Allahabad, officially known as Prayagraj, also known as Ilahabad, is a metropolis in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is the administrative headquarters of the Allahabad district—the most populous district in the state and 13th most populous district in India—and the Allahabad division. The city is the judicial capital of Uttar Pradesh with the Allahabad High Court being the highest judicial body in the state. As of 2011, Allahabad is the seventh most populous city in the state, thirteenth in Northern India and thirty-sixth in India, with an estimated population of 1.53 million in the city. In 2011 it was ranked the world’s 40th fastest-growing city. Allahabad, in 2016, was also ranked the third most liveable urban agglomeration in the state (after Noida and Lucknow) and sixteenth in the country. Hindi is the most widely spoken language in the city.
Allahabad lies close to Triveni Sangam, the “three-river confluence” of the Ganges, Yamuna and Sarasvati rivers. It plays a central role in Hindu scriptures. The city finds its earliest reference as one of the world’s oldest known cities in Hindu mythological texts and has been venerated as the holy city of Prayaga in the ancient Vedas. Allahabad was also known as Kosambi in the late Vedic period, named by the Kuru rulers of Hastinapur, who developed it as their capital. Kosambi was one of the greatest cities in India from the late Vedic period until the end of the Maurya Empire, with occupation continuing until the Gupta Empire. Since then, the city has been a political, cultural and administrative centre of the Doab region. In the early 17th century, Allahabad was a provincial capital in the Mughal Empire under the reign of Jahangir.
Akbarnama mentions that the Mughal emperor Akbar founded a great city in Allahabad. ‘Abd al-Qadir Bada’uni and Nizamuddin Ahmad mention that Akbar laid the foundations of an imperial city there which was called Ilahabas or Ilahabad. He was said to be impressed by its strategic location and built a fort there, later renaming it Ilahabas by 1584, which was changed to Allahabad by Shah Jahan.[vague] In 1580, Akbar created the “Subah of Ilahabas” with Allahabad as its capital. In mid-1600, Jahangir made an abortive attempt to seize Agra’s treasury and came to Allahabad, seizing its treasury and setting himself up as a virtually independent ruler. He was, however, reconciled with Akbar and returned to Allahabad where he stayed before returning to the royal court in 1604.
In 1833 it became the seat of the Ceded and Conquered Provinces region before its capital was moved to Agra in 1835.better source needed] Allahabad became the capital of the North-Western Provinces in 1858 and was the capital of India for a day. The city was the capital of the United Provinces from 1902 to 1920 and remained at the forefront of national importance during the struggle for Indian independence.
Located in southern Uttar Pradesh, the city covers 365 km2 (141 sq mi). Although the city and its surrounding area are governed by several municipalities, a large portion of Allahabad district is governed by the Allahabad City Council. The city is home to colleges, research institutions and many central and state government offices. Allahabad has hosted cultural and sporting events, including the Prayag Kumbh Mela and the Indira Marathon. Although the city’s economy was built on tourism, most of its income now derives from real estate and financial services.
The earliest mention of Prayāga and the associated pilgrimage is found in Rigveda Pariśiṣṭa (supplement to the Rigveda, c. 1200–1000 BCE). It is also mentioned in the Pali canons of Buddhism, such as in section 1.7 of Majjhima Nikaya (c. 500 BCE), wherein the Buddha states that bathing in Payaga (Skt: Prayaga) cannot wash away cruel and evil deeds, rather the virtuous one should be pure in heart and fair in action. The Mahabharata (c. 400 BCE–300 CE) mentions a bathing pilgrimage at Prayag as a means of prāyaścitta (atonement, penance) for past mistakes and guilt. In Tirthayatra Parva, before the great war, the epic states “the one who observes firm [ethical] vows, having bathed at Prayaga during Magha, O best of the Bharatas, becomes spotless and reaches heaven.” In Anushasana parva, after the war, the epic elaborates this bathing pilgrimage as “geographical tirtha” that must be combined with manasa-tirtha (tirtha of the heart) whereby one lives by values such as truth, charity, self-control, patience and others.
