India is recognized worldwide as a country that celebrates its traditions and its cultural heritage. And Kumbh Mela, which is the largest peaceful gathering of pilgrims on the planet, is one of those events that marks the celebration of the Hindu heritage. The Kumbh Mela is celebrated every three years in Haridwar, Prayagraj, Ujjain and Nasik. The Mela is welcomed back in the city after every 2 years which is highly awaited by Indians, especially the Hindu community all year round.
At the beginning of 2017 in Jeju, South Korea, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO had adorned ‘Kumbh Mela’ to represent the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
As of January 15, 2019, the sacred city of Prayagraj will observe its first Ardh Kumbh Mela after its recent reactivation. This Kumbh Mela will end on March 4, 2019. The Kumbh Mela is a mystery to anyone who has not been in the center of chaos in Prayagraj. It is said to be one of the oldest hubs for the celebration of Kumbh, the meeting of 2 holy rivers.
The first royal bath (Shahi Snan) by Ardh Kumbh Mela will be observed on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti. This is where all the prominent religious groups bathe in the Triveni Sangam in Prayagraj. The 2nd royal bath will take place on January 21 and is called Paush Poornima. The last bath will be observed on the day of the Maha Shivratri festival on March 4, 2019.
The Kumbh Mela takes place on the dates when the waters of the Sangam become nectar. The dates are calculated according to a combination of astrological positions of Jupiter, the Sun and the Moon.
The Ardh Kumb Mela will begin on January 15 when, astrologically, the planet Jupiter is in Aries and the Sun and Moon are in Capricorn during the Hindu month of Magha.
Hindus believe that people who bathe in the river during auspicious dates are blessed by the gods themselves and that all their sins would be erased.
Praygraj is highly accessible by road, air and train. The airport is 12 km from the city center of Bamrauli. The city has four main railway stations, namely Allahabad Junction, Prayag Station, City Station in Rambagh and Daraganj Station.
To promote tourism during Kumbh Mela from January 15, 2019, the BJP government led by Narendra Modi plans to use waterways to transport pilgrims and tourists between Varanasi and Allahabad, at a distance of 60 km. The government has established four floating terminals, one in Kila Ghat, Saraswati Ghat, Naini Bridge and Sujawan Ghat. In addition, two vessels will be deployed, CL Kasturba and SL Kamla, and small boats for the movement of pilgrims.
All in all, it is a must have experience for all the tourists as well as residents of India to attend this grand celebration in its form.