Officially named as Prayagraj and formerly known as Illahabad, this place is replete with prominent historical places and Destinations. The city itself has found its mention in various holy and sacred Hindu texts like Agni Puran and Manusmriti as the place where Brahmaji had attended a sacrificial ritual. Along with this Lord Ram of Ramayan is also said to have spent some time in an ashram here making it all the more sacred. The entire state is dotted with numerous ancient temples and has seen a long history of empires as well as mythological accounts. Each site here consists of a unique structure which is backed up with a unique story or a legend which makes visiting it completely worth it.
Here are a few places which you cannot afford to miss during your visit to Allahabad:
1. Triveni Sangam
This is probably one of the holiest places in India where three of the most pious rivers converge creating an aura of spirituality and purity. These rivers are Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical river of Saraswati which can be identified with their distinct colour change where Ganga is clear and the Yamuna has a greenish tinge to it. This place is also the site for one of the largest mass Hindu pilgrimage of Kumbh Mela every 12 years along with Ardh Kumbh Mela that takes place every 6 years. Devotees visit this holy center to take a holy dip in its water and you can even hire a boat that will lead you up to the Sangam point and you can savor some of the most panoramic and scenic views of the setting or the rising sun.
2. Allahabad Museum
Established in the year 1931 this is a national level museum which houses some of the most iconic pieces of our history that plays a crucial role in building up the mysterious past of our nation. Set up on display is the largest collection of prehistoric paintings, the colt pistol by which India’s great freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad had shot himself in the head, a display of Gandhi Ji life from birth to his death along with almost 25,000 books which are rare. Along with this, another unique feature here is that the museum is on its way to becoming a self-reliant entity in terms of power generation due to its utilization of solar power system. Other than all this it is also a great place for archaeologists and researchers looking to put together the pieces of the past in a more accurate manner.
3. Khusro Bagh
Spread over an extensive and lush green land of 40 acres this is probably one of the most underrated and offbeat places of attraction in Allahabad which houses the Tombs of Shah Begum, Khusro Mirza, Nithar Begum among other. All these tombs are well preserved and the architectural grandeur here is impeccably ornate and gives off a vibe of some serious opulence. Every inch of these structures from walls, pillar, arches, and even the ceilings are adorned in some of the finest designs which had invoked comparisons between this group of tombs and Fatehpur Sikri by the experts. The architectural brilliance makes it worth a visit during your trip to Allahabad.
4. Anand Bhawan
This iconic landmark in Allahabad had previously served as the residence for the Nehru family and now it has been converted into a historical museum. The Bhawan architecture is simple Hindu style with a minaret on top which adds to its beauty and all of this is set amidst tall green trees and lush neat lawns. This Bhawan was also donated to the Indian government in 1970 by Indira Gandhi in order to turn it into a museum which completely gives the visitors comprehensive information about the past of the influential Nehru family tree since it was transformed into a local headquarter for the Indian National Congress. This is the perfect place if you are looking to gain some knowledge about the past of Indian government.
5. Allahabad Fort
Standing majestically on the banks of the holy river of the Yamuna and close to the Triveni Sangam this legendary fort is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Allahabad which was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar. One would be able to witness some of the most magnificent views of the surroundings along with the scenic river flowing past it. Although most part of the fort is sealed off to the army (however some part is now open for visitors to the general public) but there is an immortal banyan tree in its premise known as Aksharvat which is worth the visit. There also a number of small temples inside it along with a Patal Koop which attracts a throng of tourists from far and wide especially during the Kumbh Mela.
6. Alfred Park
Spread out lavishly over a lush green area of 133 acres (making it the largest park in the city) and formerly known as Chandra Shekhar Azad Park during the British era, this place was constructed to commemorate the place where our great Indian freedom fighter Azad had sacrificed his life by shooting himself with the last bullet he had after a tussle with the British forces. A number of tourists flock here to pay their respect to this legend. Apart from the historical value the park is extremely well kept and covered with tall and thick green trees. Its location in the heart of the city helps in welcoming a throng of tourists in a daily basis. This place is known for being one of the best places to spend some time with your family among some peace and quiet especially during the summer evenings.
7. Allahabad Pillar
Also referred to as ‘Ashoka Stambh’ this pillar in Allahabad is dated back to the Mauryan Empire of 3rd century BCE. The pillar is an edict which is engraved with inscriptions from Ashoka himself along with the inscriptions by the 17th-century Mughal ruler Jahangir. The inscriptions tell us about the good and charitable deeds done by Ashoka’s queen Karuvaki. The actual location of this structure was in the ancient town of Kaushambi (30 kms from its current place) before and is believed to have been moved to its new and current destination within the Allahabad fort. People should visit this legendary pillar which gives us a view into the past ages and allows you to also paint a picture of the bygone era.
