Just like the holy waters of the Ganges, the Yamuna and the Saraswati meet at Prayag Sangam, so do people from all walks of life and from various parts of the world. According to the government of India, there were more than 65 million pilgrims and tourists that had come to Allahabad for Ardh Kumbhmela held in 2007. Maha Kumbh, which comes after every twelve years as the planets align, this time with a much more significant alignment of 144 years, is scheduled to happen from 27th January to 25th February at Allahabad (Prayag) next year, for a period of 56 days against the 45 days in 2001. This one is expected to be the biggest and the grandest one in the history of Maha Kumbh. The Government has already ordered the authorities to take all the necessary actions and precautions in order to make this congregation a huge success.
According to a newspaper article, traffic police with ‘fluent’ English will be acting as guides to foreigners during the event. The final blueprint of the Maha Kumbh 2013 has already been submitted and a budget of Rs. 19.24 billion. has been sought by the union and State government. For a cleaner and safer Kumbh, the industrial units will be closed during the period of the mela so that the pilgrims can have ready access to clean water. The government has suggested the concept of Green Kumbh, under which the administration will impose a ban on the use of polythene and waste disposal into the river. It is going to be a tough time for the police because the crowd of the festival provides the perfect cover for criminals and drug addicts. Also, a huge mismanaged crowd can lead to stampedes. During the 1954 Kumbh Mela, around 400 pilgrims were killed in a stampede and thousands were injured.
The Kumbh Mela is truly an open-to-all party which showcases the universal and diverse nature of Hinduism. It is the one time of the year when the marginalised communities in our country find expression- the gays, the sages, older women, even Muslims! There are innumerable sacred sites to be enjoyed: one can spend his time listening to devotional songs, watching folk dance, participating in religious discussions or doing charity. The reason why Maha Kumbh attracts such a huge crowd even today is not due to propaganda but because of true devotion, unlike some other Indian festivals, like Ganesh Chaturthi, which is highly commercialised and politicised.
Transportation services are provided for the convenience of the guests. So what are you waiting for? It’s a truly extraordinary experience not to be missed! Furthermore, you will get to see the magnificent Taj Mahaland enjoy sunrise boat-rides along the Ganges! The Other Home offers some amazing accommodation options at Allahabad Mela ground and can design special itinerary.
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