Prayagraj

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Prayagraj (IAST: Illahabad), also known as Prayag (/prəˈjɑːɡ/), is a large metropolitan city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is the administrative headquarters of Prayagraj District, the most populous district in the state and 13th most populous district in India, and the Prayagraj Division.

The city is the Judicial capital of Uttar Pradesh with Prayagraj High Court being the highest judicial body in the state. As of 2011, Prayagraj is the seventh most populous city in the state, twelfth in the Northern India and thirty-eighth in India, with an estimated population of 1.11 million in the city and 1.21 million in its metropolitan region.[1][2] In 2011 it was ranked the world's 40th fastest-growing city.[3][4] Prayagraj, in 2016, was also ranked the third most liveable city in the state (after Noida and Lucknow) and sixteenth in the country.[5] The 2016 update of the World Health Organization's Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database found Prayagraj to have the third highest mean concentration of "PM2.5" (<2.5 μm diameter) particulate matter in ambient air among all the 2972 cities tested (after Zabol and Gwalior).[6]

The city's original name – Prayag, or "place of offerings" – comes from its position at the Sangam (confluence) of the Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati rivers.[7] It plays a central role in Hindu scriptures. Prayagraj was originally called Kaushambi (now a separate district) by the Kuru rulers of Hastinapur, who developed it as their capital. Since then, the city has been a political, cultural and administrative centre of the Doab region. In the early 17th century, Prayagraj was a provincial capital in the Mughal Empire under the reign of Jahangir.[8]

Akbarnama mentions that the Mughal emperor Akbar founded a great city in Prayagraj. `Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni and Nizamuddin Ahmad mention that Akbar laid the foundations of an Imperial City there which was called Ilahabas or Ilahabad.[9][10] He was said to be impressed by its strategic location and built a fort there, later renaming it Ilahabas by 1584 which was changed to Prayagraj by Shah Jahan.[11]

In 1580, Akbar created the "Subah of Ilahabas" with Prayagraj as its capital.[12] mid-1600, Salim had made abortive attempt to seize Agra's treasury and came to Prayagraj, seizing its treasury and setting himself up as a virtually independent ruler.[13] He was however reconciled with Akbar and returned to Prayagraj where he stayed before returning to the royal court in 1604.[14]

In 1833 it became the seat of the Ceded and Conquered Provinces region before its capital was moved to Agra in 1835.[15][better source needed] Prayagraj became the capital of the North-Western Provinces in 1858, and was the capital of India for a day.[16] The city was the capital of the United Provinces from 1902[16] to 1920[17] and remained at the forefront of national importance during the struggle for Indian independence.[18]

Located in southern Uttar Pradesh, the city's metropolitan area covers 70.5 km2 (27.22 sq miles).[19] Although the city and its surrounding area are governed by several municipalities, a large portion of Prayagraj District is governed by the Prayagraj City Council. The city is home to colleges, research institutions and 2 dozen central and state government offices. Prayagraj has hosted cultural and sporting events, including Kumbh Mela and the Indira Marathon. Although the city's economy was built on tourism, most of its income now derives from real estate and financial services.This is 2nd most revenue providing district in Uttar Pradesh.

Etymology[edit]

It is said that the Mughal emperor Akbar, after visiting the region in 1575, was so impressed by the strategic location of the site that he ordered a fort be constructed and renamed it Ilahabas or "Abode of God" by 1584, later changed to Prayagraj under Shah Jahan. Speculations regarding its name however exist. Because of the surrounding people calling it Alhabas, has led to some people holding the view that it was named after Alha from Alha's story and was renamed by Akbar in the interest of Islam.[11] James Forbes' account of early 1800s claims that it was renamed Prayagraj or "abode of God" by Jahangir after he failed to destroy the Akshayabat tree. The name, however, predates him, with Ilahabas and Ilahabad mentioned on coins minted in the city since Akbar's rule, the latter name became predominant after the emperor's death. It has also been thought to not have been named after Allah but ilaha (the gods). Shaligram Shrivastv claimed in Prayag Pradip that the name was deliberately given by Akbar to be construed as both Hindu ("ilaha") and Muslim ("Allah").[10]

Over the years, there have been a number of attempts by BJP-led governments of Uttar Pradesh to rename Prayagraj to Prayagraj. In 1992, the planned rename was shelved when the chief minister, Kalyan Singh, was forced to resign following the Babri Masjid demolition. 2001 saw another attempt led by the government of Rajnath Singh which remained unfulfilled.[10] In October 2018, the cabinet of the Yogi Adityanath-led government endorsed the move which now awaits approval from the central government.[20]

History[edit]

Antiquity[edit]

The city was earlier known as Prayāga, a name still commonly used. Prayāga existed during the Vedic period, and is mentioned in the Veda as the location where Brahma (the Hindu creator of the universe) attended a ritual sacrifice.[21] Excavations have revealed Northern Black Polished Ware dating to 600–700 BCE.[21] The Puranas record that Yayati left Prayagraj and conquered the region of Saptha Sindhu.[22] His five sons (Yadu, Druhyu, Puru, Anu and Turvashu) founded the main tribes of the Rigveda.[23] Lord Rama, the protagonist of the Ramayana, spent time at the Ashram of Sage Bharadwaj before travelling to nearby Chitrakoot.[24]

