Clockwise from top left: All Saints Cathedral, the University of Allahabad, Khusro Bagh, the New Yamuna Bridge, Anand Bhavan, Sangam, the Allahabad High Court and the Thornhill Mayne Memorial at Alfred Park.
|Nickname(s): City of Prime Ministers,
|• Body||Allahabad Municipal Corporation|
|• Mayor||Abhilasha Gupta|
|• Member of Parliament||Shyama Charan Gupta (Agrahari)|
|• City||3,424 km2 (1,322 sq mi)|
|Elevation||98 m (322 ft)|
|• Density||1,087/km2 (2,820/sq mi)|
|• Metro rank||42nd|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Sex ratio||901 ♂/♀|
Allahabad (i//), also known as Prayag (//), is a city in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of the Allahabad District. As of 2011, Allahabad is the seventh most-populous city in the state and the thirty-sixth most-populous city in India, with an estimated population of 5.11 million in the city and 1.21 million in its metropolitan region. In 2011, it was ranked the world's 130th fastest-growing city.
The city's original name – Prayaga, or "place of offerings" – comes from its position at the union of the Ganges, Yamuna and Sarasvati Rivers. It is the second-oldest city in India, and plays a central role in Hindu scriptures. Allahabad was originally called Kaushambi (now a separate district) by the Kuru rulers of Hastinapur, who developed it as their capital. Since then, Allahabad has been a political, cultural and administrative centre of the Doab region. The Mughal emperor Akbar renamed Prayag Allahabad. In 1833 it became the seat of the Ceded and Conquered Provinces region before its capital was moved to Agra in 1835. Allahabad became the capital of the North-Western Provinces in 1858, and was the capital of India for a day. Allahabad was the capital of the United Provinces from 1902 to 1920.
Located in southern Uttar Pradesh, the city's metropolitan area covers 63.07 km2 (24.35 sq mi). Although the city and its surrounding area are governed by several municipalities, a large portion of Allahabad District is governed by the Allahabad City Council. The city is home to colleges, research institutions and central and state government offices. Allahabad has hosted cultural and sporting events, including Kumbh Mela and the Indira Marathon. Although the city's economy was built on tourism, most of its income now derives from real estate and financial services.
The city was earlier known as Prayāga, a name still commonly used. Prayāga existed during the Vedic period, and is mentioned in the Veda as the location where Brahma (the Hindu creator of the universe) attended a ritual sacrifice. Excavations have revealed Northern Black Polished Ware dating to 600–700 BCE. The Puranas record that Yayati left Prayag and conquered the region of Saptha Sindhu. His five sons (Yadu, Druhyu, Puru, Anu and Turvashu) founded the main tribes of the Rigveda. Lord Rama, the protagonist of the Ramayana, spent time at the Ashram of Sage Bharadwaj before travelling to nearby Chitrakoot.
When the Aryans first settled in what they called the Āryāvarta (or Madhyadesha), Prayag (then Kaushambi) was an important part of their territory. The Kurus, rulers of Hastinapur (near present day Delhi), established the town of Kaushambi near Prayag. They shifted their capital to Kaushambi when Hastinapur was destroyed by floods.
The Doab region, which includes Allahabad, was controlled by a succession of empires and dynasties. The area became part of the Mauryan and Gupta Empires from the east and the Kushan Empire from the west before being governed by Kannauj during the 15th century. The city was the site of Maratha incursions before colonial rule was imposed on India. In 1765, the British established a garrison at Allahabad Fort. Prayag became a part of the Delhi Sultanate when it was annexed by Mohammad Ghori in 1193. Later, the Mughals took over from the slave rulers of Delhi and under them Prayag rose to prominence. Allahabad was a provincial capital in the Moghul Empire under the reign of Jahangir. Akbar built a fort on the banks of the sangam and renamed the settlement Ilāhābād (Persian for "place of a god") in 1575.
