The 2019 Allahabad Ardh Kumbh Mela is about to begin on January 15, 2019, the day of Paush Purnima, and end on March 4, 2019, the day of Maha Shivratri. this will be held at the traditional site of the Triveni Sangam in Prayag. The Prayagraj Mela Authority has been set up to supervise the mela, and also the Uttar Pradesh government has allocated around 2,500 crore INR for this event. the bathing schedule for the fair is as follows:
15 Jan 2019 Makar Sankranti
21 Jan 2019 Paush Purnima
04 Feb 2019 Mauni Amavasya
10 Feb 2019 Basant Panchami
19 Feb 2019 Maghi Poornima
04 March 2019 Maha Shivratri
Popularity of the Kumbh Mela
Termed the ‘World’s most large act of faith’, the attendance and participation in the Kumbh Mela are considered essential by passionate Hindus, and every mela sees an average of 8 crore pilgrims over the two-month period of the event. The 2013 Allahabad Kumbh Mela, considered a Maha Kumbh Mela, had a record attendance of 3 crore devotees on a single day, the day of Mauni Amavasya. this is due to the actual fact that a maha Kumbh Mela happens once each 144 years. In 2017, Kumbh Mela was added to UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Despite being one amongst the biggest peaceful gatherings within the world, there areseveral stampedes at the various Kumbh Melas because of huge crowds that attend.
Kumbh Mela Legend
As per Hindu Mythology, Amrita is considered the potion of immortality, made during the churning of the ocean called Samudra Manthan. The divine creator Lord Brahma instructed the demigods, or Devas, to churn the Amrita with the help of the demons, or Asuras. when the Asuras got wind of the plan of the Devas where they would not share it with them, they chased the Devas for twelve days. The four sites of Kumbh Mela are believed to be the locations where drops of Amrita fell from its Kumbh or pot while it was carried by a Deva, to protect it from the hands of the Asuras. The four drops fell onto Prayag, Haridwar, Nashik and Ujjain, giving these sites mystical properties. The four holiest rivers flow through these areas, forming the site of the bathing ritual. it’s believed that during the dates of the Kumbh Mela, the waters of the Sangam turn into Amrita, possessing divine properties which help the pilgrims come closer to attaining salvation.
Deciding the Venue and Dates of the Kumbh Mela
The occurrence of this festival is based on the positions of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter as per Hindu astrology. The Allahabad Kumbh Mela is organized when Jupiter is in Aries or Taurus and also the Sun and Moon are in Capricorn throughout the Hindu month of Magh, around the period of January-February. The Haridwar Kumbh Mela happens when Jupiter is in Aquarius and the Sun is in Aries throughout the Hindu month of Chaitra, around the period of March-April. The Ujjain Kumbh Mela happenswhen Jupiter is in Leo and also the Sun is in Aries, or when all 3 are in Libra during the Hindu month of Vaisakha, around the period of April-May. The Nashik Kumbh Mela takes place when the Sun and Jupiter are in Leo during the Hindu month of Bhadrapada, around the period of August-September.
History of Kumbh Mela
The earliest record of Kumbh Mela can be traced back to the reign of King Harshavardhana, about 2000 years ago. This tradition has withstood the check of time, even during the rule of the various invaders of India. it was considered a common meeting ground for the various sects of Hinduism practiced across the land. Hiuen Tsang of China, one amongst the first explorers to visit India, makes a mention of the Kumbh Mela in his writings, describing an eyewitness account of around half a millionindividuals gathering in Allahabad during the Hindu month of Magh (January – February) for this holy observance. subsequent popularisation of the snan and darshan rituals through numerous Hindu saints gradually increased the amount of attendees, making it the largest spiritual festival in the history of the world.