Allahabad to be ‘Prayagraj’, UP cabinet okays
Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday, 16th October 2018, approved the proposal to rename Allahabad as ‘Prayagraj’ amid protests by the opposition parties, which called the move a poll gimmick.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s announcement of changing the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj has drawn protests from the Congress and the Samajwadi Party while receiving mixed reaction from intellectuals, teachers, literary persons, lawyers and politicians in the Sangam city.
While the Congress has said that the change would diminish the importance that Allahabad had in the country’s freedom movement and does not make sense, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav Monday alleged that Adityanath government’s proposed move was another example of its trait for “renaming”.
Why it is Prayagraj?
The ancient name of the city is Prayag (Sanskrit for "place of sacrifice"), as it is believed to be the spot where Brahma offered his first sacrifice after creating the world.
It is also known as Triveni Sangam or Sangam Nagari because of the confluence of 3 rivers, the Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati. Of these three, the river Saraswati is invisible and is said to flow underground and join the other two rivers from below. Here the muddy and pale-yellow waters of the Ganges merge with the blue waters of Yamuna, you can actually see the different coloured waters mix into one.
While the Ganges is only 4 feet deep, the Yamuna is 40 feet deep near the point of their nexus. The river Yamuna merges into the Ganges at this point and the Ganges continues on until it meets the sea at the Bay of Bengal. This, together with the migratory birds give a picturesque look to the river during the Kumbha Mela, in the month of January. It is believed that all the gods come in human form to take a dip at the sangam and expiate their sins.