Recently, Allahabad was renamed as Prayagraj by the right-wing government in Uttar Pradesh, India. The reason offered by the chief minister, Yogi Adityanath was that the Mughal emperor Akbar had imposed Islam on a Hindu holy place and he was righting the wrongs of Akbar. Is it true? But all across history, I have studied that Akbar was a secular ruler. So what is the real story behind Allahabad's name?

  • 2
    Sources would improve this question. Please provide a citation for a press release, news article, etc. that discusses this change. Please cite all non-trivial assertions - that helps those of us who are less acquainted with Akbar, or Uttar Pradesh, or the right wing government to understand and to learn from the question & answer.
    – MCW
    Oct 29, 2018 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


I can't find any news story that claims that "Mughal Emperor Akbar had imposed Islam on a Hindu holy place". There are multiple news articles that summarize the history of Allahbad's name, including:

Allahabad’s ancient name was ‘Prayag’, but was changed after 16th-century Mughal emperor Akbar built a fort near ‘Sangam’, the holy confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. 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’, the site of the Kumbh Mela, continues to be known as ‘Prayag’. news18.com

I can find,

In an interview with India TV, Yogi Adityanath defended his act by arguing that these places were renamed only after the invasion by Mughals and now is the time to give these places their original identity. Indiatoday

But I think this says more about the current political party than it does about the ecumenical ism of Akbar. Local political opposition seems to agree:

The Yogi Adityanath government’s proposed move to rename ‘Allahabad’ as ‘Prayagraj’ ahead of the Kumbh Mela has got opposition parties fuming, with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav blaming the CM for taking credit by just renaming cities. News18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.