When people first settled in what they called the Āryāvarta (or Madhyadesha), Prayagraj (then Kaushambi) was an important part of their territory.[25] The Kurus, rulers of Hastinapur (near present-day Delhi), established the town of Kaushambi near Prayagraj.[26] They shifted their capital to Kaushambi when Hastinapur was destroyed by floods.[25]

The Doab region, which includes Prayagraj, was controlled by a succession of empires and dynasties.[27] The area became part of the Maurya and Gupta Empires from the east and the Kushan Empire from the west before being governed by Kannauj during the 15th century.[25] The city was the site of Maratha incursions before India was colonised.[27]

Early medieval period[edit]

Xuanzang described Prayagraj as a large city between two branches of the river. He adds that there was a large Deva temple and before its hall was a great tree, near which human bones of people who used to commit suicide by jumping from it in belief of going to heaven. Alexander Cunningham believes the tree described by him was the Akshayavat tree and probably still existed at the time of Al-Biruni who called it the "tree of Allahabad", with the practice of jumping from it to commit suicide still continuing by his time. The rest of Prayagraj's history up to the Mughal Emperor Akbar isn't much known.[28]

In contrast to the account of Xuanzang, the Muslim historians mention the tree to be located at the confluence of the rivers. The historian Dr. D. B. Dubey states that it appears that between this period, the sandy plain was washed away by the Ganga, to an extent that the temple and tree seen by the Chinese traveller too was washed away, with the river later changing its course to the east and the confluence shifting to the place where Akbar laid the foundations of his fort.[29]

As the majority of the houses would have been mud-walled, a flood could easily destroy them. Cunningham's conclusion in his reports on the Archaeological Survey also supports the assumption, "I infer that during the long period that intervened between the time of Hiuen Tsang and that of Akbar, the two rivers gradually carried away the whole of the sandy plain. Long before this time, the old city had, no doubt, been deserted, for we know that the fort of Prayagraj was founded on its site."[30] Dilip Kumar Chakrabarti however disagrees. He states that there is no way modern Prayagraj is ancient, but the city site of Jhusi located opposite the confluence was the ancient settlement of Prayag.[31]

Henry Miers Elliot believed that a town existed before Prayagraj was founded. He adds that after Mahmud of Ghazni captured Asní near Fatehpur, he couldn't have crossed into Bundelkhand without visiting Prayagraj had there been a city worth plundering. He further adds that its capture should have been heard when Muhammad of Ghor captured Benares. However, Ghori's historians never noticed it. Akbarnama mentions that the Mughal emperor Akbar founded a great city in Prayagraj. `Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni and Nizamuddin Ahmad mention that Akbar laid the foundations of an Imperial City there which he called Ilahabas.[9]

Mughal rule[edit]

Abul Fazal states, "For a long time his (Akbar's) desire was to found a great city in the town of Piyag (Allahabad) where the rivers Ganges and Jamuna join... On 13th November 1583 (1st Azar 991 H.) he (Akbar) reached the wished spot and laid the foundations of the city and planned four forts." `Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni states that while encamped at Piyag which was commonly called Illahabas, the emperor laid foundation of a great building called Ilahabad. Nizamuddin Ahmad gives two different dates for its foundation. He states that he laid the foundation of the city at a place af the confluence of Ganges and Jumna which was a very sacred site of Hindus. He also mentions about occurrences of 1584, "this time when the news of the disasters in Gujarat was reported, His Majesty deputed Mirza Khan... He (Akbar) founded a great city at Jusi Pyak at the place where the rivers Jamuna and Ganges united with each other and planned a fort around it. He named the city Ilahabas... and spent a period of four months."[32]

Akbar was said to be impressed by its strategic location and built a fort there, later renaming it Ilahabas by 1584 which was changed to Prayagraj by Shah Jahan.[11] In 1580, Akbar reorganized his empire into 12 divisions, per Ain-i-Akbari, "to each of which he gave the name Subah and distinguished them by the appelation of the tract of country or its capital city." He combined the provinces of Jaunpur, Kara-Manikpur and territory of Bandhogarh into the "Subah of Ilahabas". He had been worried about the administration of the area particularly after Ali Quli Khan Zaman's rebellion. Prayagraj was selected as its capital.[12]

After Prince Salim's failed attempt to seize Agra's treasury, he came to Prayagraj and seized its treasury while setting himself up as a virtually independent ruler.[13] In May 1602, he had his name read in Friday prayers and his name minted on coins in Prayagraj. After reconciliation with Akbar, Salim returned to Prayagraj, where he stayed before returning in 1604.[14] After capturing Jaunpur in 1624, Shah Jahan ordered the siege of Prayagraj. The siege was however lifted after Parviz and Mahabat Khan came to assist the garrison.[33] During the Mughal war of succession, the commandant of the fort who had joined Shah Shuja made an agreement with Aurangzeb's officers and surrendered it to Khan Dauran on 12 January 1659.[34]

Nawabs of Awadh[edit]

The fort was coveted by the East India Company for the same reasons Akbar built it. British troops were first stationed at Prayagraj fort in 1765 as part of the Treaty of Allahabad signed by Lord Robert Clive, Mughal emperor Shah Alam II, and Awadh's Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula.[35] The combined forces of Bengal's Nawab Mir Qasim, Shuja and Shah Alam were defeated by the English at Buxar in October 1764 and at Kora in May 1765. Alam who was abandoned by Shuja after the defeats, surrendered to the English and was lodged at the fort, as they captured Prayagraj, Benares and Chunar in his name. The territories of Prayagraj and Kora were given to the emperor after the treaty was signed in 1765. He spent six years there and after the takeover of Delhi by the Marathas, left for his capital in 1771.[36]

