The Sangam is one of the holiest places in all of India for the Hindu. Known also as Prayag Raj, this area where the three sacred rivers – Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati – converge, located just a few kilometers from the modern city of Prayag, has been a point of pilgrimage for millions of people for thousands of years, particularly during the Kumbh Mela.
Prayag is mentioned throughout the ancient Hindu scriptures. In the Ramayana, Lord Ram, His wife Sita and His brother Lakshman were said to have lived at the Sangam in the ashram of Bharadvaja during the time of their exile from the kingdom of Ayodhya. In both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, Lord Brahma the Creator is said to have performed His first yagna there after creating the world. And of course, according to the various Puranas which discuss the Kumbh Mela story, it was at Prayag that one of the drops of the nectar of immortality fell from the pot during the chase.
Because of the combination of all these factors – the convergence of three sacred rivers and the various mythologies – Prayag has been attracting pilgrims from far and wide for thousands of years, as so many pilgrims come each year just to have a dip in the waters here. This area has been visited by some of India’s greatest saints, including Adi Shankaracharya and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, as well as the numerous, unknown seers and saints who leave their hermitages only to grace the Kumbh Mela.