See what it is really like to visit Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj
1, Mar 2019, 2:40 PM IST
Prayagraj: The last holy bath at the ongoing Kumbh Mela is just a few days away. The festivities kickstarted with the first shahi snan (Royal Bath) on Makar Sankranti and is set to culminate with a snan on Maha Shivratri on March 4.
So, if you haven't headed to the world's largest peaceful religious gathering, you better make haste or experience FOMO till the next Kumbh Mela rolls around in 2022 at Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
We did not know quite what to expect when we headed to the Prayagraj to attend the Paush Poornima snan at the Kumbh Mela 2019. Would we be ostracized due to our gender, age or just because we clearly had not given up the material comforts?
Despite the daunting vastness of the mela, the experience was surprisingly a pleasant one, one that reinforced the notion of tolerance that is the backbone of Hinduism. For starters, everyone wanted to feed us a copious amount of food right from bhang ladus to spicy fried potatos and sweet tea. Meanwhile, ladies in Kumbh complex would dish out motherly advice such as to not talk to strangers and walk miles with us to drop us off at the correct location.
Not just in the scale and area, the Kumbh Mela held in Prayagraj is extra special since the traditional practice of Kalpvas- a month-long period of austerity and Triveni Sangam- the holy confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati, mentioned in holy scriptures is situated here.
This year also marked the inclusion of the Kinnar Akhara in the Kumbh festivities as transgenders led by Laxmi Narayan Tripathi participated in the shahi snan.
Though the highlight of our Kumbh stint was the freezing holy dips in the Triveni Sangam, interacting with the sadhus and was also a big part of this trip.
From discussing the burning issue of Ram Mandir Shivyogi Mauni Swami to arguing about legalising cannabis in the Juna Akhara and participating in a yagya to pray for a fair culmination of the Ayodhya issue, the holy men at the mela are always ready for a conversation.
If you aren't convinced yet to pack your bags and head for the last holy dip of the Kumbh season, just press play on our video and get transformed to find that all roads lead to Kumbh.