Kumbh Mela 2019, the world’s largest congregation of humanity at one place, is all set to start at Prayagraj early morning on Tuesday.
Prayagraj Kumbh will begin with the Shahi Snan, or royal bathing, where Akharas will take a dip in the waters. Massive arrangements have been made by the Mela administration for peaceful bathing and elaborate security arrangements are also in place for processions of Akharas from their camps to bathing ghats for Shahi Snan. The administration has announced a ban on the entry of vehicles into Mela area from tomorrow.
Three Shahi Snan of Akharas is scheduled – Makar Sankranti 15th January, Mauni Amasya 4th February and Basant Panchami10th February.
Other bathing festivals are Paush Purnima, Maghi Purnima and Maha Shivratri
Prayagraj Kumbh has attracted people from all walks of life in big numbers. Prayagraj district administration has closed all educational institutions for three days 14,15 and 16 January up to class 12 and has also advised colleges to close to avoid inconvenience to the students.
A large number of saints and sears, common pilgrims and tourists from across the globe are continuously reaching Prayagraj to take the holi dip on the first bathing festival of Makar Sankranti on January 15 at the Sangam, or the confluence, of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati.
The First Shahi Snan of Akharas is one of the big attraction to the pilgrims and tourists.
Other notable facts about the Kumbh are
- Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj is held in the month of Magh of Hindu calendar when Jupiter is in Aries and Sun and Moon are in Capricorn or Jupiter is in Taurus and Sun in Capricorn.
- Prayagraj Kumbh Mela held every 6 years and Maha Kumbh every 12 years.
- Earlier they were known as Ardh Kumbh and Kumbh. But this year Uttarakhand Pradesh government has announced the Ardh Kumbh will be known as Kumbh and Kumbh as Maha Kumbh.
- About 12 crores pilgrims and tourists are expected during the Kumbh. Massive security arrangements are in place.
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- The exact dates of bathing during Kumbh are determined according to Hindu astrology.
- Prayagraj Kumbh 2019 is spread over 3200 hectares of land which is about 700 hectares more in the comparison of 2013 Maha Kumbh.
Area covered by the Mela
- It has been divided in 20 sectors while in 2013 only 18 sectors were developed.
- Most of the sectors have taken their shape and Kalpvasis the devotees who spent one month from Paush Purnima to Maggi Purnima as per Hindu calendar are still reaching.
- Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation has pressed 6000 buses into service to ferry pilgrims and railways has also introduced special trains from different parts of State and country.
- Most of the long route trains have been given stoppage at Allahabad junction and other railway stations located in Prayagraj district.
- UPSRTC has also introduced 500 buses in the town to bring pilgrims to Mela area from makeshift bus stations and railway stations.
- Different air services have also started air connectivity from different major cities including New Delhi, Kolkata, Nagpur, Bhopal, Dehradun, Indore, Bengaluru, Ahmadabad and Lucknow to Prayagraj.
- A newly constructed civil airport has been opened for operation very soon to operate newly introduced flights.
- Mela administration has set up 87 public accommodation in the Mela area in dormitory shape at pocket friendly rates for out of station pilgrims.
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- Other agencies have also developed high quality tent cities with all modern amenities to the tourists in different locations.
- Special tent colony has been set up in Arail area of the Mela for Non Resident Indians who are scheduled to arrive on January 24. Pilgrims and tourists can book tents as per their needs and budget online through Kumbh Mela website.