What is the Kumbh Mela?

The Kumbh Mela is the largest act of mass pilgrimage held in India. Hindus gather in astounding numbers to bathe in the holy river, which they believe to contain drops of Amrit (the Drink of immortality), which Lord Vishnu dropped himself.

The Kumbh Mela is the largest act of mass pilgrimage held in India. Hindus gather in astounding numbers to bathe in the holy river, which they believe to contain drops of Amrit (the Drink of immortality), which Lord Vishnu dropped himself.

It is believed that during a battle between the devas and the asuras (The epitome of good and evil in the Indian mythology), to protect the secret of Amrit( the Drink of immortality, coveted by the Gods), Amrit was sent away in a Kumbh( pot ). However, Lord Vishnu himself dropped the Amrit on earth at 4 different places, where now the Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 12 years, a year or two apart, the dates are decided by astrology. Prayagraj and Haridwar host the biggest Kumbh Melas whereas Ujjain and Nashik host Simhastas, a form of the Kumbh Mela every few years.

When and where is the Kumbh Mela 2019 being held?

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The Kumbh Mela 2019 will be held at Prayagraj( previously called Allahabad  ) from January to March in 2019. And in the following months, the Mahakumbh at Haridwar will be held in the months of March and April. At the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj, devotees from all over the country bathe at the Sangam( or meeting point ) of Ganga and Yamuna, the two mighty rivers of India.

MahaKumbh 2019-Why all the fuss?

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The Kumbh Mela is the largest peaceful gathering of people in the history of mankind.  In 2013, more than 120 million people visited the MahaKumbh during the 2 month period, and an even higher number is expected this year. With more than 4,200 crore Indian Rupees as the government’s budget for this mammoth-sized event, this is one of the most expensive undertakings by the Indian government. Build in excess of 2500 hectares, it houses approx 122,000 temporary toilets for proper sanitation throughout the festival and tents for the pilgrims ranging from simple dormitory-like to 5 star-like, how about that!

If you thought that was it, you couldn’t be any more wrong. The Indian government has spared no expense for its pet project, with about 800 special trains running across the country and state-of-the-art video surveillance with Artificial Intelligence made by IBM, The MahaKumbh 2019 promises to be safer and cleaner than ever before. Not only that, but the visitors can download the official Kumbh Mela app to know more about events, dates and weather updates from here

It’s Impacts

Expenditure

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The government’s budget for Kumbh Mela 2019 is 4,200 crore Indian Rupees. If that seems too much to you, you are not the only one, because it is. However, this huge amount is but a small percentage of the central governments annual budget. how small you ask? Less than 2 per cent! So in hindsight, spending a tiny amount of the annual budget on the largest religious gathering the world has ever seen, something which brings India a lot of media coverage on the world stage and generates a lot of revenue through the sale of goods during the MahaKumbh.

Employment

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The MahaKumbh is not only a boon for religious pilgrims over the country, but for the unemployed skilled populace as well. For the duration of the MahaKumbh, the state of Uttar Pradesh sees a surge of employment through the construction, security and administration of the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.

Pollution

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Sacred Rivers turned Sewers

Do you know what comes after a congregation 120 million people in India? Copious amounts undisposed waste, resulting in both air and water pollution. And lots of it. I know it sounds mundane at first glance, and you wouldn’t really care much about something so far away from your home, right? But pollution on such a large scale leads to a ripple effect in the ecosystem, killing the fish and effectively stalling the fishing industry and widespread asthma cases around the area. Think about that for a moment.

Security

The Indian Government and Uttar Pradesh Government have taken strict measures when it comes to the security for the MahaKumbh in 2019. Checkposts and armed policemen will be placed around the city for the duration of the KumbMela. The KumbhMela is infamous for its history of stampedes and loss of both people and things among the crowd. With the increased security and hundreds of information kiosks spread around the location, we hope everything goes smoothly. And the Kumbh Mela 2019 comes in the news only for its astounding achievement, where in a world full of terror and hatred, the world sees more than 100 million people come together in a sense of love and faith; and not for the sad events that have plagued the Mahakumbh in the past.

Religious

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Some people believe the Gods themselves visit the mortal realm during the Kumbh Mela, for they joy at the love and the faith of the devotees. And some just go there to reflect on their lives or wash away their sins, and a hundred other different reasons. The Hindu mythology, shrouded in mystery, however, tells a story of how Lord Vishnu dropped Amrit onto the earth at 4 locations, Prayagraj one among them. Then started hoards of pilgrims coming to see the holy place, and bathe and wash away their sins to prepare themselves for the gates of heaven, and began the tradition of the Kumbh Mela. We are honoured and absolutely humbled to be a part of an age-old tradition, one filled with magic and wonder, and Hope- For a better future.

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