Lucknow: The long-standing demand of seers could be fulfilled soon as Allahabad is set to be renamed Prayagraj before the Ardh Kumbh Mela in January next year.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said, "There was a proposal from Akhara Parishad in the meeting of Margdarshak Mandal to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj ahead of 2019 Kumbh. The honourable governor has already given his approval and if there is a consensus, I think the name will be changed soon."
Allahabad's ancient name was Prayag but was changed after 16th-century Mughal emperor Akbar founded a fort near the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna, known as Sangam. He named the fort and its neighbourhood Ilahabad. Later, Akbar's grandson Shah Jahan renamed the entire city as Allahabad. But the area near the Sangam, site of the Kumbh Mela, continues to be called Prayag.
"Prayag is where Lord Brahma performed the first yagna. The confluence of two rivers is a 'prayag', and in Allahabad three rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet. Hence, it is the king of 'prayags'. That is why it is 'Prayagraj'," the chief minister said explaining the root of the name.
The Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in the state had earlier changed the name of Mughalsarai Junction as Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction. Also, Mughalsarai was made Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyay Nagar. The places have been named after RSS ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay.
Last year, seers of different akharas had met CM Yogi in Lucknow and had urged him to change the name of Allahabad as Prayagraj ahead of the 2019 Ardh Kumbh fair to be held in the holy city. "We have requested the chief minister to change Allahabad's name to Prayagraj. We are sure that the chief minister will accept our demand," Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) head Mahant Narendra Giri had told reporters.