Prayagraj is the official name of the Indian city of Allahabad, which is located in Uttar Pradesh. The Kumbh Mela is organised at Prayagraj. It is said that this is one of the most sacred places in the country, a holy place for the Hindus. Have you ever wondered what makes this place so holy?
Allahabad or Prayagraj was earlier known as Prayaga. The first mention of the place can be found in the Padma Puran, as the place where Lord Brahma had attended a ritual sacrifice. The incident of Chitrakoot in Ramayana is very famous as it was there that Lord Rama met Shabari, a staunch devotee. Before going to Chitrakoot, Lord Rama had spent some time at the Ashrama of sage Bhardwaj in Prayaga.
Just as the universe comprises the world and it is not the world that consists the universe, similarly, it is Prayagraj that is the supreme and all other places are believed to have originated from it. This has also been said in the 7th shloka of Padma Puran.
This place has been the meditation point for years for most of the gods, saints, sages, etc.
This is the point where the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet. Hence, it is known as Sangam, which means confluence in Sanskrit. Such a place of confluence of especially the holy rivers is considered a sacred place by the Hindus. Taking a bath in it helps wash away all the sins of a person.
On the day of Makar Sankranti, when the Sun transits into Capricorn in the Hindu month of Magha, a fair is organised at this place. This fair is known as Magh Mela. People from far off places come to take holy bath at Prayag Sangam on this day.
Two types of Holy places have been described in the Hindu Scriptures: Kamad and Mokshad. Those places which are known to fulfil the wishes of devotees are known as Kamad. The word comes from the Hindi word Kamana, which means a wish or desire. Similarly, those which are known to take one to salvation are known as Mokshad Tirtha. The word Mokshad comes from the Hindi word Moksha, which means salvation. Prayag alone is one such holy place which is both Kamad as well as Mokshad. One reaches salvation after the fulfilment of the wishes.
Along with all that, Prayag is also known as Shatkool Kshetra because the two banks of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna and the Sangam are located in Prayagraj. It is said that everybody, irrespective of any mental or physical differences, gets equal blessings here. Our scriptures tell that Lord Brahma had performed ten Ashwamedha Yagyas here. Therefore, the importance of the place increases and a visit to this place is hence believed to be highly fruitful. This place is also known as Vishnu Prajapati Kshetra.