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History of Allahabad
Formerly known as Prayag, Allahabad is situated on an island peninsula. Located in the Southern part of Uttar Pradesh, the beautiful city stands at the confluence of three holy rivers -- Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. To the south and the west of Allahabad is the Bundelkhand region, while to the east of the city is the Baghelkhand region.
According to Hindu mythology, the land was chosen by Lord Brahma, the creator, for 'Pakrishta Yajna'. Since then, the city was known as 'Prayag' and was believed to be blessed by gods. Foreseeing the sanctity of Allahabad, the place was named as 'Tirth Raj' by Lord Brahma, which means King of all Pilgrimage Centres. Besides being a major pilgrimage centre, the city also holds an important position in the formation of modern India. When Allahabad was annexed in 1193 by Muhammad of Ghor, the city became a part of the Delhi Sultanate. In 1526, the Mughal invasion of India began, after which the city became a part of their empire. Emperor Akbar founded Allahabad by the name of 'Illhabas' in 1575 AD, meaning the City of Allah, which has now become Allahabad.
People and Culture of Allahabad
During the medieval period, this holy city of Uttar Pradesh enjoyed the honour of being a religious-cultural centre of India. For a long period, the city was the provincial capital of the Mughals, which was later captured by the Marathas. The British history of Allahabad began in 1801 AD when the Nawab of Oudh ceded the city to the British throne. The famous Allahabad Fort, constructed by Akbar, was used by the British army for their military purposes. By 1857 AD, the city became the centre of the war of Independence and thus played a crucial role in the Indian Freedom Movement against British Rule. In 1858 AD, India was officially handed over to the British Government by the East India Company.
After the first War of Independence, the city was made the capital of the United Province of Agra and Oudh. Thus, the city was the heart of the Indian Freedom Movement with Anand Bhawan being its epicentre. It was in this beautiful city that the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi proposed his program of Nonviolent resistance against the British to liberate India.
Synonymous to Sangam, Allahabad is one of the holy cities of Uttar Pradesh, where the Maha Kumbh takes place once in 12 years. Magh Mela is held annually, apart from the years of Maha Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh. This Magh Mela is called so, as it falls in the Magh period (Jan-Feb) of the Hindu calendar. It is believed that taking a dip at the sangam will free the devotees from sin or guilt. During this period a township will be arranged to accommodate several pilgrims on the banks of River Ganga. Millions of devotees from various parts of India participate in this auspicious mela.
Things To Do in Allahabad
Allahabad is easily reachable from different parts of the country by air, rail and road. The city has a domestic airport, which is situated around 15 km away from the city centre and connected to different regions of the country. Taxis are available from the airport. Allahabad is also a major rail station and has trains connecting it to all the regions of the country. The city is well connected to regions within and around the state by state as well as private buses. Buses also connect Allahabad to Delhi and Kolkata, among other places. The best time to visit the city is from October to March. The weather is cool and suitable for exploring the region. It is best to avoid the hot summer months when the mercury can go up to 45 degree Celsius.
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