In 1765, forces of the Nawab of Awadh and the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II lost the Battle of Buxar to the British; this was followed by the Treaty of Allahabad. Although the British did not yet establish direct rule, they saw Allahabad's strategic position and established a garrison in Akbar's fort. In 1801, the Nawab of Awadh ceded the city to the British East India Company. Gradually, the rest of the Doab and its adjoining western region in its west (including Delhi and Ajmer-Merwara) came under British rule. The northwestern area became a new presidency, the North Western Provinces of Agra, with its capital at Agra. Allahabad was an important part of the state. In 1834, the city became the governmental seat of Agra Province and a High Court was established; a year later, both were moved to Agra. Allahabad was a participant in the 1857 Indian Mutiny, when Maulvi Liaquat Ali unfurled the banner of revolt. During the rebellion Allahabad, with a number of European troops, was the scene of a massacre.
After the mutiny the British established a high court, a police headquarters and a public-service commission in Allahabad, making the city an administrative center. They truncated the Delhi region of the state, merging it with the Punjab and moving the capital of the North-Western Provinces to Allahabad (where it remained for 20 years). In January 1858, Earl Canning departed Calcutta for Allahabad. That year he read Queen Victoria's proclamation, transferring control of India from the East India Company to the British Crown (beginning the British Raj), in Minto Park. In 1877 the provinces of Agra and Awadh were merged to form the United Provinces, with Allahabad its capital until 1920.
The 1888 session of the Indian National Congress was held in the city, and by the turn of the 20th century Allahabad was a revolutionary centre. Nityanand Chatterji became a household name when he hurled a bomb at a European club. In Alfred Park in 1931, Chandrashekhar Azad died when surrounded by British police. The Nehru family homes, Anand Bhavan and Swaraj Bhavan, were centers of Indian National Congress activity. During the years before independence Allahabad was home to thousands of satyagrahis led by Purushottam Das Tandon, Bishambhar Nath Pande, Narayan Dutt Tiwari and others. The first seeds of the Pakistani nation were sown in Allahabad. On 29 December 1930, Allama Muhammad Iqbal's presidential address to the All-India Muslim League proposed a separate Muslim state for the Muslim-majority regions of India.
Allahabad is known as the "city of prime ministers" because seven out of 13 prime ministers of India since independence have connections to Allahabad (Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Gulzarilal Nanda, Vishwanath Pratap Singh and Chandra Shekhar). All seven leaders were either born there, were alumni of Allahabad University or were elected from an Allahabad constituency.
Allahabad is in southern Uttar Pradesh, at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna . The region was known in antiquity first as the Kuru, then as the Vats country. To the southwest is Bundelkhand, to the east and southeast is Baghelkhand, to the north and northeast is Awadh and to the west is the lower doab (of which Allahabad is part). The city is divided by a railway line running east-west. South of the railway is the Old Chowk area, and the British-built Civil Lines is north of it. Allahabad is geographically and culturally strategically located. Geographically part of the Ganga-Yamuna Doab (at the mouth of the Yamuna), culturally it is the terminus of the Indian west. In common with the rest of the doab, its soil and water are primarily alluvial. The Indian Standard Time longitude (25.15°N 82.58°E) is near the city. According to a United Nations Development Programme report, Allahabad is in a "low damage risk" wind and cyclone zone. Pratapgarh is north of the city, Bhadohi is east, Rewa is south and Kaushambi is west.
Allahabad has a humid subtropical climate common to cities in the plains of North India, designated Cwa in the Köppen climate classification. The annual mean temperature is 26.1 °C (79.0 °F); monthly mean temperatures are 18–29 °C (64–84 °F). Allahabad has three seasons: a hot, dry summer, a cool, dry winter and a warm, humid monsoon. Summer lasts from April to June with temperatures in the low 30 °C (86.0 °F); during dry spells, maximum temperatures often exceed 40 °C (104 °F) in May and June. The monsoon begins in early July, and lasts till September. Winter runs from December to February, with temperatures rarely dropping to the freezing point. The daily average maximum temperature is about 22 °C (72 °F) and the minimum about 9 °C (48 °F). Although Allahabad experiences dense fog in January, resulting in traffic and travel delays, the city does not receive snow. Its highest recorded temperature is 48 °C (118.4 °F), and its lowest is −2 °C (28 °F).
