Kumbh Mela 2019 begins today in Prayagraj. The Hindu mass pilgrimage sees a large group of people gathering to take bath in the holy river. It is said to be the largest gathering of faith in the entire world. The Kumbh Mela takes place at the sacred confluence of three prime rivers in the country- the Ganges, the Yamuna and the Saraswati. It is celebrated four times in the course of 12 years and the locations keep rotating between Haridwar on the Ganges in Uttarakhand, Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Nashik on the Godavari in Maharashtra and Prayagraj at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the mythical Sarasvati in Uttar Pradesh. The Kumbh Mela 2019 will take place in Prayagraj starting from January 15 and go on till March 4. Kumbh Mela 2019: PM Narendra Modi in Prayagraj to Inaugurate Govt Programmes Worth Rs 4048 Crore, Offers Prayers at Sangam Ghat.
Over 10 millions of pilgrims reach the sacred confluence and take a dip in the holy waters. It is considered that bathing in these waters will cleanse a person from all their sins. The exact age from when these melas are held is not yet known but a magh fair at Prayag is said to be the oldest and the fair at Haridwar appears to be the original Kumbh Mela. The event of Kumbh Mela and its popularity has reached across borders and it is among the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. There are different names for this gathering which occurs at different locations. The one that is taking place next year is called Ardh Kumbh Mela. The Maha Kumbh Mela is the most auspicious one.
Legend Behind the Kumbh Mela
The word Kumbh means pot or a pitcher. Mela translates to a festival or fair. So Kumbh Mela relates to a festival of the pot of nectar in Hindu mythology. According to the legend, gods and demons once joined to produce nectar of immortality. The nectar was to be shared between them equally but a fight ensued between them. The fight over Amrit went on for 12 days which accounts to 12 human years. It is said that Lord Vishnu disguised in a form and whisked the nectar pot from the demons. While he was taking it to the Gods, he dropped the nectar on four sites, which are considered 4 sacred places where Kumbh Mela takes place.
The Kumbh Mela thus takes place every 12 years one a rotating phase at these four sites in Nashik, Ujjain, Haridwar and Prayag. People take a dip in these holy nectar waters and cleanse themselves from all of their past sins. Astrology also plays an important role in deciding the schedule of Kumbh Mela. Depending on the positions of Sun, Moon, and Jupiter in different zodiac signs, the venue for Kumbh Mela is decided.
Sadhus, saints, holy men are especially seen at the Kumbh Mela. These men seek spiritual enlightenment from the Kumbh Mela. The main ritual of this gathering is taking the holy bath. The pilgrims start coming on the river banks from early in the morning. It is considered pious to look at the sunrise while taking a dip in the water. After taking a bath, they head to the river bank and perform worship.
Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019 Schedule
The first Shahi Snan of Kumbh Mela 2019 will be on January 15, 2019, which is the festive day of Makar Sankranti. The last day of Kumbha, is Maha Shivratri on March 4, an equally auspicious day for all followers of Lord Shiva. Kumbh Mela 2019: Prayagraj Gets Tents With ‘5-Star Facilities’ for Devotees.
How to Book Tickets for Kumbh Mela
Since Kumbh Mela attracts almost millions of users from all over, there are special trains that are run for reaching the spot. This year the North Central Railways will run almost 800 extra special trains from Allahabad. There is also a special arrangement created for accommodating about 10,000 pilgrims at Allahabad Junction railway station. The IRCTC will have trains other than the regular trains that run from Allahabad.
Here are Details about The Trains for Kumbh Mela 2019
कुम्भ मेला 2019 में एक्सप्रेस गाड़ियों का नैनी स्टेशन पर अस्थायी ठहराव । pic.twitter.com/gsc1qXsXg9
— CPRO West Central Railway (@wc_railway) December 24, 2018
The railways will also allow 15 days advance booking of unreserved railway tickets from 12 stations lying in the Allahabad region. The Indian Railways have also decided not to impose any ‘Mela Surcharge’ on the tickets of trains for general to First AC classes.
The Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019 is definitely one of the most important events that will take place in next year. Proper arrangements will be made and one can also book tents which are provided by the government. All the information regarding these and what all places one can visit are all provided on their official website.