ALLAHABAD KUMBH MELA 2019

ALLAHABAD KUMBH MELA 2019

The stars have aligned and in no time the trumpets of spirituality will take over every mind. It’s that time of the Hindu calendar yet again when Sages and pilgrims will come together in infinite numbers to bathe in the divine pool of spirituality. Its name itself is enough to stimulate vibrations within your being. Yes, it’s the Kumbh Mela, the world’s largest congregation of religious pilgrims and now, it’s knocking your doors for its commencement in 2019.

The Kumbh Mela 2019 (the festival of the sacred pitcher) plans to ascend with its sacredness to one the most revered site of Hinduism, Prayag ( also known as Allahabad) and believe us, this time its vibrancy will set new boundaries. Do you want to be a part of this festivity? So, circle January 15th in golden ink because the sacredest of the sacred Allahabad Kumbh Mela 2019 is marking its arrival.

From Naga Sadhus to Peshwai and Chariots, this festivity has everything plated for a lavish spiritual appetite. Do you fancy it’s fervor too? Then, we have much information on this holy festival rolled up in our sleeves. So, why waste time? Let’s shower you will all the knowledge on this fiesta, shall we?

KUMBH MELA GATHERING: A LITTLE INSIGHT ON THE FESTIVAL

 

Kumbh Mela, the largest foreground of faith and spirituality is one of the most celebrated events of Hinduism. Tens of millions of people turn up to be a part of this auspicious event and why not? It is believed to wash away the sins of the present and past life after all.

Still, uniquely enough, in the course of time, this fair has turned into this brilliant social, religious and cultural hub that no one in their sane mind can say no to. It’s the perfect medley of astonishment and solace, and whoever has paid it a visit in the past will back us up here.

How many times Kumbh Mela is held in 12 years?

Kumbh Mela is celebrated four times over a course of 12 years. If you do the math right, it’s once every three years. Then, why complicate and mention 12 years you ask? That’s because even this number 12 has a mythological relevance, but we will come to that a little later, don’t worry we will.

For now, it’s for you to understand that the geographical location of this festival keeps on rotating every third year. And guess what? The stars and the planets define the location for the festival. No, we aren’t joking! It’s actually a hundred percent true.

For every site mentioned below, the placement of these celestial bodies is different ensuring it to be unique and the holiest of all the affairs in the religion. With a little help from the art of astronomy, it’s the cosmic universe that defines the occurrence of this fair, so, the chances for it to not be amazing are quite less.

Here, on these four banks Kumbh Mela Fair takes place:

● The Ganges at Haridwar in Uttarakhand
● The Shipra at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh
● The Godavari at in Maharashtra
● At the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati at Prayagraj (Formerly Allahabad) in Uttar Pradesh.

How many types of Kumbh Mela are there?

Okay, this one will confuse you a little bit, so stay put. According to the Hindu mythology, the four major types of Kumbh Melas include:

● Normal Kumbh Mela that is held every third year in each of the four places as we have mentioned above.
● Ardh Kumbh Mela that takes places every 6th year in rotation between Haridwar and Prayag.
● Purna Kumbh Mela that happens every 12th year at four Kumbh Mela sites.
● Maha Kumbh Mela that occurs every 144 years after the completion of 12 Purna Mela.

If you are still confused about it, don’t worry you will catch up with it in no time. For now, just lock your brain with the information that the Kumbh Mela taking place at Allahabad in 2019 is an Ardh Kumbh Fair. Breathe!

WHY IS KUMBH MELA IMPORTANT? WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT?

 

The uniqueness of Kumbh fair lies in its celebration and connectivity with the religious roots of Hinduism. It’s during this time in years that the magnificence of the religion is put out into the universe. Be it with the sights the Naga Sadhus bathing in the Shahi Snan, or for that matter with the procession of Akharas on elephant back, horseback, and even chariots.

Every direction is filled with soul pleasing pleasures and if you are lucky enough you will have an encounter with the Hermits. Who are they? They are monks that become a part of the civilization only during this time in years. For the rest of their lives, they live in caves. Sounds fascinating? Imagine meeting them in person.