Prayāga is mentioned in the Agni Purana and other Puranas with various legends, including being one of the places where Brahma attended a yajna (homa), and the confluence of river Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati site as the king of pilgrimage sites (Tirtha Raj). Other early accounts of the significance of Prayag to Hinduism is found in the various versions of the Prayaga Mahatmya, dated to the late 1st-millennium CE. These Purana-genre Sanskrit texts describe Prayag as a place “bustling with pilgrims, priests, vendors, beggars, guides” and local citizens busy along the confluence of the rivers (sangam). Prayaga is also mentioned in the Hindu epic Ramayana, a place with the legendary Ashram of sage Bharadwaj
Archaeology and inscriptions
Inscription evidence from the famed Ashoka edicts containing Allahabad pillar – also referred to as the Prayaga Bull pillar – adds to the confusion about the antiquity of this city. Excavations have revealed Northern Black Polished Ware dating to 600–700 BCE. According to Dilip Kumar Chakrabarti, there is nothing to suggest that “modern Prayag (modern Allahabad) was an ancient city”, but it is also inconceivable that there was no city at the holiest pilgrimage site in Hinduism. Chakrabarti suggests that the city of Jhusi, opposite the confluence, must have been the “ancient settlement of Prayag”. Archaeological surveys since the 1950s has revealed the presence of human settlements near the sangam since about 800 BCE
Allahabad’s elevation is over 90 m (295 ft) above sea level. The old part of the city, at the south of Allahabad Junction Railway Station, consists of neighbourhoods like Chowk, Johnstongunj, Dariyabad, Khuldabad and many more. In the north of the Railway Station, the new city consists of neighbourhoods like Lukergunj, Civil Lines, Georgetown, Tagoretown, Allahpur, Ashok Nagar, Mumfordgunj, Bharadwaj Puram and others which are relatively new and were built during the British rule. Civil Lines is the central business district of the city and is famous for its urban setting, gridiron plan roads and high rise buildings. Built in 1857, it was the largest town-planning project carried out in India before the establishment of New Delhi. Allahabad has many buildings featuring Indo-Islamic and Indo-Saracenic architecture. Although several buildings from the colonial period have been declared “heritage structures”, others are deteriorating. Famous landmarks of the city are Allahabad Museum, New Yamuna Bridge, Allahabad University, Triveni Sangam, All Saints Cathedral, Anand Bhavan, Alfred Park etc. The city experiences one of the highest levels of air pollution worldwide, with the 2016 update of the World Health Organization’s Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database finding Allahabad to have the third highest mean concentration of “PM2.5” (<2.5 μm diameter) particulate matter in the ambient air among all the 2972 cities tested (after Zabol and Gwalior)
Triveni Sangam and Ghats
The Allahabad Triveni Sangam (place where three rivers meet) is the meeting place of Ganges, the Yamuna and invisible Saraswati River, which according to Hindu legends, wells up from underground. A place of religious importance and the site for historic Prayag Kumbh Mela held every 12 years, over the years it has also been the site of immersion of ashes of several national leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.
The main ghat in Allahabad is Saraswati Ghat, on the banks of Yamuna. Stairs from three sides descend to the green water of the Yamuna. Above it is a park which is always covered with green grass. There are also facilities for boating here. There are also routes to reach Triveni Sangam by boat from here. Apart from this, there are more than 100 raw ghats in Allahabad.
