According to Hindu mythology, the creator God Lord Brahma chose a piece of land at which the three sacred rivers - the
Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati - would flow into a quiet confluence (known as the Triveni Sangam). That land, was known as Prayag , now known as is one of the largest cities of Uttar Pradesh. Allahabad is also called Tirtha-Raja (King of sacred places). It is one of four sites of the Kumbh Mela, an important Hindu pilgrimage. It is also said that Lord Rama visited Allahabad when he was in exile. The name ‘ Allahabad ’ is derived from Ilāhābād – the name given to the city by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. ‘Ilah’ is the arabic for ‘God’ and ‘abād’ is Persian for ‘to create’. Allahabad is thus the ‘God’s creation’. A major attraction in Allahabad is the Magh Mela which takes place every year in the month of Magh (January-February) of the Hindu calendar which I will be describing in a later post. Allahabad
[ ISKCON Guest House ]
My Dad being a life member of ISKCON, we had prebooked our room in ISKCON,
situated in the Baluaghat area. The room was clean and spacious enough for two persons. We took two rooms as we were four in all. With Allahabad Krishna bhaktas around and the temple bells ringing, the whole atmosphere was truly divine and kind of prepared us for our spiritual journey ahead. However, if you aren’t a member and wish to stay here then do check out if they allot rooms to non members and the relevant charges.
[ ISKCON Temple]
During our stay, we had the fortune of meeting the daughter of Kashinaresh. Simple yet elegant, she had come there to stay for the night as she was to take a holy bath at 4 am the next day. I later came to know that the entire stretch of the ISKCON premises in
was actually donated by her father and that she was a regular visitor here. Allahabad
[ View from Terrace ]
Prasadam offered by ISKCON is pure and Saatvik. They have their own garden where they grow different vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, coriander, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. These vegetables are then cooked, offered to
[ Garden ]
Besides the prasadam, we were given hot milk-a product from the cows in their very own gaushala (cow-shed), every night. The hot and pure liquid, provided us with some much needed warmth and would be a perfect end to the very chilly days.
And a special mention of an old man, fondly called Daddu by everybody there who was in service of the
Krishna bhaktas. Thank You Daddu for making our stay in ISKCON very comfortable and memorable.
[ Daddu ]
Besides ISKCON, one can choose from a large number of hotels in
as per one’s budget. Search the internet and I would advice my readers to book your rooms in advance (esp in oct-march) to avoid any last minute hassles on reaching there. Allahabad
There are many other eating joints in
especially in the upscale Civil Lines area. One such place in this area is the Pure vegetarian Bikanervala located just next to Vishal Mega Mart. Here, we had some north and south Indian fare which was hot and tasty. Apart from this, one can also check out their wide range of sweets, an assortment of cookies, Chinese, pizzas, and the chatpati chats on offer. Though a little expensive, if you are looking for some good and tasty food with cleanliness and hygiene, then I will definitely recommend this place. Allahabad
[ Bikanervala ]
Lastly, I would like to mention about Dadi’s chai whose tea stall was situated in the lane leading up to the ISKCON temple. She made us nice hot ginger, cardamom (adrakh, eelaichi) tea.