Allahabad is Built on a Very Ancient Site

By: Douglas Scott

Allahabad is a city in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Allahabad is one of the largest cities of the State of Uttar Pradesh in India. It has a large area and is an inland peninsula surrounded by the rivers Ganga and Yamuna from three sides with only one side connected to the mainland.

The nearest airports are Varanasi, Kanpur and Lucknow. The city has direct rail connections with important cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Patna, Gwalior, Meerut, Chennai, Mumbai, Varanasi and Guwahati. Allahabad, on National Highway 2 and 27, is connected to the rest of the country by good, motor able all weather roads.

Allahabad built on a very ancient site, was known in Aryan times as Prayag, and Brahma himself is said to have performed a sacrifice here. The Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang described visiting the city in 634 AD, and it acquired its present name in 1584, under Akbar. Later on Allahabad was taken by the Marathas, sacked by the Pathans and finally ceded to the British in 1801 by the Nawab of Avadh.

This gigantic Ashoka pillar, of polished sandstone stands 11 meters high, dating back to 232 BC. The Pillar has several edicts and a Persian inscription of Emperor Jahangir inscribed on it, commemorating his accession to the throne.
Akshayavat

An ancient holy city sacred to Hindu pilgrims, it is the site of the Pillar of Ashoka. The Mughal emperor Akbar founded the present day city in 1583. It was ceded to the British in 1801. Allahabad was the scene of a serious outbreak in the 1857 Indian Mutiny. The home of the Nehru family, it was later a centre of the Indian independence movement.

The Sangam is the most sacred spot in Allahabad at the confluence of three rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. Devout Hindus from all over 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.

Hanuman Mandir temple has an idol of Lord Hanumana in a reclining posture. It is situated close to the Sangam and is considered unusual because of the supine image. When the Ganga is in spate, the temple often gets submerged.

The temperature in summer goes up to 46 degrees centigrade. The best season to visit is October to March. However come any time of year if the weather is not a problem.

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