An auspicious gathering, Kumbh Mela is one of the most famous fairs where devotees from across the globe come to attain spiritual clarity and wash off sins in the ritual bathing at the Triveni Sangam, Allahabad. And amidst the blissful sights of miracles performed by Sadhus adorned in saffron, you can attain salvation by bathng during the holy dates, this Prayagraj Kumbh Mela 2019.
Prime minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to the city earlier this month, said that the devotees will be able to offer prayers at Akhsay Vat, which has been closed for 450 years, during Ardha Kumbh.
Trace The History…
Swarming, millions of zealous devotees come together to wash their sins during the Kumbh Mela. The origin of these mammoth spiritual gatherings can be traced back to the existence of Demons and Gods on earth. As per the Hindu mythology Kumbh derived from the Sanskrit word ‘pitcher’ had the ‘Amrita’ the immortal nectar that had appeared during the ‘Samudramanthan’. It is believed that the Gods and the demons had churned the milky ocean to obtain the same.
Amidst the intermittent chanting of mantras, the heart rendering dance of the Aghoris and the holy ghats lit up with diyas, you will have no chance but to go with the flow. The Kumbh Mela, will not just lend you with a day’s feeling but a mind boggling experience of a lifetime.
The Prayagraj Experience
At the sacred Triveni Sangam, Prayagraj (Allahabad) will host Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019 for Hindu devotees. Hosted every six years when Jupiter is in Aries or Taurus and Sun and Moon are in Capricorn during the Hindu month of Magha, Allahabad transforms into a land that blesses devotees taking a dip at the confluence of holy Rivers.
Boasting a colossal gathering, Allahabad Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019 shall commence from January 15 and will end on March 4. This months long religious festival, apart from inviting millions of devotees welcomes various Vaishnavite and Shaivite Akhadas who bathe in the water before anyone else.
Prayagraj (earlier Allahabad) is a holy city for the Hindu devotees which is believed to be the spot where Lord Brahma first offered his sacrifice after the creation of earth. World’s largest religious gatherings, Kumbh Mela in Allahabad takes place at the confluence of three sacred rivers of India, Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. Here Kumbh is held when Jupiter is in Taurus and the sun and the moon are in Capricorn. Devotees throng the Ghats of Allahabad to take a holy dip in order to attain Moksha.
The When & How Of Kumbh Mela
One among the most euphoric religious event in India, the Kumbh Mela is celebrated four times every twelve years. Herds of sadhus and devotees crowd the sanctified pavilions to be a part of the ‘world’s massive act of faith.’ Kumbh Mela is considered the most auspicious time to take a dip in the sacred river to free themselves from their sins and attain a step forward towards salvation.
The most popular stand off during the mela is that between the Nagas (naked sadhus), Urdhawavahurs (who expose their body to extreme austerities) and the Kalpwasis (the ones who bathe three times a day). Apart from these, the rituals that are performed during this time are worth witnessing.
Kumbh Mela Destinations
The Kumbh Mela observes the World’s largest peaceful gathering at some of the very significant destinations in the history of Hinduism. Haridwar (river Ganga), Prayag (Triveni sangam of Yamuna, Ganga and Saraswati), Ujjain (river Kshipra), and Nasik (river Godavari) are the Kumbh Mela Destinations which are said to be eternally blessed during this time. Enthusiastic travellers and ardent roamers who yearn to explore the Cultural Heritage of India can be part of the incessant hysteria at the Kumbh.
Sanctified by the falling of the drop of Ambrosia from heaven, the four Kumbh Mela destinations of Prayagraj, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik are situated on the banks of sacred rivers. Interwoven with Kumbh Mela history, these sacred destinations hold great importance in Hinduism as it is believed a dip in the rivers here can cleanse your soul and let you attain Moksha.
- Makar Sankranti (1St shahi Snan)- 14th-15th January 2019
- Paush Purnima- 21st January 2019
- Mauni Amavasya (Main Royal Bath 2nd Shahi Snan)- 4th February 2019
- Basant Panchami (3rd shahi Snan)- 10th February 2019
- Maghi Poornima- 19th February 2019
- Maha Shivratri- 4th March 2019
Attractions At The Kumbh Mela
Kalagram- One of the major attractions during Kumbh 2019 is creative hub- Kalagram. Situated in the sector 19, Arail of Prayagraj, Kalagram will provide the glimpse of the Indian art and culture to the visitors.
Peshwai (Praveshai)- Out of all the major festivities during Kumbh, “Peshwai” holds a significant place. “Praveshai” denotes the grand procession carried out to mark the beginning of the Kumbh Mela by welcoming people from all around the world. In this procession, saints arrive with their groups on elephants, horses and lavish carriages with bands large number of people provide their services as attendants and shower petals of flowers on the passing procession, to welcome the procession of Akhadas and to further enhance its grandeur.
Cultural events- The Government of Uttar Pradesh has mobilised the state cultural departments for exhibiting the rich and diverse cultural heritage that India possesses. The Kumbh Mela 2019 shall feature 5 cultural Pandals for displaying a series of cultural events ranging from musical performances to traditional and folk dances on a daily basis.
Tourist Walks- The Government of Uttar Pradesh has unveiled Tourist Walks and introduced new routes for the tourists visiting Prayagraj. The Sangam Walk goes as:
Starting Point of Trail: Shankar Viman Mandapam, Bade Hanumanji Temple, Patalpuri Mandir, Akshya Vat, Akshya Vat and Ram Ghat.
Waterways- Terminals have been made by Inland Waterways Authority of India at Sujawan Ghat, Old Naini Bridge, Saraswati ghat and Quila ghat. These terminals are used to run CL Kasturba (Semi Cruise of IWAI) for pilgrims and tourists to take a joy-ride in one of the most ancient river routes of India.
Thematic Gates- The 2019 Kumbh Mela shall also witness over 25 temporary thematic gates which will mark the approach roads to the Mela Area and entrance to various sectors in the Mela Area.
360 degree virtual reality experience Kumbh 2019- Ahead of Digital India campaign, visitors and pilgrims are all set to witness a whole new digital experience of 360 degree virtual reality world during Kumbh 2019. 10 stalls facilitating the pilgrims with this experience, have been especially set up, where visitors and pilgrims can watch the Kumbh 2019 videos and experience as if they are physically present in those events, using a special VR headset.
Laser Light Show- The Government of Uttar Pradesh is making provisions for a Laser Light and Sound Show that shall be operational from December 2018 onwards at the Prayagraj Fort Wall.
Apart from religious relevance, Kumbh Mela is an experiential walk through a culture that holds frenzy and intrigue in it’s purity and chaos.