The city is also called as Prayag which means a “place of offerings”, name originated from the Sangam (union) of 3 sacred rivers, namely Ganges, Saraswati and Yamuna. The city was called as Kaushambi by the Kuru rulers. Allahabad is at the southern part of Uttar Pradesh and is the 7th most populated city in the state. The city accommodates many colleges, institutions and central and government offices. The city houses the most famous “Kumbh Mela” (biggest bathing day), which is visited by millions of people. It is held every third year and Allahabad is one of the four cities where the Kumbh Mela is hosted on a rotation basis.
Allahabad, the second-oldest city of India, holds an important place in Hindi scriptures. It was developed as a capital by the Kuru rulers of Hastinapur and continued to become the center of politics, culture and administration of Doab Region. The city’s name was changed from Prayag to Allahabad by Akbar, the Mughal Emperor.
The history of Prayag goes back to the Vedic times, the place is known to be the location where Brahma had attended a ritual sacrifice. Prayag is also an important milestone in Ramayana, Lord Ram had stayed at Saint Bharadwaj’s ashram before proceeding on to Chitrakoot. Excavations in the city also prove the city’s existence back to 600-700 BCE.
Allahabad, a part of Doab Region, was under many successive empires. It was a part of Mauryan, Gupta and Kushan empires before Kannauj governance implied on the city in 15th century. In 1765, a troop of army was established at the Allahabad fort by the British. In the reigns of Jahangir, Mughal emperor, Allahabad’s prominence was raised. A large jade terrapin, Mughal artifact from Jahangir’s empire was found in Allahabad and now is placed in the British Museum. Emperor Akbar built a fort at the Sangam and called it “Ilahabad”, which means “Place of God” in Persia.
In 1765, Battle of Buxor with British, the Nawab of Awadh and Mughal King Shah Alam II lost and a treaty of Allahabad was implemented. Though the city did not fall under the direct rule of the British, but due to its position placed a battalion at the fort. In 1801, the Nawab of Awadh surrendered Allahabad city to the British East India Company and following this all the neighboring cities and areas in the Doab region were eventually taken under the British rule. Allahabad was the governmental seat of Agra and a high court was built in the city, however, within a year, both were moved to Agra. Allahabad also saw and was a ground for a huge massacre during the rebellion. After this rebel, the British established a high court, police headquarters and public service commission in the city.
Allahabad was the capital of union province of Agra and Awadh till 1920. By 20th century, Allahabad turned into a revolutionary center. Chandrasekhar Azad, the great freedom fighter, died when he was surrounded by the British in Alfred Park. Nityanand Chatterji is another name in the history of revolution after he threw a bomb at the European Club. Allahabad was the house of many Satyagrahis during the times of independence struggle.
Allahabad also holds an importance in the political history as it houses the Nehru family homes and the Indian National Congress activity centers, Anand Bhavan and Swaraj Bhavan. It is also called as the “City of Prime Ministers” as 7 out of the 13 prime ministers of India post-independence have a deep connection to the city. They were either born in the city or had studied in the Allahabad University. The Nehru family has 3 names into the list: Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. And the others are Lal Bahadur Shastri, Chandra Shekhar and Vishwanath Pratap Singh.
Allahabad is the 7th most populated city in Uttar Pradesh. Though tourism is a big part of economy of the city, the other sources which contribute to the revenue are fishing, agriculture and construction. Allahabad is India’s core center of Agriculture Industry. City also houses wire and glass industries which add to the revenue generating sources. Allahabad also has a great place in the history of literature and art. Many prominent authors hail from the city, some of the names are Mahadevi Varma, Sumitranandan Pant and Harivansh Rai Bachchan. The publication centers: Lok Bharti, Rajkamal and Neelabh are situated in the city.
Allahabad pays great attention to broad education with city’s schools is run by state and central governments. Allahabad has the highest literacy rate in the region. Many noted personalities of academics and art are from the city like the actor Amitabh Bachchan, poet Subhadra Kumari and mathematician Manindra Agrawal.