Rain from the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea branches of the southwest monsoon falls on Allahabad from June to September, supplying the city with most of its annual rainfall of 1,027 mm (40 in). The highest monthly rainfall total, 333 mm (13 in), occurs in August. The city receives 2,961 hours of sunshine per year, with maximum sunlight in May.
|Climate data for Allahabad|
|Record high °C (°F)||28.8
|Average high °C (°F)||23.6
|Average low °C (°F)||8.9
|Record low °C (°F)||1.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||17.9
|Avg. rainy days||2.0||2.6||1.0||1.2||2.0||5.7||16.3||13.2||10.7||2.1||0.6||1.1||58.5|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||224.9||244.2||263.2||274.1||292.3||206.4||143.3||180.6||184.3||259.7||256.7||244.0||2,773.7|
|Source #1: India Meteorological Department (1901–2000)|
|Source #2: Weather Report for Allahabad|
The Ganga-Jamuna Doab, of which Allahabad is a part, is on the western Indus-Gangetic Plain region. The doab (including the Terai) is responsible for the city's unique flora and fauna. Since the arrival of humans, nearly half of city's vertebrates have become extinct. Others are endangered or have had their range severely reduced. Associated changes in habitat and the introduction of reptiles, snakes and other mammals led to the extinction of bird species, including large birds such as eagles. The Allahabad Museum, one of four national museums in India, is documenting the flora and fauna of the Ganges and Yamuna.
The most common birds found in the city are doves, peacocks, junglefowl, Black Partridge, House Sparrows, songbirds, Blue Jays, parakeets, quails, bulbuls, and comb ducks. Other animals in the state include reptiles such as lizards, cobras, kraits, and gharials. During winter, large numbers of Siberian birds are reported in the sangam and nearby wetlands.
The 2011 census reported a population of 1,117,094 in Allahabad. Provisional data suggest a density of 1,086 people per km2 in 2011, compared to 901 in 2001. Natives of Uttar Pradesh form the majority of Allahabad's population. According to the 2011 census, 86.81 percent of the population were Hindus, 12.72 percent were Muslims and 0.13 percent were Sikhs. The remainder of the population included Buddhists and followers of other religions; 0.4 percent did not specify a religion. The sex ratio of Allahabad is 858 per 1000 males and child sex ratio of girls is 876 per 1000 boys.
Allahabad's literacy rate of 86.50 percent is close to the all-India average of 74 percent and the highest in the region. Male literacy is 90.21 percent and female literacy 82.17 percent. Among 35 major Indian cities, Allahabad reported the greatest number of violations of special and local laws to the National Crime Records Bureau.
Hindi, the official state language, is the predominant language in Allahabad. English is also used, particularly by white-collar workers. Urdu is spoken by a sizable minority. The Hindi dialect spoken in Allahabad is Awadhi, although Khariboli is also common in the city. Bengali and Punjabi are also spoken.
Allahabad is known as the "Prime Minister Capital of India", since seven of fourteen Prime Ministers of India are from the city. The city is administered by several government agencies. The Allahabad Nagar Nigam (ANN), also called Allahabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), oversees the city's civic infrastructure under the Allahabad Metropolitan Region. The corporation originated in 1864, when the Lucknow Municipal Act was passed by the Government of India. Allahabad is divided into 80 wards, with one member (or corporator) elected from each ward to form the Municipal Committee. The corporators elect the city's mayor. Allahabad's chief executive is its Commissioner, who is appointed by the state government. The city's rapid, unplanned growth has created traffic congestion and stress on infrastructure which has challenged the ANN. Traffic gridlock has been addressed by a flyover system and one-way streets. Land is expensive in Allahabad, especially in Civil Lines (where skyscrapers exceeding 10–15 floors are being built).
