? Uttar Pradesh: Places of tourist interest one should not miss

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Uttar Pradesh: Places to Visit - I


By Lokankara (Allahabad, Kumbh Mela - Pauspurnima 2013) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Agra

Tajmahal, Agra

Known, to the world as the city of Taj Mahal, Agra is situated on the west bank of River Yamuna, 204 km south of Delhi. The old part of the town, north of the fort, is where the main market place is. The modern township is on the south. Agra has a magnificent fort and many other monuments from the Mughal era, not to mention the Taj Mahal, which are major attractions to the tourists. More......

Allahabad

Known as Prayag in the ancient times, Allahabad stands at the confluence of River Ganga and River Yamuna. Sangam, as the confluence is called, is the venue of many sacred fairs and rituals, and attracts thousands of pilgrims throughout the year. The mythical Saraswati River, believed to flow underground towards the Sangam, gives the confluence its name 'Triveni'.

Emperor Akbar founded this city in 1575 and built a magnificent fort on the banks of the holy Sangam. The city was an important cantonment during the British rule. It has some beautiful remnants of colonial architecture.

It was in Allahabad that the East India Company officially handed over control of India to the British Government in 1858, following the uprising. The city was a centre of Indian National Congress. It is here Gandhi proposed his program of non-violence in 1920.

Allahabad is connected to Major centres of the country by rail and road. The nearest airport is Varanasi, 147km west.

Sangam

Kumbamela, Sangam

Kumbha Mela, Allahabad Sangam is about 7 km from Civil Lines, where the muddy Ganges meets the green and deeper Yamuna. Sangam is considered to have great soul cleansing powers and all pious Hindus hope to perform pilgrimage to Sangam and bathe in the confluence at least once in their lifetime. During the festival of Magh Mela in the month of Magha (Jan. - Feb.), pilgrims swarm the Sangam to bathe at this confluence. Pandas (priests) perch on small platforms to perform puja and assist the devout in their ritual ablutions in the shallow waters.

Allahabad Fort

Emperor Akbar built this massive fort in 1583 AD, on the banks of the Yamuna near the confluence. The fort has three magnificent gateways flanked by high towers. The view of the fort from the river is the most impressive. At present the Army utilizes the fort and only a limited area is open to visitors. Visitors are allowed to see the Ashoka Pillar, Jodhabai Palace and Saraswati Kup, a well said to be the source of the Saraswati River.

Visitors can obtain permission to visit the Fort, Patalpuri Temple, Ashoka Pillar and Akshaya Vat from:

  • The Commandant,
    Ordinance Depot,
    Fort, Allahabad.

Ashoka Pillar

Ashoka Pillar, Allahabad

This gigantic Ashoka pillar built with polished sandstone, in 232 BC, stands 10.6 meters high. The pillar has several edicts and a Persian inscription of Emperor Jahangir on it, commemorating his accession to the throne.

Patalpuri Temple

Within this underground temple, inside the fort, lies the Akshaya Vat or the immortal tree. The tree stands in a deep niche above an underground shaft, which is said to lead to Triveni. It is believed that Lord Rama visited the temple. The famous Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang mentioned about this the tree during his visit to this place.

Hanuman temple

Located near Sangam, this temple is unique for its supine image of Hanuman. Here the big idol of Hanuman is seen in a reclining posture. When the Ganga is in spate, she rises to touch the feet of the sleeping Hanuman before receding. This popular temple is open to non-Hindus.

Anand Bhavan

Anand Bhawan

Anand Bhavan, Allahabad Today the erstwhile ancestral home of the Nehru family has been turned into a fine museum. Here, many momentous decisions and events related to the freedom struggle took place. The main building houses a museum, which displays the memorabilia of the Nehru family.



Around Allahabad

Jhusi (Pratisthanpuri)

For those people who are looking for mental peace and spiritual healing, this place of many ashrams and temples is an ideal haven. Situated just 9 km from Allahabad, across the Ganga, Jhusi is accessed by Taxis, Buses and Boats.

Bhita

Bhita is an archaeological site 20 km from Allahabad, with remains of an ancient fortified city dating back to 300 B.C. Layers of occupation dating to Gupta and Maurya periods or even earlier have been uncovered. Bhita has a museum that exhibits stones, metal seals, coins and terracotta.

Shringverpur

A famous kingdom of Nishadraj (King of Boatmen) situated 40 km from Allahabad. Excavations have revealed a temple of Shringi Rishi. On the banks of Ganga there’s a platform `Ramchaura’ said to be the place where Lord Rama stayed overnight while going to for 'Vanavas' and his feet were washed by Nishadraj, before steering Rama across the Ganga in his Boat.

Kaushambi

Situated at around 62 km from Allahabad the town was once a great Buddhist centre. Lord Buddha is believed to have visited Kaushambi twice to deliver discourses. There are ruins of an ancient fort and a monastery. The fort has the broken remains of an Ashoka Pillar.

Ayodhya

Kanaka Bhavan, Ayodhya Located 7 km from Faizabad, Ayodhya is one of the seven holiest pilgrim centres of Hinduism. The Atharva Veda described Ayodhya as a city built by gods and as prosperous as paradise. But today it is a small dusty town with a great number of temples.

Ayodhya is connected by road to several major cities and towns of the country. The nearest railhead is Faizabad, 7km away. The nearest airport is Lucknow at 134km.

Ram Janam Bhumi-Babri Masjid Complex

Shri Ram Janm Bhoomi is located in Ram Kot ward of Ayodhya city. According to Hindu mythology, This place is supposed to be the birth place of Lord Ram. Baby idols of Lord Ram, Laxman, Bharat and Shatrughna are kept here. Presently, the Union Governmemt aquirad the area and a case a pending with the court among different parties. The 6, Dec. 1992 Babri Masjid saga transformed Ayodhya into a very tense town. There is a massive security presence in the temple-Mosque site.

The Hanuman Garhi

Situated in the centre of the town, a flight of 76 steps leads to the sanctum sanctorum of this temple. Legend says that Hanuman lived here in a cave and guarded the Janambhoomi. The main temple contains the statue of Maa Anjani, with young Hanuman seated on her lap. A massive structure in the shape of a four-sided fort with circular bastions at each corner encloses the temple.

Kanaka Bhavan, Ayodhya

Kanak Bhawan

Kanak Bhawan is one of the important temples in Ayodhya. The temple has images of Sri Ram and Sita wearing gold crowns. In the yard of the temple, there is a well popularly known as Sita-koop. It is also known as Sone-ke-Ghar.

Treta ke Thakur

This temple stands at the place where Rama is said to have performed the Ashvamedha Yajna. About 300 years ago the Raja of kulu built a new temple here, which was improved by Ahalyabai Hokar of Indore during 1784, at the same time the adjoining Ghats were also built. The initial idols in black sandstone were recovered from Saryu and placed in the new temple, popularily known as Kaleram-ka-Mandir.

Nageshwarnath Temple

The temple of Nageshwarnath was built by 'Kush' the son of Lord Rama. It is said that this was the only temple that survived till the time of Vikramaditya, while the rest of the city went into ruins and was covered by dense forests. It was by this temple Vikramaditya was able to locate Ayodhya and the sites of other shrines here.