Allahabad-My city,My Pride
It is the city where much of the history of India’s independence was planned and written. It was one of the active centres of the 1857 mutiny. It was Nehru’s ancestral home –Anand Bhawan- where the leaders of India’s freedom movement congregated and charted the course toward independence. It is the place where Chandershekhar Azad breathed his last unwilling to submit himself to slavery of the colonial regime. ‘Prayag’ meaning ‘place of sacrifice’ it was so rightly named.
Allahabad proudly boasts of producing connoisseurs in almost every field. It has given India four out of fourteen Prime Ministers till date. The most prolific and prominent writers of hindi literature –Suryakant Tripathi Nirala, Sumitranandan Panth,Mahadevi Verma, Harivansh Rai Bachhan, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Dharmveer Bharti etc belong to this city. Superstars like Amitabh Bachhan and Nargis,renowned scholars like Harishchandra and Amarnath Jha , freedom fighters like Madan Mohan Malviya and Purushottam Das were nurtured on this very land. Such is the sagacity in its soil.
Allahabad is known for education since eons. Allahabad University established in 1887 is one of India’s oldest universities (now being the Central University) and has earned the epithet of ‘Oxford of the east’. Besides there are three deemed universities (including my Alma mater), an open university, research and technical institutions and colleges known for providing higher education in vast range of disciplines. This attracts thousands of students and learners from all over country every year turning this city into an education hub. Allahabad is better known as a ‘factory’ of producing adept engineers, doctors, advocates, judges, IAS/PCS officers and even musicians and writers.
The city is a mix of some of the most amazingly grandiose churches(eg All Saints Cathedral), intricately designed and colorful temples to Hindu gods and goddesses(eg Bade Hanuman ji), and the most beautiful colonial architecture as seen in the old buildings of the High Court, the city offices, the universities, some schools and private bungalows. The view of New naini bridge at twilight is certainly a treat to the eyes.
During the festivals of Magh mela/Kumbh mela thousands of devout from all over the world(including the young, the old and the weak) gather here (through incredible journeys)to take a dip at Sangam making it an extravagant affair of the land. There is a surreal spiritualism in the air all through the fest. It is believed that it is at the Sangam, that a few drops of the nectar 'Amrit Bindu' fell, making its waters truly magical. Faith. Sheer faith! In Allahabad religions truly embrace each other. A Hindu guy helps his Christian neighbor in decorating the X-mas tree. A Muslim guy does not mind selling colors/crackers in his shop. And a Christian guy bows equally before the temples and mosques. Allahabadis celebrate each and every festival with utmost zeal and enthusiasm-be it Ramlila’s at Dussehra or kapda-faad holi. The gusto is so very lively,always!
Allahabadis are too much ‘khaane ke shaukeens’. They can’t do without oily and spicy food. Street foods here are much more famous than hotels and restaurants. Dahi-jalebi at Hira Halwai (our favorite breakfast) or Netram ki kachaudi or Shanti ki kulfi or Highcourt ki daal-baati or Spicy-bite ka non-veg or Sulaaki ki pooriyan or Hari ke samose or Loknath ki namkeens or Barhana ki chaat or Medical chaurahe ke dose-each is ambrosial in its own delectable way. Paan-walas, Chaat-ke-thelas, 'Ganne(sugarcane) ka juice' and 'lai-chaana walas' can be found in every hook and corner of the city, with almost equal crowd at each spot. Who cares about health and hygiene, after all ‘Shauk Badi cheez hai’. Besides Elchico,Kahna Shyam, Friends, Sapphire blue, Sagar ratna etc are other hangouts for sumptuous dinners and treats.
Allahabad has its own nuanced culture – that of extreme politeness, graciousness and righteousness. You’ll be swayed by the hospitality offered here irrespective of you being a Punjabi or Marathi. People put relationships before the product, and take time to recognize the human in the other before the ego in the self. The amiability of ‘aap’ and ‘hum’ is way too winsome. The tu/tera slang isn’t our code of conduct until and unless you mess up. ‘Ram-Ram bhaiya’ is an allahabadi’s way of greeting. So godly, no?
Uncle ji’s generally chewing paans and discussing about politics, aunty ji’s buying vegetables and telling tales, students strolling through the crowded alleyways and children playing gali-cricket or doing patang-baazi are the most common sights you’ll come across. Life here runs at its own leisurely pace and at the same time provides all modern amenities for comfort and leisure. In the very first look Allahabad looks like an old decrepit city. Its foundations are nonetheless very strong. You’ll have to dig deep to get to the implicit beauty of the city. It might not have exotic locations but people are just so beautiful (beautiful you know?) and in its narrow lanes they often cultivate broad-mindedness.
