In the heart of northern India, watered by the two sacred rivers of Ganga and Yamuna lies, the pilgrimage city of Allahabad. The two rivers along with the mythical river Saraswati meet in this holy city of Allahabad, creating the sangam (confluence), also known as the triveni (meeting of three rivers). Located on a strategic point in the heartland of India, Allahabad was also of great importance for the Mughal rulers and later the British.
In Allahabad, the British formally transferred the governance of India from the East India Company to the Crown. In the subsequent years of struggle for independence from colonial rule, Allahabad became one of the focal points of the freedom fighters. Home to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, Allahabad witnessed many important landmarks in the freedom movement.
How to Reach Allahabad?
By Air : Bamrauli airport lies 18 kms out of the city. At the time of writing, no commercial airlines operate to Allahabad. The closest operational airport is at Varanasi, which is three hours away by road.
By Rail : The best way to get to Allahabad is by train. Allahabad is on the main broad gauge trunk line between Delhi and Calcutta. Trains on this line stop at the Allahabad Junction Station in the Civil Lines area.
By Road : If you are driving around India, the city is extremely well connected from all directions. The city is connected to most places in Uttar Pradesh and around by state and national highways. All east bound traffic coming from the north has to pass Allahabad. The roads are reasonably good and driving on them is quite pleasant, particularly if you have a driver. Buses link Allahabad to all the major north Indian cities including Delhi (643 kms), Gwalior, Jhansi, Kanpur, Lucknow (204 kms), Meerut and Varanasi (122 kms). Buses terminate at the Leader Road bus stand, the Zero Road bus stand and MG Marg bus stand.
Best Time to Visit Allahabad
The best time to visit Allahabad is from October to March, when the climate is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing. Allahabad experiences extreme weather conditions. The summer months are extremely hot and the winter months are extremely cold. During the summer season, from March to June, it is extremely hot with the level of mercury reaching about 45°C hence avoid visiting this place during summer months.
Things to do in Allahabad
Allahabad is a city where culture reigns and the things to do revolve around that. Visit the temples scattered around the town and on the banks of the river, take a boat ride out to the Sangam area where all the three rivers are said to meet and have a dip in the holy waters. The Allahabad Museum will enthrall you with its display of magnificent sculptures, miniature paintings and other exhibits.
A trip to Allahabad will be incomplete if one does not visit the Anand Bhawan the abode of the Nehru family. Turned into a museum today the Anand Bhawan sprawling grounds are beautiful and the museum has a display of interesting memorabilia of the family. Definitely a must visit!
Places Near Allahabad
There are many places near Allahabad. About 9 kms from Allahabad is Jhusi or Pratisthanpuri that is an ancient site. Reached after crossing the Ganga on boat or via road, this site has several temples and ashrams.
Bhita , 22 kms southwest of Allahabad, is an archaeological site dating well before the 3rd century BC. Originally excavated in 1910-11, the site revealed evidence of ancient habitation and was a major trade centre. The mythological kingdom of Nishadraj or the king of boatmen sits 40 kms away on the banks of the Ganga. Known as Shringverpur, this ancient site with its Ramchaura is believed to be the spot where Lord Rama stayed a night before being taken across the river by Nishadraj.
The Tons River Aqueduct and the Upardaha Lake about 45 kms from Allahabad are popular picnic spots for local people.
Kara, 69 kms from the city is an erstwhile Mughal township. Once the provincial capital of the region, the town has some Hindu shrines including the Sheetla Mata temple and the Kaleshwar Mahadev temple of Lord Shiva.
Kausambi , an ancient town sits next to the Yamuna RIver, 62 kms from Allahabad. Legend says the town was settled by descendants of the Pandavas who fled the flooded city of Hastinapur. Early excavations at Kausambi revealed an important Buddhist site where the Buddha himself came to preach. Referred by the Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang, this town was continuously inhabited from the 8th century BC till the 6th century AD. Some historians have suggested evidence of even earlier habitation at the site. A 6-km mud wall surfaced with brick is visible at the site. Inside are remains of brick houses, paved roads, tanks, a drainage system and a large 5th century BC stupa. A damaged Ashokan column is one of the few standing structures among the ruins. Accessed from Allahabad by taxis or private cars, you can also reach Kausambi by a daily bus from the Leader Road bus stand.
Hotels in Allahabad – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Allahabad ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.