Dear Divine Souls,
We finished our lunch and Sitamarhi visit at round 1.00 PM and headed for Prayagraj Triveni Sangam in Allahabad. Today our goal was to visit some places in Triveni Sangam and some places in Allahabad and reach Chitrakoot in night. From Sita Samahit Sthal, Sitamarhi we started towards Allahabad which was around 60 kms from Sitamarhi. In between I was inquiring about the rates which boat owners charge for going across the towards the Triveni Sangam ( confluence of rivers Ganga,Yamuna and Saraswati) . My driver told me around Rs. 1200 to Rs.1500 from the banks of Yamuna to Triveni Sangam.
Towards Triveni Sangam
Triveni Sangam of Ganga , Yamuna and Saraswati is in the middle of the confluence away from bank where the flow is heavy, there are stands and platforms made to perform pooja and have bath at actual Triveni Sangam. It was just 200 – 300 meters from Yamuna Bank in the middle where the rivers actually meet. But still this charge was not acceptable. Then when we reached the bank really the scene was what driver told me. All boat owners were chasing us with none of them really going below Rs. 1000. They were knowing that pilgrims who come from long way are at least going to bath in the confluence. So they were stubborn in their approach. But even I was stubborn because I had information about these cheats from the pundits of Allahabad in the temple at my place. So I also started with Rs.150 and ended up in fixing at RS. 250.
Still this was high, but I had no option and it was getting late as we had to reach Chitrakoot also , but I think that was reasonable as there was off season also. Then we started our journey towards the Triveni Sangam in the boat. My driver first told that even he is going to come with us but after hearing that the deal of reaching the Triveni Sangam was negotiated at just RS. 250 he didn’t come . May be he would have asked commission from the boat owner, but he was really upset.
Triveni Sangam is the confluence of three rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and the invisible Saraswati. This confluence offers excellent view during the sunrise and the sunset. Kumbh Mela (held once in 12 years), Ardhkumbh Mela (held once in 6 years), and Maha Mela (held every year) are held on the banks of the Sangam, during which periods hundred thousands of pilgrims throng to the place to take holy dip in the confluence.
The turbid and light yellow colour water of the Ganga merges with the bluish green colour water of the Yamuna, resulting in a spectacular view for the visitors. River Saraswathi is hoped to flow underneath the earth and contacts the other two rivers. Here the depth of Ganga is just 4 to 6 feet and Yamuna is 40 to 60 feet deep in non rainy season. Yellow shallow Ganga flows at a rapid pace and meets blue, deep and calm Yamuna at this Triveni sangam
Based on the Hindu mythology, nectar came out of the pitcher from the hands of the Gods so a wash in Triveni Sangam will cleanse off all the sins.
Platforms are made in the middle of the Sangam where one can perform poojas like Narayan Nagbali and Shraddh . Many Puranas and Kathas are told here like Shiva Puarnas.Many rishis and sages had their ashrams on this confluence from Centuries and Yugas. Along with Pushkar it is called ‘Teerthraj” or “King of all Teerthas”.
In around 10 minutes we reached the the confluence . When we were inside the boat, we got some spectacular views around with Allahabad Fort made by Akbar, New Yamuna Bridge, white birds floating on the water. One of the best boat rides of my life.
For using the platform One has to pay around Rs. 20 as rent and those who want to perform pooja can perform pooja. Pundits are present on the platform. We had a bath and then did perform small pooja of the three rivers.
Akshayavat (The Immortal Tree)
A sacred fig tree is located within the Patalpuri Temple at the Allahabad Fort which is worshipped as the Akshayavat . A permission from the Commandant of Allahabad Fort’s Ordinance Depot is needed to visit this tree. On one day during the Kumbh Mela, the site is open to all the pilgrims.
According to the local belief, the sage Shukdeva narrated Srimad Bhagavatam to the king Parikshit under this tree.Once the Sage Markandeya asked Lord Narayana to show him a specimen of the divine power.Lord Narayana flooded the entire world for a moment, during which only the Akshayavat could be seen above the water level. Hence this Akshay Vat is immortal and indestructible even during the time of complete destruction of this universe. But one can see the Akshay Vat from while traveling to Triveni Sangam via boat from Yamuna river.
Then we proceeded towards Sleeping Hanuman temple near the Sangam besides the Ganga river.
Bade Hanuman jee or Sleeping Hanuman at Triveni Sangam, Allahabad
Hanuman Jee is undoubtedly the strongest personalities in the Indian Ramayan. Hanuman temples can be located everywhere each and every village but the Sleeping Hanuman at Allahabad is one of its kind.
This idol of Hanuman Jee in sleeping position exists only in Allahabad at Sangam. As per the mythology, when Lord Ram after conquering Lanka and defeating Ravana came here to worship at Sangam, Hanuman Jee experienced severe body ache and laid at Sangam. Finishing his prayers, when Lord Ram asked Hanuman Ji to proceed further, Hanuman Jee denied to proceed due to severe pain. Sita Maa then blessed Hanuman jee and all the pains were flown away from his body by the sacred water in the Triveni Sangam.
Another belief lies with the people that, the year in which Ganga water do not reach Hanuman Jee’s foot, undesirable situations occur, such as draught and famines. People await the moment when the Ganges meets Hanuman Jee in the monsoons.
This idol is really mesmerizing . One when visualize cannot move his eyes from it. Lots of devotees daily flock here. But on Saturdays the crowd is maximum. There are lot hawkers selling hand made toys near this temple . Merry go round and some play sections are also made .Some small fairs are held periodically. Its really a small time picnic place for families .
After sleeping Hanuman temple we took a ride towards our next destination at one of the most auspicious Shaktipeeth called Alopi Devi .
