Kumbh Mela Prayagraj | Ardh Kumbh Mela Date 2019 | India

Why Do you think Kumbh Mela Prayagraj is the largest human gathering on earth?

 

Obviously there must be a reason. Want to know what it is? Keep reading.

 

Warning: Some facts and information about this Kumbh Mela will leave you in great shock.

What is Kumbh Mela?

 

Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj is an ancient festival which brings holy men together at a place to discuss and share their faith. They also spread valuable information about their religion.

Therefore, millions and millions of people from within and outside the country come specially to attend this festival each day. Don’t you think you’re missing out a lot?

 

After all, the great Bollywood celebrities too come to this huge gathering and have a great time with their friends and family.

 

Did You Know?

 

UNESCO decided to include Kumbh Mela Prayagraj on its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list after watching the importance of this festival in December 2017.

Where is the Kumbh Mela celebrated?

 

This Hindu festival is celebrated turn by turn at the places mentioned below. First comes the Kumbh mela, then Ardh Kumbh mela and then Maha Mumbh mela.

 

In fact, it takes places in what are considered the most holy places in India. These include-

  • Banks of Godavari River in Nashik, Maharashtra.

  • Shipra River in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.

  • Ganges River in Haridwar, Uttrakhand.

  • Junction or Sangam of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati in Prayagraj also called Prayag, Uttar Pradesh.

When is the Kumbh Mela Held?

 

Kumbh Mela is held once every 12 years at the locations i have mentioned earlier , i.e. Nashik, Ujjain, Haridwar and Prayagraj (the exact time and place of the Mela depends on some horoscopy and religious discussion).

 

Likewise, there is also a ‘Maagh Mela’ which is celebrated in the month of Maagh (during January to February) at the Sangam, Allahabad. It is considered to be the most fortunate mela.

 

To my knowledge, Maagh Mela refers to  the ‘Ardh (half) Kumbh mela’ and ‘Kumbh Mela’ that takes place in the sixth and twelfth years respectively.

 

Fact: The human gathering at Kumbh Mela can be seen from satellite!!! What???

When is the next Kumbh Mela?

 

The Ardh Kumbh Mela (2019) is starting in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh from JANUARY, 14 to MARCH, 4.

 

And just out of my curiosity:

  • 2022 Kumbh Mela in Haridwar
  • 2025 Maha Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj
  • 2027 Kumbh Mela in Nashik

What rituals do pilgrims perform?

 

First of all, if you want to know what rituals are performed at the mela, we need to know the reason behind it.

 

Why is this festival given so much importance?

 

It is believed that Gods lost their strength once. What next? Eventually, they reached out to the demons as they wanted to regain their strength! So they agreed with the demons to churn the primordial ocean of milk for amrit – nectar of immortality.

 

They came to a decision that they will share this equally. But as we know no discussion is over without a fight, so it did happen. And what is shocking is that it lasted for 12 human years. In the meantime, Garuda, the celestial bird, flew away with this Kumbh that had the nectar in it.

 

As a result, the holy drops of nectar fell into the places where the Kumbh Mela now takes place – Prayagraj, Haridwar, Nashik and Ujjain.

 

 

What about the rituals?

The main and the most important ritual is to take holy dip in the holy river. (Do not cross the barriers as the water is very deep). According to Hindu Mythology, it is believed that taking a dip into the sacred rivers will wash away all your sins, thus ending the cycle of rebirth.

 

The festival is so…so huge that people starts to line up at 3am. Otherwise, you end up not taking a dip into the holy waters.

 

As soon as the sun comes up, numerous groups of sadhus move in procession towards the river to take a bath. The Nagas usually takes the lead, while others tries and follows them.

Sadhus?

 

Believe it or not, Sadhus are an integral part of Kumbh Mela. You will find different types of Sadhus in each and every corner performing one or other ritual. Stunts performed by them are something that has to be seen to be believed!

 

People come especially to see and watch them perform amazing stunts and rituals.

 

Different kinds of sadhus can be found in this festival and the fun part? You can interact with them as well. Do take their blessings!

 

  • Naga Sadhus

    – Simply known as ‘Nagas’, these are the ‘naked ones’ who smear their bodies with ash completely and have long matted hair. Don’t get too surprised after seeing their bloodshot eyes from constantly smoking charas (marijuana).

 

  • Urdhwavahurs

    – they are skeletal like bodies from rigid spiritual practices.

 

  • Parivajakas

    – these are the one who have taken a vow of silence.

 

  • Shirshasinse

    – they remain standing and meditate while standing on their heads. Can you do it once?

 

  • Kalpvasis

– you will find these along the banks of river, meditating, performing rituals and bathe numerous times a day.

Important Bathing Dates for 2019 Kumbh Mela

 

Uttar Pradesh Tourism has provided this schedule with the following important dates:

 

15 January, 2019: Makar Sankranti (First Shahi Snan).

21 January, 2019: Paush Purnima.

4 February, 2019: Mauni Amavasya (Second and Main Shahi Snan).

10 February, 2019: Basant Panchami (Third Shahi Snan).

19 February, 2019: Maghi Poornima.

4 March, 2019: Maha Shivratri.

In the final analysis, i would like to inform you in advance, before you go, that the crowd gets super crazy because of millions of visitors. It gets really congested and there is no space to even walk properly. Now you can yourself imagine the craziness, right?

 

However, the security is really…really tight. Local police to Commandos, you can see every kind of security force at the Kumbh Mela. So don’t panic if something happens. You are totally secured!

 

WARNING: DO NOT take anything suspicious or any sort of weapon whether it is a pistol, bullets, knife, etc. YOU WILL BE SEWED!!

 

Otherwise you are good (haha), have a great time and do not forget to share the funny and spiritual stories you will spend there to your friends and family. 😛

In either case, do let me know about your experience. I will love to hear.

“I am that person who dropped her B.Tech (really!) and chose to travel, specifically travel blogging. I’m Manmeet Kaur, a crazy, fun loving and adventurous person from Delhi. I knew I had an interest in writing since I was in school. I didn’t want to be an engineer, doctor or I would say a teacher. My plans were different. I wanted to travel which I guess no one,  specially girl had chosen to do in my family for a living. And like other human beings on this planet I have big dreams too. But my ultimate dream is to travel the world and share my experiences through writing and blogging.” 🙂

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MINISTRY OF TOURISM, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA