This white stone memorial with a four lion symbol on top stands in Minto Park near the Yamuna River and Akbar's Fort. It was here on November 1st 1858 that the British East India Company officially handed over control of India to the British government when Lord Canning read out the famous declaration of Queen Victoria Proclamation. The step was taken in the wake of the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny (also known as the India Uprising/First War of Independence). One of the reasons behind this mutiny was the blatant corruption that prevailed in the ranks of The British East India Company. The decision resulted in converting the status of India from an 'Economic Interest Zone' into a 'Colony'. In 1910, Lord Minto laid a foundation stone for the park. The Governor General laid this park in order to commemorate the transfer of power. There were a large number of army tents and personel in the park when I visited which must be an overspill from the army barracks based in the fort down the road.
This massive majestic fort was built by Emperor Akbar in 1583 and stands on the banks of the Yamuna River near its confluence with the sacred Ganges. The largest of Akbar's forts, it was matchless in its design and construction. Now used by the army, it is not open to visitors unless you have prior permission. In fact the Indian army are everywhere in the area. The fort has massive walls and three gateways flanked by high towers. Inside the fort there is the Zenana (harem) and an Ashoka pillar dating back to 232 B.C. that was moved to the fort from Kausambi, 'Saraswati Koop' (a well, said to be the source of the mythical Saraswati river, Patalpuri (an underground temple) and the much-revered 'Akshaya Vata' or immortal Banyan tree. The best views of the fort are seen from a boat. I took one out on the river to reach the point where bathers bathe at the point where the two rivers meet.
Khusru Bagh is located very close to the train station and is a partly treed park that is surrounded by a wall. Inside, lie three large and decorative Mughal tombs. The main tomb, (in the north, by the corner of the compound), is that of Prince Khusru (1587-1622), (hence the name of the park), who was the eldest son of Emperor Jehangir. He rebelled against his father in 1606 to see who would succeed the Emperor Akbar. The prince, who was born in Lahore, was defeated in battle and blinded as punishment. He was killed on the orders of his brother Shah Jehan of Taj Mahal fame). The other two tombs belong to Khusru's sister Sultan Nisar Begam, (died c.1624 - tomb in the centre of the three), and his mother Shah Begam (died 1604). The design of the grand entrance gate to the garden and the earliest tomb are attributed to Aqa Reza, Salim’s principal court artist. More photo's can be found in one of my travelogues.
Designed by Sir William Emerson, (who also designed All Saints Cathedral in Allahabad and the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta), and opened in 1886, the former college is a fine example of 'Indo-saracenic' architecture. It has a 200 feet tower made of pale-yellow sandstone with marble and mosaic floors. It was later established as the University of Allahabad, one of the most reputed universities in India and its faculties include Arts, Commerce, Law, Medicine and Science. Many famous Indians have attended here such as former Indian presidents, prime ministers and deputy prime ministers and Motilal Nehru, (Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime ministers father). The University includes the Kausambi Museum with various artifacts from Kausambi including pottery, terracotta figurines, coins, beads and bangles.
Situated next to Anand Bhawan, Swaraj Bhavan was donated to the Nation by Motilal Nehru (Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime ministers father) to be used as the headquarters of the Congress Committee. Motilal Nehru bought the house in 1900 and doesn't look like it has been lived in ever since although he lived here until 1930. His grand-daughter, the late Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi was born here.
Open daily: 9:30am to 5:30pm. Closed on Monday's. Admission: Rs5 for all.
Anand Bhavan was the former ancestral home of the Nehru family. Donated to the Indian government in 1970 by Indira Gandhi, it was turned into a museum. The exhibits in the two storied building seen through glass panels include personal items of Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru (the first Prime Minister of Independent India), Indira Gandhi (Prime Minister 1966-77 & 1980-84) and her sons Sanjay Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi (Prime Minister 1984-1989). You can see the room where Mahatma Gandhi used to stay during his visits (his first was in 1919) where he and Nehru used to plan to over through the British Raj and Jawaharlal Nehru's room. More photo's can be found in one of my travelogues.
Open daily: 9:30am to 5:00pm except Mondays. Admission: Rs5 for all.
This is the guy who took me out on the Yamuna River. I went out to see the fort and witness bathers bathing at the confluence of the Yamuna and the Ganges. My guide/rower, first approached me and started quoting me Rs150 for the hour long trip. I thought this was a bit steep and managed to bargain him down to Rs100 (I gave him a small tip as well). He rowed me out to the confluence point where bathers were bathing in the middle of the river but they were standing with the water only reaching their knees. My guide explained to me that they were standing on specially made platforms. The boat trip was great as it was peaceful on the calm waters plus the atmosphere was enhanced by the sun setting.