Upon realizing the Maratha intent of territorial encroachment however, Shah Alam ordered his general Najaf Khan to drive them out. Tukoji Rao Holkar and Visaji Krushna Biniwale in return attacked Delhi and defeated his forces in 1772. The Marathas were granted an imperial sanad for Kora and Prayagraj. They turned their attention to Oudh to gain these two territories. Shuja was however unwilling to give them up and made appeals to the English and the Marathas did not fare well at the battle of Ramghat.[37] In August and September 1773, Warren Hastings met Shuja and concluded a treaty, under which Kora and Prayagraj were ceded to the Nawab for a payment of 50 lakh rupees.[38]

Saadat Ali Khan II after being made the Nawab by John Shore, entered into a treaty with the Company and gave the fort to the British in 1798.[39] Lord Wellesley after threatening to annexing the entire Awadh, concluded a treaty with Saadat on abolishing the independent Awadhi army, imposing a larger subsidiary force and annexing Rohilkhand, Gorakhpur and the Doab in 1801.[40]

British rule[edit]

Acquired in 1801, Prayagraj asides from its importance as a pilgrimage center, was a stepping stone to the agrarian track upcountry and the Grand Trunk Road. It also potentially offered sizeable revenues to the Company. Initial revenue settlements began in 1803.[41] Prayagraj was a participant in the 1857 Indian Mutiny,[42] when Maulvi Liaquat Ali unfurled the banner of revolt.[43] During the rebellion Prayagraj, with a number of European troops,[44] was the scene of a massacre.[8]

After the mutiny, the British established a high court, a police headquarters and a public-service commission in Prayagraj,[45] making the city an administrative centre.[46] They truncated the Delhi region of the state, merging it with the Punjab and moving the capital of the North-Western Provinces to Prayagraj (where it remained for 20 years).[17] In January 1858, Earl Canning departed Calcutta for Prayagraj.[47] That year he read Queen Victoria's proclamation, transferring control of India from the East India Company to the British Crown (beginning the British Raj), in Minto Park.[48][49] In 1877 the provinces of Agra and Awadh were merged to form the United Provinces,[50] with Prayagraj its capital until 1920.[17]

The 1888 session of the Indian National Congress was held in the city,[51] and by the turn of the 20th century Prayagraj was a revolutionary centre.[52] Nityanand Chatterji became a household name when he hurled a bomb at a European club.[53] In Alfred Park in 1931, Chandrashekhar Azad died when surrounded by British police.[54] The Nehru family homes, Anand Bhavan and Swaraj Bhavan, were centres of Indian National Congress activity.[55] During the years before independence Prayagraj was home to thousands of satyagrahis led by Purushottam Das Tandon, Bishambhar Nath Pande, Narayan Dutt Tiwari and others.[18] The first seeds of the Pakistani nation were sown in Prayagraj.[56] On 29 December 1930, Allama Muhammad Iqbal's presidential address to the All-India Muslim League proposed a separate Muslim state for the Muslim-majority regions of India.[57]

Post-independence[edit]

Prayagraj is known as the City of Prime Ministers because seven out of 15 prime ministers of India since independence have connections to Prayagraj (Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Gulzarilal Nanda, Vishwanath Pratap Singh and Chandra Shekhar). All seven leaders were either born in Prayagraj, were alumni of Prayagraj University or were elected from an Prayagraj constituency.[58]

Geography[edit]

Cityscape[edit]

Prayagraj's elevation is over 90 m (295 ft) above sea level. The old part of the city, at the south of Prayagraj Junction Railway Station, consists of neighbourhoods like Chowk, Johnstongunj, Dariyabad, Khuldabad and many more.[59] In the north of the Railway Station, the new city consists of neighbourhoods like Lukergunj, Civil Lines, Georgetown, Tagoretown, Allahpur, Ashok Nagar, Mumfordgunj, Bharadwaj Puram and others which are relatively new and were built during the British rule.[60] Civil Lines is the central business district of the city and is famous for its urban setting, gridiron plan roads[61] and high rise buildings. Built in 1857, it was the largest town-planning project carried out in India before the establishment of New Delhi.[60][61] Prayagraj has many buildings featuring Indo-Islamic and Indo-Saracenic architecture. Although several buildings from the colonial period have been declared "heritage structures", others are deteriorating.[62] Famous landmarks of the city are Prayagraj Museum, New Yamuna Bridge, Prayagraj University, Triveni Sangam, All Saints Cathedral, Anand Bhavan, Alfred Park etc.[63]

Triveni Sangam[edit]

File:Triveni Sangam.JPG
Pilgrims at the Triveni Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers in Prayagraj.

In Hindi, Triveni Sangam is a place where three rivers meet. The Prayagraj Triveni Sangam is the meeting place of Ganges, Yamuna and invisible Saraswati River, which according to Hindu legends, wells up from underground.[64][65] A place of religious importance and the site for historic Prayagraj Kumbh Mela held every 12 years, over the years it has also been the site of immersion of ashes of several national leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.[64]

Ghats[edit]

The main ghat in Prayagraj is Saraswati Ghat, located on the banks of Yamuna. Stairs from three sides descend to the green water of the Yamuna. Above it is a park which is always covered with green grass. There are also facilities for boating here. There are also routes to reach Triveni Sangam by boat from here.[66][67]

Apart from this, there are more than 100 raw ghats in Prayagraj.

