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Allahabad History, India

Allahabad is an old city of India that is also called Prayag and Prathisthana, which was ruled by Chandrawanshi kings. This is such a sacred city that people who want to attain salvation end their lives here. This practice has existed in Allahabad since centuries, and with proof of it in the books the Chinese traveler Hsuien Tsang had written about his visit to India.

Legend states that Allahabad is the city Lord Brahma had chosen for holy confluence and the place where sage Bharadwaj founded his ashram of thousands of students. It is also said that Lord Rama, of the Hindu epic Ramayana had once paid a visit to this ashram.

Allahabad is the city where Yamuna, Saraswati and Ganga, the three holy rivers of India meet. Of the three, the river Saraswati is a subterranean river that starts at the sangam, to meet the other two rivers. This is another reason for a visit to Allahabad being called the king of all pilgrimages or ‘tirtha raj’.

Akbar Fort

There is proof of very old settlements in Allahabad in various archaeological sites. There are signs of habitation and relics in the Draupadi Ghat dating till 800BC. Even remains of the Kushana era have been excavated around the Bharadwaj museum site.

Legend also says that the great Mughal Emperor Akbar had visited Prayag and was the founder of the city of Illahabad, which is today known as Allahabad in the year 1575. With the Akbar fort having been built here in 1583, you realize the importance this city had in the Mughal period.

This is the very fort from which Khusrau, the son of Emperor Jahangir had fought to access the throne. However the only thing he managed to do was to get imprisoned, and later killed by his brother Shah Jahan in the year 1615.

British and fight for independence

The British had added the city of Allahabad and the fort to their kingdom in 1801 to establish territorial rule for 150 years. They then shifted the headquarters of Northwestern territories to Allahabad after the 1857 Mutiny after which Lord Canning announced the transfer of power to the city in 1858.

Allahabad played a major role in the freedom struggle. It was the home of Pandit Motilal Nehru, a leading leader of the movement and also the venue of the first Indian National Congress in 1885.

The Quit India Movement was also launched here by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, son of Motilal Nehru and the first prime minister of India had lead India’s struggle for independence from Anand Bhavan, which is now a museum of Allahabad.

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