Allahabad, the headquarters of Allahabad District
and one of the oldest cities in India, was earlier known as Prayag. Emperor Akbar
changed the name to Allahabad. It lies 135 km west of Varanasi
. Allahabad is a land blessed by the Gods and therefore is one of the most sacred pilgrim centers in India. History, culture and religion create a magical confluence here. The ashes of Mahatma Gandhi
were consigned in the sacred Ganges
at Allahabad in 1948.
Allahabad city is the hub of various educational institutions and technical schools and is the seat of the University of Allahabad.
Allahabad is a trading center for agricultural products such as rice, pulses, wheat, tobacco, cotton, and sugarcane.
Kumbh Mela, conducted once in every twelve years, is the major festival of Allahabad which draws devotees from all over the country. Another festival, Ardh Kumbh Mela, is held once in every six years. Tableaux that depict various scenes from Indian mythology are performed during Dussehra.
The important sites in the city are the Allahabad Fort, Allahabad Museum, Patalpuri temple,
Ashoka pillar, Akshaya Vat, Hanuman temple, Shankar Viman mandapam, Mankameshwar temple, Anand Bhawan, Jawahar planetarium, Bharadwaj ashram and All Saints Cathedral. Triveni Sangam, the combination of three rivers, Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati (mythical), attracts devotees from all over the country to take holy baths.
Hotels such as Prayag Hotel, Raj Hans Hotel, Hotel Alalhabad Regency, Hotel Yatrik,
Hotel Samrat, Hotel Ruby and Hotel Presidency provide a wide choice of accommodations in Allahabad. Besides this, outdoor eating is commonly seen in Allahabad. The temporary stalls function as cheap and popular places to eat out.
The nearest airports are at Varanasi, Lucknow and
Kanpur. It is connected with Delhi and Kolkata by trains such as Rajdhani, Magadh, and Shramjeevi.