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Places of Interest

Sangam

Sangam

Around 7 km from Civil Lines, overlooked by the eastern ramparts of the fort, wide flood plains and muddy banks protrude towards the sacred Sangam. At the point at which the brown Ganges meets the Greenish Yamuna, pandas (priests) perch on small platforms to perform puja and assist the devout in their ritual ablutions in the shallow waters. Beaches and ghats are littered with the shorn hair of pilgrims who come to offer pind for their deceased parents.

Boats to the Sangam, used by pilgrims and tourists alike, can be rented at the ghat immediately east of the fort, at the recommended government rate of Rs 12 per head. However, most pilgrims pay around Rs 36 and you can be charged as much as Rs 150. Official prices for a whole boat are between Rs 100 and Rs 120 but can soar to more than Rs 250 during peak seasons. On the way to the Sangam, high-pressure aquatic salesmen loom up on the placid waters selling offerings such as coconuts for pilgrims to discard at the confluence.Once abandoned, the offerings are fished up again and resold to other pilgrims – a blatant if efficient form of recycling.

The sacred Sangam is the confluence of three of the holiest rivers in Hindu mythology – Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. At the Sangam, the waters of the Ganges and the Yamuna can be distinctly seen to merge into one. It is during the Kumbh/Ardh Kumbh that the Sangam truly comes alive … attracting the devout from all across the country.

The holy Sangam is the site for Annual Magha Mela/Ardh Kumbh/Kumbh Mela. Boats are available for visitors.

Kumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela

Hindus traditionally regard river confluences as auspicious places, more so the the Sangam at Allahabad, where the Yamuna and the Ganges meet the River of Enlightenment, the mythical Saraswati. According to legend, Vishnu was carrying a kumbh (pot) of amrita (nectar), when a scuffle broke out between the Gods, and four drops were spilled. They fell to earth at the four tirthas of Prayag, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain (tirtha means "ford of a river", a place where the devout can cross from this finite world into divine celestial realms. The event is commemorated every three years by the Kumbh Mela, held at each tirtha in turn; the Sangam is known as Tirtharaja, the "King of Tirthas", and its Mela, once every twelve years, is the greatest and holiest of all.

The Maha Kumbh Mela - the "Great" Kumbh Mela - is the largest religious fair in India, attended by literally millions of rejoicing pilgrims. The vast floodplains and river banks adjacent to the confluence are overrun by pilgrims, tents, organized in almost military fashion 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 are legions of Naga Sadhus or Naga Babas, the ferocious-looking members of the "snake sect" 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 appointed time with all the pomp and bravado of a charging army. The next Maha Kumbh Mela is due to take place in 2025.

Allahabad Fort

Allahabad Fort

The massive fort built by emperor Akbar in 1583 A.D., the fort stands on the banks of the Yamuna near 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 edge. Visitors are allowed to see the Ashokan Pillar and Saraswati Kup, a well, said to be the source of the Saraswati river and Jodhabai Palace. The Patalpur temple is also here. So is the much revered Akshaya Vat or immortal Banyan tree.

Patalpuri Temple

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 traveller and writer Huan Tsang during his visit to this place.

Ashoka Pillar

This 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.

Akshaya Vat

The immortal tree within the Patalauri temple, has found mention in the description of several ancient scriptures, writers and historians. The tree stands in a deep niche above an underground shaft, which is said to lead to Triveni. Visitors need permission to visit the Fort, Patalpuri Temple, Ashoka Pillar and AkshayaVat from Commandant, Ordnance Depot, Fort, Allahabad. Phone: 6064738, Extension. 213.

Hanuman Mandir

Near the Sangam, this temple is unique in North India, for its supine image of Hanumana. Here the big idol of Lord Hanumana is seen in a reclining posture. When the Ganga is in spate, this temple gets submerged.

Shankar Viman Mandapam

130 feet high with four floors, it has the idols of Kumaril Bhatt, Jagatguru Shankaracharya, Kamakshi Devi (with 51 Shaktipeethas around), Yogsahastra Sahastrayoga Linga.

Mankameshwar Temple

Situated near Saraswati Ghat, on the banks of Yamuna, this is one of the famous Shiva Temples of Allahabad.

Minto Park

It 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.

Swaraj Bhawan

Swaraj Bhawan

The old Anand Bhawan, which in the year 1930 was donated to the Nation by Moti Lal Nehru, to be used as the headquarters of the Congress Committee. Moti Lal Nehru renamed it as Swaraj Bhawan. Late Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi was born here. Facility of light & sound show from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm is available at Rs.5.00 per head. Visiting hours: 09:30 am to 05:30 pm. Closed on Monday's.Ticket: Rs.2.00

Anand Bhawan

Anand Bhawan

The erstwhile ancestral home of the Nehru family. Today it has been turned into a fine museum. Here, many momentous decisions, events, related to the freedom struggle took place. The main building houses a museum which displays the memorabilia of the Nehru family.

Visiting hours: 09:30 am to 05:00 pm.
Ticket: Rs.2.00.
Closed: on Mondays and Government holidays.
Phone: 2600476.

Agharkar Museum, Botany Department, University of Allahabad, Allahabad-211002

Agharkar Museum

Tel: 2461887
Summer: 7.00 A.M. to 12.00 A.M.;
winter: 10.00 A.M. to 4.00P.M.;
closed: Sunday and university holidays; free. University; 1923; lecturer-in-charge. Specimens of the fossil and living plants, ancient life forms, life through the ages with geological events, reconstruction of past flora and faunas, rare plants of economic importance, medicinal and ethno botanical interest, maps depicting the distribution and origin of plants. Library of the department. Guide Service: School Programs. Photography- Allowed. Educational Natural history and botany museum.

Allahabad Museum Chandrashekhar Azad Park, Kamala Nehru Road, Allahabad -2

Tel: (0532) 2602409, 2608237, 2600834, 2601200;
Fax: (0532) 2608237;
E-mail:aldamasalld@sancharnet.in
10.30 A.M. to 4.30 P.M.; closed : Mondays and gazetted holidays and Sunday falling after second Saturday; Rs. 5.00 adult, Rs.2.00 below 12 years, Rs. 100.00 foreigners.
Central Government: 1931. director.

Stone sculptures, terracotta’s miniature paintings, modern Indian paintings, seals, sealing, coins, presents from Pt. Jawaharalal Nehru, miniature objects, handicrafts, firms, manuscripts, arms and armour inscription, Tangkhas.
Citivithika half yearly.
Library.
Guide service; film shows on request; Lectures.
Photography allowed on payment of Rs.25.00 per Snap.
Multi-Purpose Museum.

Anand Bhawan Museum, Anand Bhawan, Moti Lal Nehru Marg Allahabad-211002

Tel: (0532)2467071, 2467096;
Fax: (0532)2467096;
E-mail:jlnmfald@dataone.in
9.30A.M. to 5.30 P.M. (Lunch Break) 1.00 P.M. and 1.30P.M.;
closed: Mondays and gazetted holidays; Rs. 5.00-(for first floor only).
Private trust; Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Fund; 1971; Administrator.
Personal Belongings of Jawaharlal Nehru, of his parents and other members of his family. Picture gallery of national movement, painting textile books parquetry.

Library.
Guide service; school programs; lectures: both popular and academic area organized.
Photography not allowed.
Personalia museum.
There is a bookshop which sells books of leading personalities of freedom movement and souvenirs.

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