One of the holiest places in Central India, Triveni Sangam is located about 7 kilometres away from Civil Lines in Allahabad (Prayagraj). It is the meeting point of three rivers – Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati (which is a mythical river, supposed to have dried up more than 4,000 years ago). It is one of the places where the Kumbh Mela is held once every 12 years. The exact date of the Mela is determined according to the Hindu calendar i.e. the Panchanga.
All three rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati are highly revered rivers in Indian mythology, and hence the confluence point of these rivers hold tremendous religious importance. According to Hindu mythology, taking a bath in the holy Triveni Sangam is supposed to flush away all the sins and free you from the cycle of rebirth. Moreover, the Sangam itself is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. The brownish Ganga meeting the slightly greenish Yamuna is indeed a sight to behold.
If you take a boat ride to the gently flowing waters of Ganga and Yamuna, you’ll be able to make out the difference in colours of water from the two rivers. There are also makeshift wooden banks made at the Sangam. Hence, devotees who want can take a bath right at the confluence point. The water is clean enough at the Triveni Sangam for a bath, especially during the winters; and also not very deep, so it is fun to take a dip in the water here.
Kumbh Mela at Triveni Sangam
It is believed that a bath in these pure waters increases the bather’s purification by hundred times. When this holy bath is taken during the special dates that have been assigned for spiritual bathing at the time of the Kumbh Mela, the influence is a thousand times stronger. Thousands of devotees also visit the Kumbh Mela for purposes other than purification; they offer pind to their deceased ancestors and get numerous poojas performed for their prosperity and well being.
The Kumbh Mela attracts tourists not only from India but from all across the world, who are fascinated with the culture and traditions of India and get a chance to witness these processions in all their grandeur.
Religious Significance of Triveni Sangam
The place is known as Triveni Sangam because this is the point of amalgamation of the three holy rivers, along with the mythological legend that drops of nectar, which can turn mortals to immortals, fell on this spot on the earth during the battle between the Gods and the demons. This makes Allahabad the Tirthraja or The King of Holy Places, and this is also why the Kumbh Mela is organised here. According to myths, the Prakrista Yajna was also performed here by Lord Brahma, and that Lord Rama visited Allahabad when he was in exile.
It is also believed that a dip in the holy waters aids in the purification of the individual, and even releases him or her from the endless cycle of birth and rebirth. A lot of pundits sit by the sides of the river and perform different kinds of Pooja for the well being of the families and their prosperity. A lot of people also visit the Sangam for immersing the mortal remains of their loved ones.
Things To Do at Triveni Sangam
Tips for Visiting Triveni Sangam
- Like most religious sites in India, you need to be extremely careful while talking to the pandits here. If you are here for any religious poojas to be performed, be sure to talk to the pundits about how much they will charge you before actually asking them to do anything for you – otherwise, they will almost certainly quote an absurdly high amount after the pooja. Do remember that the bargaining is extremely heavy – if they quote 1,000 for something you might eventually be able to get it done for 100.
- If you are not here for any religious purpose, and just want to visit the confluence point for pleasure, be very clear with the pandits and stay totally clear of them – while being as respectful as possible. The pundits here are highly revered, and they frequently team up with the boatmen, so if you are rude to them you might end up having to fight with everyone around you. For the same reason, a lot of boatmen who ferry you to the Sangam might try to force you to get some pooja or the other done – unless you really want to do that, be very clear that you don’t want any religious services at all.
- For boating, the bargaining will start with an absurd amount – say 2,000 for a 1-hour boat ride – but if you bargain heavily you should be able to hire a full boat for a round-trip ride to Sangam for no more than 500.
How to Reach Triveni Sangam
From the banks, you can hire a full boat for a return trip to the Sangam area (keep in mind you’ll have to bargain heavily – during off-peak season, a full boat ride shouldn’t cost more than Rs 400 for the return trip)
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