Hanuman Mandir, Mankameshwar Mandir, Someshwar Mahadev Temple, and many more. However, a walk or a cycle ride on Yamuna Bridge in the evening or morning can be extremely refreshing. One can also try water sports and boat rides like kayaking, skiing, para-sailing, yachting boat, optimist sailing, wind surfing, water snookering, canoing, diving in shallow water with one cylinder in the Yamuna.
Because of the Magh Mela organised every year, the city has plenty of hotels and motels. One can also opt for dharmshalas here as there are available for free or at nominal charges. Kydganj and Daraganj have many dharamshalas.
Many budget hotels are also available which give a better room service at affordable prices. The facilities provided by them are cable television, hot water, room service, bathrooms, etc. The rooms would be available in Rs 500 per night.
Also, one wished to live luxuriously and splurge money can go for several expensive high-end hotels like Hotel Kohinoor, Hotel Samrat, Valentines Hotel, Hotel Ajay International, Hotel Grand Continental, Hotel Milan, Hotel Allahabad Regency (Regency), Hotal Samrat, etc.
However during the Kumbh Mela, it is suggested people book their rooms much in advance as people pour in here in large numbers. The rooms should be booked six months before Kumbh Mela starts.
By road: Allahabad has a well connected road service. The city comes on National Highway 27 and National Highway 2; hence travelling from one city to another is not much of a problem. NH2 passes from the centre of the city. The New Yamuna Bridge, the country's first bridge made of cable, connects Allahabad to the suburbs Jhusi and Naini, which is near the bank of the river. This new bridge was made from 2001 to 2004. The bridge 'Old Naini Bridge' that was previously used for crossing the river now allows both vehicles and railways.
By bus: Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) operates the bus service in this city. UPSRTC is one of the lifelines of the people residing in the city. Currently, over 100 buses are functional serving the people of the city. Most buses run on two main routes - Raymond Gate in Naini to Shantipuram in Phaphamau and Trivenipuram in Jhunsi to Manauri Airforce.
By taxi: One can get taxi service here. However, it is suggested to go for the online booking system for your cab. This will ensure that you don't have to more than it s required for the distance. One can opt for the auto-rickshaws in black and yellow coloured, which are better known as Vikram. They are cheaper and are available in a sharing-basis. The auto-rickshaws can be much cheaper than taxis. Tempos are mostly preferred for travelling as they are cheap and convenient.
By train: One of northern India's prime junctions and North Central Railway Zone's headquarter is Allahabad Junction. The city has four important railway stations that include Allahabad Station, Daraganj Station, Prayag Station and City Station (Rambagh). These cities connect all the important cities like Jhansi, Lucknow, Kanpur, New Delhi, Jaipur, Bhopal, Indore, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai.
By air: Allahabad airport began its operations in the year 1966. This being a military base, only one passenger terminal and a single commercial Air India flight is functional per day. It is located around 12 kilometres away from the centre of the city. The Spice Jet and Air India flights connect the city to Delhi. The city also has various airports in cities nearby like Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi.
Nearby Area to Visit
Jhusi: This place is also known as Pratisthanpuri, which is around nine kilometres from Allahabad. This place has many temples and ashrams, which could be a better getaway for you weekend spiritual healing and mental peace.
Shringverpur: It is at a distance of 40 kilometres away from the city of Allahabad. This is the same place that has been mentioned in the Ramayana, which is Nishadraj's (King of the Fishermen's) capital.
Kaushambi: This Buddhist centre is around 65 kilometres away from the city. The historical name of this city is Kosham, which was Lord Buddha's follower King Udaya's capital.
Garhwa: Situated at a distance of 60 kilometres from the old city, Garhwa is known for Purvanchal's beautiful temples which are now in ruins. History lovers are bound to love this place with the historic temples here.
Last Updated on : 17 July 2013