Allahabad is among the largest cities in Uttar Pradesh. Hindu mythology has it that for the Prakrishta Yajna, Lord Brahma, the creator God of the Trinity, chose a land on earth, on which the three rivers would flow in to a quiet confluence. Brahma also referred to it as Tirth Raj or the King of all pilgrimage centres. Recorded evidence also exists in the revered scriptures (the Vedas and the grand epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, as also in the Puranas) of this holy place formerly called Prayag. Allahabad stands at the confluence of two of India's holiest rivers, the Ganga and the Yamuna. Sangam, as the confluence is called, is the venue of many sacred fairs and rituals, and attracts thousands of pilgrims throughout the year. This number swells to millions during the world-famous Kumbh Mela.
77 imagesMillions of Hindu pilgrims are expected to take part in the large religious congregation of a period of over a month on the banks of Sangam during the Maha Kumbh Mela in January 2013, which falls every 12th year, where devotees wash themselves in the waters of the Ganges believing that it washes away their sins and ends the process of reincarnation.