Topography[edit]

File:Yamuna river, Prayagraj.jpg
The Yamuna in Prayagraj during the rainy season

Prayagraj is in Southern part of Uttar Pradesh, at the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna .[68][69] The region was known in antiquity first as the Kuru, then as the Vats country.[70] To the southwest is Bundelkhand, to the east and southeast is Baghelkhand, to the north and northeast is Awadh and to the west is the lower doab (of which Prayagraj is part).[68] The city is divided by a railway line running east-west.[71] South of the railway is the Old Chowk area, and the British-built Civil Lines is north of it. Prayagraj is geographically and culturally strategically located.[72] Geographically part of the Ganga-Yamuna Doab (at the mouth of the Yamuna), culturally it is the terminus of the Indian west.[73] The Indian Standard Time longitude (25.15°N 82.58°E) is near the city. According to a United Nations Development Programme report, Prayagraj is in a "low damage risk" wind and cyclone zone.[74] In common with the rest of the doab, its soil and water are primarily alluvial.[75] Pratapgarh is north of the city, Bhadohi is east, Rewa is south, Chitrakoot (earlier Banda) is west, and Kaushambi, which was till recently a part of Prayagraj, is North-West.

Climate[edit]

Prayagraj has a humid subtropical climate common to cities in the plains of North India, designated Cwa in the Köppen climate classification.[76] The annual mean temperature is 26.1 °C (79.0 °F); monthly mean temperatures are 18–29 °C (64–84 °F).[77] Prayagraj has three seasons: a hot, dry summer, a cool, dry winter and a hot, humid monsoon. Summer lasts from March to September with daily highs reaching up to 48 °C in the dry summer (from March to May) and up to 40 °C in the hot and extremely humid monsoon season (from June to September).[77] The monsoon begins in June, and lasts till August; high humidity levels prevail well into September. Winter runs from December to February,[78] with temperatures rarely dropping to the freezing point. The daily average maximum temperature is about 22 °C (72 °F) and the minimum about 9 °C (48 °F).[79] Prayagraj never receives snow,[80] but experiences dense winter fog due to numerous wood fires, coal fires, and open burning of rubbish—resulting in substantial traffic and travel delays.[78] Its highest recorded temperature is 48 °C (118.4 °F), and its lowest is −2 °C (28 °F).[77][81]

Rain from the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea branches of the southwest monsoon[82] falls on Prayagraj from June to September, supplying the city with most of its annual rainfall of 1,027 mm (40 in).[80] The highest monthly rainfall total, 333 mm (13 in), occurs in August.[83] The city receives 2,961 hours of sunshine per year, with maximum sunlight in May.[81]

Climate data for Allahabad
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.8
(91)
36.3
(97.3)
42.5
(108.5)
45.8
(114.4)
48.4
(119.1)
48.8
(119.8)
45.6
(114.1)
42.7
(108.9)
39.6
(103.3)
40.6
(105.1)
36.0
(96.8)
31.9
(89.4)
48.8
(119.8)
Average high °C (°F) 23.2
(73.8)
26.7
(80.1)
33.3
(91.9)
39.4
(102.9)
41.6
(106.9)
39.6
(103.3)
34.2
(93.6)
32.9
(91.2)
32.9
(91.2)
32.9
(91.2)
29.6
(85.3)
24.8
(76.6)
32.8
(91)
Average low °C (°F) 8.9
(48)
11.3
(52.3)
16.2
(61.2)
22.2
(72)
26.3
(79.3)
28.0
(82.4)
26.5
(79.7)
25.9
(78.6)
24.7
(76.5)
20.4
(68.7)
14.3
(57.7)
9.9
(49.8)
19.4
(66.9)
Record low °C (°F) 1.1
(34)
1.1
(34)
7.2
(45)
12.7
(54.9)
17.2
(63)
18.7
(65.7)
18.8
(65.8)
21.1
(70)
18.3
(64.9)
11.7
(53.1)
5.6
(42.1)
−0.7
(30.7)
−0.7
(30.7)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 18.3
(0.72)
15.2
(0.598)
4.2
(0.165)
5.9
(0.232)
11.5
(0.453)
126.6
(4.984)
264.5
(10.413)
279.0
(10.984)
204.3
(8.043)
27.4
(1.079)
9.5
(0.374)
12.1
(0.476)
978.5
(38.524)
Average rainy days 1.8 1.4 0.4 0.7 1.1 5.4 12.7 12.1 9.1 1.8 0.6 0.7 47.9
Average relative humidity (%) 69 57 39 29 33 50 77 81 78 67 61 68 59
Mean monthly sunshine hours 224.9 244.2 263.2 274.1 292.3 206.4 143.3 180.6 184.3 259.7 256.7 244.0 2,773.7
Source #1: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)[84][85]
Source #2: NOAA (humidity, sun 1971–1990)[86]

Biodiversity[edit]

File:Indian Peacock Plumage.jpg
A typical Indian peacock, found in Prayagraj on a large scale

The Ganga-Jamuna Doab, of which Prayagraj is a part, is on the western Indus-Gangetic Plain region. The doab (including the Terai) is responsible for the city's unique flora and fauna.[87][88] Since the arrival of humans, nearly half of city's vertebrates have become extinct. Others are endangered or have had their range severely reduced. Associated changes in habitat and the introduction of reptiles, snakes and other mammals led to the extinction of bird species, including large birds such as eagles.[89] The Prayagraj Museum, one of four national museums in India, is documenting the flora and fauna of the Ganga and the Yamuna.[90] In order to protect the rich aquatic biodiversity of river Ganga from escalating anthropogenic pressures, development of a Turtle sanctuary in Prayagraj along with a River Biodiversity Park at Sangam have been approved under Namami Gange programme.

