|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2011)|
||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (May 2008)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Coastline||0 kilometres (0 mi)|
Daraganj is a prominent suburb and a landmark in the city of Allahabad, India. It is the oldest suburb of Prayag at the bank of celestial river Ganges and not far from Triveni Sangam - the confluence of three sacred rivers: the Ganges and Yamuna, and the third invisible river Saraswati.
Situated on the bank of the river Ganges, Daraganj is very cosmopolitan in the sense that a significant mix of Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannad and Gujarati communities, apart from natives thrive within a small area. Set up in a small village setting, Daraganj is a mesh of narrow lanes without any road signs. However, all of these lanes inevitably lead to the main road. This is the last bathing Ghat on the river Ganges before it joins the river Yamuna. The name "Daraganj" is presumably derived from the word "Dharaganj" meaning the place of the stream or current of water. Legend also has an alternative explanation that it is named after "Dara Shikoh", the elder brother of Mughal king Aurangjeb who was subsequently killed by Aurangjeb in the power struggle for the throne. Dara Shikoh was known to have studied Hindu Scriptures and translated many of the Upanishads and Puranas into Persian. Presumably, that translation work had taken place at Daraganj.
PrayagRaj is the king of all pilgrimage centers because Lord Brahma conducted first (pra) ten yajnas (yag) there at Dashaswamedh Ghat also located in Daraganj. Considering that Lord Brahma lives one hundred celestial years- equivalent to 311 trillion 40 billion earth years, and we are currently in fiftyfifth year of Brahma, and assumimg that Brahma performed first ten Yajnas when he was twenty years of age, it is established that it happened 110 trillions years ago."Lord Brahmā's day, consisting of his 12 hours, lasts 4 billion 320 million years, and his night is of the same duration." (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 12.8.2-5) 
Lord Rama visited Prayag twice. The first stay was at Bharadwaj Ashram which still exists near University of Allahabad. Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana visited the Veni Madhav Temple during their fourteen-year-long exile and it was at Daraganj where "Nishad", the king of boatsmen, helped them cross the Ganges river. After killing Ravana,the "Pushpak Viman" carrying Lord Rama, Lakshman and Hanuman and the victorious army of monkeys and bears stopped over at Prayag again where Lord Rama and Lakshman did "prayashchit" for having killed Brahmanas. This happened 1.7 million years ago in Treta Yuga. NASA photographs confirm the bridge made of boulders between Sri Lanka and India and predict it to be 1.7 million years old. The famous debate between Shankaracharya and Mandan Mishra and his learned wife Bharati Mishra took place in 700 AD- Bharati Mishra was the judge. When the couple lost the philosophical debate and was about to enter alive in the pyre- according to "rules of engagement" in those days- Shankaracharya granted them pardon and right to live, and preach Vedic knowledge rather than Buddhism.
About 500 years ago, Lord Chaitanya preached the essential principals of devotion to Rupa Goswami for ten days at Dashaswamedh Ghat. There is a plaque bearing the historic marking "Rupa Shikshsthali" at Dashaswamedh Ghat. Not far is another plaque bearing the foot prints of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Veni Madhava Temple, where Lord Chaitanya used to sing and dance everyday. Lord Chaitanya stayed for three nights at "Naag Vasuki " Mandir. About 500 years ago, Mirabai visited Daraganj and composed famous devotional poem "chalo man Ganga Yamuna teer". In 483 AD, Moghul Emperor Akbar named Prayag as Ilahabad - City of God- also called Allahabad. Founder of Arya Samaj Dayanand Saraswati too stayed at " Naag Vasuki " Mandir for three nights.
It is an important religious center with hundreds of Hindu temples, such as Dashaswamedh Temple, Veni-Madhav Temple, Naag-Vasuki Temple,"Bhishma Shaiya", Bade Hanumaanji Temple, and Sri Jagannath Temple. Thus, it is considered inappropriate to skip the visit to Dashaswamedh temple after bathing in the holy river of Ganges at the Daraganj Ghat. Next to Daraganj is the "Alopi Devi Mandir", It is a temple dedicated to "Mother Sati", the wife of Lord Shiva. The story as told in Puranas suggests that the Alopi Temple was the place where the last remains of Mother Sati fell, when Shiva was sadly carrying them around the world. To bring Lord Shiva out of his mourning, Lord Vishnu threw his "Chakra' at the remains causing the remains to drop at various places on the earth. The last piece of the remains dropped at this place. Hence the place came to be known as "Alopi" meaning disappearance (of remains).
Daraganj is the home of the well known Hindi poet and writer, Mahakavi "Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala'" often known by his pen name "Niraala". Initially, Niraala was a native Bengali speaker and writer. When he got married, was encouraged by his non-Bengali speaking wife to write in Hindi and to write about the pains of an average man on the street, a job to which Niraala has no other match to compete with even today 45 years after his death. As a memorial to his contributions to Hindi literature, Niraala's statue has been installed at the main market square in Daraganj which now serves as a landmark for visitors and travellers known as ADDA. This place is in front of Daraganj Police Station. Daraganj is also home to well known academic statistician Ravindra Khattree who spent his early years in Daraganj. Hindi writer and painter Jagdish Gupt also resided in Daraganj for most of his life. Vinod Rastogi, a famous Hindi drama writer, was native to Daraganj. He worked for Allahabad Radio Station and acted in famous "Hawa Mahal" -- a radio serial-- as "Munsi Etwari Lal." He has also written "Bahu Ki Bida", a drama, in the text book--Rang Bharti--for the intermediate students of UP Board.
It has a big Intermediate college named as Radha Raman Inter College in front of Daraganj Railway Station and behind PrayagRaj Railway Station. Other Colleges are Maa Saraswati Inter College, Nirala Balika Vidyalaya, Navbharti Public School, Royal House Public School, Handia Baba Inter College and Mordern Nursury Primary School(1982–2000). Fine Classes(1998–Present),Raj Coaching (2000–2010),Akansha Coaching(2000–2012) and Shukla Classes(2003–2007) are big names in Education.
Moreover Daraganj is a place for festivals. One can see a festival in every 15 days.these festivals are of native types which are celebrated mainly in daraganj and other very few places. Some of these are Vata Savitri,Ganga Dussehra,Dhendia,Bhai Duj,Parewa, Bada Ittwaar etc. Naag Panchami Mela at Naag Vasuki Temple in Daraganj is a unique festival where along with worshipping thousands of serpants, masses participate in shopping for fun and sing songs. Dussehra of Daraganj is famous all over its vicinity. Here Ramlila committee organizes the Dussehra in which Kali dance is famous, which is carried out for three nights of Navratri.
Daraganj is the reference point for "Magh" fairs, held every year during winter and for "Kumbh Mela" fairs held every twelve years. On these occasions, an entirely new temporary town is created in the vicinity of Daraganj to serve the needs of the millions of pilgrims, with its own postoffice, bridges, police station and public services. During the "Kumbh" fairs Daraganj arguably becomes one of the most densely populated place on earth, when millions of pilgrims live within its small borders in the makeshift tents. Daraganj has its own railways station with the same name and has another temporary train station known as "Prayag Ghat" which is functional during "Magh" and "Kumbh" fairs.
National Highway 2 runs through the middle of the Daraganj Via Shashtri Bridge Which links it to Allahabad and Varanasi. City buses, Tourist taxis, auto rickshaws (or tempos) are available for local transport. There are also city buses service run by UPSRTC as well as private operators that connects various parts of the city. But the most convenient method of local transport inside the city is the cycle rickshaw. Daraganj have two railway stations:- Daraganj and Prayag Ghat.