Allahabad is in the southern part of Uttar Pradesh, at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna. The region was known in antiquity first as the Kuru, then as the Vats country. To the southwest is Bundelkhand, to the east and southeast is Baghelkhand, to the north and northeast is Awadh and to the west is the lower doab (of which Allahabad is part). The city is divided by a railway line running east–west. South of the railway is the Old Chowk area, and the British-built Civil Lines is north of it. Allahabad is well placed geographically and culturally. Geographically part of the Ganga-Yamuna Doab (at the mouth of the Yamuna), culturally it is the terminus of the Indian west. The Indian Standard Time longitude (25.15°N 82.58°E) is near the city. According to a United Nations Development Programme report, Allahabad is in a “low damage risk” wind and cyclone zone. In common with the rest of the doab, its soil and water are primarily alluvial. Pratapgarh is north of the city, Bhadohi is east, Rewa is south, Chitrakoot (earlier Banda) is west, and Kaushambi, which was till recently a part of Allahabad, is North-West.
The location at the confluence of Ganges and Yamuna rivers has been known in ancient times as Prayāga, which means “place of a sacrifice” in Sanskrit (“to sacrifice”). It was believed that god Brahma performed the very first sacrifice (yāga, yajna) in this place.
The word prayāga has been traditionally used to mean “a confluence of rivers”. For Allahabad, it denoted the physical meeting point of the rivers Ganges and Yamuna in the city. An ancient tradition has it that a third river, invisible Sarasvati, also meets there with the two. Today, Triveni Sangam (or simply Sangam) is a more frequently used name for the confluence.
Prayagraj (Sanskrit: Prayāgarāja), meaning “the king among the five prayāgas”, is used as a term of respect to indicate that this confluence is the most splendid one of the five sacred confluencies in India.
It is said that the Mughal emperor Akbar visited the region in 1575 and was so impressed by the strategic location of the site that he ordered a fort be constructed. The fort was constructed by 1584 and called Ilahabas or “Abode of God”, later changed to Allahabad under Shah Jahan. Speculations regarding its name however, exist. Because of the surrounding people calling it Alhabas, has led to some people[who?] holding the view that it was named after Alha from Alha’s story. James Forbes’ account of the early 1800s claims that it was renamed Allahabad or “Abode of God” by Jahangir after he failed to destroy the Akshayavat tree. The name, however, predates him, with Ilahabas and Ilahabad mentioned on coins minted in the city since Akbar’s rule, the latter name became predominant after the emperor’s death. It has also been thought to not have been named after Allah but ilaha (the gods). Shaligram Shrivastav claimed in Prayag Pradip that the name was deliberately given by Akbar to be construed as both Hindu (“ilaha”) and Muslim (“Allah”).
Over the years, a number of attempts were made by the BJP-led governments of Uttar Pradesh to rename Allahabad to Prayagraj. In 1992, the planned rename was shelved when the chief minister, Kalyan Singh, was forced to resign following the Babri Masjid demolition. 2001 saw another attempt led by the government of Rajnath Singh which remained unfulfilled The rename finally succeeded in October 2018 when the Yogi Adityanath-led government officially changed the name of the city to Prayagraj.
The 2011 census reported a population of 1,112,544 in the 82 km2 (32 sq mi) area governed by Allahabad Municipal Corporation, corresponding to a density of 13,600/km2 (35,000/sq mi). In January 2020, the boundaries of Allahabad Municipal Corporation were expanded to 365 km2 (141 sq mi); according to the 2011 census, 1,536,218 people lived within those boundaries; this corresponds to a population density of 4,200/km2 (11,000/sq mi).
Natives of Uttar Pradesh form the majority of Allahabad’s population. With regards to Houseless Census in Allahabad, total 5,672 families live on footpaths or without any roof cover, this is approximately 0.38% of the total population of Allahabad district. The sex ratio of Allahabad is 901 females per 1000 males and child sex ratio of is 893 girls per 1000 boys, lower than the national average.
Hindi, the official state language, is the dominant language in Allahabad. Urdu and other languages are spoken by a sizeable minority. Hindus form the majority of Allahabad’s population; Muslims compose a large minority. According to provisional results of the 2011 national census, Hinduism is majority religion in Allahabad city with 76.03% followers. Islam is the second most practised religion in the city with approximately 21.94% following it. Christianity is followed by 0.68%, Jainism by 0.10%, Sikhism by 0.28% and Buddhism by 0.28%. Around 0.02% stated ‘Other Religion’, approximately 0.90% stated ‘No Particular Religion’.