The most common birds found in the city are doves, peacocks, junglefowl, black partridge, house sparrows, songbirds, blue jays, parakeets, quails, bulbuls, and comb ducks.[91] Large numbers of Deer are found in Trans Yamuna area of Prayagraj. India's first conservation reserve for black buck is being created in Prayagraj's Meja Forest Division. Other animals in the state include reptiles such as lizards, cobras, kraits, and gharials.[87] During winter, large numbers of Siberian birds are reported in the sangam and nearby wetlands.[92]

Demographics[edit]

Others include Buddhism, Jainism, other religions and no particular religion (0.63%)
Religion in Allahabad[93]
Religion Percent
Hinduism
  
76.03%
Islam
  
21.94%
Christianity
  
0.68%
Sikhism
  
0.28%
Others
  
1.07%
Prayagraj population growth
Census Total
1981 642,200 25.2%
1991 792,900 23.5%
2001 990,298 24.9%
2011 1,117,094 12.8%
Source: Census of India[93][94][95]

The 2011 census reported a population of 1,117,094 in Prayagraj city.[96] Provisional data suggest a density of 1,086 people per km2 in 2011 for Prayagraj district, compared to 901 in 2001.[96] Natives of Uttar Pradesh form the majority of Prayagraj's population. With regards to Houseless Census in Prayagraj, total 5,672 families live on footpath or without any roof cover. This approx 0.38% of total population of Prayagraj district. The sex ratio of Prayagraj is 901 per 1000 males and child sex ratio of girls is 893 per 1000 boys, lower than the national average.[96]

Hindi, the official state language, is the dominant language in Prayagraj. Urdu and other languages are spoken by a sizable minority. Hindus form the majority of Prayagraj's population; Muslims compose a large minority. According to provisional results of the 2011 national census, Hinduism is majority religion in Prayagraj city with 76.03% followers. Islam is second most popular religion in city of Prayagraj with approximately 21.94% following it. Christianity is followed by 0.68%, Jainism by 0.10%, Sikhism by 0.28% and Buddhism by 0.28%. Around 0.02% stated 'Other Religion', approximately 0.90% stated 'No Particular Religion'. Prayagraj's literacy rate of 86.50 percent is the highest in the region.[97] Male literacy is 90.21 percent and female literacy 82.17 percent.[98] Among 35 major Indian cities, Prayagraj reported the highest rate of violations of special and local laws to the National Crime Records Bureau.[99]

Administration and politics[edit]

General Administration[edit]

Prayagraj division which consists of four districts, and is headed by the Divisional Commissioner of Prayagraj, who is an IAS officer of high seniority, the Commissioner is the head of local government institutions (including Municipal Corporations) in the division, is in charge of infrastructure development in his division, and is also responsible for maintaining law and order in the division.[100][101][102][103][104] The District Magistrate of Prayagraj reports to the Divisional Commissioner. The current Commissioner is Ashish Kumar Goel.[105][106][107][108]

Prayagraj district administration is headed by the District Magistrate of Prayagraj, who is an IAS officer. The DM are in charge of property records and revenue collection for the central government and oversee the elections held in the city. The DM is also responsible for maintaining law and order in the city, hence the SSP of Prayagraj also reports to the DM of Prayagraj.[100][109][110][111][112] The DM is assisted by a Chief Development Officer (CDO), five Additional District Magistrates (ADM) (Finance/Revenue, City, Rural Area, Land Acquisition, Civil Supply), one Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) one City Magistrate (CM), and three Additional City Magistrates (ACM).[107][108] The district has eight teshils viz. Sadar, Soraon, Phulpur, Handia, Karchhana, Bara, Meja and Kuraon, each headed by a Sub Divisional magistrate.[107] The current DM is Suhas LY.[105][106][107][108]

Police Administration[edit]

Prayagraj district comes under the Prayagraj Police Zone and Prayagraj Police Range, Prayagraj Zone is headed by an Additional Director General ranked IPS officer, and the Prayagraj Range is headed Inspector General ranked IPS officer. The current ADG, Prayagraj Zone is Satya Narain Sabat,[113] and IG, Prayagraj Range is Ramit Sharma.[114]

The district police is headed by a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), who is an IPS officer, and is assisted by eight Superintendents of Police (SP)/Additional Superintendents of Police (Addl. SP) (City, Ganga Par, Yamuna Par, Crime, Traffic, Modern Control Room, Protocol and Security), who are either IPS officers or PPS officers.[115] Each of the several police circles is headed by a Circle Officer (CO) in the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.[115] The current SSP is Nitin tiwari.[115]

Infrastructure and Civic Administration[edit]

The development of infrastructure in the city is overseen by Prayagraj Development Authority (ADA), which comes under the Housing Department of Uttar Pradesh government. The Divisional Commissioner of Prayagraj acts as the ex-officio Chairman of ADA, whereas a Vice Chairman, a government-appointed IAS officer, looks after the daily matters of the authority.[116] The current Vice Chairman of ADA is Bhanu Chandra Goswami.[117]

