Kumbh Mela 2019: President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday became the first President after Dr Rajendra Prasad to visit the Kumbh Mela. On his visit to the world’s largest religious congregation, Kovind offered prayers along with his wife at the Sangam in Prayagraj.
With his visit to Kumbh Mela 2019, Kovind has set apart a long precedent as none of his predecessors has visited the mega event for the last 66 years. He spent about half-an-hour in the Sangam area. “This is the first visit by a president to the Kumbh since the visit of then president Rajendra Prasad in 1953,” Rashtrapati Bhavan’s official Twitter account posted.
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The Kumbh Mela is an important part of India’s spiritual and cultural heritage, it quoted Kovind as saying. Kovind observed it was a happy coincidence that along with the Kumbh, the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi also falls this year.
Kovind and his wife took part in the ‘Ganga pujan’ in the Sangam area along with the Governor, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya and Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh among others. Sangam refers to the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati rivers.
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The President reached the Bamrauli airport on a special plane of the Indian Air Force around 9:30 am on Thursday along with his wife Savita Kovind. They were welcomed by Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and several state cabinet ministers. The President also inaugurated the three-day ‘Gandhian Resurgence Summit’.
Earlier in 2018, President Kovind came here too during the ‘Magh Mela’ with his family members.
Over 12 crore people are expected to visit Prayagraj this year to be part of the Kumbh Mela that commenced on January 15.
This year, the Uttar Pradesh government has allocated Rs 4,300 crore for the Kumbh Mela being held in Prayagraj, which is over thrice the budget of the Maha Kumbh in 2013, making the mega pilgrimage perhaps the costliest ever.