Kumbh Mela, Prayag

9th Feb 2019
Photo of Kumbh Mela, Prayag by 83Trips

Every 12 years almost 70 million pilgrims descend upon India’s Allahabad for the Kumbh Mela festival. Kumbh Mela is the largest peaceful congregation of pilgrims on earth, during which participants bathe or take a dip in a sacred river “Ganga”[Ganges]. The festival is over 2,000 years old and is as fascinating as it is chaotic. Kumbh Mela gathers population more than any other gathering in the entire world. Kumbh Mela is a sign of unity power of Hindus, it shows an enduring belief in spiritual ethics.

Photo of Triveni Sangam, Sachcha Baba Nagar, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh by 83Trips

Kumbh in its literal English translation means ‘Pot’, which emerged from ‘Samudra Manthan’ (Churning of the Ocean) between Gods and Devils and the term ‘Mela‘ signifies ‘Fair’.

Photo of Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India by 83Trips

At the core of the festival are the camps of ‘sadhus’. Some are dressed in saffron, others sporting dreadlocks and smeared in ash as they make their way to the river to take their first holy dip. Devotees believe that by bathing in the Ganges one is freed from sins liberating her/him from the cycle of birth and death. The congregation includes ascetics, saints, sadhus, aspirants-kalpavasis and visitors. From this incredible event comes a powerful and uplifting message of harmony, unity and peace for all humanity.

Photo of Kumbh Mela, Prayag by 83Trips

Kumbh is held at four places: Haridwar, Nashik, Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain in every six, twelve and 144 years. Kumbh Mela is celebrated at different locations depending on the position of the planet of Bṛhaspati (Jupiter) and the Sun.

Jupiter and Sun both in Leo — Nashik

Sun in Aries — Haridwar

Jupiter in Taurus and Sun in Capricorn — Prayag(Allahabad)

Jupiter and Sun both in Scorpio — Ujjain

Photo of Kumbh Mela, Prayag by 83Trips

International tourists are also attracted toward this holy festival which is considered as the most peaceful gathering in the world. Frequented by babas and bhakts alike, the 58 day Indian festival is often referred to as a spiritual cleansing of sorts. For the 2019 Ardh Kumbh at Prayag, the preparations include a ₹42,000 million (US$580 million or €510 million) temporary city over 2,500 hectares with 122,000 temporary toilets and range of accommodation from simple dormitory tents to 5-star tents, 800 special trains by the Indian Railway.