As of 2012, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) controls the AMC. The city has a non-political titular head, who presides over municipal functions and conferences. As the seat of the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Allahabad is home to local governing agencies and the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly (located in the Allahabad High Court building). The Allahabad police, headed by a commissioner, is overseen by the Uttar Pradesh Ministry of Home Affairs. The Allahabad district elects two representatives to India's lower house, the Lok Sabha, and 12 representatives to the state legislative assembly.
The primary economic sectors of the district are tourism, fishing and agriculture, and the city is a hub for India's agricultural industry. The construction sector is a major part of Allahabad's economy. Secondary manufacturers and services may be registered or unregistered; according to the third All India Census for Small Scale Industries, there are more than 10,000 unregistered small-scale industries in the city. An integrated industrial township has been proposed for 1,200 acres (490 ha) in Allahabad by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India.
The city is home to glass- and wire-based industry. The main industrial areas of Allahabad are Naini and Phulpur, where several public and private sector companies have offices and factories. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, India's largest oil company (which is state-owned), is constructing a seven-million-tonnes-per-annum (MTPA) capacity refinery in Lohgara with an investment estimated at ₹62 billion. Allahabad Bank, which began operations in 1865, Bharat Pumps & Compressors and A. H. Wheeler and Company have their headquarters in the city.
Major companies in Allahabad are Reliance Industries, Alstom, ITI Limited, Areva, BPCL, Dey's Medical, Food Corporation of India, Raymond Synthetics, Triveni Sheet Glass, Triveni Electroplast, EMC, Steel Authority of India, HCL Technologies, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO), Vibgyor Laboratories, Geep Industries, Hindustan Cable and GEEP Industries. The Harish-Chandra Research Institute and the Civil Aviation Training Center are also located in the city.
Culture and tourism
Allahabad has a literary and artistic heritage; the former capital the of United Provinces, it was known as Prayag in the Vedas, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Allahabad has been called the "literary capital of Uttar Pradesh", attracting visitors from East Asia; the Chinese travellers Huen Tsang and Fa Hien found a flourishing city in the fifth and seventh centuries, respectively. Allahabad remained at the forefront of national importance during the struggle for Indian independence. The city has a tradition of political graffiti which includes limericks and caricatures.
Allahabad has many buildings featuring Indo-Islamic and Indo-Saracenic architecture. Although several buildings from the colonial period have been declared "heritage structures", others are deteriorating. The Anand Bhavan, built during the 1930s as a new home for the Nehru family when the Swaraj Bhavan became the local Indian National Congress headquarters, has memorabilia from the Gandhi-Nehru family.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, Hindi literature was modernised by authors such as Mahadevi Varma, Sumitranandan Pant, Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala' and Harivansh Rai Bachchan. A noted poet was Raghupati Sahay, better known as Firaq Gorakhpuri. Gorakhpuri and Varma have received Jnanpith Awards. Allahabad is a publication centre for Hindi literature, including the Lok Bharti, Rajkamal and Neelabh. Persian and Urdu literature are also studied in the city. Akbar Allahabadi is a noted modern Urdu poet, and Nooh Narwi, Tegh Allahabadi, Shabnam Naqvi and Rashid Allahabadi hail from Allahabad. English author and 1907 Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling was an assistant editor and overseas correspondent for The Pioneer.
Alhough Hindu women have traditionally worn saris, the shalwar kameez and Western attire is gaining acceptance among younger women. Western dress is worn more by men, although the dhoti and kurta are seen during festivals. The formal male sherwani is often worn with chooridar on festive occasions. Diwali (celebrated as a festival of light between mid-October and mid-December) and Rama Navami (when decorations light the banks of the Ganges and Yamuna) are the two most popular festivals in Allahabad.
Allahabad is noted for historic, cultural and religious tourism. Historic sites include Alfred Park, the Victoria and Thornhill Mayne Memorials, Minto Park, Allahabad Fort, the Ashoka Pillar and Khusro Bagh. Religious attractions include the Kumbh Mela, the Triveni Sangam (sacred in Shaktism) and All Saints Cathedral. The city hosts the Maha Kumbh Mela, the largest religious gathering in the world, every twelve years and the Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela every six years. Cultural attractions include the Allahabad Museum, the Jawahar Planetarium and the University of Allahabad.