The Prayagraj Nagar Nigam (ANN), also called Prayagraj Municipal Corporation (AMC), oversees the city's civic infrastructure under the Prayagraj Metropolitan Region. The corporation originated in 1864, when the Lucknow Municipal Act was passed by the Government of India.[118] Prayagraj is divided into 80 wards, with one member (or corporator) elected from each ward to form the Municipal Committee. The head of the corporation is the Mayor, but the executive and administration of the corporation are the responsibility of the Municipal Commissioner, who is a Uttar Pradesh government-appointed Provincial Civil Service (PCS) officer of high seniority. The current Mayor of Prayagraj is Abhilash Gupta, whereas the Municipal Commissioner is Harikesh Chaurasia.[119][120]

File:Allahabad high court.jpg
The Prayagraj High Court is India's fourth-oldest high court

Politics[edit]

Prayagraj is the seat of Prayagraj High Court, the highest judicial body in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The city is known as the "Prime Minister Capital of India", since seven of fifteen Prime Ministers of India are from the city.[58] Prayagraj is administered by several government agencies. As the seat of the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Prayagraj is home to local governing agencies and the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly (located in the Prayagraj High Court building).[121] The Prayagraj district elects two representatives to India's lower house, the Lok Sabha, and 12 representatives to the state legislative assembly.[122] Prayagraj is also the headquarters of Central Zonal Council and of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities.

Economy[edit]

Overall Prayagraj has a very stable and diverse economy comprising various sectors such as State and Central government offices, education and research institutions, real estate, retail, banking, tourism and hospitality, agriculture based industries, railways, transport and logistics, miscellaneous service sectors, and manufacturing. Average Household Income of the city is US$2,299.[123]

The construction sector is a major part of Prayagraj's economy.[124] Secondary manufacturers and services may be registered or unregistered;[125] according to the third All India Census for Small Scale Industries, there are more than 10,000 unregistered small-scale industries in the city.[126][127] An integrated industrial township has been proposed for 1,200 acres (490 ha) in Prayagraj by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India.[128]

The city is also home to glass and wire-based industry.[129] The main industrial areas of Prayagraj are Naini and Phulpur, where several public and private sector companies have offices and factories.[130] Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, India's largest oil company (which is state-owned), is constructing a seven-million-tonnes-per-annum (MTPA) capacity refinery in Lohgara with an investment estimated at ₹62 billion.[131] Prayagraj Bank, which began operations in 1865,[126] Bharat Pumps & Compressors and A. H. Wheeler and Company have their headquarters in the city. Major companies in the city are Reliance Industries, GE T&D [archive], ITI Limited, BPCL, Dey's Medical, Food Corporation of India, Raymond Synthetics, Triveni Sheet Glass, Triveni Electroplast, EMC Power Ltd, Steel Authority of India, HCL Technologies, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO), Vibgyor Laboratories, Geep Industries, Hindustan Cable, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Baidyanath Ayurved, Hindustan Laboratories and Prayagraj Enterprises [archive].[132][133][134] The city is also headquarters of Central Organisation for Railway Electrification.[135]

The primary economic sectors of the district are tourism, fishing and agriculture, and the city is a hub for India's agricultural industry.[136][137] In case of Agriculture crops Paddy has the largest share followed by Bajra, Arhar, Urd & Moong in declining order during the Kharif season. In Rabi, Wheat is pre dominant followed by pulses and oilseed. Among oilseed crops, Mustard has very less area under pure farming and is grown mainly as a mixed crop. Linseed dominates the oilseed scenario of the district and is mainly grown in Jamunapar area. In case of pulses gram has largest area followed by pea and lentil (masoor). There is fairly good acreage under barley.[138]

Transportation and utilities[edit]

Air Transport[edit]

Prayagraj is served by Prayagraj Airport Template:Airport codes, which began operations in February 1966. The airport is 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from the city centre and lies in Bamrauli, Prayagraj. Air India's regional arm Alliance Air connects Prayagraj to Delhi and Jet Airways connects Prayagraj to Lucknow, Patna, Indore and Nagpur.Indigo connects banglore begin from 15 Nov 2018 from new civil terminal.[139][140] nearest international airports are in Varanasi and Lucknow .[141]

Railways[edit]

Prayagraj Junction is one of the main railway junctions in northern India and headquarters of the North Central Railway Zone.[142]

Prayagraj has following seven railway stations in its city limits :[143]

Station Name Station Code Railway Zone Number of Platforms
Prayagraj Junction ALD North Central Railway 10
Cheoki Junction railway station ACOI North Central Railway 3
Naini Railway Station NYN North Central Railway 4
Subedarganj railway station SFG North Central Railway 3
Prayag Junction railway station PRG Northern Railway 3
Phaphamau railway station PFM Northern Railway 3
Prayagraj City railway station ALY North Eastern Railway 5

The city is connected to most other Uttar Pradesh cities and major Indian cities such as Kolkata, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Patna, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Bangalore, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram, Pune, Bhopal, Kanpur, Lucknow and Jaipur.[144]

Roads[edit]

Buses operated by Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) and Prayagraj City Transport Service are an important means of public transport for travelling to various parts of the city, state and outskirts.[145] Auto Rickshaws have been a popular mode of transportation.[146] Cycle rickshaws are the most economical means of transportation in Prayagraj along with e-rickshaws.[146][147]

There are several important National Highways that pass through Allahabad:[148]

