Prayag is also known as “Sangam” or “Tribeni” i.e confluence of three rivers – Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati. Migratory birds (Seagulls) hovering over a tourist boat at Prayag is a common scene during winters. Each day thousands of pilgrims from all over the country visit this sacred place. Prayag host’s the Maha Kumbh Mela which is supposed to be the “largest human gathering on the planet”. It is held every 12 years. A smaller version of this fair is held every year during the month of December to January- the “Magh Mela”.
While going to Sangam vast areas of lands are left as fields to construct temporary tents during the Magh Mela and other mega events. These accomodation house’s thousands of pilgrims from across the country. It is believed that a dip in the Sangam itself washes away all the sins of life.
Best time to visit Sangam is during the early part of the day or later in the afternoon when the crowd is comparatively less. Must see places in and around Sangam are as follows-
- Allahabad Fort– Situated on the bank of the Yamuna river the mighty structure keeps a vigilant eye over the Sangam area. Top of the fort provides a panoramic view of the surroundings. Parts of the fort is used by the army and entry is restricted.
- Bade Hanuman Ji temple– If you are in Sangam it is imperative to visit a temple and offer you prayers to lord Hanuman ji. Situated right on the road it is usually identified by long line of devotees waiting for their turn to do the “darshan”(pray and view the idol).
- Boat ride to Sangam– If you are in Sangam a boat ride on the pristine blue waters of Yamuna is a must and should not be missed at any cost. Plenty of boats are available and round trip takes around an hour to complete. Provisions are also available to take a dip at the exact confluence of the three rivers. Bathing pods are made by the local authorities.
- Arati in the evening– Arati (prayers and offerings)- Arati’s are a intricate part of rituals all along the Ganges valley. The main arati is conducted on the podium just adjacent to the Bade Hanuman ji temple. 5 priest perform a 30-40 minute ritual which is attended by innumerable devotees.
- Hangout at Saraswati Ghat– Along the bank of Yamuna, Saraswati ghat has been made for a good hangout destinations. It provides a good view of the Naini bridge. Several cafe’s can keep your taste buds stimulated all along. It is a good way to relax and end the day.