This is the point where the brown water of the Ganga meets the green water of the Yamuna, along with the mythical Saraswati, which remains unseen but believed to run underground. It is located about 7 km from Civil Lines, overlooked by the eastern ramparts of the Akbar Fort.
Wide flood plains and muddy banks protrude towards the sacred Sangam. At the mid-river point priests perch on small platforms to perform puja and assist the devout in their ritual ablutions in the shallow waters. A dip in the Sangam water is supposed to be the holiest of the holy pilgrimages for the devout Hindu. Boats to the Sangam can be rented by pilgrims and tourists alike at the ghat near the fort. It is during the Maha Kumbh/Kumbh that the Sangam truly comes alive, attracting the devout from all across the country.
Prayag in modern-day Allahabad is believed to be the most important pilgrimage centre for Hindus. Traditionally river confluences are regarded as auspicious places, but in Sangam, the significance of the confluence is most pious because here, the holy Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati meet to become one.
According to legends, Vishnu was carrying a Kumbh (pot) of amrit (nectar), when a scuffle broke out and four drops were spilled. They fell to earth at the four Tirthas of Prayag, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain. A tirtha is a place where the devout can attain salvation. The event is commemorated every three years by the Kumbh Mela, held at each tirtha in turn; the Sangam is known as Tirtharaj, the ‘King of Tirthas’ and here the Kumbh is held once in every twelve years, which is the greatest and holiest of all.
The Maha Kumbh Mela is the largest religious congregation in India, attended by millions. The over month-long fair is marked by the construction of a massive tented township, complete with cottages, huts, platforms, civic facilities, administrative and security measures. It is organized immaculately by the government, the local authorities and the police. The mela is especially renowned for the presence of an extraordinary array of religious ascetics – sadhus and mahants – enticed from remote hideaways in forests, mountains and caves. Once astrologers have determined the propitious bathing time or Kumbhayog, the first to hit the water is by legions of Naga Sadhus or Naga Babas, who cover their naked bodies with ash and wear hair in long dreadlocks. The sadhus, who see themselves as guardians of the faith, approach the confluence at the scheduled time with all the pomp and bravado of a charging army. The most recent Maha Kumbh Mela was held in 2013 and the next is due in 2025.
The massive fort built by Emperor Akbar in 1583 A.D. stands on the banks of the Yamuna, close to the confluence site. In its prime, the fort was unrivalled for its design, construction and craftsmanship. This huge, majestic fort has three magnificent galleries flanked by high towers. At present it is used by the army and only a limited area is open to visitors. The magnificent outer wall is intact and rises above the water’s edge. Visitors are allowed to see the Ashokan Pillar and Saraswati Koop, a well said to be the source of the Saraswati river and Jodhabai Palace. The gigantic Ashoka pillar of polished sandstone stands 10.6 meters high, dating back to 232 B.C. The pillar has several edicts and a Persian inscription of Emperor Jahangir inscripted on it, commemorating his accession to the throne.
The Patalpuri temple and the much revered Akshaya Vat or immortal Banyan tree are also great attractions for the faithful. Within this underground temple, inside the fort, lies the Akshaya Vat – or the immortal tree. Believed to have been visited by Lord Rama, the temple was also seen by the famous Chinese traveler and writer Hiuen Tsang during his visit to this place.
Minto Park is situated near Saraswati Ghat. It has a stone memorial with a four-lion symbol on top, the foundation of which was laid by Lord Minto in 1910. In 1858, the East India Company officially handed over India to British Government here at Minto Park. After the first war of independence the town was named “ALLAHABAD” and was made the capital of United Province of Agra and Awadh.
