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A Comprehensive Guide to the Different Rituals at Kumbh Mela

Visitors and pilgrims to Kumbh 2019 will also be able to witness a digital 360-degree virtual reality world at various locations across the Mela

Photo Credit : Himanshu Kumar

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Bathing Days

The spiritual bathing in the holy Sangam waters – which is the confluence of River Ganga, River Yamuna and River Saraswati – is the main ritual performed at the Kumbh. Taking a dip on the auspicious day of the New Moon during this holy period is believed to absolve people and their ancestors from their sins thus, releasing them from the circle of life, death and rebirth.

While the two key Shahi Snan days are over, the following are the other key bathing dates for pilgrims.

Mauni Amavasya (Somvati)        04-02-2019

Basant Panchami   10-02-2019

Maghi Purnima      19-02-2019

Mahashivratri        04-03-2019

On these days, at sunrise, different groups of sadhus proceed in vibrant processions towards the Sangam, usually led by the Nagas. With each group adding to the fanfare with dance, chanting and other performances, the energy and spirituality of this procession is a never-before-experienced attraction at the fairgrounds. Only after the snan of the Akharas (religious orders), are the pilgrims allowed to take the holy bath, in the belief that the essence of the holy deeds and thoughts of the holy saints will also be transferred to them.

After the Snan the pilgrims adorn fresh clothes and proceed to conduct various pujas (prayer). 

Cultural Events

Besides the Snan, there are several other events that take place during this period. The Government of Uttar Pradesh has been highlighting the rich cultural aspects of the state. The Mela will feature 5 cultural Pandals with over 600 cultural programs ranging from musical performances to traditional and folk dances, bhajan singing, plays including Ram Leela, Dandiya and Garbha dance, all happening on a daily basis, and being performed by over 2,000 artists from India. 

Tourist Walks

There will be several tourist walks organized by the Government of Uttar Pradesh, to offer visitors the chance to explore and discover Prayagraj. Some of these walks are: 

The Sangam Walk: This covers key tourist spots including the Allahabad Fort, various temples like Bade Hamunam Ji, and the Ram Ghat Ganga Aarti, where one can experience the spiritually uplifting aarti done to River Ganga and get a chance to feast at the various street food stalls in Loknath.

The Prayagraj Heritage Walk: The heritage city of Prayagraj, first named Illahabad by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, was the capital of the North-Western Provinces in 1858 and was the capital of India for a day. Apart from Triveni Sangam, there are several other tourist attractions in Prayagraj to discover including temples like Hanuman Mandir and Mankameshwar; Ashoka Pillar and colonial buildings like Swaraj Bhawan and finished with the chance to feast at the various street food stalls in Loknath.

Kalagram

The creative hub of Kalagram will give visitors an insight into Indian art and culture. It consists of several pavilions, and over 100 + stalls featuring beautifully designed handcrafted items from artisans from all over the country. One can expect to see the Vedic Exhibition Gallery by Indira Gandhi National Cultural Academy (IGNCA), exhibition on Mahakumbh by Allahabad Museum, Government of India - Exhibition by TRIFED, Live Portrait Symposium by Lalit Kala Academy (LKA), Exhibition of Academy Books by Sahitya Academy (SA) and Exhibition on ‘Mohandas to Mahatma’ by Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samite, and more at Kalagram. 

Digital Prayagraj

Visitors and pilgrims to Kumbh 2019 will also be able to witness a digital 360-degree virtual reality world at various locations across the Mela. At these stalls visitors can watch various Kumbh experiences like the Peshwai (Grand procession of Akhadas), auspicious bathing days (snaan), Ganga aarti and much more, almost as if they are physically present at those events, using a VR headset.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Vijay Kumar Karai

The author is Founder & CEO AyurUniverse

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