A typical day in any North Indian city kicks off with samosas, jalebis, khastas, kachoris, what you will--as long as it's deep fried in desi ghee. Netram is one of the oldest and most popular sweet shops and gets crowded by day-break. Equally good are Sulakhi Sweets, Bhagwan Das or Hira Halwai. Burn those calories as you explore the city's colonial heritage on foot. Allahabad has some stunning Gothic style buildings with exquisite carvings that are casually scattered around: All Saints' Cathedral and the Mayne Memorial. The latter houses the public library and is inside the historic Company Bagh where Chandrasekhar Azad committed suicide. Across the road is the Vijaya Nagram Hall built in sandstone, which along with other colonial-era buildings now houses a few departments of the Allahabad University. The stately High Court building--tall doorways and sky-high ceiling--is built in the Georgian style. Relax in the iconic Indian Coffee House. Though the food is average you won't notice if you listen for the conversations of famous voices past.
The Maha Kumbh might be over, but you don't have to wait another lifetime to experience the Sangam. It's alive with spiritual energy every day. Pay homage to the city deity, a reclining Hanuman on the banks of the Ganga and to the snake God in NagVasukhi temple. The Akbar Fort is visible from here, inside which the Patalpuri temple houses a famous underground Banyan tree, Akshay Vat--but a permit is needed to visit. Literary buffs can see the house of the noted poet Nirala in Daraganj. On Saraswati Ghat is the Mankameshwar temple; cross Yamuna to the Trivenipush temple from where you get an uninterrupted, birds' eye view of the Sangam and the city built on its banks.
This old city has legendary, no-frills, eating places that locals stoutly swear by: mango shake from the hole-in-the-wall next to Sulakhi, gulab jamuns from the roadside stall of Dehati, near the railway over bridge and a little ahead towards the Ganga, there are two lip-smacking cht stalls (you'll have to rely on the crowds to locate them). Head to Loknath near Ghanta Ghar where the cht is great and lassi even better. Namkeen here is famous, which is clear from the bewildering variety there is to choose from; do take home dalmoth and the miniature masala samosas from Hari Ram.
Round up your trip with a visit to Nehru's ancestral home-turned-museum, Ananda Bhawan, Swaraj Bhawan and Jawahar Planetarium. Continue to Khusro Bagh, a high walled Mughal style garden that surrounds mausoleums and has a guava orchard and research centre. Buy the famous Allahabadi guavas. Then head to Nakhas Kona, a lively, crowded and bustling market amidst crumbling old buildings and mosques. Sink your teeth into succulent kebabs, rn, boti and more in the shops lining Qadir Lane nearby. The halwa and shahi-tukda are a must-have. If you prefer a little quiet, savour your last meal in the city in El Chico Restaurant and Bakery where the chocolate truffle can beat the world's best (I have that on authority).
Reproduced From India Today Travel Plus. Copyright 2013. LMIL. All rights reserved.
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