Shringverpur is a must visit excursion destination around Allahabad. It is a place 45 km from Allahabad on Lucknow road. According to local folklore, it was at this place that Rama crossed the river Ganges on his way to exile along with Sita and Lakshmana. Shringverpur is an otherwise sleepy village that is gaining prominence slowly and steadily. Though, the place has been mentioned at length in the epic Ramayana. Shringverpur is mentioned as the capital of the famous kingdom of Nishadraj or the ‘King of Fishermen’. The excavation works that were carried out in Shringverpur have revealed a temple of Shringi Rishi. It is widely believed that the city got its name from that sage itself. Nevertheless, the village is more famous as the capital of Nishadraja. Ramayana mentions that Lord Rama, his brother Lakshman and consort Sita stayed for a night in the village before going to the forest on exile. It is said boatmen refused to let them cross the river. Nishadraj himself visited the site where Lord Rama was putting in to resolve the issue. He offered to give them way if Lord Rama let him wash his feet. The permission was granted and it is mentioned that Nishadraj washed the feet of Rama with the water of Ganges and drank it to show his reverence towards him. The place where Nishadraja washed Ram’s feet has been marked by a platform. It has been named ‘Ramchura’ in order to suffice the incident. There is a small temple too that is built on the site. Though the temple doesn’t have any historical or cultural value attached to it, the place itself is very serene.
All Saint’s Cathedral
All Saints Cathedral in Allahabad was built in the late 19th century and today stands remarkably as a colonial structure. The intricate work and designs on the marble altar and the stained glass panel with the grand pulpit along with its arches in pale sandstone makes the building more attractive. The Anglican Church has a Gothic style of architecture, which makes it a major tourist attraction in Allahabad. All Saints Cathedral Church is also referred to as “Patthar Girja” (Stone Church). This landmark was designed by the British architect Sir William Emerson, in the year 1870. The church is located at the Sarojini Naidu Marg, Civil Lines, Allahabad, and is open only on Sundays from dawn to dusk.
A walled garden that contains four important Mughal tombs built in the 17th century. This emerald garden complex has a rich history. One of the tombs belong to Prince Khusro who was the eldest son of Jahangir. Another one belongs to Khusro’s mother Shah Begum. The third tomb was constructed by Khusro’s sister Nesa Begum is beautiful to look at with multiple artistic carvings over it but remains empty. The last one which is smaller is known as Tamerlan’s tomb and remains a secret. The artistic beauty of the place leaves the visitors awestruck. The beautiful arches, domes and chhatris are worth the time and admiration. It is located in Lukarganj, Allahabad which is one of the main areas in the city, close to the Allahabad junction station.
The Allahabad Museum located in the Chandra Shekhar Azad Park (Company Bagh) is among the National level museums of India. A well-kept repository of historical artefacts, paintings, sculptures and photographs sprawl across galleries of the museum. There is a striking statue of freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad twirling his moustaches outside the red -bricked building. The museum is about 3 kms from Allahabad railway junction and almost equidistant from Prayag and Rambagh Railway Stations and about 12 km from Bamrauli Airport. The beautiful location, large sprawling green lawn and nicely laid out garden has given it a special attraction. It was originally established under the aegis of Allahabad Municipality in 1931 with a small collection of model of birds and animals. In the same complex lies the Gandhi Smriti Vahan which was used to carry the ashes of Gandhi to the Sangam.
Ulta Kila is in the Jhunsi area 14 kms away from Allahabad. The Name Ulta Kila was derived out of a story about a King named King Haribong who ruled Jhunsi. The King was said to be a man without a virtue and his decisions always resulted in a loss to the people of his town. One day he gave something wrong to a saint to eat, the saint cursed him that a star would fall on his fort, which would turn it upside down. Thus, by the orders of the Saint Ali Murtaza, the Mirrikh star fell on this fort and since then the fort is upside down.
The ISKCON temple of Allahabad is situated near the banks of river Yamuna. The temple has a small complex with a Dharmashala for the devotees along with a goshala. There has been a massive growth in the number of devotees over the past years. The Sri Radha Veni Madhava deities were installed in the year 2003. The temple is a peaceful place and has a calm environment. This beautiful temple is open to everyone. The devotees can also meditate here.