NH No Route Total Length
NH 19 Delhi » Mathura » Agra » Kanpur » Prayagraj » Varanasi » Mohania » Barhi » Palsit » Dankuni (near Kolkata) 2542
NH 35 Mahoba » Banda » Chitrakoot » Prayagraj » Mirzapur » Varanasi 346
NH 30 Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand » Bareilly » Lucknow » Raebareli » Prayagraj » Rewa » Jabalpur » Raipur » Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh 2022
NH 330 Prayagraj » Pratapgarh » Sultanpur » Faizabad » Gonda » Balrampur 263

India's longest cable-stayed bridge, the New Yamuna Bridge (built 2001–04), is located in Prayagraj and connects the city to the suburb of Naini across the Yamuna.[149] The Old Naini Bridge now accommodates railway and auto traffic.[150][151] A road bridge across the Ganga also connects Prayagraj and Jhusi.[152] National Waterway 1, the longest Waterway in India, connects Prayagraj and Haldia.[153] A Metrorail project for the city covering the entire metropolitan region is also underway.[154][155]

The city generates 5,34,760 kg of domestic solid wastes everyday, while per capita generation of waste is 0.40 kg per day. The sewer service areas are divided into nine zones in the city.[19] Prayagraj Municipal Corporation oversees the solid waste management project.[156] Prayagraj was the first city to get pre-paid meters for electricity bill in Uttar Pradesh.[157][158] The city is equipped with over 40 CCTVs at major crossings and markets.[159] Also Prayagraj was declared as a smart city in the year 2015 and the funds were provided by the United States of America.

Prayagraj Metro[edit]

The Prayagraj Metro is a proposed rapid transit system for the city. The proposed system will consist of two lines, an east-west line from Bamrauli to Jhunsi and a north-south line from Shantipuram in Phaphamau to Naini. Both lines will be about 20 km long. There will be total 39 stations, 20 on the east-west line and 19 on the north-south line. The project is expected to cost ₹8000 crores. Operations are expected to be started by 2023-24

Smart City[edit]

A MoU was signed on 25 January 2015 between the United States Trade and Development Agency and the Government of Uttar Pradesh for developing Prayagraj as a smart city.[160][161] The pact came into existence after the bilateral meeting between the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the US President Barack Obama in October 2014, wherein it was announced that the US would assist India in developing three smart cities, Prayagraj, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam, in a boost to India's 100 smart city programme.[162] On 27 August 2015 the official list of 98 cities to be developed as smart cities, including Prayagraj, was announced by the Government of India.[163] Prayagraj Task Force was set up by the Minister of Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu which consists of Divisional Commissioner (Chairman), Secretaries of Town and Country Planning and Municipal Affairs, Government of Uttar Pradesh, District Magistrate, Vice-Chairman, Prayagraj Development Authority, Mayor of the city besides Additional Secretary(Urban Development), Government of India and representatives of Ministry of External Affairs and USTDA.[164][165] The project is being assisted by the U.S.-India Business Council.[166]

Projects[edit]

IBM selected Prayagraj among 16 other global cities for its smart cities programme to help it address challenges like waste management, disaster management, water management and citizen services.[167][168] The company commenced working on solid waste management and power sector in generating renewable energy.[169]

As a part of Smart City Project, Civil Lines is being developed on the lines of Lucknow's Hazratganj.A sum of ₹20 crore (US$3,024,000) has been sanctioned to beautify all prominent crossings of the city. As per the plan, the administration proposed uniformity in signage and colour of buildings and a parking lot to be set up to solve traffic congestion.[170] A 1.35 km long riverfront along Yamuna river would be developed by the Prayagraj Development Authority, irrigation and power departments at a cost of ₹147.36 crore. The riverfront would be developed in two phases. In the first phase, around 650 metres at Arail would be developed along with Yamuna, while in the second phase 700 metres of stretch between New Yamuna Bridge and Boat Club in Kydganj would be taken up.[171]

Education[edit]

The Prayagraj educational system is distinct from Uttar Pradesh's other cities, with an emphasis on broad education.[172] Board of High School and Intermediate Education Uttar Pradesh, the world's biggest examining body, is headquartered in the city.[173][174] Although English is the language of instruction in most private schools, government schools and colleges offer Hindi and English-medium education.[175] Schools in Prayagraj follow the 10+2+3 plan. After completing their secondary education, students typically enroll in higher secondary schools affiliated with the Uttar Pradesh Board of High School and Intermediate Education, the ICSE or the CBSE.[175] and focus on liberal arts, business or science. Vocational programs are also available.[176]

Prayagraj attracts students from throughout India. As of 2017, the city has one central university, one State Universities, three deemed universities and an open university.[177] Prayagraj University, founded in 1876, is the oldest university in the state.[177] Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology Allahabad is a noted technical institution.[178] Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences is an 'A-grade', deemed university with global standards.[179][180][181] Other notable institutions in Prayagraj include the Indian Institute of Information Technology - Allahabad; Motilal Nehru Medical College; Ewing Christian College; Harish-Chandra Research Institute; Nehru Gram Bharati(Deemed to be University); Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute; Prayagraj State University[182] and Institute of Engineering and Rural Technology.