Proud to be a one!Too wise yet too innocent
Too simple,yet too appealing
Too ignorant yet too knowledgeable
Too dabangg yet too sensitive
Too different yet too similar
A strange calmness envelopes the city when sun rays fall on to it's holy waters. I bet Allahabad’s quiet and peaceful life will leave you mesmerized in an unusual way.
No matter where I go in life I'll always boastfully belong to this city. Long live it's legacy!
Coming to the recent times it is the advent of the East India
company which has marked the beginnings of a new chapter in the
history of the city, Machilipatnam, a port town, was the head
quarter of the British from where they controlled of tidal wave
which took a heavy toll of life in 1887, it shifted to Madras and
after that gradually Machilipatnam lost its importance and
Vijayawada took its place. Its importance increased with the
construction of Rail Bridge across the river in 1892 and the
Vijayawada railway junction became an important link between the
north and the south.
The construction of the Krishna Anicut in 1855 by one Mr. ORR,
under the supervision of the celebrated Sir Arthur Cotton is an important land mark in the development
of the city. This provided to be a boon to farmers of five lakh acres of the eastern and Western deltas of
the river. A hillock near the Indrikiladri was named after the great Engineer as \u2018Orr hill\u2019 to commemorate
his services. The same is now called \u2018Gandhi Hill\u2019 after a memorial column was erected in 1968, one of
the six in the Country, by the national Gandhi memorial Trust.
There are three irrigation Canals Eluru, Rives and Bandar coursing through the City on the left side of
the Anicut and has earned the title \u2018Venice of the East\u2019 because of them.
With the City growing in importance because of its location advantages and other factors, the
establishment of Municipal Council in 1888 on the first of April was a development quite on the expected
lines. For seven years, the assistant collectors themselves functioned as chairmen and the first full-
fledged Chairman was Mr. L.M Wynch. For the next 23 years there were only nominated chairmen and
the first Indian to be nominated was Rao Bahadar Singaraju Lingaraju Pantulu in 1885. The first elected
Chairman was Mr. D.V. Hanumantha Rao who was also a nominated Chairman once prior to his election.
Politically, Vijayawada has always been in the forefront, be it freedom struggle or agitation for a steel
plant or a separate state or something else. The first AICC session in the state was held here in 1921
and it was at this session the city made history when the Tricolor flag with a spinning wheel in the
centre, designed by Pingali Venkaiah, a great Patriot was accepted by Mahatma Gandhi as the congress
flag which was subsequently adopted as national flag with slight changes after we attained
independence, The stalwarts of freedom-movement like Mr. Pattabhi Seetha Ramaiah, Tanguturi
Prakassam Duggirala Gopalakrishnaiah Ayyadevara Kaleswar Rao, Konda venkatappaiah, Gottipati
Bahmiah and N.G. Ranga made this city as the base from where they operated. It also provided shelter
for the leaders of the erstwhile Hyderabad state when they were fighting with the Nizam for the merger
of that state with the Indian Union Swami Ramanada Tirtha, Burgula Ramakrishan Rao, P.V. Narasimha
Rao, V.B. Raju, M. Chenna Reddi and Hayagrivachari were helped in their struggle by he people here
when Razakars under the leadership of Kasim Razvi unleashed a rig of terror in that state, men and
material were supplied from her and that paved the way for liberating the state from the clutches of
In 1952 when Potti Sreeramulu immolated him self for the formation of separate state for Andhras,
the City was in flames and the agitation which spread to all other parts of the State brought the
leadership in Delhi to its senses to concede the long-standing demand of the Andhras for state of their
own. The birth of Andhra state in October 1953 was the forerunner of the division of the Country on
linguistic basis. That subsequent developments in the Country often make the right \u2013 thinking people
even question the wisdom of that decision is a different matter and the less we talk about it now the
better lest the whole country should blame us as being responsible for all that is happening now between
one state and another for some-thing or the other.
When Andhra State was formed in 1953, it was almost taken for granted that Vijayawada would
become the capital of the new State. Kurnool was chosen by the manipulation of some vested interests
and that proved to be a very costly mistake. If Vijayawada was chosen in 1953, there would have been
no glamour for Hyderabad as the capital of enlarged state in 1956, and Vijayawada would have
registered a tremendous growth during these 35 years because of its location and other innumerable
advantages. The tow agitations which rocked the state and impeded its progress wouldn\u2019t have been
there probably and the Vijayawada City would have been an ideal capital of the state. The tragedy of
Andhras having a capital in which the \u2018Lingua Franca\u2019 is not the widely spoken Telugu would have been
probably averted. No other state in the Country is in such an unenviable position in this respect as ours.