Kumbh Mela 2019: Prayagraj Kumbh 2019 concludes; makes it to Guinness World Records
Prayagraj Kumbh Mela 2019 concluded on March 4, 2019 with the sixth and final "Shahi Snan" (royal bath) held on the occasion of Mahashivratri.
The single bathing festival of Mahashivratri is among the six main bathing festivals of the Kumbh. The other 5 bathing festivals of the Kumbh concluded successfully with more than 22 crore pilgrims taking a holy dip.
The world's largest religious and cultural human congregation, ‘Kumbh 2019’ began at Prayagraj (erstwhile Allahabad), Uttar Pradesh on January 15, 2019.
This 7-week event began with the holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of three rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati. The first bathing was taken by saints and seers of different Akharas.
Prayagraj Kumbh 2019 makes it to Guinness World Records
This year, the Kumbh made it to the Guinness World Records in three sectors. A three member team from Guinness World Records visited the Prayagraj Kumbh for this purpose.
The Prayagraj Kumbh 2019 entered the Guiness Book of World Records for:
- the largest traffic and crowd management plan
- the biggest painting exercise of public sites under paint my city scheme
- the biggest sanitation and waste disposal mechanism
All these Exercises were conducted before the team members of the Guinness World Records at a large scale for three days from February 28 to March 3, 2019.
Around 503 shuttle buses were pushed on the highway of Prayagraj in one go on February 28 for showcasing traffic management. Several people participated in painting exercise on March 1 and 10 thousand workers got engaged in cleaning services at Prayagraj Kumbh.
Key initiatives undertaken by Yogi Adityanath Government
• According to the UP Government, over 12 crores devotees and tourists visited Prayagraj during the Kumbh.
• The Kumbh 2019 is spread over an area of 3,200 hectares of land. It is nearly 700 hectares more than the area utilised during the 2013 Maha Kumbh.
• 21 Snan Ghats were set up for bathing.
• Special arrangements were made for women devotees and for the first time three women police units were pressed into service.
• Over 120000 toilets were erected for making Clean Kumbh.
• The whole kumbh area was divided into 20 sectors and 9 zones for keen vigil by sector and zonal magistrates.
• Forty police stations, 58 police outposts including three women police station were erected where more than 20 thousand security personnel were deployed.
• Traffic management at Kumbh 2019 was planned to ensure smooth coordination of traffic movement on multiple channels and was integrated with google maps as well before the Mela.
• Known as the festival of the sacred Pitcher, Kumbh Mela is held in Allahabad (now known as Prayagraj), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik in every four years by rotation and is attended by millions of people irrespective of caste, creed or gender.
• The Kumbh Mela is the largest public congregation of faith. The congregation includes Ascetics, Saints, Sadhus, Sadhvis, Kalpvasis, and Pilgrims from all walks of life.
• The tale of Kumbh Mela includes the battle between Gods and Demons over a pot of Amrit (Nectar of immortality). In the battle between Devas and Asuras, a few drops of this Amrit fell in Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Nasik and since then Kumbh Mela is organised in these places.
• During the festival, devotees bath or take a dip in a sacred river.
• Followers believe that by bathing in the river, one is freed from sins and is liberated from the cycle of birth and death.
• As a religious festival, Kumbh Mela demonstrates tolerance and inclusiveness which are especially valuable for the contemporary world.
• The knowledge and skills related to Kumbh Mela are transmitted through the Guru-Shishyaparampara (teacher-student relationship) by way of teachings by saints and sadhus to their disciples.
• The festival summarizes the science of astronomy, astrology, spirituality, ritualistic traditions, social and cultural customs, making it extremely rich in knowledge.
• The Mela was included in the list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO in 2017.