Allahabad’s literacy rate at 86.50% is the highest in the region. Male literacy is 90.21% and female literacy 82.17%. For 2001 census same figure stood at 75.81 and 46.38. As per census 2011, total 1,080,808 people are literate in Allahabad of which males and females are 612,257 and 468,551 respectively. Among 35 major Indian cities, Allahabad reported the highest rate of violations of special and local laws to the National Crime Records Bureau
Administration and politics
Allahabad division, comprising four districts, is headed by the divisional commissioner of Allahabad, who is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of high seniority, the commissioner is the head of local government institutions (including municipal corporations) in the division, is in charge of infrastructure development in his division, and is also responsible for maintaining law and order in the division. The district magistrate and collector of Allahabad reports to the divisional commissioner. The current commissioner is Ashish Kumar Goel.
Large building behind landscaped grounds
The Allahabad High Court is India’s fourth-oldest high court
Allahabad district administration is headed by the district magistrate and collector (DM) of Allahabad, who is an IAS officer. The DM is in charge of property records and revenue collection for the central government and oversees the elections held in the district. The DM is also responsible for maintaining law and order in the district. The DM is assisted by a chief development officer; five additional district magistrates for finance/revenue, city, rural administration, land acquisition and civil supply; one chief revenue officer; one city magistrate; and three additional city magistrates.The district has eight tehsils viz. Sadar, Soraon, Phulpur, Handia, Karchhana, Bara, Meja and Kuraon, each headed by a sub-divisional magistrate.
City comes under the Allahabad Police Zone and Allahabad Police Range, Allahabad Zone is headed by an additional director general-rank Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, and the Allahabad Range is headed inspector general-rank IPS officer. The district police is headed by a senior superintendent of police (SSP), who is an IPS officer, and is assisted by eight superintendents of police or additional superintendents of police for city, either from the IPS or the Provincial Police Service. Each of the several police circles is headed by a circle officer (CO) in the rank of deputy superintendent of police
Infrastructure and civic administration
The development of infrastructure in the city is overseen by the Allahabad Development Authority (ADA), which comes under the Department of Housing and Urban Planning of Uttar Pradesh government. The divisional commissioner of Allahabad acts as the ex-officio chairperson of ADA, whereas a vice chairperson, a government-appointed IAS officer, looks after the daily matters of the authority. The current chairperson of ADA is Bhanu Chandra Goswami.
The Allahabad Nagar Nigam, also called Allahabad Municipal Corporation, oversees the city’s civic infrastructure. The corporation originated in 1864 as the Municipal Board of Allahabad, when the Lucknow Municipal Act was passed by the Government of India. In 1867, the Civil Lines and the city were amalgamated for municipal purposes. The Cantonment was counted as part of the city in censuses until the 1931 Indian census, when it was started to be counted as a separate census town. The Municipal Board became Allahabad Municipal Corporation in 1959. Allahabad Cantonment has a cantonment board. The city of Allahabad is currently divided into 80 wards, with one member (or corporator) elected from each ward to form the municipal committee. The head of the corporation is the mayor, but, the executive and administration of the corporation are the responsibility of the municipal commissioner, who is an Uttar Pradesh government-appointed Provincial Civil Service officer of high seniority. The current mayor of Allahabad is Abhilasha Gupta, whereas the current municipal commissioner is Avinash Singh.
Overall Allahabad has a stable and diverse economy comprising various sectors such as State and Central government offices, education and research institutions, real estate, retail, banking, tourism and hospitality, agriculture-based industries, railways, transport and logistics, miscellaneous service sectors, and manufacturing. Average household income of the city is US$2,299.
The construction sector is a major part of Allahabad’s economy. Secondary manufacturers and services may be registered or unregistered; according to the third All India Census for Small Scale Industries, there are more than 10,000 unregistered small-scale industries in the city. An integrated industrial township has been proposed for 1,200 acres (490 ha) in Allahabad by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India.
