UP cabinet approves renaming of Faizabad as Ayodhya, Allahabad as Prayagraj
Uttar Pradesh Government has approved renaming of Faizabad and Allahabad divisions as Ayodhya and Prayagraj respectively. The decision was taken at meeting of state cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in state capital Lucknow. Now, the proposal will now go to Central before the city is officially renamed. Prayagraj division will comprise Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Fatehpur and Pratapgarh districts. Ayodhya division will include Ayodhya, Ambedkarnagar, Sultanpur, Amethi and Barabanki districts, Khanna said.
Government has justified the name changes across Uttar Pradesh, saying they are merely restoring older names and correcting historical distortions. Allahabad’s ancient name was ‘Prayag’, but was changed after 16th-century Mughal emperor Akbar built fort near ‘Sangam’, the holy confluence of three rivers viz. Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Akbar 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’. The reason cited for renaming Faizabad is that Ayodhya was the capital of ‘Ikshvaku dynasty’, to which the Hindu god Ram belonged, and that it is popular known as his birthplace. Ayodhya is has been capital of many estates and dynasties in different time periods.