How's my Luck now?

Reflections, views and descriptions during my stay at IIM Lucknow from July 2004 to March 2006

Location: India

Thursday, January 13, 2005

ek yaatraa - IX

Day 4: Allahabad/Lucknow, 31 Dec. 2004, Friday

We had hired an autorickshaw for going around Allahabad, and the auto-wallah first took us to the Sangam - where the Yamuna merges with the Ganga (and the Saraswati is said to join in subterraneally). As we neared the Sangam, we saw huge open grounds, presumably for the giant Kumbh Mela and other mela-s held here from time to time. We were astonished, however, to hear from the auto-wallah that the grounds over 100 sq. km. were used for the Kumbh and around 7 crore people had visited the last Kumbh. Starting tomorrow (Jan. 14), Allahabad will be hosting the annual (I think) Magh Mela. The city and district administration must be having to deal with a great many issues during such times.
We finally reached the bank of the green-watered Yamuna, from where we took a boat out on the river to reach the Sangam, around half-a-kilometre (I guess) from the shore. It was lovely to see a large number of ducks on the river. These ducks had been spoilt though, and people were offering namkeen to them, which they were pouncing on. The Yamuna was 60 to 70 feet deep at that point. The elderly person who sat with us was acquainting us with the surroundings in chaste Hindi, which was good to hear. He showed us the shore slightly far away from where we boarded the boat as that where people performed shraaddh and other ceremonies.
Finally, we were at the place. Here, the water is only 3-4 feet deep. The Ganga, with a more powerful flow and white waters, came from another side and the two met almost at right angles. Across the entire stretch of water, wooden platforms chained to the shore have been kept. Here, boats stop and most people get onto the platforms and into the Ganga to have a bath. The sangam was a great scene. We didn't have a bath or anything. After taking a few photographs, we returned to the shore. A pleasant ride, by all means.

Allahabad Fort

Right opposite the shore was a huge fort made of red stone, which (the auto-wallah told us) was built by Akbar. At present, there is a temple inside (I forget its name). We just entered the fort and went down some stairs to see that the temple was underground with the entrance opposite us. Openings on the surface let us peer inside, where we heard a lot of voices but couldn't see much because it was dark inside. We didn't want to go inside, so out we came and into the auto.



Blogger ASHOK VAISHNAV said...

It was Patal Bhairav temple at Allahabad Fort.

9:21 AM  

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