KASHI YATRA - 2011
- KASHI (VARANASI, BENARAS) :- The Holiest and The Oldest
- GANGA AND GHATS OF GANGA AT VARANASI:- Place of Purification of Sins and Salvation
- TEMPLES OF VARANASI (KASHI) : Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Visalakshi Temple, Kaalbhairav Temple
- IMPORTANT TEMPLES OF VARANASI
- RAMNAGAR FORT
- SARNATH : Place where Buddhism started
- VINDHYAVASINI SHAKTIPEETH : Vindhyachal Dham
- SITAMARHI, SITA SAMAHIT STHAL, UP : Where Sita Maa goes underground
- TEERTHRAJ PRAYAG, ALLAHABAD : Triveni Sangam, Sleeping Hanuman, Mankameshwar Mahadev, Alopi Devi
- CHITRAKOOT : Kamadgiri Mountain and Hanuman Dhara
- CHITRAKOOT DHAM : Janaki Kund, Sati Anusuya Ashram and Gupt Godavari
We finished our lunch and Sitamarhi visit at round 1.00 PM and headed for Prayagraj Triveni Sangam in Allahabad. Today our goal was to visit some places in Triveni Sangam and some places in Allahabad and reach Chitrakoot in night. From Sita Samahit Sthal, Sitamarhi we started towards Allahabad which was around 60 kms from Sitamarhi. In between I was inquiring about the rates which boat owners charge for going across the towards the Triveni Sangam ( confluence of rivers Ganga,Yamuna and Saraswati) . My driver told me around Rs. 1200 to Rs.1500 from the banks of Yamuna to Triveni Sangam.
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Sitamarhi to Allahabad Map|
Triveni Sangam of Ganga , Yamuna and Saraswati is in the middle of the confluence away from bank where the flow is heavy, there are stands and platforms made to perform pooja and have bath at actual Triveni Sangam. It was just 200 - 300 meters from Yamuna Bank in the middle where the rivers actually meet. But still this charge was not acceptable. Then when we reached the bank really the scene was what driver told me. All boat owners were chasing us with none of them really going below Rs. 1000. They were knowing that pilgrims who come from long way are at least going to bath in the confluence. So they were stubborn in their approach. But even I was stubborn because I had information about these cheats from the pundits of Allahabad in the temple at my place. So I also started with Rs.150 and ended up in fixing at RS. 250.
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Road Towards Triveni Sangam|
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Yamuna Bank , boats available , Platforms in the middle of the confluence can be seen|
Triveni Sangam is the confluence of three rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and the invisible Saraswathi. This confluence offers excellent view during the sunrise and the sunset. Kumbh Mela (held once in 12 years), Ardhkumbh Mela (held once in 6 years), and Maha Mela (held every year) are held on the banks of the Sangam, during which periods hundred thousands of pilgrims throng to the place to take holy dip in the confluence.
The turbid and light yellow colour water of the Ganga merges with the bluish green colour water of the Yamuna, resulting in a spectacular view for the visitors. River Saraswathi is hoped to flow underneath the earth and contacts the other two rivers. Here the depth of Ganga is just 4 to 6 feet and Yamuna is 40 to 60 feet deep in non rainy season. Yellow shallow Ganga flows at a rapid pace and meets blue, deep and calm Yamuna at this Triveni sangam
Based on the Hindu mythology, nectar came out of the pitcher from the hands of the Gods so a wash in Triveni Sangam will cleanse off all the sins.
Platforms are made in the middle of the Sangam where one can perform poojas like Narayan Nagbali and Shraddh . Many Puranas and Kathas are told here like Shiva Puarnas.Many rishis and sages had their ashrams on this confluence from Centuries and Yugas. Along with Pushkar it is called "Teerthraj" or "King of all Teerthas".
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : New Yamuna Bridge on Yamuna river|
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : White birds on the water a beautiful sight|
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Platforms on the Triveni Sangam|
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Allahabad Fort seen from Sangam|
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Bathing in Triveni Sangam|
A sacred fig tree is located within the Patalpuri Temple at the Allahabad Fort which is worshipped as the Akshayavat . A permission from the Commandant of Allahabad Fort's Ordinance Depot is needed to visit this tree. On one day during the Kumbh Mela, the site is open to all the pilgrims. According to the local belief, the sage Shukdeva narrated Srimad Bhagavatam to the king Parikshit under this tree.Once the Sage Markandeya asked Lord Narayana to show him a specimen of the divine power.Lord Narayana flooded the entire world for a moment, during which only the Akshayavat could be seen above the water level. Hence this Akshay Vat is immortal and indestructible even during the time of complete destruction of this universe. But one can see the Akshay Vat from while traveling to Triveni Sangam via boat from Yamuna river.
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Akshaya Vat inside the Allahabad Fort|
Bade Hanuman jee or Sleeping Hanuman at Triveni Sangam, Allahabad
Hanuman Jee is undoubtedly the strongest personalities in the Indian Ramayan. Hanuman temples can be located everywhere each and every village but the Sleeping Hanuman at Allahabad is one of its kind.
