The congregation includes Ascetics, Saints, Sadhus, Sadhvis, Kalpvasis and pilgrims from all walks of life.
Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday visited Prayagraj and took a holy dip at the Sangam. This follows several visits by people from power corridors of the country to mark their presence in one of the largest religious gatherings on the earth.
Kumbh Mela of 2019 will be remembered for several reasons. Besides the mammoth arrangements put in place by the Yogi Adityanath administration, the congregation comes in a crucial election year with the prestige of several politicians and parties at stake. Ever since it began on January 15, Kumbh Mela has witnessed a steady buzz all around in political circles. Politician cutting across the party lines are visiting the grand fair and both the state and Centre have deployed the best resources to make it a memorable event.
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Former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav had also taken a holy dip at the ongoing Kumbh mela in Prayagraj. Apart from Indian leaders, Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth along with his wife also visited Kumbh Mela and performed rituals at ancient Bade Hanuman temple at Sangam.
Last month, Yogi Adityanath along with his 25 cabinet colleagues took a holy dip in the Sangam after holding a cabinet meet on the ghats. UP Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya has called it a historical day for Prayagraj. “Some seers too were present there. We are very fortunate. It is a historical day for Prayagraj,” said Maurya, who took the bath along with several colleagues including Dinesh Sharma.
Some of UP ministers who had participated in the Kumbh Mela were – Keshav Prasad Maurya, Satish Mahana, Brijesh Pathak, Surya Pratap Shahi, and Ramapati Shastri.
The Yogi government has allocated Rs 4,200 crore for the Kumbh Mela, which is reportedly thrice above the budget of the Maha Kumbh in 2013. This funding makes the mega pilgrimage perhaps the costliest ever. UP Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal had said that apart from this, some other departments have also allocated funds for the mega event.
The Kumbh Mela (the festival of the sacred pitcher) is anchored in Hindu mythology and is considered as a sacred occasion for millions of Hindus across the world. The congregation includes Ascetics, Saints, Sadhus, Sadhvis, Kalpvasis and pilgrims from all walks of life.
In the Kumbh this year, there are six auspicious bathing dates starting from January 15 on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Paush Poornima (January 21), Mauni Amawasya (February 4), Basant Panchami (February 10), Maghi Poornima (February 19) and Mahashivratri (March 4).
The Ardh Kumbh is held after every six years, on the other hand, the Kumbh Mela comes after every 12 years. The Yogi government has renamed Ardh Kumbh as Kumbh and the Kumbh as Maha Kumbh.
The Mela has crossed millions of pilgrims and it is expected to draw more over the course of approximately 48 days to bathe at the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati river. Spread over 3,200 hectares, the Mela has been divided into nine zones, 16 districts, and has 40 police stations.