Prayag : An Ancient Holy City(Allahabad)
Allahabad is also known as Prayag Raj. The name bears roots to an ancient legend which says that after the creation of the world, Lord Brahma offered the first sacrifice at Allahabad and hence the place came to be known as Prayag which is the place of sacrifice. It is famous as it is the confluence (sangam) of the three most holy rivers in Indi: the Ganges, the Yamuna and the subterranean Saraswati. All three rivers hold a pious and divine status in India and it is believed that bathing in the water of the confluence will bring auspiciousness and fortune to the individual’s life.
City Of Kumbh Mela
Allahabad is renowned across the world as it hosts the magnificent Hindu festival called the Kumbh Mela. According to legend, it is believed that drops of nectar fell near the confluence point of the three holy rivers thereby giving them mystical powers. Millions of people gather at the river banks (ghats) to take a dip in the waters and purge themselves of all sins and thus attain Moksha (Salvation). The festival observes participation of people of all ages, religions, castes and creed in mutual harmony and equality. The festival is attended by Sadhus and saints who follow the path of religion. Some of the highlight saints of the festival are Naga Sadhus, who never wear any clothes and are always smeared in ash; Urdhwavahurs, saints who renounce physical pleasures; Parivajakas, who have taken a vow of silence and Shirshasins, who stand for all 24 hours and meditate.
The attendees of the Kumbh festival have the same common goal of finding the ultimate truth and thereby ending the mortal life of suffering and attaining salvation. Underlying the popular belief is the basic principle of Immortality accounted in the Vedic texts which claim that the supreme reality is not the material body but the eternal soul (Bhagvad Gita) which neither dies nor takes birth.
Allahabad is considered as King among holy places in India.