Shree Akhileshwar Mahadev
Shree Akhileshwar Mahadev complex is spread over an area of about 500 sq. feet in Allahabad near Rasulabad Ghat road under Chinmaya Mission. The foundation stones were laid on 30th October, 2004 by Parampoojya Swami Tejomayanandaji and Poojya Swami Subodhanandaji of Chinmaya Mission. Pink sand stones from Rajasthan are being carved and fixed to give shape to Shree Akhileshwar Mahadev Dhyan Mandapam over the Foundation floor. The foundation floor is designed to accommodate a Satsang Bhavan having a capacity of about 300 persons and all the essential services for Shree Akhileshwar Mahadev.
Temples of Prayag
Prayag has been known as the greatest pilgrimage since the Rig-Veda era. The basic reason is the confluence of two holiest rivers in India – the Ganga and the Yamuna. It is said one who dies at the Sangam is freed from the cycle of re-birth and attains salvation. The Mahabharat, Agnipuran, Padam Puran and Surya Puran also mention Prayag as the holiest of all pilgrimages. Vinay Patrika mentions that Gautam Buddha too had traversed through Prayag in 450 B.C.
Prayag is famous for Madho temples also. Twelve Madho temples are situated at different locations as given below:-
- Shareb Madho:- In the east of Triveni it is situated in the garden of “Chatanaga” which had been the place of “Vyas ji’. Shiv Puran was written here.
- Adveni Madho:- Near the kothi of Ram Charan Agarwal at Daraganj, in the temple The idol of lakshmi Narain ji is there.
- Manohar Madho:- In the temple of Darveshwar Nath, there is an idol of lord Vishnu, which is called Manohar Madho
- Chara Madho:- Situated in Agnikor-Arail.
- Gada Madho:- Situated near Chheoki Railway station.
- Adam Madho:- Situated in village Deoria.
- Anant Madho:- Approx Two miles away from Khuldabad.
- Bindu Madho:- Situated in the vicinity of Draupadi Ghat.
- Ashi Madho:- Situated in the neighbourhood of Nagbasuki.
- Sankat Haran Madho:- Situated below Sandhya Vat.
- Vishnu or Adh Madho:- Situated in Arail.
- Vat Madho:- Situated near Akshyavat.
At present it is located in Colonelganj locality. A shivling of Bhardwajeshwar Mahadev was established here by the sage Bhardwaj, and in addition there are hundreds of statues. Important among them are: Ram Lakshman, Mahishasur Mardini, Surya, Sheshnag, Nar varah. Maharishi Bhardwaj was the first patron of Ayurveda. Lord Rama had gone to the sage Bhardwaj’s ashram to get his blessings. It is a matter of research to find where the ashram existed then, but at present it is near the Anand Bhawan. There is a Shiv temple as also statues of Bhardwaj, Yagyavalkya and other sages, gods and goddesses. Bhardwaj was a disciple of Valmiki. Earlier a huge temple used to stand here that was razed, and there was a Bharatkund atop a mountain.
It is located inside the Qila on the bank of the Yamuna. Legend has it that, that it is an eternal true that would not get destroyed ever. It is said that anyone who prays at this tree or dies under it attains salvation. The boundary of the fort is 15 feet away from the tree, and its branches hang out into the Yamuna river. In 1992, marble was laid around the tree, and in 1999 a small temple was made near it with the statues of Ram, Lakshman and Sita. About 22 meters of cloth is used in wrapping around the tree near its roots. The Akshay Vat, or the eternal tree that is indestructible. It is said that Lord Ram had spent a night near this tree while on his way to the wilds. It is also a holy site for the Jains. Permission has to be sought from Army officials to visit this tree.
Nag Vasuki Temple
This temple is located on the north of Sangam in the northern corner of Daraganj on the Ganga bank. It has statues of Nag Raj, Ganesh, Parvati and a reclining statue of Bhishma Pitamah. There is a Shiv temple in the premises. A big fair is held on Nag Panchami day.