Ardh Kumbh is a step up from the Kumbh Mela that takes place every 3 years for purification and rejuvenation. Being conducted every 6th year give this fair a unique place in the hearts of the pilgrim. Here, you will see the hustle and bustle of chiming devotees, wanting to take patronage under the knowledgeable sages whilst involving in all the rites.

The summit of devotion and merriment is the spark of every day spent in its vicinity. Still, the star of this fair is the Kumbh Mela bath in the holy waters of India. Believe us, there is no feeling as tranquil as drenching yourself with the country’s spiritual sparkling waters. It certainly makes you forget all the sorrows of life and drugs you with bliss. Who wouldn’t want that?

KUMBH MELA - ITS MEANING

 

Getting down to the basics! Also, a big shout-out to the Sanskrit roots of the country from where Kumbh meaning comes.

Kumbh is derived from the word Kumbhak which means a sacred container of the elixir of immortality. You will be surprised to now that the word Kumbh is mentioned many times in religious Hindu manuscripts too. If you will follow them you will realize that this word is mostly associated with the bathing ritual at the holy waters. Ahah! See we told you it all made sense at the end.

In fact, the Vedas of Hinduism contains prayers for the Kumbh. Hmm! Its relevance with Hinduism is quite a deal, don’t you think? The answer is obvious. Also, just to bring into your notice, it’s the beginning, much more exciting information is coming your way.

MYTHOLOGICAL ASPECT OF KUMBH MELA FAIR IN INDIA

 

The mention of the fair’s origin lies in the transcript written by an 8th Century philosopher, Shankara. Except that, there is no concrete evidence of its origin or for that matter its existence in the yesteryears. But behind the cloak of the debates and misconceptions, the mythology related to this festival travels leaps and bounds. Also, it does that so eminently that it eventually leaves room for confusions.

Disclaimer! It is going to a crazy roller coaster ride, so, buckle up maybe?

The myth dates back to the times of the divine. According to the Bhagavad Purana (a compilation of ancient legend), the timeline of this event is when the heavens were suffering from the curse of a sage without Amrit (the nectar of immortality). It is during this time, taking advantage of the situation, the Asuras (malevolent beings) tried taking over the universe.

So, to save the universe from this calamity, Lord Vishnu advised the Devas (Demigods) to handle the Asuras diplomatically. Following the suggestion of the Lord of Lords, Devas approached Asuras for an alliance to get back the nectar of immortality from the Ocean of milk. To do so, they churned the ocean with a humongous mountain with the help of the snake king.

Finally, when the Amrit came up in a sacred pitcher (Kumbh), the Asuras tried claiming it. In the process, Garud ( a bird-like creature and vehicle of Lord Vishnu) flew away with the Kumbh. While he was ascending towards heaven, he dropped four drops of it on Earth.

Can you guess where? Yes! You got it right, the same places where Kumbh Mela celebrations take place today. Furthermore, the flight took 12 divine days to, which in terms of humans time were like 12 years. So, did you get the 12-year concept now?

Also, the Rig Veda (one of the five holy transcriptions) in one of its verses mentions Kumbh. It talks about Kumbh in relevance with the bath in the Holy waters. According to it, bathing in the holy waters or for the matter in the confluence ( Sangam) of the holy rivers at the Kumbh Mela eliminates negative influences in life.

It also states that for the rejuvenation of the mind and soul, a bath in these Holy waters is much suggested. Whoa! If an ancient text as old as this states so many benefits of the bathe, then there will be a good percentage of truth attached to it, don’t you think?

HISTORY OF KUMBH MELA

 

When did Kumbh Mela start?
Unfortunately, there is no certain date or year in the archive of Indian history that gives us this information. Rather the golden pages do enunciate the name of King Harshavardhana whenever Kumbh comes into perspective. Are you wondering why? Well, that’s because it is during his reign (590-647 CE) that the Kumbh Mela was a household name in many geographies.

Famous Chinese traveler, Hsuan Tsang also mentions such a festival in his travelogue where he writes greatly about its grandeur. Still, the information on whether he talks about the Kumbh or not is quite debatable among scholars. But, as per much popular belief it’s Kumbh Fair he mentions. Anyways, the text mentions about prayers by the banks of holy rivers and festivity involving many people (even from outside the territory). We guess it’s enough to give us an idea about how Kumbh looked like back then, doesn’t it?

