India's Kumbh Mela (festival of the sacred pitcher) is the largest peaceful gathering of humanity and collective act of faith on this planet.
The magnitude and stature of Kumbh Mela have also been recognized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).
Kumbh draws tens of millions of pilgrims from all over the world, to bathe in the mystical sacred waters of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the Sarasvati, over a period of approximately 48 days.
More than 100 million devotees reach the Kumbh Mela destination from India as well other as abroad. This year, around 120 million pilgrims are expected at Kumbh 2019 and preparations have been made accordingly.
Kumbh Mela is of significant importance as it marks the celebration of Hindu heritage and highlights the rich culture of India.
It is an 8-week long pilgrimage in which people bathe and get rid of their sins. In other words, people attain salvation.
Major Events of Kumbh Mela 2019 Calendar include:
15th January Makar Sankranti (1st Kumbh Shahi Snan)
21st January Poush Purnima
4th February Mouni Amavasya (2nd Kumbh Mela Shahi Snan)
10th February Basant Panchmi (3rd Kumbh Mela Shahi Snan)
19th February Maghi Purnima
4th March Maha Shivratri
New Attractions At Kumbh Mela 2019:
Laser Light Show
360-degree virtual reality experience
Kumbh Mobile App
Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad), an important religious, educational and administrative center of India, is hosting Kumbh Mela 2019.
This mass gathering on account of the Hindu pilgrimage has various interesting facts associated with its origin, existence, and practice. Let us explore the Kumbh Mela interesting facts one by one.
1. Kumbh Mela may bring a sea change in the world economy
If we look closely, the money flows of the entire world will be impacted by the Kumbh Mela.
The foreign tourists visiting the Indian subcontinent on the occasion of Kumbh Mela would spend money in India.
Their expenses would be in the form of Travel bookings, fooding, lodging, devotional items purchases, etc. Thus, there would be money in-flow in India.
Now imagine 1 million people at Kumbh Mela and their expenses. These money flows, if channelized in the right way, can change the world economy.
2. Kumbh Mela facilities and amenities are no less than that of a luxury hotel
2019 Kumbh Mela preparations have been in full swing since the mid of the year 2018. Even the year-old city of Allahabad adopted a new name for hosting the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.
Among all the Kumbh Snan preparations, which include 800 special trains and security of over 10,000 policemen, the most fascinating thing is the modern tents with western facilities.
If you choose to visit the Kumbh Mela 2019, you can download the Kumbh rail seva mobile app for smooth travel.
You can also find new platforms, new foot over bridges and flyovers to take you faster to the Kumbh Mela venue.
3. Kumbh Mela calendar for 12 years at 4 venues finds its roots in the Samundra Manthan story
The Kumbh Mela always starts with Ganga Arti to remember it's historic significance and root in the Samundra Manthan story. As per the narration of Samundra Manthan story, the Gods and Devils were struggling to find Amrit.
Thus, the Amrit Kumbh (pot containing drink that makes a person immortal) became the cause of war. There was a 12-year long war between the Gods and Devils to obtain the Amrit Kalash.
After the war was over, Lord Vishnu spilled drops of Amrita (the drink of immortality) at 4 places while transporting it in a Kumbha (pot).
These 4 places are identified as the present-day sites of the Kumbh Mela, where it is held on a rotational basis.
There is a gap of 3 years between two Kumbh Melas and hierarchy is followed as Haridwar, Prayagraj, Ujjain, and Nashik. The Ardh Kumbh is held at 6 years and Maha Kumbh at 12 years.
Thus, people bathe in Ganga in Haridwar, Sangam in Prayagraj, Godavari in Nashik and Shipra in Ujjain, to avail the benefits of Amrit flowing in the rivers.
4. Kumbh Mela devotees get lost yet they never lose their discipline
The sadhus and saints form the most important part of Kumbh Mela. They are highly devoted to their cause and are well disciplined. The amalgamation includes Ascetics, Sadhus, Sadhvis, Saints, Kalpvasis, and people from all walks of life.
If any unexpected thing happens in the Kumbh Mela ever, it is certainly due to some foreign invasion. Nobody inside causes any harm or damage to anything at Kumbh while coming for the pilgrimage.
Everything during the Kumbh Mela - be it the religious practices, the proceedings or the distribution of langar, is smooth. You would be amazed to see the expected gathering of 120 million people self-managed.
Stay tuned for more updates related to Kumbh Mela!