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KUMBH MELA 2019: World’s Largest Religious Festival Starts Today

The largest religious gathering in the world starts today (15th January), with tens of millions of devotees gathering together to bathe in sacred rivers for the Kumbh Mela 2019.

The ‘Shahi snan' is the main highlight of the Kumbh and the most important part of the celebration. Pilgrims are allowed to take the holy dip only after the completion of 'shahi snan' that began at 5:15 am today.

Considered an essential part of the Kumbh, 'akharas' created at the venue almost steal the show. The 13 sadhus’ organisations that have usually participated in the Kumbh Mela are known as 'akharas'. 13 akharas include - 7 Shaiva, 3 Vaishnava, 2 Udasina and 1 Sikh.

According to organisers, the enormous spiritual celebration in Allahabad will attract more than 100 million pilgrims over the next 50 days. The primitive city in Uttar Pradesh rises along the banks of the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers. The union of the three rivers - known as ‘Sangam’ - is considered sacred and Hindus believe that bathing there during the Kumbh cleanses their sins and brings salvation.

Around 30,000 police have been deployed to manage crowds for the huge activity and prevent stampedes that have spoiled previous gatherings.

A tent city with roads, marketplaces and restaurants has sprung up along the river, with worshippers camped out across an extensive 45-square kilometer region specially allocated for the Kumbh Mela 2019.

A food hub has been set-up at the Kumbh Mela that will offer traditional food or cuisines from different states of India. Starting from breakfast to the dinner, a wide variety of delicacies will be offered for the comfort of visitors.

The Uttar Pradesh government has heavily promoted Kumbh Mela 2019 that comes just days ahead of general elections. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi also visited Allahabad last month to inaugurate a high-tech command centre to control the Kumbh Mela.

The historic city was also renamed ‘Prayagraj’ in October by UP government, removing its centuries-old Muslim mark and replacing it with an ancient Hindu title.

The 55-day long Kumbh Mela 2019 will end on 4th March.



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