KUMBH MELA 2019 ALLAHABAD

 

Done researching about the past? Then, let’s catch up on what is in-stored for you in the future at the Kumbh Mela Festival 2019. So, roll the red carpet for this UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and let spirituality hit your heart really hard. But first let’s talk about the importance of Kumbh Mela in Prayag Raj, shall we?

Importance of Kumbh Mela Hindu religious festival in Prayag
Maha Kumbh in Prayag is the yonder star of Kumbh Festival in India. It’s famous as the source of light and knowledge for scholars and pilgrims who truly believe in its power. This devotional hub, which is believed to be the center of the creation of the universe is hands down the most significant site for Kumbh Festival. In addition, the existence of the confluence of three sacred rivers adds up to its grandiosity.

According to the very popular myth, Prajapati Brahma performed the Ashvamedha Yajna at Dashashwamedh Ghat situated at the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna. This yajna or yagya (Holy ritual with fire) resulted in the creation of the universe making this site the epitome of bliss.

As jaw-dropping as it sounds, it is not the only myth that takes away the spotlight in Prayagraj. There is yet another wonder in its treasure chest waiting for you. Where do you ask? At the Allahabad fort fellas, yes, the same fort which opens once in 12 years on this very occasion showcasing the eternal tree.

This tree is believed to have existed since the beginning to times. Also, according to famous mythology, many gods and goddess reside within this tree, adding another brownie point to the scoreboard of Allahabad Kumbh Mela 2019. We have given you many reasons to pay it a visit already, don’t you think?

KUMBH MELA 2019 SCHEDULE

Catching up on important dates is always a tedious task and if it’s a two and half month long fest, then getting some insights always do wonders. Don’t you think? So, here are all the important dates that you should know about before planning this festival on your travel journal.

JANUARY 15 TO MARCH 4, 2019

Makar Sankranti (1st Shahi Snan) 15 January 2019
Paush Purnima 21 January 2019
Mauni Amavasya (Main Royal Bath 2nd Shahi Snan) 04 February 2019
Basant Panchami (3rd Shahi Snan) 10 February 2019
Maghi Poornima 19 February 2019
Maha Shivratri 04 March 2019

 

Needless to say, the importance of these dates individually has a great deal in Hinduism. So try attending each of them for the utmost pleasures. If you are under time restraints then, don’t miss Mauni Amavasya on the 4th of February. If not, then the important Prayagraj Kumbh Mela 2019 dates are mentioned below so that you can choose what sails your ship. Enjoy!

ATTRACTIONS OF KUMBH 2019 UTTAR PRADESH

PESHWAI: the cortege of the religious houses

 

Kumbh Mela is all about the grandeur of the religion and with no surprise, Kumbh marks its onset with the much splendid procession of the famous religious houses or Akharas.

These processions hit the streets on a different tangent of jollity to welcome people from all around the world into their universe. Saints t the highest positions aggressively take part in this parade along with their group on chariots, horsebacks and even elephants.

Buts that’s not all because it’s the power of devotion that is worth watching in this parade with many devotees volunteering to provide their services to these groups. From showering flowers to helping them with the instruments, people do make an effort to keep this tradition alive and kicking. Well, to be frank, it’s worth all the efforts and you will agree with us on this once you set foot there.

KUMBH MELA GANGA SNAN

 

The king of all the Kumbh Mela events is the Kumbh Mela Snan that is stretching for 55 days at Allahabad Kumbh in 2019. As a cherry on top, this time the tranquility will hit the high road as the Snan will take place at the confluence of two sacred rivers of the country, the Ganges and the Yamuna.

So, brace your heart as the most blissful dip that will leave your inner spiritual being craving for more is just a few months away. With so many Shahi Snans planned for this event, we are sure that the spiritual summit is not that far away from you.

SOCIAL IMMERSION AND KUMBH MELA CAMPS

 

Humans are social beings and when the prize you get for interacting with like-minded folks is the secrets of world’s oldest religion, then, we rest our case.

Like we have mentioned before, millions of people from around the globe visit this fiesta making it the perfect site for making some global friends. If not, who gets the chances to live nearby the tents of spiritual leaders every day? You can have wonderful and spiritual interactions with them and trust us, the bliss after having these conversations and confrontations are one of a kind. So, what are you waiting for?