Culture[edit]

Although Hindu women have traditionally worn saris, the shalwar kameez and Western attire is gaining acceptance among younger women.[183] Western dress is worn more by men, although the dhoti and kurta are seen during festivals. The formal male sherwani is often worn with chooridar on festive occasions.[183] Diwali, holi, Eid and Vijayadasami are the three most popular festivals in Prayagraj.[184]

Literature[edit]

Prayagraj has a literary and artistic heritage; the former capital of the United Provinces, it was known as Prayag in the Vedas, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.[185][186] Prayagraj has been called the "literary capital of Uttar Pradesh",[187] attracting visitors from East Asia;[188] the Chinese travellers Faxian and Xuanzang found a flourishing city in the fifth and seventh centuries, respectively.[188][189] The number of foreign tourists, which mostly consisted of Asians, visiting the city was 98,167 in 2010 which subsequently increased to 1,07,141 in 2014.[190] The city has a tradition of political graffiti which includes limericks and caricatures.[52] In 1900, Saraswati first Hindi monthly magazine of India, was started by Chintamani Ghosh. Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi, the doyen of modern Hindi literature, remained its editors from 1903 to 1920.[191] The Anand Bhavan, built during the 1930s as a new home for the Nehru family when the Swaraj Bhavan became the local Indian National Congress headquarters, has memorabilia from the Gandhi-Nehru family.[192]

File:Kumbh Mela2001.JPG
A procession of pilgrims cross the Ganga during the 2001 Kumbh Mela in Allahabad

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Hindi literature was modernised by authors such as Mahadevi Varma, Sumitranandan Pant, Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala' and Harivansh Rai Bachchan.[193] A noted poet was Raghupati Sahay, better known as Firaq Gorakhpuri.[194] Gorakhpuri and Varma have received Jnanpith Awards.[195][196][197] Prayagraj is a publication centre for Hindi literature, including the Lok Bharti, Rajkamal and Neelabh. Persian and Urdu literature are also studied in the city.[198] Akbar Allahabadi is a noted modern Urdu poet, and Nooh Narwi, Tegh Allahabadi, Shabnam Naqvi and Rashid Allahabadi hail from Prayagraj.[199] English author and 1907 Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling was an assistant editor and overseas correspondent for The Pioneer.[200]

Entertainment and recreation[edit]

Prayagraj is noted for historic, cultural and religious tourism. Historic sites include Alfred Park, the Victoria and Thornhill Mayne Memorials, Minto Park, Prayagraj Fort, the Ashoka Pillar and Khusro Bagh. Religious attractions include the Kumbh Mela, the Triveni Sangam and All Saints Cathedral. The city hosts the Maha Kumbh Mela, the largest religious gathering in the world, every twelve years and the Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela every six years.[201][202] Cultural attractions include the Prayagraj Museum, the Jawahar Planetarium and the University of Allahabad. North Central Zone Culture Center, under Ministry of Culture (India) and Prayag Sangeet Samiti are nationally renowned centres of Arts, Dance, Music, local Folk Dance and Music, Plays/Theatre etc. and nurture upcoming artists. The city has also hosted International Film Festival of Prayag.[203]

Media[edit]

The Leader and The Pioneer are two major English-language newspapers that are produced and published from the city;[204][205]

All India Radio, the national, state-owned radio broadcaster, has AM radio stations in the city. Prayagraj has seven FM stations, including two AIR stations: Gyan Vani and Vividh Bharti, four private FM channels: BIG FM 92.7, Red FM 93.5, Fever 104 FM and Radio Tadka and one educational FM radio channel Radio Adan 90.4 run by Prayagraj Agricultural Institute.[206][207] There is a Doordarshan Kendra in the city.[208] Regional TV channels are accessible via cable subscription, direct-broadcast satellite service or Internet-based television.[209]

Sports[edit]

Cricket and field hockey are the most popular sports in Prayagraj,[210] with kabaddi, kho-kho, gilli danda and pehlwani are played in rural areas near the city.[211] Gully cricket, also known as street cricket, is popular among city youth.[210] The famous cricket club Prayagraj Cricketers has produced many national and international cricket players. Several sports complexes are used by amateur and professional athletes; these include the Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium, the Amitabh Bachchan Sports Complex and the Boys' High School and College Gymnasium.[212] There is an international-level swimming complex in Georgetown.[213] The National Sports Academy in Jhalwa trains gymnasts for the Commonwealth Games. The Indira Marathon honours the late prime minister Indira Gandhi.[214][215][216]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Allahabad: A Study in Urban Geography, by Ujagir Singh. Published by Banaras Hindu University, 1966.
  • Employment and Migration in Prayagraj City, by Maheshchand, Mahesh Chand, India Planning Commission. Research Programmes Committee. Published by Oxford & IBH Pub. Co., 1969.
  • Subah of Prayagraj Under the Great Mughals, 1580–1707: 1580–1707, by Surendra Nath Sinha. Published by Jamia Millia Islamia, 1974.
  • The Local Roots of Indian Politics: Prayagraj, 1880–1920, by Christopher Alan Bayly. Published by Clarendon Press, 1975.
  • Triveni: Essays on the Cultural Heritage of Prayagraj, by D. P. Dubey, Neelam Singh, Society of Pilgrimage Studies. Published by Society of Pilgrimage Studies, 1996. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 81-900520-2-0.
  • Magha Inscriptions in the Prayagraj Museum, by Siddheshwari Narain Roy. Published by Raka Prakashana for the Museum, 1999.
  • The Last Bungalow: Writings on Prayagraj, by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. Published by Penguin Books, 2007. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 0-14-310118-8.
  • Allahabad [archive] The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 5, p. 226–242.

Sources[edit]

This article includes modified content derived from Wikipedia. See source [3] [archive]

External links[edit]

Template:Prayagraj topics

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