A day in Allahabad!
A day is a short span to try and discover the whole place. But within a day you can check out the main places you keep hearing or Googling about. In my sights-to-see list I had marked the following:
1. Triveni Sangam
2. Allahabad Fort
3. Anand Bhavan
4. South Indian Temple
5. Chandrashekhar Azad Park
6. Hanuman Mandir
7. Khusro Bagh
A delayed train to the Allahabad Junction meant striking off a few places from the already short list above. So all we had to do was hurry up! Make sure you exit from the other side of the station; this will save you some distance. For a day tour around the city, a car or auto can be hired. An air-conditioned car will cost you a thousand after stiff bargaining and an auto for around six to seven hundred. If you are famished and looking for a good restaurant then please drive to the civil lines area, cause there is nothing quite decent in and around the railway station.
Triveni Sangam, which is the holy confluence of the three rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati could not be off our list. So we headed straight to this place, which is a mere half an hour drive from civil lines area. Hiring a boat for up and down the confluence will require you to be a kungfu bargainer, phew! They can start will prices as high as two thousand and come down to as low as five hundred, over that when you leave, the rowers are going to ask for some additional tips, which you may at your own will. It would be any photographer’s delight to come and shoot at this place and at this time of the day. Since it was October, the days were shrinking and around three to four in the afternoon, the weather and the view was just perfect. You can buy crumbs to feed the birds that flock this place. The rowers will keep you entertained with a myriad of stories from the Kumbh Mela. The Allahabad Fort on the banks of the Yamuna adds the touch of history this place needed. Although it wasn’t very clear to us, but a vague difference between the grey Ganga and the greenish Yamuna could be made. People also take dip at the holy confluence to purify their souls. But we gave it a miss! On the advice of locals we struck off Allahabad Fort from the list, who suggested it’s better to visit Anand Bhavan instead.
On the way we visited the South Indian temple, which was a three story temple dedicated to Shiva. The Hanuman Mandir was an ordinary one, the only fact making it interesting was that when the Ganga overflows the temple gets submerged, believed to be a blessing from the god Hanuman
The Anand Bhavan was built by Motilal Nehru. It showcases the lifestyle of the Nehru-Gandhi family of the then period. The estate is elaborate and palatial in structure. The spiral staircases, wooden furniture, long corridors makes you travel back in time. The museum also displays the classy choice of the various household items used by the family like the sleek electronic toaster, mini electronic irons, carved wooden cases etc. The estate also has a planetarium.
Unfortunately the Khusro Bagh was closed by that time.In a jiffy we hit a few other places like the Chandrashekhar Azad Park (this was the place where the great freedom fighter was sacrificed) and the Someshwar Mahadev Temple before driving off to the station.