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 'Prakrishta 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.
During the medieval period, this holy city of Uttar Pradesh
enjoyed the honour of being a religio-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
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 non-violent
resistance against the British to liberate India.
Synonymous to Sangam, Allahabad is one of the holy cities of
Uttar Pradesh, where the Maha Kumbha 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.
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.
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 45⁰ Celsius.