CULTURAL EVENTS

If you’ve been willing to watch the diverse culture and tradition of this country all this time, then now is your chance. That’s because the largest cultural stage featuring the riches of the Indian heritage will be put forward by the government at Allahabad Kumbh Mela 2019.

According to this, five cultural pandals will be entertaining your inner cultural savvy with a series of cultural performances, ranging from musicals to folk dances. If this ignited the culture spark in you, then you’ll go amazeballs when we will tell you that the largest pandal of them all, the Ganga Pandal will be plating many top-notch flavors of classical and folk art for every art-loving soul.

What? Does your spiritual heart crave some pampering too? Don’t worry then, it will all be taken care of at Pravachan Pandal and 4 convention centers. Happy?

LASER LIGHT SHOWS

Are you a fan of lights and nights? Then surprise! Surprise! There is a light show planned just for you at the Prayagraj Fort (Allahabad fort). Although there is not much information on it up until now, we will come to your rescue when the right time comes. For now, you know you have another amazement to look forward too for this festival. Isn’t that great?

THE SANGAM WALK

 

Are you a fan of lights and nights? Then surprise! Surprise! There is a light show planned just for you at the Prayagraj Fort (Allahabad fort). Although there is not much information on it up until now, we will come to your rescue when the right time comes. For now, you know you have another amazement to look forward too for this festival. Isn’t that great?

The Sangam Walk
The epicenter of this blissful walk: Shankar Viman Mandapam
Stop 1: Bade Hanumanji Temple
2: Patalpuri Mandir
3: Akshaya Vat
4: Allahabad Fort
5: Ram Ghat

The details on each of these sites are on our Allahabad destination page. You can thank us later!

IN POPULAR CULTURE

NAGA SADHUS

 

The gems of Akharas and the purest souls of Hinduism, Naga Sadhus are the real deal to come across in Kumbh Mela. They are those sages who have painted the canvas of history with their courage and valor to protect their deity, Shiva. Considered the top names among the sages, Nagas generally live with the Akharas or in the Himalayas. It takes intense investigation and 20-30 years of devotion to become a Naga Sadhu. That is why they are the first ones allowed to take bath in the holy waters for everyone else to benefit from their good deeds.

How to spot them you ask? Well, Naga Sadhus generally don’t wear any clothes and you will find them with a little saffron cloth and ash on the body. Other than that, you will find them wearing rudraksha and carrying tress while dancing joyfully to the songs of the divine.

AGHORIS

 

Meet the nomadic monks at the Ardh Kumbh Mela who live by the principle of the uncertainty of life. These monks called as Aghoris are the Shaiva Sadhus who engage themselves in post-mortem rituals, cannibalism, and other rites in the same token.

They give up on all the earthly possessions, bathe in the Ganges and cover themselves with ash. Why? Well, because according to Hindu mythology it is the last ritual on the material body. Believed to have invincible healing powers, these sages are known for dedicating their lives to Tapasya.

Being Shaiva Sadhus Aghoris have their faith circumscribing the destroyer Lord Shiva. The base of the beliefs of Aghoris is on two principles:

● Shiva is perfect as he possesses omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence.
● Shiva is responsible for everything that occurs. The conditions, causes, and effects are all created by him. So, everything that exists in its true form is perfect. Also, to deny the perfection of anything would be to deny the sacredness of all life and defy the almighty.

Aghori Mostly Remain Silent and live a life of a nomad. They believe they have no one in this world and when they take an oath to become one, they consider the sky as their father and the land as their mother.

In between these two entities, they have no relationship with anyone else in the world. Locating Aghoris is quite a deal in Kumbh Mela, you’d be lucky if you can catch a glimpse of them as they stay away from the holy waters because of their practice.

KALPVASIS

Kalpvasis meaning the people who live by the banks of Ganges and follow Kalpvasa. These are another group of pilgrims or saints who spend 40 days (the Kumbh period) meditating and in Tapasya. They practice austerities in order to get the most of their time in Kumbh and live in tents nearby. If you are wondering what Kalpvasa is, then, read further we’ve got it covered for you.

