Allahabad Things to Do Tips by Willettsworld
Allahabad Things to Do: 20 reviews and 65 photos
I took a boat out to the confluence point where the Yamuna meets the mighty Ganges. As you can see in the picture, bathers were bathing in the middle of the river but they were standing with the water only reaching their knees. My guide explained to me that they were standing on specially made platforms.
The sacred 'Sangam', literally meaning confluence, is the confluence of three of the holiest rivers in Hindu mythology Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical underground river of enlightenment, Saraswati. At the confluence, the muddy waters of the Ganges and the clear green water of the Yamuna can be distinctly seen to merge into one. Bathing at the Sangam is believed to be auspicious through out the year especially for 15 days in the month of Magh (mid-January to Mid-February) during 'Magh Mela' and longer during 'Maha Kumbh Mela' held every 12 years. Astrologers calculate the holiest time to enter the water and draw up a 'Holy Dip Schedule'. Maha Kumbh Mela attracts millions of devout Hindus and a holy dip then is believed to cleanse the soul. An enormous temporary township springs up on the vacant land on the Allahabad side of the river. The Mela holds a record in the Guinness Book as the largest human gathering on earth. This occured in 1988 when 15 Million people gathered to take a dip on a single day.
This is the guy who took me out on the Yamuna River. I went out to see the fort and witness bathers bathing at the confluence of the Yamuna and the Ganges. My guide/rower, first approached me and started quoting me Rs150 for the hour long trip. I thought this was a bit steep and managed to bargain him down to Rs100 (I gave him a small tip as well). He rowed me out to the confluence point where bathers were bathing in the middle of the river but they were standing with the water only reaching their knees. My guide explained to me that they were standing on specially made platforms. The boat trip was great as it was peaceful on the calm waters plus the atmosphere was enhanced by the sun setting.
This massive majestic fort was built by Emperor Akbar in 1583 and stands on the banks of the Yamuna River near its confluence with the sacred Ganges. The largest of Akbar's forts, it was matchless in its design and construction. Now used by the army, it is not open to visitors unless you have prior permission. In fact the Indian army are everywhere in the area. The fort has massive walls and three gateways flanked by high towers. Inside the fort there is the Zenana (harem) and an Ashoka pillar dating back to 232 B.C. that was moved to the fort from Kausambi, 'Saraswati Koop' (a well, said to be the source of the mythical Saraswati river, Patalpuri (an underground temple) and the much-revered 'Akshaya Vata' or immortal Banyan tree. The best views of the fort are seen from a boat. I took one out on the river to reach the point where bathers bathe at the point where the two rivers meet.
The Yamuna River flows to the south of the city and joins up with the sacred Ganges, south-east of the city. It is the largest tributary of the Ganges with a total length of around 1370km (850 miles) and flows through the major city's of Delhi, Mathura and Agra (behind the Taj Mahal). I took a boat for a trip out along the fort to the point where bathers bathed at the confluence of the two rivers.
This white stone memorial with a four lion symbol on top stands in Minto Park near the Yamuna River and Akbar's Fort. It was here on November 1st 1858 that the British East India Company officially handed over control of India to the British government when Lord Canning read out the famous declaration of Queen Victoria Proclamation. The step was taken in the wake of the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny (also known as the India Uprising/First War of Independence). One of the reasons behind this mutiny was the blatant corruption that prevailed in the ranks of The British East India Company. The decision resulted in converting the status of India from an 'Economic Interest Zone' into a 'Colony'. In 1910, Lord Minto laid a foundation stone for the park. The Governor General laid this park in order to commemorate the transfer of power. There were a large number of army tents and personel in the park when I visited which must be an overspill from the army barracks based in the fort down the road.
Anand Bhavan was the former ancestral home of the Nehru family. Donated to the Indian government in 1970 by Indira Gandhi, it was turned into a museum. The exhibits in the two storied building seen through glass panels include personal items of Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru (the first Prime Minister of Independent India), Indira Gandhi (Prime Minister 1966-77 & 1980-84) and her sons Sanjay Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi (Prime Minister 1984-1989). You can see the room where Mahatma Gandhi used to stay during his visits (his first was in 1919) where he and Nehru used to plan to over through the British Raj and Jawaharlal Nehru's room. More photo's can be found in one of my travelogues.
Open daily: 9:30am to 5:00pm except Mondays. Admission: Rs5 for all.
Situated next to Anand Bhawan, Swaraj Bhavan was donated to the Nation by Motilal Nehru (Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime ministers father) to be used as the headquarters of the Congress Committee. Motilal Nehru bought the house in 1900 and doesn't look like it has been lived in ever since although he lived here until 1930. His grand-daughter, the late Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi was born here.
Open daily: 9:30am to 5:30pm. Closed on Monday's. Admission: Rs5 for all.
Designed by Sir William Emerson, (who also designed All Saints Cathedral in Allahabad and the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta), and opened in 1886, the former college is a fine example of 'Indo-saracenic' architecture. It has a 200 feet tower made of pale-yellow sandstone with marble and mosaic floors. It was later established as the University of Allahabad, one of the most reputed universities in India and its faculties include Arts, Commerce, Law, Medicine and Science. Many famous Indians have attended here such as former Indian presidents, prime ministers and deputy prime ministers and Motilal Nehru, (Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime ministers father). The University includes the Kausambi Museum with various artifacts from Kausambi including pottery, terracotta figurines, coins, beads and bangles.
Allahabad Museum is located on Kamala Nehru Road inside Chandra Shekhar Azad Park. It has 18 galleries containing a wide range of stone sculptures. The sculptures include 2nd century BC pieces from Bharhut and Kausambi, 1st century AD Kushana from Mathura, 4th-6th century Gupta and 11th century carvings from Khajuraho. The exhibits also include terracotta figurines from Kausambi, Rajasthani miniature paintings, coins, stone & flint tools, neckless beads, furniture, weapons, pots, modern art and paintings by Nicholas Roerich and artifacts donated by the Nehru family such as his clothes, photos, gifts presented to him, letters etc.
Open daily from 10:30am - 4:30pm except Mondays. Admission: Rs100 for foreigners.
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