Kumbh Mela 2019: The Kumbh Mela is the world’s largest religious gathering and has deep spiritual significance for Hindus. According to Hindu scriptures, it is widely believed that those who take a dip in the sacred water of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers at Sangam, get rid of all sins and attain liberation.
The event is likely to see a footfall of 15 crore pilgrims. Along with the bathing ritual, devotees also perform many other rituals during the Kumbh which they believe release their ancestors from the cycle of rebirth and attain ultimate liberation.
The rituals at the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj will begin from January 15 (Makar Sankranti). Makar Sankranti is celebrated on the first day of the month of Magh when the Sun enters Capricorn. There are some specific auspicious bathing dates when the city witnesses a sea of pilgrims thronging the ghats to take a dip in the sacred water. Here is the list of special bathing dates:
January 15 Makar Sankranti (Full day)
Makar Sankranti is celebrated when Sun enters Capricorn. The day is considered holy among the Hindus. Shahi snan is organised on the day that is the highlight of Kumbh Mela and the most important part. It is only after this, people are allowed to take the holy bath in the Sangam.
January 21 Paush Purnima (Full day)
Paush Poornima marks the 15th day Shukla Paksh of the Hindu calendar month Paush. Pausha is a month of the Hindu calendar. The day marks the beginning of Kalpvasa.
February 4 Mauni Amavasya (Full day)
Hindus believe that it was on Mauni Amavasya, Rishabh Dev, who is considered as the first sage, broke his long vow of silence and bathed at Sangam of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. According to organisers, the maximum number of pilgrims are found on this day of the Kumbh Mela because the planetary positions are most favorable for bathing in the holy confluence.
February 10 Basant Panchami (Full day)
Basant Panchami is a Hindu festival. The day falls on the fifth day of Magh month. On this day, Hindus worship Goddess Saraswati. The day also marks the arrival of spring. On this day, Kalpavasis wear yellow clothes.
February 19 Maghi Purnima (Full day)
Maghi Purnina is a full Moon day. It occurs on the 15th day of Magh month of Hindi calendar. The day is linked to Guru Brahaspati. It is widely believed that god Gandharva had travelled from heaven to Sangam on this day. Hindus believe that they will be guided to heaven in their humanly form if they take a sacred dip in the Sangam water.
March 4 Mahashivratri (Full day)
Mahashivratri marks the end of the Kumbh Mela. Mahashivratri is an important Hindu festival that is celebrated to honour God Shiv. Mahashivratri falls in the Krishna Paksha of Phalgun. As per Hindu mythology, this day is awaited in the heavens as well.