All of us would agree on the point that festivals are the lifeline of Indian culture. They define, shape up and delineate Indian traditions, ways of living and a collective wish to disseminate love, affection and bonding that otherwise gets marginalized in our present-day hectic lives. They connect us to the past and make us retain our faith in celebrating what is quintessentially ours. For most o...
Prayagraj is a city that is nestled in the heart of the most populous state of the country, Uttar Pradesh. It is home to the sacred confluence of the three holy rivers of Hinduism: Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. Prayagraj, formerly known as Allahabad, carries the weight of millennia in its every whisper and cobblestone.
This majestic city has witnessed some of the most iconic stories since its creation; its history reads like a tapestry that is interwoven with legends, emperors, and saints. So, is it any wonder that it is among the most toured places in the country? However, there is still a question that needs to be answered when it comes to traveling to Prayagraj – just how to reach this place? This is what we will try to explore here.
Where Is Prayagraj Located?
Before we discuss the many ways travellers can reach this place, first, we must understand where this historic city is located. Prayagraj sits in the northern part of India, within the state of Uttar Pradesh – which is also the most populous state in the nation. The sacred confluence of the three holy rivers, the Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati, is also in Prayagraj at the Triveni Sangam.
Geographically, the city lies roughly at the center of Uttar Pradesh and is a strategic transportation hub. This makes the city quite accessible through all modes of transportation. You can reach this place via air, rail, road, and ever via river. But which option is best for you – let’s have a look at that.
The simplest and easiest way you can reach Prayagraj is through air. Prayagraj Airport (Bamrauli Airport) is the primary gateway to this spiritual city. Located just a handful kilometres from the city center, this airport is not just a transportation hub but also indicative of the city’s growing significance as a travel destination.
Over the past few years, this airport has seen several upgrades, especially in its infrastructure, to make sure that travellers have a comfortable travel experience. This airport is also now connected to several domestic airports through direct flights. And there is some international connectivity as well, especially during major religious events, though it is primarily a domestic airport.
However, that does not mean there is no international connectivity. Foreign travellers can reach the nearest international airports, such as ones in Lucknow and Varanasi, and then reach this city via road or rail.
India is a country that is rich in rail network. It is the heart of long-form transportation in the country. According to government data, the Indian railway carried 808.6 crore passengers in the year 2020, and this number has only gone up in the last few years. So, it should not surprise anyone that Prayagraj is a major railway junction for the Indian railway and its passengers.
There is more than one railway stop in Prayagraj, a testament to its importance, but the most significant of them all is the Prayagraj Junction, formerly known as Allahabad Junction.
The Prayagraj junction is one of the busiest and most significant railway stations in the country and welcomes millions of passengers every year. Trains from all cardinal directions of the country intersect at this point. Whether an individual is traveling from the bustling cities of the west of India, such as Mumbai, or from the east in Kolkata, Prayagraj Junction is almost always on their map.
Given this extensive network, travellers have a plethora of options to choose from in terms of routes and train types. You can easily go on luxury trains for a more comfortable journey. On the other hand, if you are on a budget, then there are many affordable trains for you to choose from.
A few tips that travellers should keep in mind when it comes to train travel to Prayagraj
Book in Advance
As we have mentioned earlier, Indian Railways is the primary form of transportation for the majority of the population in the country. So, you can always expect a mad rush for train tickets, especially the affordable ones. And if you are considering traveling during the holidays or a festive occasion, then booking tickets becomes even more challenging,
It would be best to book tickets in advance, possibly even months, to secure preferred dates and train choices.
The months leading up to major festivals, especially the Kumbh Mela, see an influx of pilgrims and tourists – both from the country and abroad. It would be best if you prepare yourself for crowded stations and trains if you are planning a visit during this period.
The best way to book your train tickets is through online platforms such as IRCTC or other private players. This will help you avoid the crowd at the station while also enabling you to check train availability and schedules. Utilize these platforms to plan your journey seamlessly.
Road travel is the most common way for folks to reach this amazing city, especially for folks who live in the nearby districts. The central location of the city in the northern part of India makes it a significant hub that is well-connected by a comprehensive network of roads – for both travel and trucking. If you have the time, then going to Prayagraj through the scenic routes is something that you should consider.
Major Highways Leading to Prayagraj
NH-19: National Highway is one of the primary routes that connects Prayagraj to the national capital. It also goes to the significant population and cultural center in the east, Kolkata. Simply put, it is a major artery for travelers and commercial vehicles alike.
NH-30: Another national highway that serves as a major connecting route for Prayagraj. Specifically, in this case, this route connects Prayagraj to central India.
Popular Stopovers on route to Prayagraj
When you are traveling to Prayagraj via road, it would be best for you to take some time and make some notable stops along the way. Take, for instance, your travel from Delhi to Prayagraj. Along the way, you can easily take a detour to the famous city of Agra and enjoy some sights there, such as the majestic Taj Mahal.
Now, on the other hand, if you are coming from the east, you can always stop at Varanasi and indulge in the spiritual ambiance the city has to offer. The choices are many.
Now, finally, you have the option to travel to Prayagraj via waterways. It will be a delightful deviation from the many conventional modes of transportation that are available to you. And since this beautiful city is surrounded by some of India’s most iconic rivers, it would also make for a scenic journey that you and your traveling party would enjoy – something for you to consider.
Prayagraj is a city that is the spiritual heart and soul of the country. If you ever want to truly understand the rich tapestry of history and spiritual significance, you have to be physically present here to take it all in. Now, when it comes to traveling to this city, you have many options, all with their pros and cons – something that we have explored quite extensively here. So, do read the above-listed points and then make your travel plans – you will not regret doing so.