Prayag

Prayag
Highlights

Prayag. Have you ever been to Allahabad? It is a famous city in the north of India. A mile and a half from Allahabad is the holy kshetra called Prayag.

Have you ever been to Allahabad? It is a famous city in the north of India. A mile and a half from Allahabad is the holy kshetra called Prayag.

From very ancient times, people from all over the country have gone on pilgrimage to Prayag.

Three holy rivers, the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Saraswati flowing from the Himalayas, meet here. We call it the Triveni Sangam. All Sangams or points where rivers meet are holy, but this Sangam is holier than others.

God Brahma did a great yaga here. That is why it has come to be called Prayaga. ‘Pra’ stands for Prajapati, another name for Brahma. At Prayag, the waters of the Ganga appear white, and those of the Yamuna blue. You can clearly see the line of demarcation.

Poet Kalidasa describes this junction as a mixing of pearls and emeralds.

The river Saraswati, however, joins the other two from below the earth. It is not seen in the surface.

God Vishnu is worshipped in this kshetra as Bindu Madhava.

Rishi Bharadwaja had his ashrama here. Sri Rama came to his ashrama while living in the forest.

Pious men go to bathe at the Sangam.

Holy Brahmins pitch their tents on the sand, or stay mid-streams on boats; help pilgrims in their worship.

People offer shraddha to their ancestors and give away gifts of money. Women give like auspicious things like small mirrors, packets of kumkum, bangles and coloured clothes to other women in the belief that it brings luck. This pleases mother Ganga.

People bathe in this sangam mostly on new and full moon days, all days of the month of Magha, Makara Sankranti, Ratha-Saptami, and other holy days.

There are a number of small shrines and old ashrams in and around Prayag. People offer worship there.

Once in 12 years the Kumbha Mela is held here in the month of Kumbha. Millions of ordinary people and a large number of sadhus from all over India come here at this time, and take a dip in the holy waters.

Pilgrims who go to Kasi also visit Prayag.

Emperor Akbar built a modern city near Prayag, and gave it the name Allahabad; It means the City of God.

Jawaharlal Nehru was born in the city of Allahabad. Here you can see the Swaraj Bhavan. His family lived there once.

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