The city is also home to glass and wire-based industry. The main industrial areas of Allahabad are Naini and Phulpur, where several public and private sector companies have offices and factories. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, India’s largest oil company (which is state-owned), is constructing a seven-million-tonnes-per-annum (MTPA) capacity refinery in Lohgara with an investment estimated at ₹62 billion. Allahabad Bank, which began operations in 1865, Bharat Pumps & Compressors and A. H. Wheeler and Company have their headquarters in the city. Major companies in the city are Reliance Industries, ITI Limited, BPCL, Dey’s Medical, Food Corporation of India, Raymond Synthetics, Triveni Sheet Glass, Triveni Electroplast, EMC Power Ltd, Steel Authority of India, HCL Technologies, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO), Vibgyor Laboratories, Geep Industries, Hindustan Cable, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Baidyanath Ayurved, Hindustan Laboratories.
The primary economic sectors of the district are tourism, fishing and agriculture, and the city is a hub for India’s agricultural industry. In the case of agriculture crops, Paddy has the largest share followed by Bajra, Arhar, Urd and Moong, in declining order during the Kharif season. In Rabi, Wheat is predominantally followed by pulses and oilseed. Among oilseed crops, Mustard has very less area under pure farming and is grown mainly as a mixed crop. Linseed dominates the oilseed scenario of the district and is mainly grown in Jamunapar area. in the case of pulses, gram has the largest area followed by pea and lentil (masoor). There is fairly good acreage under barley
Transportation and utilities
The main international and domestic airport serving Allahabad is Allahabad Airport (IATA: IXD, ICAO: VEAB), which began operations in February 1966. The airport is 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from the city centre and lies in Bamrauli, Allahabad. As of now, Allahabad is connected to eleven cities by flight, where Air India’s regional arm Alliance Air connects Allahabad to Delhi and Bilaspur, while Indigo connects it to Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar and Gorakhpur. The nearest international airports are in Varanasi and Lucknow.
The world’s first airmail flight took place from Allahabad to Naini in February 1911, when 6,000 cards and letters where flown by French pilot Henri Pequet.
Allahabad Junction is one of the main railway junctions in northern India and headquarters of the North Central Railway Zone.
Buses operated by Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation and Allahabad City Transport Service are an important means of public transport for travelling to various parts of the city, state and outskirts. Auto Rickshaws have been a popular mode of transportation.Cycle rickshaws are the most economical means of transportation in Allahabad along with e-rickshaws.
The Allahabad educational system is distinct from Uttar Pradesh’s other cities, with an emphasis on broad education. Board of High School and Intermediate Education Uttar Pradesh, the world’s biggest examining body, is headquartered in the city. Although English is the language of instruction in most private schools, government schools and colleges offer Hindi and English-medium education. Schools in Allahabad follow the 10+2+3 plan. After completing their secondary education, students typically enrol in higher secondary schools affiliated with the Uttar Pradesh Board of High School and Intermediate Education, the ICSE or the CBSE. and focus on liberal arts, business or science. Vocational programs are also available.
Allahabad attracts students from throughout India. As of 2017, the city has one central university, two State Universities and an open university. Allahabad University, founded in 1876, is the oldest university in the state. Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology Allahabad is a noted technical institution. Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences, founded in 1910, as “Agricultural Institute”, is an autonomous Christian minority university in Allahabad. Other notable institutions in Allahabad include the Indian Institute of Information Technology – Allahabad; Motilal Nehru Medical College; Ewing Christian College; Harish-Chandra Research Institute; Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute; and Allahabad State Universi
Although Hindu women have traditionally worn saris, the shalwar kameez and Western attire are gaining acceptance among younger women. Western dress is worn more by men, although the dhoti and kurta are seen during festivals. The formal male sherwani is often worn with chooridar on festive occasions. Diwali, Holi, Kumbh Mela, Eid al-Fitr and Vijayadasami are the most popular festivals in Allahabad.
