My Journey to Kumbh

31st Jan 2019

Kumbh Nahi Dekha toh Kuch Nahi Dekha

Photo of My Journey to Kumbh by Jaiveer Yadav
Day 1

Day 1:(31st Jan)

I had my train (Nandan Kanan Express) from Delhi to Prayagraj (Allahabad) at 6:30 in the morning from the Anand Vihar Railway Station. I boarded my train, which started 1 hour late and reached Prayagraj 3 hours late.

The first surprise waiting for me at the Allahabad Railway Junction was the cleanliness at the railway station. Jodhpur is the cleanest railway station I have ever seen, but after seeing Allahabad, I changed my opinion.

The point to be noted here is that the number of people which Jodhpur manages is very small when compared to the Allahabad Railway Junction.

Allahabad Railway Junction all cleaned up and decorated for the Kumbh

Photo of My Journey to Kumbh by Jaiveer Yadav

Apart from the cleanliness, other arrangements were also very good. The rest houses were in ample number, the markings crisp and clear, a medical safety team at the railway station, the Kumbh mela helpdesk and what not. I mean what else can a tourist ask for. Kudos to all the authorities on that part.

I took a public sharing auto from outside the railway station for the mela.

It took me to the "Rambag Naya Pull" stand and I entered the mela from that gate.

There were swings and other stalls for people in this sector. I roamed there for some time and then moved to the Sangam area.

The swing which I called "Thor 's Hammer" Swing

Photo of Rambagh, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India by Jaiveer Yadav

There were very few people at the Sangam area at that hour of the day. The reflection of the lights sparkled in the flowing water of the Ganges. The cool breeze added to the experience. I sat there for a while, soaking in the whole experience within me.

The Cleanliness of Ghat amazed me, notice the dustbin at every alternate pole

Photo of Triveni Sangam, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India by Jaiveer Yadav

The river, the duck and the reflection of lights in the water

Photo of Triveni Sangam, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India by Jaiveer Yadav

The river and beach were very clean indeed. Kumbh 2019 has special focus on sanitation.

Over 1,00,000 toilets have been constructed in the mela premises, uncountable number of dustbins laid and special ICT campaign have been launched to make sure that the river as well as the riverfront remains neat and clean.

Never in my life, I have seen such large scale of an event working that efficiently.

I crossed the "pipa bridge" to reach the other side of the river Ganga. All the "akhadas" are on the other side of the bridge. I had "prasad" at a few langar and then went to an akhada and slept there.

One can sleep there free of cost if one has one's own blanket.

Day 2(1st Feb)

I was woke up at 5 o'clock by a sadhu. He was waking up all the people as the area needed to be cleaned.

After packing my bags, I started walking, crossed the pipa bridge and went to the civil lines Allahabad as I had to meet a friend.

Day 2

Since I reached earlier, so I went to the Chandra Shekhar Azad Park also know as Alfred Park. It is the same park in which Azad died fighting against the British police.

MiG-21 Fighter Aircraft in the Park

Photo of Chandra Shekhar Azad Park Ground, George Town, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India by Jaiveer Yadav

Greeting Azad, :)

Photo of Chandra Shekhar Azad Park Ground, George Town, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India by Jaiveer Yadav

The park is good and many people jog there in the morning. There is an entry ticket of Rs 5/- for it. It is at walking distance from the bus stand.

My friend arrived and I explored a few more local spots with her.

After that, I went to the Anand Bhawan. The entry ticket is Rs 70/-.

Anand Bhawan

Photo of My Journey to Kumbh by Jaiveer Yadav

Anand Bhawan is the ancestral home of Jawahar Lal Nehru, which is now turned into a museum. It has some wonderful memories of the first PM of India, Father of the Nation and the freedom struggle of India.

Within it is the Jawahar Planetarium in which a movie related to the universe is shown.

Beside the Anand Bhawan, is located the Swaraj Bhawan. It has no entry fee. It's main theme is the life journey of Indira Gandhi.

Swaraj Bhawan

Photo of Swaraj Bhawan, Tagore Town, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India by Jaiveer Yadav

I went back to the fair at around 3 o'clock and took a dip in the Ganges.

After bathing, I went to the boating area and took a boat for the Sangam area. I went on a sawari boat with 5 other persons which costed me Rs 100/-. A personal ride was for Rs 500/-.

Me and Bart

Photo of My Journey to Kumbh by Jaiveer Yadav

I met another solo traveler named Bart from Poland. This guy was visiting India for the 7th time and had traveled across 80 countries in the world.

The boat took us near the main Sangam area where I again took a bath.

After getting from the boat, I went to the akahara area by crossing the pipa bridge and visited a few babas.

Photo of My Journey to Kumbh by Jaiveer Yadav
Photo of My Journey to Kumbh by Jaiveer Yadav

Then, I walked for almost 5 kms to reach sector-6 of the mela, as it has vacant public rest houses. I was not disappointed. I had a full rest house of 200 beds waiting for me.

Photo of My Journey to Kumbh by Jaiveer Yadav

Let me shed a light on the stay arrangement for the pilgrims in the Kumbh. There are four such guest houses in each sector. That accounts for almost 22*4*200=17600. Pretty decent count.

It costs you Rs 100/- per night for a bed and a pillow. They don't provide any blanket.

So, I had a king size stay that night.

Day 3(2nd Feb)

I woke up around 7 o'clock and started my journey again. I had to visit the Akshaywat tree, Allahabad fort, Patalpuri temple and the Bade Hanuman temple for today.

There was a very big queue for all of these. It was not before 2 o'clock that I have visited all these places.

They all are on the same route. I started with the Akhsaywat tree, then the Patalpuri temple and finished with the Bade Hanuman Temple. I also visited the Shankar Vimanam Mandapam.

Shankar Vimanam Temple

Photo of My Journey to Kumbh by Jaiveer Yadav

I also visited the Purana Fort which is on the other side of the river in the area named Jhusi.

Inside Purana Fort

Photo of My Journey to Kumbh by Jaiveer Yadav

After that, I took a Kumbh shuttle for the Railway station. There are over 100 Kumbh shuttle plying to and fro from the mela. Khusro Bagh was the next destination on my checklist.

Day 3

Khusro Bagh is at walking distance from the railway station. It has the tomb of King Khusro. I spend a good one hour there and had the much needed rest.

Khusro Tomb

Photo of Khusro Bagh, Lukarganj, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India by Jaiveer Yadav

I booked an Oyo room. Got a pretty decent deal for Rs 900/-. The only problem was that it was some 8 km away. I had to change 3 autos and walk 4 kms to reach my hotel.

By the time I reached, I was too tired. I took a hot water bath, had my dinner and crashed into my bed.

Day 4(3rd Feb)

I started at 8 o'clock from my hotel. There was much more crowd tht day as 4th of Feb was the Shahi snan.

The vehicles were stopped almost 10 km away from the main sangam area. I walked all the way from Naini to the Sangam. Explored the areas, met the sadhus, talked with other fellow tourists, some of whom came across half the world to witness the largest gathering of human civilization.

And, by the way I encountered Bart again. What a coincidence!

At 4 o'clock, I started my way back to the railway station. I had to walked all the way to the railway station as I found no vehicles.

The next morning I read that 5 crores people took a dip in the Ganges during the Shahi Snan. Had that been a country, it would have ranked 28th place in the world. Such is the scale of the kumbh mela.

All this is organised within a period of 6-8 months. These many people are transported, accommodated and no major mishap happen during all this. This is the level of organization. Kumbh is truly an intangible cultural heritage.

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