Kumbh Mela 2019: World’s largest religious and cultural human congregation begins in UP

The world’s largest religious and cultural human congregation, ‘Kumbh 2019’ began at Prayagraj (erstwhile Allahabad), Uttar Pradesh on January 15, 2019, and will go on till March 4, 2019.

This 7-week event began with the holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of three rivers – Ganga, Yamuna, and mythical Saraswati. The first bathing was taken by saints and seers of different Akharas.

About Kumbh Mela:

  • The Kumbh Mela (the festival of the sacred pitcher) is anchored in Hindu mythology.
  • It is the largest public gathering and collective act of faith, anywhere in the world.
  • Crowds gather at the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mystical Sarasvati. Primarily, this congregation includes Ascetics, Saints, Sadhus, Sadhvis, Kalpvasis, and Pilgrims from all walks of life.
  • The Mela was included in the list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO in 2017.

Celebration:

  • Kumbh Mela is celebrated four times over a course of 12 years.
  • The geographical location of Kumbh Mela spans over four locations in India and the Mela site keeps rotating between one of the four pilgrimage places on four sacred rivers as listed below:
  • Haridwar on the Ganges in Uttarakhand.
  • Ujjain on the Shipra in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Nashik on the Godavari in Maharashtra.
  • Prayagraj at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the mythical Sarasvati in Uttar Pradesh.

Selection of site:

Each site’s celebration is based on a distinct set of astrological positions of the Sun, the Moon, and the Jupiter. The celebrations occur at the exact moment when these positions are fully occupied, as it is considered to be the holiest time in Hinduism.

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