Ardh Kumbh Mela, Allahabad
The major festival for the Hindus is also one of the listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in India. It takes place at four places, shifting the venues between Ujjain, Allahabad, Nashik and Haridwar. It is also known as Maha Kumbh Mela.
The Kumbh Mela takes place four times in the time span of twelve years.
Take holy dip at the Ganges River. Take part in the devotional songs and listen to the religious discourses that are discussed in the mela.
Kumbh Mela is a religious gathering of Hindu devotees along a holy river for bathing and prayers. The largest congregation on Earth is inscribed on the representative list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of India. It is held every 12 years at four places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Nasik and Ujjain. Each of these sites celebrate the occasion along a holy river- Ganga in Haridwar, Triveni Sangam- confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, Shipra in Ujjain and Godavari in Nasik. The mini versions of the event, Ardh Kumbh Mela is held at only two places, Haridwar and Allahabad, every sixth year between two Poorna Kumbha Melas.
The recent Ardh Kumbh Mela is all set to commence in 2019 on the holy banks of Triveni Sangam in Allahabad. The auspicious occasion falls in the month of Magh, according to Hindu calendar that is mostly between January-Februarys. According to astrological calculations the occurrence happens when Jupiter is in Aries, Sun and Moon in Capricorn; or Jupiter in Taurus and Sun in Capricorn. Also a Mini Kumbh Mela in the Hindu month of Magh (January- February) Mela is held every year in Allahabad only.
Kumbh Mela Legend and Significance
There is no concrete proof to the start of the Kumbh Mela. According to Hindu mythology, it dates back to the episode of Samudra Manthan, when Devas and Asuras churned the sea. From the event came forward a pot of Amrit (nectar of immortality). Both parties got involved and fought for 12 days. 1 day of the celestial beings were equated to 12 years in the human world, therefore Kumbh Melas are held after 12 years. During the struggle, few drops of nectar fell on Earth at these locations which are now deemed as holy spots. Ardh Kumbha Mela is held in 6 years in between two Purna Kumbha Melas, while the Maha Kumbha Mela comes in 144 years.
During the Kumbh Mela it is believed that the river waters at these holy sites are charged with divine powers. Therefore, ascetics, devotees and people from all walks of life take a dip in the river waters and cleanse their sins and ultimately attain salvation.
Dates of Allahabad Ardh Kumbh Mela-2019
The Ardh Kumbh Mela in 2019 will start from the auspicious Makar Sankranti that will fall on 14th January and continue till the Maha Shivaratri that will occur on the 4th March.
The auspicious bathing dates are:
- Makar Sankranti (1st shahi Snan) - 14/15 January 2019
- Paush Purnima - 21 January 2019
- Paush Ekadashi Snan - 31 January 2019
- Mauni Amavasya (Main Royal Bath 2nd Shahi Snan) - 04 February 2019
- Basant Panchami (3rd shahi Snan) - 10 February 2019
- Maghi Ekadashi - 16 February 2019
- Maghi Poornima - 19 February 2019
- Maha Shivaratri - 04 March 2019
How to reach Allahabad to attend Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019
The closest air connection to get to Allahabad is Bamrauli airport in Allahabad. Located at a distance of 12km from the city, it operates only the domestic flights.
Allahabad Junction has connectivity by train by almost all parts of India. It also serves as the headquarters of the North Central Railway Zone.
Allahabad is easily accessible from all the major Indian cities by road.