Allahabad’s influence over Indian religion, spiritualism, history and politics cannot be overstated. Known in Hinduism as the site chosen by the creator of the universe, Lord Brahma, as the ‘king of all pilgrimage centers’, this where both the holy Sangam and the Kumbh Mela take place to this day. It was also referred to as Ilahabad (‘Garden of Allah’) by Akbar, one of India’s most majestic and powerful emperors, and it has since been called home by two of India’s Prime Ministers. Allahabad is a shining, many-faceted jewel of Indian culture, full of ancient tombs, beautiful people, brilliant restaurants, gorgeous parks and more. Read on for a list of standout sights and experiences to explore in this majestic city.
Triveni Sangam is the auspicious spot which marks the confluence of three rivers: the Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical Sarawasti. Each river is revered in Hinduism. The three rivers maintain their visible identity and can be identified by their different colors and qualities: the water from the Ganges is clear, while the Yamuna is greenish in color, and the Saraswati is said to make its presence felt underwater. This is the holiest point in the deeply spiritual city of Allahabad, and a dip in the Triveni is believed to free one of all sins. Tourists visiting Sangam can hire boats to go out and immerse themselves in this holy water. It is also the place where the Kumbh Mela (the largest mass Hindu pilgrimage) takes place every twelve years, as well as the Ardh Mela, which occurs every six years.
Sachcha Baba Nagar, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh +91 532 2640691
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Allahabad is known for its North Indian and Mughlai cuisines, and no restaurant can represent these dual strengths better than Eat On. It’s a small restaurant, and you might mistake it for a dinky fast food outlet passing by – but wise travelers will take note of the huge crowd it attracts during the evening. This is because they serve the best biryanis and kebabs in the entire city. One bite of the juicy mutton kebab biryani, and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.
Opening hours: 12pm-10pm
Watch out for: kebabs and biryani
Compound, MG Marg, Civil Lines, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh +91 80814 01001
Located near the Allahabad Fort is the magnificent Hanuman Mandir, a unique temple in the city where visiting tourists can witness a huge idol of Hanuman, which is 20 feet long and 8 feet wide. A geographical quirk of this temple is that it gets submerged in water when the river Ganges is in full flow. According to mythology, it is believed that the rise in the Ganges’ water level is because the river wants to touch the feet of Lord Hanuman.
Purshottamdas Tandon Marg Canton, Dhoomanganj Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh +91 532 2640691
All Saints Cathedral
All Saints Cathedral, popularly known as ‘Patthar Girija’, is one of the city’s most famous cathedrals and a revered sacred space among Allahabad’s citizens. The massive church building encompasses an area of approximately 1250 square meters, and is one of the most prized buildings from colonial India. Constructed in the 19th century, the entire cathedral is built in Gothic style, remarkable for the intricate work and designs done on the marble altar.
Opening hours: 8am-8pm
Sarojini Naidu Marg, Civil Lines, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh +91 532 2640691
Admission Fee: Budget
Opening hours: 5am-11pm
Hira Halwai is one of the best places in Allahabad to savor traditional Indian sweets and snacks. Though it opens quite early at the crack of dawn, you’ll find a crowd here at all hours queuing up to taste the most authentic samosas in Allahabad. They’re often sold out within minutes, so if you’re dead set on samosas, you might have to get up before the sun does! Late risers will find a sweet consolation in Hira Halwai’s heavenly gulab jamun.
Opening hours: 6am-10pm
Watch out for: samosa
Thorn Hill Road, Civil Lines, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh +91 90449 53800
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