The Prayag Kumbh Mela is a mela held every 12 years at Allahabad (officially known as Prayagraj), India. The exact date is determined according to Hindu astrology: the Mela is held when Jupiter is in Taurus and the sun and the moon are in Capricorn. The fair involves ritual bathing at Triveni Sangam, the meeting points of three rivers: the Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. The Kumbh Mela in 2013 became the largest religious gathering in the world with almost 120 million visitors. The next one is scheduled for 2025, with an ongoing Ardh Kumbh Mela in 2019.
The Mela is one of the four fairs traditionally recognized as Kumbh Melas. An annual fair, known as Magh Mela, has been held in Allahabad since ancient times (early centuries CE), and is mentioned in the Puranas. However, the earliest mention of a Kumbh Mela at Allahabad occurs only after the mid-19th century. The Prayagwallas (local Brahmins of Prayag) are believed to have adopted the kumbha myth and the 12-year cycle of the Haridwar Kumbh Mela for their annual Magh Mela around this time. Since then, every 12 years, the Magh Mela turns into a Kumbh Mela, and six years after a Kumbh Mela, it turns into an Ardh Kumbh (“Half Kumbh”) Mela.
According to Hindu mythology, Vishnu dropped drops of amrita (the drink of immortality) at four places, while transporting it in a kumbha (pot). These four places, including Allahabad, are identified as the present-day sites of the Kumbh Mela. The river-side fair at Allahabad is centuries old, but its association with the kumbh myth and a 12-year old cycle dates back to the 19th century. The priests of Allahabad borrowed these concepts from the Haridwar Kumbh Mela and applied it to their local Magh Mela, an annual celebration. The Magh Mela probably dates back to the early centuries CE, and has been mentioned in several Puranas.
FOLLOWING WERE THE BEST AND THE MOST IMPRESSIVE ABOUT KUMBH 2019:-
- Maintaining of the neatness and cleanliness at the place. Special attention was paid to the availability of washrooms, restrooms and changing rooms at the Kumbh Mela. Every year a population of about 15 crore visits Kumbh which is more than the total population of two-three countries. This means that maintaining hygiene is the most essential element so that the pilgrims do not face any issues.
- There are various pandals at Kumbh where different states have brought out the creative side and also they have displayed their respective manuscripts. They were at a great distance from each other.
- The decorations were made in accordance with the sentiments of the people visiting kumbh. The decorations completely depicted the entire story and history of Kumbh and the one who doesn’t know anything about Kumbh would also come to know about it.
- The flowers and offerings that were being offered to the holy waters were immediately cleaned so as to maintain cleanliness in the waters of the holy Sangam.
- There was proper availability of drinkable water and prasadam at regular intervals so as to ensure that the pilgrims do not feel inconvenient.
- They made a world record at the largest “parades of buses”, most people sweeping the floor” and “most contributions to handprint painting in 8 hours”.
- Kumbh not only ensured women empowerment by making paintings and conducting competitions.