The sacred 'Sangam', literally meaning confluence, is the confluence of three of the holiest rivers in Hindu mythology Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical underground river of enlightenment, Saraswati. At the confluence, the muddy waters of the Ganges and the clear green water of the Yamuna can be distinctly seen to merge into one. Bathing at the Sangam is believed to be auspicious through out the year especially for 15 days in the month of Magh (mid-January to Mid-February) during 'Magh Mela' and longer during 'Maha Kumbh Mela' held every 12 years. Astrologers calculate the holiest time to enter the water and draw up a 'Holy Dip Schedule'. Maha Kumbh Mela attracts millions of devout Hindus and a holy dip then is believed to cleanse the soul. An enormous temporary township springs up on the vacant land on the Allahabad side of the river. The Mela holds a record in the Guinness Book as the largest human gathering on earth. This occured in 1988 when 15 Million people gathered to take a dip on a single day.
I took a boat out to the confluence point where the Yamuna meets the mighty Ganges. As you can see in the picture, bathers were bathing in the middle of the river but they were standing with the water only reaching their knees. My guide explained to me that they were standing on specially made platforms.
This large cathedral stands at the western end of MG Marg near the main train station. It was designed by Sir William Emerson (who also built and designed the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta) and the foundation stone was laid on the 10th April 1871 by Lady Elizabeth Muir. The cathedral is built in 13th century Gothic style and was consecrated in 1887 but it took another 40 years for it to be completed. Its nave is about 40 feet wide and 130 feet long. Narrow aisles were made in the building thus giving a total internal width of about 56 feet. There are two Transepts on the North and South respectively, a Chancel with an Ambulatory, a central tower at the intersection of the Nave and Transepts and a West Porch. They original plans and pictures show the cathedral as having two western towers but these never materialised. I had to be asked to be let through the gate when I visited and a gardener came along and let me in. More photo's can be found in one of my travelogues.
To the east of Civil Lines lines this large orderly and neat park which features some nice flower arrangements is named after Chandra Shekhar Azad (1906-31), who died fighting the British here. The park, formerly named Alfred Park, is home to the statueless Victorial Memorial, the Gothic Public Library and Allahabad Museum. As in other parks in India, people sit and kick back on the grass whilst others play cricket or football. Here, as the park is close to the University, students come and read whilst sitting on the grass.
Allahabad Museum is located on Kamala Nehru Road inside Chandra Shekhar Azad Park. It has 18 galleries containing a wide range of stone sculptures. The sculptures include 2nd century BC pieces from Bharhut and Kausambi, 1st century AD Kushana from Mathura, 4th-6th century Gupta and 11th century carvings from Khajuraho. The exhibits also include terracotta figurines from Kausambi, Rajasthani miniature paintings, coins, stone & flint tools, neckless beads, furniture, weapons, pots, modern art and paintings by Nicholas Roerich and artifacts donated by the Nehru family such as his clothes, photos, gifts presented to him, letters etc.
Open daily from 10:30am - 4:30pm except Mondays. Admission: Rs100 for foreigners.
The Yamuna River flows to the south of the city and joins up with the sacred Ganges, south-east of the city. It is the largest tributary of the Ganges with a total length of around 1370km (850 miles) and flows through the major city's of Delhi, Mathura and Agra (behind the Taj Mahal). I took a boat for a trip out along the fort to the point where bathers bathed at the confluence of the two rivers.
The main western entrance of the cathedral is dominated by the Rose Transept window which shows floral designs. It is dedicated to the memory of Lady Muir who laid the foundation stone on the 10th April 1871. The window, which was sent out from England, was erected by Lady Muir’s sons and daughters. The font in the cathedral, an excellent piece of workmanship in alabaster, was given by the children of Allahabad. It was erected and dedicated at the children’s service on the 27th May, 1894. The Marble Steps of the Font were also given by the children and were dedicated by the Bishop on 9th February, 1905. The piscine of the Font is round with twelve niches. Four of these niches are filled with carvings; the Lion, the Eagle, the Ox and the Man - the symbols of the four Gospels. It was unfortunately a little damaged in transit from England, but was cleverly repaired. The pulpit is made of Alabaster and has three panels carved on it. The front panel which is the largest, depicts the “Expulsion from Eden” of Adam and eve while on either side you have the Angel with the sword who drove them out. The Bishop's Throne dates from 1895 and is made out of teak. The Altar of marble and alabaster is exquisitely carved and inlaid with mosaic. In the centre panel is a representation of the Crucifixion of our Lord, with St. Mary and St. John standing at foot of the Cross. The other figures represent St. Matthew, St Mark St Luke and the two Marys.
Founded in 1864, this building is a fine example of Gothic architecture and houses about 75,000 books as well as a treasure trove of manuscripts and journals. The main reading room of this building was erected in 1878 as it was once the Thornhill Mayne Memorial. In 1889 the library was separated from the State Museum and was housed in the present building.
9.30am-6.30pm, closed weekends.