Kumbh Mela is an assemblage or mass gathering of Hindu Pilgrims to bathe in the holy rivers. There are four such melas. They are:
- Haridwar Kumbh Mela
- Allahabad(Prayag) Kumbh Mela
- Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha
- Ujjain Simhastha
The Sadhus and the Pilgrims come together to free themselves from the cycle of life and death and transcend themselves to the heavenly realm also known as to attain “Moksha” (freedom).
Allahabad Kumbh Mela occurs every twelve years. Also, an annual fair known as Magh Mela has been prominent since ages. The Mela that occurs every 6 years in only Allahabad and Haridwar is called Ardh Kumbh Mela. The Ardh Kumbh Mela in Allahabad will take place in January-February and will be the center of attraction all over the world.
The exact dates for this event of Ardh Kumbh 2019 include 15th January to 4th March. For the Shahi (Royal) bath there are different dates in the Prayag Ardh Kumbh Mela.
The dates are:
- 1st Shahi Snan: 14/15 January 2019
- 2nd Shahi Snan: 4th February 2019
- 3rd Shahi Snan: 10th February 2019
These dates are decided depending on the position of Sun, Moon, and Jupiter.
This Mela apart from taking a dip in the holy water will offer various other attractions during the period of the Mela. The experience will range from the chanting prayers of sadhus, the smell of joss sticks, to the mass gathering of people in and around the area. Following are the popular attractions of the Mela:
- The Akharas
The gathering place of the sadhus, this is where they carry out their religious practices. The sadhus are followers of Lord Shiva. The Ardh Kumbh Mela will provide an opportunity to see learn and understand the sadhus after all for some they are the center of attraction of the mega event.
One of the most important aspects of the Kumbh Mela, devotees travel large distances only to attend this event. The devotees gather together and sit for long durations to listen to the sadhus. The satsangs have on particular topics regarding spiritualism and religion. Devotees offer prayers and sing hymns during the sessions.
- The Experience at night
The crowded life in a Mela at night gives way to the serenity of silence and a show of lights. The Mela takes place at the Triveni Sangam i.e. at the meeting points of Saraswati, Yamuna and Ganga rivers. The view of the Mela from the Triveni Ghat is exquisite. For a traveler, it is the ultimate view as thousands of people come to this event not for the aim for which it happens but for the experience of this gargantuan event and all that surrounds the same.
- Camp Life
The camp life is another highlight of the Mela. The accommodation usually consists of camps as the hotels in the region fail to occupy the number of people gracing the event. However, the camp life is another feather in the cap for you if you are out there to make memories. The tents are in the vicinity of the ghat and is an interesting choice of accommodation considering you would be amazed to know about the fellow travellers by interacting with them.