8. All Saints Cathedral
Also popularly known as Patthar Girja or the church of stones, this holy place is one of the most beautiful churches in Allahabad. Its beauty lies in the fact that it was modeled after the gothic style of churches that dates back to 13th-century. The church is beautiful not only from the outside but from inside as well due to the presence of classical arches, stucco work, dressings by the finest red stones and a tall tower. There are also several paintings that can be observed here like that of flying buttresses and snarling gargoyles. The typical stained-glass window adds immense beauty inside the church and creates an aura of peace. Some of the latticework for the church seems like it has been inspired from Taj Mahal in Agra.
9. Minto Park
This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Allahabad and is located on the southern end of this city by the banks of Yamuna River. This park also serves a historical purpose since it is built on the place where Earl Canning read out the declaration of Queen Victoria’s proclamation citing the complete transfer of power over India to the Britain government from the East India Company. The park was also formerly known as Madan Mohan Malviya Park along with a stunning and unique stone sculpture of four fierce lion faces on every direction made out of glistening marble. The entire park is a great way to have some peaceful time inside the city and rejuvenate yourself quickly.
10. Allahabad Public Library
If you are relaxing at the Chandrashekhar Azad Park then you will be able to take a brisk walk across the park that will lead you to the library entrance which is preserved as one of the most significant pieces of history in Allahabad. The library is open for all the book lovers and reading enthusiasts looking to take a break from sightseeing and gain some knowledge. If you get bored reading then you can take a refreshing walk in its lush gardens and have a cup of tea in its canteen. Established during the year 1879, the collection in this historic library holds almost 125,000 books, 40 different magazines and 28 newspapers. A visit here is a must!
11. Jawahar Planetarium
This is a great place to visit if you are traveling with kids and want them to have a fun and exciting learning experience about our solar system and space. Located right next to Anand Bhawan, you will be witnessing some of the most mesmerizing celestial shows and representations. The complex also houses several fun scientific activities for kids that will elevate their interest in astrology and science. It is worth a visit if you are looking to add a hint of a twist to you vacation plans for Allahabad. The planetarium also holds the highly prestigious “Jawaharlal Nehru memorial lecture every year on 14th November.
12. Mankameshwar Mandir
This sacred temple is located on the banks of the river Yamuna and in close proximity to the majestic Allahabad fort. People throng to this temple, especially during the auspicious shiv pujas and festivals. Saraswati ghat is also located next to this holy temple and people have made it a ritual to visit this shiv temple before going for a visit to Triveni Sangam. The establishment of the temple was undertaken and overlooked by Guru Shankaracharya who is also credited with the establishment of numerous pilgrimages and Mutts across India. The temple experiences the most number of pilgrim footfall during the Sawan months since it is one of the holiest times for shiv devotees.
13. Alopi Devi Mandir
Situated within the famous Alopi Bagh and close to the holy confluence or Sangam this temple is dedicated to the holiest part of sati that had fallen after the Vishnu chakra had cut it up into pieces. The last part fell here in Alopi Bagh, hence the name Alopi Devi. This is also one of the most significant Shakti Peeth in India and there are several interesting mythological and historical stories around the creation of this temple making it all the more spiritual and religious. The presiding deity is worshipped inside a Doli and is deemed for its importance in the lives of Hindu devotees. If you are visiting Allahabad then you should make it a point to at least make a short visit to this temple to experience its amazing positivity.
14. Shankar Viman Mandapam
Situated on the northern end from the holy Triveni Sangam of Allahabad, this is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This four leveled of the grand temple was built to honour the memory and contributions of Guru Adi Shankaracharya. The architectural style here is that of Typical Hindu style but gets its name due to the presence of South Indian Viman style as well. Located on the banks of the holy river of Ganga these 130 feet high structure houses idols of Kumari Bhatt, Kamakshi Devi, Jagadguru Shankaracharya, Tirupati Balaji among others. If you are looking to spend your day amongst deep spirituality then a visit to this temple is a must.
15. Allahabad University
Your visit to Allahabad remains incomplete if you skip on visiting this glorious ‘oxford of the east’. Established in 1887 and spread out over a large sprawling area and dotted with lush lawns and gardens, this place has become one of the must-visit places in Allahabad. You will be witnessing some of the most uniquely created faculty buildings along with some of the oldest structures which are so well preserved that you feel like you have stepped into the past. This is also one of the most prestigious universities for college going kids and is definitely worth a visit.