Note: If you are planning to be in the patronage of true Sages then, it’s best to get a few things straight. True Sadhus prefer seclusion, they are free from the world’s materialism so Kumbh is the only way to get to know them. They will themselves be in the hiding and you will need to discover them during Shahi Snans or at Akhara meets. So, if someone approaches you calling themselves a Sadhu or God, don’t believe them. They can scam you and that too big time.

RITUALS OF KUMBH

AARTI: Paying homage to the life source

 

One of the significant rituals of Allahabad Kumbh Mela 2019 or any spiritual sanctuary in India is the evening prayers and aartis dedicated to the life source. According to Hinduism, it’s very important to resonate with Mother Nature and treat her with the utmost respect. So, in the same token, these aartis are enunciated to preach the Goddess Ganga and thank her for taking care of the community.

In fact, these aartis paint the picturesque of a thousand yellow stars dancing to the hymns of the priests. Flabbergasting as it is, the sight is much capable of bringing joy to anyone and you’ll get what we are saying once you will get there.

The aarti at the confluence in Prayagraj is decked up in more admirations and devotion than any of its counterparts. With the most melodious and in sync aartis, the Batuks of Prayagraj surely intimidates senses. And if it’s the visual pleasures you’ve been craving for (other than the aarti) then, the unique lamp representing the five elements will solve the purpose for you. So, get ready to mesmerizing every inch of your existence with the clanging bells and mystic fumes from heaven. Enjoy!

SNAN: Soaking in serenity

 

Kumbh is all about the Shahi Snan that washes away your sins and liberates you and your family from the vicious circle of life and death. Consequently, getting to take a dip in the holy waters which are supposed to be the nectar of immortality is an experience in its own.

Starting from January 15th, you can take a dip in the holy waters anytime you want, yet there are some days that hold special significance in the religion. Adding to the legend, bathing in the waters on these days level ups your spiritual ranking.

Shahi Snans mentioned on our list are some of them. What’s so special about them you ask? Well, during these dates, revered sages and babas takes the first baths, adding more holiness to the water for your dip. Believe it or not, but that’s what the religion says. So, see you there then, okay?

KALPAVAS

 

This next ritual on our list is quite a tuffie but if you manage to survive through its strict rules, getting additional benefits on your Kumbh Mela 2019 itinerary will be an understatement.

Kalpavas holds a whole new level of significance at the holy confluence in Prayag. This ritual which stretches from Ekadashi of the full moon in the Paush month (Hindu Calendar month) up to ‘Maghi Ekadashi’ is one big of a task. It is during this time span, a Kalpvasi has to follow the strict 21 rules through mind, speech, and action. Although it isn’t a child’s play to follow the rules and takes part in Kalpavas. You know, you can always try, isn’t it? Even though if you don’t want to, observing people who are actually following it (the Kalpvasis) will be one great experience to share, don’t you think?

The 21 rules are:

1. You will always have to speak the truth.

2. Follow Nonviolence. Stay calm always and don’t let your demons loose free.

3. Understand the bad actions of others and always reason before coming to a conclusion. Mitigate your senses!

4. Feel the same way for all the living beings

5. Have no sexual relationships, your devotion should be towards the environment and Lord.

6. Let nothing come in your way. Reject all indulgence in the materialistic world.

7. Rise before sunrise. Start your day as nature does.

8. Bathing thrice a day.

9. Observance of ‘Trikal Sandhya’.

10. Pay a tribute for the peace of your ancestors by performing ‘Pind Daan’.

11. Donate whatever pleases your pocket. Let no materialism surround you.

12. Enunciate the name of God always at the back of your mind. Don’t think of anything else but God.

13. Associate with a true divine being. Listen to their righteous mind and follow their sayings at Satsangs.

14. Shetra Sanyas ( non-violation of reserved space),

15. Say no to criticism. Let it go!

16. Offer services to ascetics and saints, you will earn extra brownie points for that for sure.

17. Japa- Meditation repetition of the name of the divine and this time out loud.

18. Sankirtan- Give in your all to the prayers of the divine.

19. Eat only once a day.

20. Sleep on the ground closer to Mother Earth.

21. Maintain distance from envy and anger.

DEEP DAAN

Deep Daan holds utmost importance at the certain time of the year. For other times, it’s the perfect emblem of the win of good over evil. This particular ceremony outshines the trip and that too literally. Watching these floating lanterns while listening to sounds of the gushing waters is one big delight for any heart. So, do sign up for it if you are visiting the Allahabad Kumbh Mela 2019.