It is situated near Minto park on the west of the fort along the Yamuna river. It has a black stone lingam and statues of Ganesh and Nandi. There is a grand statue of Hanuman and an ancient peepal tree near the temple. This ancient Shiv temple is located in Barra tehsil 40 km south-west from Allahabad. The Shivling is installed on top of a 80-feet high hillock among picturesque surroundings. It is said that the 3-1/2 feet Shivling is much deeper underground and it was installed by Lord Ram while going to Chitrakoot. There are many smaller idols here, a huge banyan tree and a well.
It is located 3 km north-east of Phaphamau in Soraon tehsil. It is made completely of stone and has several statues. A big fair is held here on Shivratri and in the month of Phalguna.
Lalita Devi Temple
It is located in Mirapur locality and is about 108 feet high. There are several statues inside the temple and an ancient papal tree in its compound. It is counted among the 51 Siddha Shaktipeeth in the country.
It is said that the Kaurav king Duryodhan had got it made to trap the Pandavas and eliminate them. However, Vidur alerted the Pandavas who escaped from a secret door while it was set on fire. It is located 6 km south of Handia on the bank of the Ganga.
Alopi Devi Temple
This ancient temple is located in Alopibagh locality west of Daraganj. In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple there is a round platform there is a coloured cloth below which there is a small cot. Devotees pay obeisance here. It is said to be one of the Shaktipeeth and a big fair is held during the Navratri. There is an idol of Lord Shiv and Shivling.
This is a temple of Takshakeshwar Lord Shankar located in south of Allahabad city in Daryabad locality on the bank of the Yamuna. A little away is the Takshak kund in the Yamuna. Legend has it that Takshak the serpent had taken shelter here after being hounded out of Mathura by Lord Krishna. There are many lingas and idols in here as well as an idol of Hanuman
It is situated on a big, high mound on bank of the Ganga. It is about 15 feet in diameter and is built of big stones. The entire premises are surrounded by a stone wall. It is said that it was built by the king Samudragupta hence the name. It is also said that the water level below the well is equal to the sea level, hence the name.
It is built below the ground level inside the fort on the bank of the Yamuna. There is a long corridor and there are 44 idols in here with a Shivling in the center. It was renovated by Bajirao Peshwa in 1735, and some idols date back to 17th or 18th century. Legend has it that Lord Rama had come during his exile.
Sheetla Temple at Kada
It is located about 69 km north-west of Allahabad. The great sage Sant Malookdas was born in 1631 at Kada, where his samadhi and ashram are located. There is a temple of goddess Shitla Devi and a pond. There are ruins of a great fort also.
There is an entire locality by this name on the bank of the Yamuna and a temple of goddess Kalyani Devi. There are idols of the goddess and that of Lord Shankar, said to be dating back to the 20th century.
It is located about 50 km north of Allahabad city in Manjhanpur tehsil of present day Kaushambi district. This region, 10 km from Kaushambi, was once the capital of the Vatsa empire. Legend has it that Lord Krishna left this earthly world here after being shot by an arrow. There used to be a big Jain temple here and the place is pilgrimage for the Jain community. The Archaeological Survey of India has declared the entire region as protected.
On the northern end of Allahabad city on the bank of the Ganga is Shivkuti temple and ashram. There is the ashram of Shri 1008 Shri Narayan Prabhu established by him in 1948. The grand Lakshmi Narayan temple with marble idols and a Durga temple attracts a big fair in the month of Shravan.
Kamauri Nath Mahadev
It is located in the railway colony near the Surajkund locality. In 1859 the railway track had to be diverted because of this temple. It has an idol of five-faced Mahadev. It is said that Lord Shankar had destroyed the cupid god Kamdev here.
