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Prayagraj - Allahabad

Sangam

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.

Kumbh Mela

Prayag in modern-day Prayagraj 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.

Allahabad Fort

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.

Shringverpur

Shringverpur is a must visit excursion destination around Prayagraj. It is a place 45 km from Prayagraj 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.

Allahabad Museum

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 Prayagraj 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.

Shree Akhileshwar Mahadev

Shree Akhileshwar Mahadev complex is spread over an area of about 500 sq. feet in Prayagraj 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.

Bhardwaj Ashram

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.

Akshay Vat

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.

Mankameshwar Temple

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 Prayagraj. 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.

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.

Their stories are inexhaustible. In the Prayag pilgrimage, the right hand finger of Goddess fell. Where their limbs fell, their name is different and there is also the name of Shiva there. Shiva had said in the love of Goddess Parvati that wherever in the form of your worship there, I will reside with that form in your Bhairav form forever. In the Lalita Devi Shakti Peeth, the name of Goddess is Lalita and Shiva's name is Bhav. It should always be noted that the philosophy of any Shakti Peeth is considered incomplete until the devotee completes the worship of Bhairav of the bench. Actually, only after Shiv Pujan, you should see Goddess in Shakti Peeth. Lalita Devi Shakti Peetha's Shiva Bhavmokak is.

It is said that the temple is worshiping from the ancient time, that Arjuna himself had built a well here with his arrows, which can still be seen today. This ancient goddess is a shrine in a very popular district of Meerpur in Allahabad. The temple was restored fifty years ago, though it needs to be made more grand. The devotees of the mother must definitely show the pilgrimage. Only the Ekivevan power station has been considered as Goddess pilgrimage, which is a clear description in the scriptures. Other whoever builds the temple of Goddess, it is called Shakti Peeth and spreads its propaganda and prevents it. Chinmaya Prakash, who has actually been called the Shakti Sthal, changes the person as it is worshiped by the big Jogi and Siddha by the continual mysterious crow.

Lakshagriha

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. According to legend, after the death of Goddess Sathi, the angry Lord Shiva travelled through skies with her dead body. To relieve him from his agony, Lord Vishnu threw his Chakra at the corpse which resulted in the fall of the various parts of the goddesses body at various places which were sanctified by their touch and hence were deemed holy places for pilgrimage.It is said that the last part fell at this location thereby named "Alopi" and the holiest of all.

According to temple history, once, a marriage procession happened to pass through the forest. Marriage processions, in those days used to be the most vulnerable targets of robbers as they used to return loaded with gold and other riches. While deep in the jungle this marriage party found itself surrounded by robbers.The robbers after killing all the men and looting the wealth turned to the 'doli' or carriage of the bride. To their dismay when they unveiled the carriage they found there was no one inside. The bride had magically disappeared. After this, the place became very famous. A Hindu temple came up on the site where this incident had happened and locals started worshiping the bride as "Alopi Devi" or the 'virgin goddess who had disappeared'.

Takshakeshwar Nath

This is a temple of Takshakeshwar Lord Shankar located in south of Prayagraj 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

Samudra Koop

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.

Someshwar Temple

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 Prayagraj. 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.

About Sita Samahit Sthal (Sitamarhi) Temple

Sita Samahit Sthal (Sitamarhi) is one of a famous Hindu temple in India. It is believed that the site of this Indian temple is the place where Sita, the wife of Rama, was swallowed into earth when she willed it so, while she was living in the ashram of Saint Valmiki in the forest of Sitamarhi.

As per the Ramayana lord Rama came back to Ayodhya after his victory over Ravana the king of Lanka. Due to the gossip of the people regarding Sita's stay in Lanka, Rama decided to abandon Sita and sent her to the forest.Unknown to him, she was pregnant with his twin sons.

Later on, a big yagna was held by lord Rama in Ayodhya and this was the ashwamedha yagna or horse sacrifice. The yagna was that the horse of that grand yagna was released at Ayodhya and the horse was free to move in any direction or any kingdom. Any king of any kingdom through which the horse passed would have to declare Rama as his sovereign lord and emperor.

While the horse was wandering through the jungle near the place where Sita and her two sons Lav and Kush were staying, the two boys captured the horse .All the great warriors of Rama including Lakshman, Bharath, Shatrugan, Sugreev and Hanuman were defeated in battle with the two boys.Finally the great king of Ayodhya came to that place to fight Lav and Kush. Their identities remained unknown and they did not realise that they were fighting their father. Finaly Sita came there with folded palms and told them the truth. Even then, Rama was hesitant to take her back. Sita who was the embodiment of purity and chastity was stung by Rama's behaviour and she cried out to her mother Bhoomi devi to take her back to her home. Bhoomi or the earth opened up and swallowed Sita. A remorseful Rama took Lav and Kush back to Ayodhya.

Kalyani Devi

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.

Prabhas Giri

It is located about 50 km north of Prayagraj 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.

Shivkuti

On the northern end of Prayagraj 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 Prayagraj 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.

Siddheshwari Peeth

It is located in front of the bus station at Civil Lines in Prayagraj 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.

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