This idol of Hanuman Jee in sleeping position exists only in Allahabad at Sangam. As per the mythology, when Lord Ram after conquering Lanka and defeating Ravana came here to worship at Sangam, Hanuman Jee experienced severe body ache and laid at Sangam. Finishing his prayers, when Lord Ram asked Hanuman Ji to proceed further, Hanuman Jee denied to proceed due to severe pain. Sita Maa then blessed Hanuman jee and all the pains were flown away from his body by the sacred water in the Triveni Sangam.
Another belief lies with the people that, the year in which Ganga water do not reach Hanuman Jee’s foot, undesirable situations occur, such as draught and famines. People await the moment when the Ganges meets Hanuman Jee in the monsoons.
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Bade Hanuman Temple Entrance|
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Mesmerizing sleeping Hanuman idol|
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Sleeping hanuman temple when flooded with Ganga river. Picture Courtesy : The Hindu newspaper website|
Alopi Devi or Madhaveshwari Devi, Allahabad
Alopi Devi is a manifestation of Goddess AdiShakti and is one among the 51 Shaktipeeths. The legend of the Goddess is associated with the death of Sati at the yagna conducted by Daksha and the subsequent anger of Shiva and his roaming with the body of Sati and Vishnu then cutting the body using his Sudharshana Chakra to save the universe.
Alopi Devi is also popularly known as Goddess Madhaveswari.
The popular belief is that the fingers of the hands of Goddess Sati fell at the spot where the
stands. Goddess Alopi is also part of the Ashta Das Shaktipeetah concept more famous and propagated through the Ashtadasa Shaktipeeth Stotra of Adi Shankara. Alopi Devi Temple
The Goddess gets the name Alopi because of the belief that the last part of Goddess Sati’s body fell here and disappeared. Hence this is the last spot from where Goddess Sati disappeared from earth and it is considered highly auspicious
, Goddess Alopi Devi is depicted as a Doli placed a top a marble stone. Everyone is allowed to touch this Doli symbolic representation of Shaktism and offer the offerings directly. There is no idol in the main garbagriha. Powerful vibrations can be felt when visiting this Garbagriha. There are also nine idols of Navadurga in the main temple complex. This one is not to be missed. Alopi Temple
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Alopi Devi or Madhaveswari devi ( Doli )|
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Mankameshwar Mahadev Temple Entrance|
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Mankameshwar Temple Garbgriha|
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : Mankamaeshwar Mahadev Shivling|
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : New Yamuna Bridge from Mankameshwar Mahadev Temple|
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad : New Yamuna Bridge|
Here I come at the end of my Teerthraj Prayag, Allahabad visit. I will show the places actually located in the map below so that one can go easily.
|Teerthraj Prayag , Allahabad Map|
A : Triveni Sangam : Here there are platforms to bath and perform pooja
B : Yamuna River Bank : Here we get boats to reach the sangam
C : Bade Hanuman or Sleeping Hanuman Temple
D : Alopi Devi Madhaveshwari
E : Mankameshwar Mahadev
F : New Yamuna Bridge
G : Akshaya Vat Present in Allahabad Fort
H : Allahabad Fort made by Emperor Akbar
Every place mentioned above is inside the circumference of 2 kms. There are also other important attractions in Allahabad which I didn't see due to lack of time .They are Bharadwaj Ashram, Allahabad Fort , Khusro bagh,Anand Bhawan,Moti Mahal and Bari Kothi,Jawahar Planetarium, Allahabad Museum, Thornhill Mayne Memorial, All Saints Cathedral, Dashaswamedh Temple, Someshwar Mahadev Temple ,Shankar Vimana Mandapam and many more.
Major Festivals in Prayag
As Prayag is one of the most sacred pilgrimage centers in Hinduism each and every hindu festival is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm . But the main ones here are Kumbh Mela , Ardh Kumbh Mela,Maha Mela, Dusherra and Navaratri In Alopi Devi,and Diwali.
Teerthraj Prayag, Allahabad
How to Reach Allahabad
Allahabad is an important pilgrimage destination in the Ganges plain and that is why it is well connected to all the major cities in Uttar Pradesh and India.
There is an Airport at Bamrauli which is near about 10 Kilometers away from Allahabad. Presently limited flights are available here. The second nearest Airport is at Varanasi that is 150 kilometers from Allahabad. Varanasi being another important pilgrimage is well connected to the rest of India by daily flights. Both private as well as public carriers operate these flights.
Allahabad is well connected by trains with all major cities, viz. Kolkatta, Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Varanasi and Mumbai. The main station in Allahabad is Allahabad Junction. Several expresses as well as super fast trains ply to and from Allahabad.
Allahabad on National Highways 2 and 27, is well connected to all parts of the country by good roads and highways. Buses ply to all the neighboring as well as far-flung places such as , Jabalpur, Manikpur, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Patna, Jhansi and Gorakhpur among others. Both Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation as well as Private players operates these buses in large frequencies.
Dear Soul Mates,
I hope so you have liked reading the post and seeing some pictures of this great pilgrimage destination. In next post I am going to take you to another place called Chitrakoot which grants salvation and was loved by Lord Vishnu when he took avatar in form of Lord Ram.Till then
Jai Bhole .