Roadtrip to #Kumbh Mela 2019

prayag

Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred or holy river. Traditionally, it is being organized differently at four sacred rivers in India, over the course of 12 years- the Prayagraj Kumbh Mela, Haridwar Kumbh Mela, the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha, and Ujjain Simhastha.

The Kumbh Mela at Prayag, in particular, attracts millions of pilgrims. In addition, a Great Kumbh Mela festival is held every 144 years at Prayag. The 2001 prayag festival attracted some 60 million people. The congregation includes ascetics, saints, sadhus, aspirants-kalpavasis and visitors.

In Prayagraj, as the word Kumbh enters one’s ears the picturesque vision of Triveni Sangam, the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mystical Saraswati flashes in the minds of people. Kumbh Mela is one of the most famous fairs where devotees from across the globe come to attain spiritual clarity and wash off their sins. The Ardh Kumbh Mela began with the Shahi Snan on Makar Sankranti, January 15, 2019, at Prayagraj.

The grand entry door at Prayagraj Kumbh Mela 2019
With a number of displays, stalls and shops, pilgrims coming to this largest religious event get a unique experience like never before.
Ash-smeared Naga Sadhus are a huge draw at Kumbh Mela.
Foreigners are also participating in this fest in huge number.
Sadhus in different attires are catching the eyes of the devotees.
The ‘Kinnar Akhada’ formally joined the ‘Juna Akhada’ to participate in the ‘Shahi Snan’ in the Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj.
Throngs of devotees proceeding towards the bathing ghats for the 1st Shahi Snan at Prayagraj.
As the Sun sets, the river banks in Allahabad come alive with the lit-up piers and holy chants during the Ganga Aarti.

The by-lanes of Prayagraj, as well as the five-kilometer stretch of the bathing ghats, is flooded with evoking sights as holy men and seers display their unusual practices in full glory. Visiting Kumbh was never on my list, however, I had to be there to cover the story. I, along with my team reached the fair early morning. We were hell tired after covering almost 800 km distance from Delhi. We walked for almost 4-5 km to reach the media center where we had to collect our media entry passes. Lack of transportation or highly rated transportation made us walk along too.

Covering the fair midnight with my team when it was freezing outside.
Next day en route with the akhada march to the shahi snan, I stole a few moments to get myself captured.
By the evening, it started getting cold again. I preferred to keep myself covered and warm.
Let the wind blow and forget your troubles. The Kumbh is the best place to find yourself. In the mass of humanity, you lose all sense of your problems and will find who you truly are.

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