Alopi Devi or Madhaveshwari Devi, Allahabad
Alopi Devi is a manifestation of Goddess AdiShakti and is one among the 51 Shaktipeeths. The legend of the Goddess is associated with the death of Sati at the yagna conducted by Daksha and the subsequent anger of Shiva and his roaming with the body of Sati and Vishnu then cutting the body using his Sudharshana Chakra to save the universe.
Alopi Devi is also popularly known as Goddess Madhaveswari.
The popular belief is that the fingers of the hands of Goddess Sati fell at the spot where the Alopi Devi Temple stands. Goddess Alopi is also part of the Ashta Das Shaktipeetah concept more famous and propagated through the Ashtadasa Shaktipeeth Stotra of Adi Shankara.
The Goddess gets the name Alopi because of the belief that the last part of Goddess Sati’s body fell here and disappeared. Hence this is the last spot from where Goddess Sati disappeared from earth and it is considered highly auspicious
.At the Alopi Temple, Goddess Alopi Devi is depicted as a Doli placed a top a marble stone. Everyone is allowed to touch this Doli symbolic representation of Shaktism and offer the offerings directly. There is no idol in the main garbagriha. Powerful vibrations can be felt when visiting this Garbagriha. There are also nine idols of Navadurga in the main temple complex. This one is not to be missed.
Then we went to our final destination of Allahabad called Mankameshwar Mahadev which right besides the Yamuna river two kms away from Sangam. Mankameshwar Mahadev is called Ishta Deva of Allahabad.
Mankameshwar Mahadeva Temple Allahabad (Ishta Deva of Allahabad)
Mankameshwar means God of fulfillment of wishes and the Mankameshwar temple of Allahabad was made to do just that. The legend of the temple is that when Sita Maa bathed in the Sangam and wished to pray to Lord Shiva, there was no Lord Shiva temple nearby the Sangam. Lord Shri Ram built a new temple for her, thus fulfilling her wish. This was the fulfillment of wish, which lead to the naming of this temple as Mankameshwar. Even now it is believed that honest wishes made in this temple are fulfilled.
The temple is located at 2 km distance from the Sangam, on the banks of river Yamuna. The temple can be visited all round the year and the timings are 6 AM to 9 PM.
Behind Mankameshwar Mahadev one can go down to Yamuna bank and view stupendous views of the Yamuna river and the new Yamuna Bridge. Also in the complex of the Mankameshwar Mahadev temple there is another shivling called Rann Mukteshwar Mahadev which means Great God who is absolver of debts. One should visit this one also to clear one self from debts.
Then after visiting Mankameshwar Mahadev temple at around 5.00 oclock We headed towards Chitrakoot from the New Yamuna Bridge . This bridge is huge and enormous construction and one of the greatest Bridges in India. There is also separate space for individuals to have a walk on this bridge . So Bridge lovers can walk on this beauty and can gaze hours looking at Wonderful Yamuna below and Triveni Sangam at the distance.
Here I come at the end of my Teerthraj Prayag, Allahabad visit. I will show the places actually located in the map below so that one can go easily.
Places I visited in Prayag and probably the most important ones here
A : Triveni Sangam : Here there are platforms to bath and perform pooja
B : Yamuna River Bank : Here we get boats to reach the sangam
C : Bade Hanuman or Sleeping Hanuman Temple
D : Alopi Devi Madhaveshwari
E : Mankameshwar Mahadev
F : New Yamuna Bridge
G : Akshaya Vat Present in Allahabad Fort
H : Allahabad Fort made by Emperor Akbar
Every place mentioned above is inside the circumference of 2 kms. There are also other important attractions in Allahabad which I didn’t see due to lack of time .They are Bharadwaj Ashram, Allahabad Fort , Khusro bagh,Anand Bhawan,Moti Mahal and Bari Kothi,Jawahar Planetarium, Allahabad Museum, Thornhill Mayne Memorial, All Saints Cathedral, Dashaswamedh Temple, Someshwar Mahadev Temple ,Shankar Vimana Mandapam and many more.
Major Festivals in Prayag
As Prayag is one of the most sacred pilgrimage centers in Hinduism each and every hindu festival is celebrated heavily . But the main ones here are Kumbh Mela , Ardh Kumbh Mela, Maha Mela Dusherra and Navaratri In Alopi Devi and Diwali.
Teerthraj Prayag, Allahabad
How to Reach Allahabad
Allahabad is an important pilgrimage destination in the Ganges plain and that is why it is well connected to all the major cities in Uttar Pradesh and India.
There is an Airport at Bamrauli which is near about 10 Kilometers away from Allahabad. Presently limited flights are available here. The second nearest Airport is at Varanasi that is 150 kilometers from Allahabad. Varanasi being another important pilgrimage is well connected to the rest of India by daily flights. Both private as well as public carriers operate these flights.
Allahabad is well connected by trains with all major cities, viz. Kolkatta, Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Varanasi and Mumbai. The main station in Allahabad is Allahabad Junction. Several expresses as well as super fast trains ply to and from Allahabad.
Allahabad on National Highways 2 and 27, is well connected to all parts of the country by good roads and highways. Buses ply to all the neighboring as well as far-flung places such as , Jabalpur, Manikpur, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Patna, Jhansi and Gorakhpur among others. Both Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation as well as Private players operates these buses in large frequencies.
Dear Divine Souls,
I hope so you have liked reading the post and seeing some pictures of this great pilgrimage destination. In next post I am going to take you to another place called Chitrakoot which grants salvation and was loved by Lord Vishnu when he took avatar in form of Lord Ram.Till then
Jai Bhole .