Allahabad has a literary and artistic heritage; the former capital of the United Provinces, it was known as Prayag in the Vedas, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Allahabad has been called the “literary capital of Uttar Pradesh”, attracting visitors from East Asia; the Chinese travellers Faxian and Xuanzang found a flourishing city in the fifth and seventh centuries, respectively. The number of foreign tourists, which mostly consisted of Asians, visiting the city was 98,167 in 2010 which subsequently increased to 1,07,141 in 2014.The city has a tradition of political graffiti which includes limericks and caricatures. In 1900, Saraswati, the first Hindi-language monthly magazine in India, was started by Chintamani Ghosh. Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi, the doyen of modern Hindi literature, remained its editors from 1903 to 1920. The Anand Bhavan, built during the 1930s as a new home for the Nehru family when the Swaraj Bhavan became the local Indian National Congress headquarters, has memorabilia from the Gandhi-Nehru famil
During the 19th and 20th centuries, Hindi literature was modernised by authors such as Mahadevi Varma, Sumitranandan Pant, Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’ and Harivansh Rai Bachchan. A noted poet was Raghupati Sahay, better known as Firaq Gorakhpuri. Gorakhpuri and Varma have received Jnanpith Awards. Allahabad is a publication centre for Hindi literature, including the Lok Bharti, Rajkamal and Neelabh. Persian and Urdu literature are also studied in the city. Akbar Allahabadi is a noted modern Urdu poet, and Nooh Narwi, Tegh Allahabadi, Shabnam Naqvi and Rashid Allahabadi hail from Allahabad. English author and 1907 Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling was an assistant editor and overseas correspondent for The Pioneer.
Entertainment and recreation
Allahabad is noted for historic, cultural and religious tourism. Historic sites include Alfred Park, the Victoria and Thornhill Mayne Memorials, Minto Park, Allahabad Fort, the Ashoka Pillar and Khusro Bagh. Religious attractions include the Kumbh Mela, the Triveni Sangam and All Saints Cathedral. The city hosts the Maha Kumbh Mela, the largest religious gathering in the world, every twelve years and the Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela every six years. It also hosts a Magh Mela annually on the banks of the Triveni Sangam that typically lasts for one and a half months. Cultural attractions include the Allahabad Museum, the Jawahar Planetarium and the University of Allahabad. North Central Zone Culture Centre, under the Ministry of Culture and Prayag Sangeet Samiti are nationally renowned centres of Arts, Dance, Music, local Folk Dance and Music, Plays/Theatre etc. and nurture upcoming artists. The city has also hosted the International Film Festival of Prayag.
The Leader and The Pioneer are two major English-language newspapers that are produced and published from the city.
All India Radio, the national, state-owned radio broadcaster, has AM radio stations in the city. Allahabad has seven FM stations, including two AIR stations: Gyan Vani and Vividh Bharti, four private FM channels: BIG FM 92.7, Red FM 93.5, Fever 104 FM and Radio Tadka and one educational FM radio channel Radio Adan 90.4 run by Allahabad Agricultural Institute. There is a Doordarshan Kendra in the city. Regional TV channels are accessible via cable subscription, direct-broadcast satellite service or Internet-based television.
Cricket and field hockey are the most popular sports in Allahabad, with kabaddi, kho-kho, gilli danda and pehlwani mostly being played in rural areas near the city.Gully cricket, also known as street cricket, is popular among city youth. The famous cricket club Allahabad Cricketers has produced many national and international cricket players. Several sports complexes are used by amateur and professional athletes; these include the Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium, the Amitabh Bachchan Sports Complex and the Boys’ High School and College Gymnasium. There is an international-level swimming complex in Georgetown. The National Sports Academy in Jhalwa trains gymnasts for the Commonwealth Games. The Indira Marathon honours the late prime minister Indira Gandh