India begins Kumbh Mela, the largest religious congregation in the world

India begins Kumbh Mela, the largest religious congregation in the world

The Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela, the largest and one of the oldest religious congregations in the world, begins today in the city of Allahabad, in the east of India, to receive millions of people to immerse themselves in the mythical waters of its rivers to get rid of sins.

With the dawn, several tens of thousands were submerged in the confluence of the sacred Ganges and Yamuna rivers and the mythical Saraswati River with the belief that taking a bath in the holy waters will pave the way for their salvation and free them from their sins.

The Kumbh Mela, which on this occasion is celebrated in Allahabad, recently renamed Prayagraj, takes place in the middle of a complex deployment of security and logistics to receive tens of millions of pilgrims from all over the country in the next 48 days.

This municipality is one of the four Indian cities in which, according to the Hindu belief, a drop of nectar fell from the immortality of a vessel disputed by gods and demons.

From that mythological battle was born the Kumbh Mela festival, or festival of the vessel, which in addition to Allahabad, is celebrated in alternate years in Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain, the other cities bathed by drops of nectar fallen during the divine struggle.

The sacred baths coincide with the movement of the Sun towards Capricorn, a movement that symbolizes the beginning of the end of winter.

"The Kumbh Mela administration has been organized so that the crowd can bathe peacefully and a great security operation has also been done for the processions from the camps to the ghats where they will take the baths," the Government of India said in a statement. .

The authorities expect around 12 million pilgrims and tourists to go to the first day.

This year, the festival is spread over 3,200 hectares of land, divided into 20 sectors, according to data from the authorities.

In the entire state of Uttar Pradesh, where Allahabad is located, 6,000 buses have been put into service to transport pilgrims and the railways have also put special trains from different parts of the state and the country, and also new air routes.

Nearly a hundred public accommodations have been made available to pilgrims around the area, as well as a sector of special camping tents for residents or tourists.


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