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This is a list of arrangements, available to you if you are an ardent theist and keen to perform a ritual at the Ardh Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj (formerly known as Allahabad).
The Kumbh Mela which is known as the largest congregation of humanity in the world and a collective act of faith, will be held in Prayagraj over a course of 48 days from January 15 to March 4. During the commencement of this religious festival, tens of millions of people, most primarily Hindus, bathe at the main river Ganga, adjoining confluence of two other rivers, Yamuna and Saraswati.
Hindus believe that performing the bathing ritual in the ‘holy’ water will purge them of all sins and release themselves and their ancestors from the cycle of rebirth and attainment of the Moksha.
Apart from religion, this festival is also famous for providing the revellers with some great spectacles of the grand rituals which were held by various saints and their disciples as members of various Akharas or religious orders that take part in the ritual of Shahi Snan – the main highlight of the event. People are allowed to bathe in the waters only after the ritual of the Shahi Snan is complete.
Prayagraj Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019: Important dates
Although bathing in sacred waters is considered holy on all days during the Kumbh festival, there are certain days which hold a special relevance:
1. Makar Sankranti (January 15th) - This day marks the beginning of donations at Kumbh Mela. This day marks the entry of the Sun in its next astronomical position as per the Hindu calendar.
2. Paush Purnima (January 21st) - This day marks the unofficial beginning of Kumbh Mela. It is the 15th day in the month of Shukla Paksha of the Hindu calendar month Paush. Poornima refers to the rise of the full moon.
3. Mauni Amasviya (February 4th)- The maximum number of Kumbh Mela visitors take the holy dip on this day as on this date as the planetary positions are considered to be the most favourable for bathing in the holy river. According to Hindu mythology, Rishabh Dev, considered as the first sage, broke his long vow of silence and bathed in the holy waters at Sangam.
4. Basant Panchami (February 10th) - As per the ancient Hindu Mythology, this day marks the arrival of Goddess of Knowledge, Saraswati. Many people wear yellow coloured clothes to mark the importance of this traditional occasion.
5. Maghi Purnima (19th February) - This day draws a large number of believers to the holy banks owing to the belief that they will be guided to heaven in their heavenly form. The day is marked for the Hindu belief that Hindu god Gandharva travels from the heavens to Sangam.
6. Maha Shivratri (4th March)- This day holds a special significance to all the believers of Lord Shiva and it is known to be the last holy bath of the Kalpvasis.
How to travel
The government has made special arrangements to make the journey and stay at the festival hassle-free for believers with the national carrier Air India announcing new flights to Prayagraj from Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata. The new flights will operate from January 13 to March 30.
Prayagraj, as a city is well-connected to all major railway stations in the country. However, major railway stations in and around the city are: Allahabad Chheoki (ACOI), Naini Junction (NYN), Allahabad Junction (ALD), Phaphamau Junction (PFM), Subedarganj (SFG), Allahabad City (ALY), Daraganj (DRGJ), Jhusi (JI), Prayag Ghat (PYG), Prayag Junction (PRG).
Train reservations can be made through IRCTC website and the government has even launched an app (RailKumbh App) to make train reservations to Kumbh Mela 2019.
The government has set up tent cities to accommodate the millions that will travel to Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019. The Kumbh website lists some of cities and here`s how you can reserve a spot:
|Tent City Name||Website Url||Phone No.|
|Kalpa Vriksh||www.kalpavriksh.in||+91 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Kumbh Canvas||www.kumbhcanvas.com||+91 email@example.com|
|Vedic Tent City||www.kumbhtent.com||+91 99099 00776, +91 99099 firstname.lastname@example.org|
4. Further Preparations
The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath has said that he reviewed the security arrangements of the Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019, adding an Integrated Command Centre has been established there to monitor the proceedings.
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