Prayagraj is a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It used to be called Allahabad. The city is an important pilgrimage site and is known for its rich cultural heritage.
However, many people are confused about the name change and are unsure if Prayagraj and Allahabad are the same. In this post, we will answer the question “Is Prayagraj the same as Allahabad?” and provide an overview of the name change.
Is Prayagraj the same as Allahabad?
Yes, Prayagraj and Allahabad are the same city. In 2018, the Uttar Pradesh government officially changed the name of the city from Allahabad to Prayagraj. The name change was controversial and sparked debates among locals and outsiders alike. However, the change was made to reflect the city’s ancient name, Prayag, which means “place of sacrifice.”
Understanding the Name Change
The name Allahabad was given to the city by the Mughal emperor Akbar in the 16th century. The name was derived from the Arabic words “Allah” and “Abad,” which mean “city of God.” The name reflected the city’s rich Islamic heritage and its importance as a centre of learning and culture.
However, the name Prayag is much older and is deeply rooted in Hindu mythology. According to Hindu belief, Prayag is the place where the three sacred rivers of India, the Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati, converge. It is believed that taking a bath in the confluence of these rivers during the Kumbh Mela, a major religious festival, can wash away one’s sins and bring salvation.
The name change was announced in 2018 by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath. The decision was met with mixed reactions, with some people welcoming the change as a way to honour the city’s ancient heritage, while others criticised it as an attempt to promote a Hindu nationalist agenda.
What to Expect in Prayagraj
If you are planning to visit Prayagraj, it is important to know that the city is the same as Allahabad but with a new name. The city has a rich history and is known for its beautiful temples, historical monuments, and cultural festivals.
One of the main attractions in Prayagraj is the Sangam, the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati rivers. Hindus think of the Sangam as a holy place, and they believe that bathing in the holy waters there will cleanse you. The Kumbh Mela, a major religious festival, is held in Prayagraj every 12 years, and millions of people from all over India and the world come to take part in the event.
Another popular attraction in Prayagraj is the Allahabad Fort, which was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar in the 16th century. The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its beautiful architecture and historical importance.
Prayagraj is also known for its beautiful temples, including the Hanuman Temple, the Alopi Devi Temple, and the Anand Bhavan, the former home of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
In terms of food, Prayagraj offers a wide range of delicious dishes, including chaat, samosas, and sweets like peda and gulab jamun. The city also has a vibrant street food scene, with vendors selling a variety of snacks and drinks on the streets and in the markets.
When it comes to transportation, Prayagraj is well-connected to other cities in India through railways and highways. The city has two railway stations, Allahabad Junction and Allahabad City, which connect it to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. The city also has a good road system, and buses and taxis are easy to find for getting around town.
In terms of safety, Prayagraj is generally considered a safe city for tourists. However, it is important to take basic safety precautions, such as avoiding walking alone at night, carrying only necessary valuables, and using licenced taxi services. As with any tourist destination, it is also important to be aware of scams and to be cautious when dealing with strangers.
In conclusion, Prayagraj and Allahabad are the same city, with Prayagraj being the new name given to the city in 2018. The name change was made to reflect the city’s ancient Hindu heritage and its importance as a pilgrimage site.
Prayagraj is known for its beautiful temples, historical monuments, and cultural festivals and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Indian history and culture.