Dormitories @ Rs. 1000/night
Private Tents @ Rs. 4500/night
Over the next 45 days, tens of millions of Hindus are expected to take a dip in the Holy River Ganga, worshipped as “Mother Ganga”, in Allahabad where the rivers Ganga and Yamuna and the mythical river Saraswati meet. They are all participating in the Maha Kumbha Mela, takes place once in every twelve years in Allahabad and is regarded by many as “the biggest human gathering in the world.” The Kumbha Mela is thought to have been recorded for the first time by a Chinese traveler in early seventh century AD. Pilgrims believe that bathing in the water during these days will purify their souls of sin and bring good karma.
Would you like to come and stay in the tents organised by the Kautilya Society? Would you like to join the pilgrims as they bathe in the holy River Ganga in the Maha Kumbha Mela at Allahabad? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Short Intro to the Kumbh
This year’s festival is especially significant as it is a once-in-a-lifetime Maha (Great) Kumbh, held after 12 Purna Kumbhs, so every 144 years, and only in Allahabad. The Purna (full) Kumbh Mela takes place in four locations, Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik every 12 years. An Ardh (half) Kumbh is held in Haridwar and Allahabad six years after (and six years before) every Purna Kumbh. The exact timing, duration and location of each festival are calculated according to an astrological chart.
The Kumbh Mela comes from one of the most revered chapters of the ancient Hindu Purana texts, in which demigods fight with demons for possession of a Kumbha (urn) full of Amrita, a special nectar that would replenish the strength of the demigods. The fight lasted 12 days and 12 nights, the equivalent to 12 human years. The story goes that during the fight, drops of nectar fell from the Kumbha at the four locations where the festival is held.
Over the course of the festival there are specific days, selected according to astrological factors, that are considered particularly holy. The most prestigious of these is the Mauni Amavasya Snan, the main bathing day which sees the greatest number of participants wading through the rivers. At the last Purna Kumbh Mela in 2001, it is estimated that around 40 million people bathed in the river Ganga on that day alone. This year the main bathing day will take place on February 10.
Organising the festival (with 30,000 police officers being deployed) and moving the state mechanism is thought to have cost the Indian state an equivalent of 150 million Euros. The 55-day event is expected to generate between 1.6 billion and two billion Euros-worth of income, with contributions coming from millions of domestic and foreign tourists.