Hatkeshwar Nath Temple
It is situated in the heart of the Allahabad city on the Zero road. There are many idols in it, including that of god Hatakeshwar Shiv.
Krishna Pranami Bhajan Temple
King Chhatrasal of Bundelkhand had initiated the Pranami sect. This temple is said to have been built in 1700 and a huge fair is held here on janmashtami.
Bhita Danuha (Sujawan Dev)
It is located on the bank of Yamuna river about 3 km west from Ghoorpur. There is a temple of Shankar and Yamuna, the sister of Yam, built in the river.
Bargad Ghat Shiv Temple
This small temple is located at Bargad ghat on the bank of the Yamuna near Meerapur. There is a black stone Shivling and an ancient bargad (banyan) tree. There are four peepal trees and an idol of reclining Hanuman.
It is located in front of the bus station at Civil Lines in Allahabad city. There is a small temple with idols of Shankar, Ashtabhuja Devi and Hanuman.
Shankar Viman Mandapam
This grand temple was built on the initiative of Shankaracharya Chandrashekharendra Saraswati of Kanchi Kamakoti Peeth and was inaugurated by Shankarachrya Jayendra Saraswati in 1986. Built in the Dravidian architecture style this three-storied structure is made on 16 huge pillars on the bank of the Sangam. Its height is 130 feet and it was completed in 16 years. It has the idols of Kamakshi, Lord Balaji and Lord Shiv. The Shiv idol weighs 10 tons.
Shankar Temple Mahuawan
This historical temple is situated on Koraon-Kaurhar road 8 km north-west of Koraon in Meja tehsil of Allahabad. This Shankar temple is situated near a pond and has a black stone idol and an ancient peepal tree.
Veni Madhav Temple
It is located in Daraganj locality and has attractive idols of Radha and Lord Krishna. There are 12 Madhav deities in Prayag but the Veni Madhav temple at Daraganj close to the Sangam is especially significant.
Towards the east of Prayag on the bank of the Ganga at Kakra Kotwa and 5 km south of Hanuman bazar, this ancient ashram is located. It has a grand statue of sage Durwasa and a fair is held in the month of Srawan.
Shankar Temple Jamsot
It dates back to the 11th century Kalchuri empire and is located near the Lapri river 15 km west of Koraon. It is in a dilapidated state and an idol found here is displayed at the State Museum at Lucknow.
Amiliya Sheetala Devi
This Shaktipeeth is situated in Tarhar area of Barra tehsil, 50 km from Allahabad. There is an idol of Masuriyan Devi and a fortnight-long fair is held in the month of Agahan.
It is located 50 km from Allahabad towards south-west on the Jabalpur road. There is an ancient fort and several Chandragupta era idols.
Radha Madhav Temple
It is situated on the old GT road in the Nimbark ashram at Madhwapur. It has 200-year old idols of Radha,, Krishna, Ram-Lakshman and Sita. The stone structure has exquisite engravings and in 1992 a huge idol of Hanuman was installed here.
This goddess Kali temple is situated in the Mutthiganj locality. There is an awe-inspiring idol of the goddess and also small temples of Satyanarayan, Ganesh, Hanuman, Shiv and Shanidev. There is a sacrificial chamber also.
It is situated in the old Loknath locality. It has a Shivling and an old well, besides idols of many gods and goddesses.
It is situated 12 km north of Handia market. There is an ancient Shankar temple near a pond, a Hanuman temple and an ancient banyan tree.
Patthar Shivala Temple
It is situated in Khuldabad sabji mandi on the old GT Road. The stone temple has a black stone Shivling. It has a unique architectural design and many idols.
Shankar Temple Bolan
This temple is near a pond situated near the Vindhya mountains in the Meja tehsil. The water in the pond comes from the mountains and it is full of lotus flowers. The well near the pond is known as Banganga. Legend has it that Arjun had tore apart the mountains to get water for the purification of demon queen Hidimba. A lot of poisonous snakes are found here.