Prayaga means Prakrishta Yaga. This refers to the place where Lord Brahma did a very great Yaga. Hence its name became Prayaga. Prayaga is considered as one of the Sapta mokshapuras. This place is also called as Theertharaj, that means king of all theerthas. This is also the place of Triveni Sangamam. Generally we consider the confluence of two water flows as a holy place. But, here we can see the confluence of three holy rivers, Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati. All the three rivers have their importance individually. Hence the confluence became very very holy place. One should take a holy bath here when visited this place. Here Kumbhmela will be conducted for every 12 years.
About the Temple
The three temples in Prayag Shaktipeeths are considered Shaktipeeths from three dfferent ideas. All the three temples are of mata Sati of Prayag Shaktipeeth. Here Devi Sati is called Lalita. The three temples are Akshaywat, Mirapur and Alopi. In Prayag, the fingers of mata Sati fell. Here Lord Shiva is known by the name of Bhav. In Akshaywat, there is a Laliteshwar Mahadev temple just nearby the Kalyani-Lalita Devi temple. According to Matasyapuran, in 108 Shaktipeeths this temple has been given the name of Lalita. The second Alopi temple that is considered to be the Shaktipeeth is around 500 kms from Daraganj in Allahabad. According to the importance of Prayag Shaktipeeth, Kalyani and Lalita are considered to be the same. According to legend, Laliteshwar Mahadev temple is situated in the holy premises of Akshaywat in Vayavya corner of north-west corner near the bank of Yamuna. In addition, another temple in Allahabad is considered to be a Shaktipeeth. This temple is of Bhagwati Kalyani. The idol of mata in this temple has four hands and is sitting on the Lion. There is glowing wheel on her heads.
About the Deity
The main deity is Prayag (three rivers meet here): Devi's ten fingers fell here and the idols are Devi as Lalita (beautiful). Another name is Alopi and Shiva as Bhava.
Legend and stories
There are mainly three stories about the word Alopi. One story says that Alopi means the one who disappeared. After Sati dahana and Dhaksha Yagna destruction, Lord Siva disturbed mentally and lifted Satidevi’s body and roaming without any destination. Lord Vishnu cut Sati devi body parts by using Sudarshana Chakra. Every place, where Satidevi’s body part fell, became a Shaktipeeth. Prayaga is the last place, where last part of Sati devi’s body fell on ground. Here Sati devi body became disappeared, hence the name Alopi. There are some other stories about Alopi mata. In every temple, at least one idol or one symbol will be there for worshipping the goddess. But here, there is no idol or symbol. We have to imagine the goddess present on a wooden jhula. Hence the name Alopi. According to a local story, Alopi mata is a newly married bride. She disappeared from pallaki, when robbers attacked the marriage troop. As the bride disappeared as a miracle, she is worshipped as Alopi mata.
The Kumbh Mela is the star attraction here and it attract crowd in exorbitant numbers, both domestic and international as well. It is celebrated after a gap of every 12 years and on this auspicious period, people take bath in the holy water of Sangam. Navratri that falls two times in a year- one in the month of March or April and other in the September or October month depending on the Hindu calendar, is among the major festival here. Navratri are celebrated for over 9 days, with some people not eating any type of food that is derived from the soil for these nine days. Special ceremonies and rituals are carried during these days. Person (Almost every day) offers their offering to the god in form of fruit, milk, homemade sweets etc. Another festival that is celebrated with great enthusiasm is the ‘Shiv Ratri’ and during this day, people keep fast, pour milk on the Shiv Lingam and offers ‘Bail’ (A type of fruit) to the god idol.
Visiting Time:1 Hour
Since Prayag is among the most worshipped place in Hindu culture, this place is full of accommodation arrangements. Even if the private accommodation is kept part, still the government plus the non-government organization comfort spaces are more. Since the turnaround of the people to this place is vast every time of the year, there is great business thriving in terms of hotels. But the good thing is that, there are ample numbers of good, yet cheap accommodation places available here. Beware of the touts that promise to provide good accommodation at cheaper rates.
Best time to visit
October to March
Other places that can be visited nearby…
Sangam (Where people take holy baths)
Akbar’s Fort and Patalpuri Temple
Road transportation is the most common means and buses directly to Prayag are available from major cities of North India.Direct trains are available to Allahabad railway station and you get trains from every part of the country. Several deluxe bus services are available to Prayag and they are worth trying, if you are not getting reservation in the train. The nearest airport is in the Allahabad and national flights are available to this airport. International flights are available till Delhi. Take necessary steps to protect yourself from sunburn etc, because in the summer season, temperature shoots up to 40+ degrees in this part of the country.
Location: Prayag Raj in Allahabad,
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Daivi Hyesa Gunamayi Mama Maya Duratyaya Mameva Ye Prapadyante Mayametam Taranti Te
Meaning -According to this sloka, the heavenly maya of God is very complicated, but those who worship God will be able to overcome it.
Balam Balavatam Caham Kamaragavivarjitam Dharmaviruddho Bhutesu Kamo'smi Bharatarsabha
Meaning -According to this sloka, God is the isolated and aloof strength of the controlling and virtuous craving in men.
Ye Caiva Sattvika Bhava Rajasastamasasca Ye Matta Everti Tanviddhi Na Tvaham Tesu Temayi
Meaning -According to this sloka, though the only source of satva, rajas and tamas (good, obsessive and dark) elements is God, they are not present within the God or the deity.
Tribhirgunamayairbhavairebhih Sarvamidam Jagat Mohitam Nabhijanati Mamebhyah Paramavyayam
Meaning -According to this sloka, the entire world doesn't recognize the eternal God beyond them, because they are consumed by the elements of satva, rajas and tamas (good, obssessive and dark).
The temple is open from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm.