Temples of Prayag
Prayag has been known as the greatest pilgrimage since the Rig-Veda era. The basic reason is the confluence of two holiest rivers in India – the Ganga and the Yamuna. It is said one who dies at the Sangam is freed from the cycle of re-birth and attains salvation. The Mahabharat, Agnipuran, Padam Puran and Surya Puran also mention Prayag as the holiest of all pilgrimages. Vinay Patrika mentions that Gautam Buddha too had traversed through Prayag in 450 B.C.
Prayag is famous for Madho temples also. Twelve Madho temples are situated at different locations as given below:-
Nag Vasuki Temple
This temple is located on the north of Sangam in the northern corner of Daraganj on the Ganga bank. It has statues of Nag Raj, Ganesh, Parvati and a reclining statue of Bhishma Pitamah. There is a Shiv temple in the premises. A big fair is held on Nag Panchami day.
It is situated near Minto park on the west of the fort along the Yamuna river. It has a black stone lingam and statues of Ganesh and Nandi. There is a grand statue of Hanuman and an ancient peepal tree near the temple. This ancient Shiv temple is located in Barra tehsil 40 km south-west from Allahabad. The Shivling is installed on top of a 80-feet high hillock among picturesque surroundings. It is said that the 3-1/2 feet Shivling is much deeper underground and it was installed by Lord Ram while going to Chitrakoot. There are many smaller idols here, a huge banyan tree and a well.
Lalita Devi Temple
It is located in Mirapur locality and is about 108 feet high. There are several statues inside the temple and an ancient papal tree in its compound. It is counted among the 51 Siddha Shaktipeeth in the country.
It is said that the Kaurav king Duryodhan had got it made to trap the Pandavas and eliminate them. However, Vidur alerted the Pandavas who escaped from a secret door while it was set on fire. It is located 6 km south of Handia on the bank of the Ganga.
Alopi Devi Temple
This ancient temple is located in Alopibagh locality west of Daraganj. In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple there is a round platform there is a coloured cloth below which there is a small cot. Devotees pay obeisance here. It is said to be one of the Shaktipeeth and a big fair is held during the Navratri. There is an idol of Lord Shiv and Shivling.
This is a temple of Takshakeshwar Lord Shankar located in south of Allahabad city in Daryabad locality on the bank of the Yamuna. A little away is the Takshak kund in the Yamuna. Legend has it that Takshak the serpent had taken shelter here after being hounded out of Mathura by Lord Krishna. There are many lingas and idols in here as well as an idol of Hanuman
It is built below the ground level inside the fort on the bank of the Yamuna. There is a long corridor and there are 44 idols in here with a Shivling in the center. It was renovated by Bajirao Peshwa in 1735, and some idols date back to 17th or 18th century. Legend has it that Lord Rama had come during his exile.
Sheetla Temple at Kada
It is located about 69 km north-west of Allahabad. The great sage Sant Malookdas was born in 1631 at Kada, where his samadhi and ashram are located. There is a temple of goddess Shitla Devi and a pond. There are ruins of a great fort also.
There is an entire locality by this name on the bank of the Yamuna and a temple of goddess Kalyani Devi. There are idols of the goddess and that of Lord Shankar, said to be dating back to the 20th century.
Hatkeshwar Nath Temple
It is situated in the heart of the Allahabad city on the Zero road. There are many idols in it, including that of god Hatakeshwar Shiv.
Krishna Pranami Bhajan Temple
King Chhatrasal of Bundelkhand had initiated the Pranami sect. This temple is said to have been built in 1700 and a huge fair is held here on janmashtami.
Bhita Danuha (Sujawan Dev)
It is located on the bank of Yamuna river about 3 km west from Ghoorpur. There is a temple of Shankar and Yamuna, the sister of Yam, built in the river.
Bargad Ghat Shiv Temple
This small temple is located at Bargad ghat on the bank of the Yamuna near Meerapur. There is a black stone Shivling and an ancient bargad (banyan) tree. There are four peepal trees and an idol of reclining Hanuman.
It is located in front of the bus station at Civil Lines in Allahabad city. There is a small temple with idols of Shankar, Ashtabhuja Devi and Hanuman.
Shankar Viman Mandapam
This grand temple was built on the initiative of Shankaracharya Chandrashekharendra Saraswati of Kanchi Kamakoti Peeth and was inaugurated by Shankarachrya Jayendra Saraswati in 1986. Built in the Dravidian architecture style this three-storied structure is made on 16 huge pillars on the bank of the Sangam. Its height is 130 feet and it was completed in 16 years. It has the idols of Kamakshi, Lord Balaji and Lord Shiv. The Shiv idol weighs 10 tons.
Shankar Temple Mahuawan
This historical temple is situated on Koraon-Kaurhar road 8 km north-west of Koraon in Meja tehsil of Allahabad. This Shankar temple is situated near a pond and has a black stone idol and an ancient peepal tree.
Veni Madhav Temple
It is located in Daraganj locality and has attractive idols of Radha and Lord Krishna. There are 12 Madhav deities in Prayag but the Veni Madhav temple at Daraganj close to the Sangam is especially significant.
Shankar Temple Jamsot
It dates back to the 11th century Kalchuri empire and is located near the Lapri river 15 km west of Koraon. It is in a dilapidated state and an idol found here is displayed at the State Museum at Lucknow.
Radha Madhav Temple
It is situated on the old GT road in the Nimbark ashram at Madhwapur. It has 200-year old idols of Radha,, Krishna, Ram-Lakshman and Sita. The stone structure has exquisite engravings and in 1992 a huge idol of Hanuman was installed here.
This goddess Kali temple is situated in the Mutthiganj locality. There is an awe-inspiring idol of the goddess and also small temples of Satyanarayan, Ganesh, Hanuman, Shiv and Shanidev. There is a sacrificial chamber also.
It is situated in the old Loknath locality. It has a Shivling and an old well, besides idols of many gods and goddesses.
Shankar Temple Bolan
This temple is near a pond situated near the Vindhya mountains in the Meja tehsil. The water in the pond comes from the mountains and it is full of lotus flowers. The well near the pond is known as Banganga. Legend has it that Arjun had tore apart the mountains to get water for the purification of demon queen Hidimba. A lot of poisonous snakes are found here.