Sangam, the confluence of three of the holiest rivers of the
Hindu mythology, the holy Ganga,
Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati is
the most sacred spot in Allahabad. Devout
Hindus from all over India come to this sacred pilgrimage point to offer
prayers and take a dip in the holy waters. It is believed that a holy dip
taken at the Sangam washes away all sins.
It is believed that at the time of the churning of the ocean, a few drops of the nectar fell down as the demons tried to flee away with the pot of nectar. Allahabad is one of such places where the drops fell and the water is said to have turned into purifying nectar that washes away all the sins of the people. The confluence or the sangam is considered particularly holy.
According to Hindu mythology, for the 'Prakrishta Yagna', Lord Brahma, the creator, chose a piece of land on Earth, on which the three rivers - the Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati - would flow into a quiet confluence. That land, blessed by the Gods, came to be called 'Prayag' or 'Allahabad', as it is known today. It is one of the most sacred pilgrimage centres of India.
The Purification Ritual
It is here at the sangam that Hindus come for a holy dip especially during the Kumbha Mela, held at the confluence every 12 years. It is during the Kumbh Mela and the Ardh Kumbh that the Sangam truly comes alive, attracting the devout from all across the country.
The largest congregation of humans in the world assembles here every year during Magh Mela. The Ardh Kumbh is celebrated here every six years. The Maha Kumbh is celebrated every 12 years and an estimated 45 million people converge to bathe in the sacred waters of the Ganges as part of a purification ritual.
The sunrise and sunset at Sangam have to be seen to be believed.