Allahabad

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(Redirected from Prayag)
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Map of India. Position of Allahabad highlighted.
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Surroundings of Allahabad, India.
This article is about the Indian city. For other uses, see Allahabad (disambiguation).

Allahabad (Hindi: इलाहाबाद, ilāhābād) is a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The name, meaning "city of God", was given to the city by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1583. In Indian alphabets it is spelt "Ilāhābād": "ilāh" is Arabic for "a god".

The modern city is on the site of the ancient holy city of Prayāga (which is a Sanskrit name for "confluence of rivers"), and is one of four sites of the Kumbha Mela, the others being Hardwar, Ujjain and Nasik. It has a position of importance in the Hindu religion and mythology as the confluence point of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati.

Because solar events in Allahabad occur exactly 5 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Greenwich, the city is the reference point for Indian Standard Time, maintained by the city's observatory.

Contents

History

In the times that the Ramayana refers to, the site of Allahabad was a few rishis' huts at a river-meeting in the middle of a huge forest called Dandaka that covered much of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Akbar realized the strategic importance of Allahabad and built a magnificent fort on the banks of the holy Sangam.

Under British rule, Allahabad was the capital of the United Provinces till the 1920s. It was well-known as an educational centre, and in the first few decades of the 20th century, the Allahabad University had earned for itself the epithet of 'Oxford of the East'. It was also a major literary centre for Hindi, and numerous literateurs were connected to it in some way or the other.

Allahabad was the birthplace of Jawaharlal Nehru, and the Nehru family estate, called the Anand Bhavan, is now a museum.

During India's struggle for independence, Allahabad was at the forefront of all political activities. Alfred Park in Allahabad was the site where, in 1931, noted revolutionary Chandrashekhar Azad killed himself when surrounded by the British police. After independence this park has been renamed as Chandra Shekhar Azad Park.

The first seeds of Pakistan was also sown in Allahabad. In 1930, Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) in his presidential address to the All-India Muslim League proposed a separate Muslim state in the Muslim majority regions of India.

Allahabad has produced more prime ministers than any other city in India.

Geography

It is located in the southern part of the state, at 25.26 N. lat. and 81.50' E, and stands at the confluence of the Ganga (Ganges) and Yamuna rivers.

Demography

Allahabad has a population of 1,050,000 as per the 2001 census with about 580,000 males and 470,000 females. It lists as the 32nd most populous city in India. Allahabad has an area of about 65 km² and is 98 m above sea level. Languages spoken in and around Allahabad include Hindi, English, Urdu and some Bengali and Punjabi. All major religions are practiced in Allahabad.

Climate

Allahabad experiences all the four seasons. The summer season is from April to June with temperatures of 40 to 42 degrees C. Monsoon begins in early July and lasts till September. The winter season falls in the months of December, January and February. Temperatures in the cold weather could drop to freezing with maximum at almost 12 to 14 degrees C. Allahabad also witnesses severe fog in January resulting in massive traffic and travel delays. It does not snow in Allahabad.

Lowest temp recorded -2C; highest 46 [1] (http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weatherall.php3?s=057424&refer=&units=metric)

Kumbha and Magh Mela

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A view of the Magh Mela that takes place at Allahabad every year

The word 'Mela' is fair in Hindi. Except the years of the Kumbha Mela and the Ardha Kumbha Mela (Ardha is half in Hindi, hence the Ardha Kumbha Mela is held every 6th year), the Magh Mela takes place every year in the month of Magh (Jan - Feb) of the Hindu calendar. The Kumbha Mela takes place every 12 years and has more significance than the Magh Mela. These fairs take place on the banks of the holy river Ganga. It is widely believed that in the Kumbha Mela of 2001, almost 75 million people visited the banks of the rivers to take part in the festivals. During the Melas, entire townships are built with functioning hospitals, fire stations, police stations, restaurants and other facilities.

Places of interest

  • Allahabad Fort
  • Ananda Bhavan
  • Planetarium
  • Allahabad Museum
  • Yamuna Bank Road
  • Sangam
  • Allahabad University
  • Patthar Girja (Church)
  • Company Garden

Colleges and Universities

Hospitals

Sports and Recreation

Allahabad is well known for its sporting activities in the field of Cricket, Badminton, Tennis and Gymnastics. There are several sports complexes that can be used by both amateurs and professionals. These include the Madan Mohan Malaviya Cricket stadium, Mayo Hall Sports Complex and the Boys High School Gymnasium. There are several swimming facilities throughout the city as well.

Passenger transportation

Air: Allahabad is served by the Bamrauli airport (airport code IXD) and is linked to Delhi and Kolkata by Air Sahara. Other airports in the vicinity are Varanasi (147 km)and Lucknow (210 km).

Road: National Highway 2 runs through the center of the city. Allahabad is located in between Delhi and Kolkata on this highway. Another highway that links Allahabad is National Highway 27 that is 93 km long and starts at Allahabad and ends at Mangawan in Madhya Pradesh. There are other highways that link Allahabad to all parts of the country. Allahabad also has three bus stands catering to different routes. Tourist Taxis, Auto-Rickshaws and tempos are available for local transport. There is also a local bus service that connects various parts of the city.

Train: Allahabad is the headquarters of the North Central Railways and is well connected by trains with all major cities, namely, Kolkata, Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mumbai. Allahabad has four railway stations - Prayag Station, City Station, Daraganj Station and Allahabad Junction.

Famous Personalities

See also

External links

fr:Allhbd gl:Allahabad - इलाहाबाद hi:इलाहाबाद id:Allahabad nl:Allahabad ro:Allahabad sv:Allahabad

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