So, spread the light of spirituality with the floating oil lamps at Triveni Sangam while performing this ritual. Be the one to bring the darkness into light. Light an oil lamp and see the river narrate a billion stories.

PRAYAG RAJ PANCHKOSHI PARIKRAMA

 

This ritual has changed forms over the course of time. Although parikrama has its own significance in the religion, this one in the presence of the Triveni Sangam has set some high standards.

Parikrama means circumscribing and in Hinduism, it involves circumscribing deities or religiously sound places. Why is it important you ask? Well according to the religion this is the perfect way to spiritually connect with the diety whilst absorbing all the positivity. Now that keeps some jaw-dropping, doesn’t it?

The Allahabad Parikrama that you will be doing here will re-establish a historical ritual. It will give you the perfect opportunity to acquaint yourself with the treasure trove of Indian history. Are you up for it? Well, we bet you are, who would want to miss this cultural, religious and spiritual extravaganza anyways, right?

KUMBH MELA GUIDE 2019: THE DO’S AND DON'TS

 

● Avoid yourself from over packing. Taking tons of luggage that you will just drag around the place when everyone else is enjoying will be the last thing you will want to do there. So, pack light but in the heat of the moment don’t forget to pack your essentials including medicines.

● Avoid packing valuables and if in case you are carrying them, take utmost care of it. It’s such a huge gathering and you never know what other people’s intentions are.

● Avoid eating anything from strangers or at an unauthorized place. A humongous gathering like this can lead to crimes too. Furthermore, an upset stomach is something that you will not want, isn’t it? So stay safe, okay?

● Research well for the facilities provided. Keep a check on services like Hospitals, Food, and Emergency Services etc. Health is wealth, remember?

● Stay low key and enjoy to the fullest is the mantra of Kumbh Mela 2019 Prayagraj. So, don’t attract unnecessary conflicts by provoking peers.

● Going for a dip in the divine river? Then try using only the Bathing areas/ Ghats that are authorized by the Mela administration. Also, make a habit of using Bathing Ghats nearest to the place you are staying or the city for a safe and sound experience.

● Keep your emergency contact numbers in handy. You may not need them, but precautions are better than cure, isn’t it?

● Lost someone or something? Use Lost and Found Centres, trust us, they are always happy to help.

● While bathing in the river, try not to cross the permissible limits. Although safety measures are taken by the government, you too will need to be careful. So, keep it in mind.

● Usage for any pollutants like the Pujan Samagri (offerings to the deities) and any soaping material is not appreciated near the river. So avoid it at any cost.

● If you are a plastic bag lover, then say bye to them as soon as you step into this city because their usage is completely prohibited here during the Mela.

ANSWERING TO THE FAQ’S

Which city is famous for Kumbh Mela? Which city is famous for Kumbh Mela in India?

Although all the four cities mentioned above are famous for Kumbh Mela. Uniquely, as the Maha Kumbh takes place every 144 years in Prayag, you can consider it to be the most famous one.

How long does Kumbh Mela last?

It really depends where and what kind of a Kumbh Mela is making its way on the calendar. For example, the Ardh Kumbh Mela that is to commence in 2019 is stretching all from January to mid- March (2 and a half months). On the contrary, the last Maha Kumbh Mela that took place in 2013 at Prayagraj lasted for only a month. So, it just depends on the Hindu calendar you all but yes, it does spans for a month there.

When did Kumbh Mela start?

The origin of Kumbh is still unknown but its timeline is set during the Pre-Vedic period. If you reframe the question to when will the Ardh Kumbh starts in Allahabad, then, the answer to it will be on the 15th of January 2019.

When was the last Kumbh Mela?
The last Kumbh Mela took place in Ujjain in 2016.

When was the last Maha Kumbh Mela held?
The last Maha Kumbh was held in Prayagraj (Allahabad) in 2013.

When is the next Kumbh Mela?
2019 Ardh Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, from January 14 to March 4.

2022 Kumbh Mela in Haridwar

2025 Purna Kumbh Mela in Allahabad

2027 Kumbh Mela in Nashik


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