14 January 2005 - 04:31 PM
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Soil of Allahabad always been to worship not only because of it's holy sangam and temples, but it have also given great freedom fighters and political leaders to India which have put their marks in Indian history. There are many historic monuments and temples in Allahabad, which are the proof of its glorious culture and well-developed civilization. Main places to be visited at Allahabad are:
Sangam - The term "Sangam" means the confluence of two or more rivers. At Allahabad, Sangam is the point at which the holy river Ganga (Ganges) meets with another river 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 around 7 km from Civil Lines, pandas (priests) perform puja and assist the devout in their ritual ablutions in the shallow waters. Boats to the Sangam, used by pilgrims and tourists alike, can be rented at the ghat. During the Kumbh/Ardh Kumbh festivals the Sangam truly comes alive and attracts the devout/tourists from all over the world.
Kumbh Mela - Hindus traditionally regard river confluences as very auspicious places, also at the Sangam at Allahabad. According to legend, Vishnu was carrying a kumbh (pot to carry water) of amrit (nectar), when a scuffle broke out between the gods, and four drops were spilled. They fell to earth at the four tirthas (means "ford of a river", where the devout can cross from this finite world into divine celestial realms) of Prayag, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain. That event is commemorated every three years by the Kumbh Mela, which 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 - is the largest religious fair in India, attended by millions of peoples. The mela is especially renowned for the presence of an extraordinary array of religious ascetics (sadhus and mahants) to take holy bath at the sangam. Once astrologers have determined the propitious bathing time (called "Kumbhayog"). The first to take holy bath at sangam are legions of Naga Sadhus, the ferocious-looking members of the "snake sect" who cover their naked bodies with ash, and wear hair in long dreadlocks. Then others group of sadhus (Akhara's) and general public take holy bath and perform puja at Sangam.
Allahabad Fort -The massive fort built by emperor Akbar in 1583 A.D., the fort stands on the banks of the Yamuna near the Sangam. The fort was unique in its design, construction and craftsmanship. At present is used by the army and only a limited area is open for tourists. Visitors are allowed to see the Ashoka Pillar (An pillar of polished sandstone, 10.6 meter in height. Built near about 232 B.C. The pillar has several edicts and a Persian inscription of Emperor Jahangir inscripted on it) and Saraswati Koop (a well). Patalpuri temple (underground temple, inside the fort) and Akshaya Vat (immortal Banyan tree) also attracts visitors at the fort.