Allahabad is served by Allahabad Airport (IATA: IXD, ICAO: VIAL), which began operations in February 1966. The airport is 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from the city centre. Air India and Spice Jet connect Allahabad to Delhi and Mumbai. Air India began operating a Delhi-Allahabad-Mumbai route on 9 September 2013. Other nearby airports are in Varanasi, Lucknow and Kanpur.
Allahabad Junction is one of the main railway junctions in northern India and headquarters of the North Central Railway Zone. The four major railway stations in Allahabad are Prayag Station, City Station at Rambagh, Daraganj Station and Allahabad Junction. The city is connected to most other Uttar Pradesh cities and major Indian cities such as Jhansi, Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Bhopal, Kanpur, Lucknow and Jaipur. Three-wheeled yellow-and-black auto rickshaws, known as vikram, are a popular mode of transportation. Taxis, known as city taxis, are usually available on call. Also metered, they are generally more expensive than auto rickshaws. Cycle rickshaws are the most economical means of transportation in Allahabad.
Buses operated by Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) are an important means of public transport in the city. National Highway 2 runs through the city centre. India's longest cable-stayed bridge, the New Yamuna Bridge (built 2001–04), is located in Allahabad and connects the city to the suburb of Naini across the Yamuna. The Old Naini Bridge now accommodates railway and auto traffic. A road bridge across the Ganges also connects Allahabad and Jhusi. National Waterway 1, operated by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), connects Allahabad and Haldia.
Education and sports
The Allahabad educational system is distinct from Uttar Pradesh's other cities, with an emphasis on broad education. The city's's schools are run by the state government and private organisations, many of which are religious. Although English is the language of instruction in most private schools, government schools and colleges offer Hindi and English-medium education. Schools in Allahabad follow the 10+2+3 plan. After completing their secondary education, students typically enroll in higher secondary schools affiliated with the Uttar Pradesh Board of High School and Intermediate Education, the ICSE or the CBSE. and focus on liberal arts, business or science. Vocational programs are also available.
Allahabad attracts students throughout India. As of 2010, the city had one central university, three deemed universities and an open university. Allahabad University, founded in 1876, is the oldest university in the state. Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology Allahabad is a noted technical institution. Other notable schools in Allahabad include the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, Motilal Nehru Medical College (MNMI), Ewing Christian College (ECC), the Harish-Chandra Research Institute (HRI), Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute (GSSI) and the Institute of Engineering and Rural Technology (IERT).
Academics and artists who were born, worked or studied in Allahabad include mathematician Manindra Agrawal, electrical engineer Sorab K. Ghandhi, poet Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, novelist Julia Strachey, philanthropist Jagmal Raja Chauhan, actor Amitabh Bachchan, Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling and Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain.
Cricket and field hockey are the most popular sports in Allahabad, with kabaddi, kho-kho, gilli danda and pehlwani are played in rural areas near the city. Gully cricket, also known as street cricket, is popular among city youth. Several sports complexes are used by amateur and professional athletes; these include the Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium, the Amitabh Bachchan Sports Complex and the Boys' High School and College Gymnasium. There is an international-level swimming complex in Georgetown. The National Sports Academy in Jhalwa trains gymnasts for the Commonwealth Games. The Indira Marathon honors the late prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Allahabad's Hindi-language newspapers include Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala, Dainik Bhaskar, Nai Dunia, Hindustan Dainik, Aj and Rajasthan Patrika. The Leader and The Pioneer are English-language newspapers published in the city; others include The Times of India, the Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Indian Express, and The Asian Age. Newspapers in Urdu, Gujarati and Punjabi are also available.
All India Radio, the national, state-owned radio broadcaster, has AM radio stations in the city. Allahabad has five FM stations, including two AIR stations: BIG FM 92.7, Red FM 93.5, Gyan Vani, Vividh Bharti and Akashwani. There is a Doordarshan radio station in the city. Regional TV channels are accessible via cable subscription, direct-broadcast satellite service or Internet-based television.
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