Spread over an area of 45 km, the mela will be a 55-day long event and play host to the Heads of Missions and Charge de Affaires of all countries in Prayagraj when the Kubh Mela starts, making it a rare moment when Heads of Mission will assemble at one place.
The Kumbh Mela which is admittedly one of the largest religious gatherings in the World will be even bigger this time. The religious gathering will be spread over 45 km which was previously spread over 20 km radius.
Pilgrims visiting Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) will also be able to see the Akshay Vat, a Banyan Tree which is held sacred by Hindus, as well as the Saraswati Koop, which is a well believed to be the source of the Saraswati River.
“The area of the Kumbh Mela has almost doubled this time. Earlier, the Kumbh Mela used to be spread over an area of 15-20 km. Now, the mela is spread over an area of 45 km,” Prayagraj Mayor Abhilasha Gupta Nandi confirmed the same to PTI. The mayor further said, “Akshay Vat is found only in four places across the country, and at these places, the Kumbh is held. According to folklore, the tree, which is inside the Allahabad Fort (under Army control) has the power to fulfil wishes.”
Additionally, a new road is being constructed to facilitate the travel of the pilgrims to the tree.
And not just that, the 55-day-long Kumbh Mela will play host to the heads of missions from different countries in Prayagraj as the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has invited them to join the world’s largest religious gathering. A day-long visit for all the Heads of Missions based in Delhi to Prayagraj on December 15 was organised, as per the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). More than 50 HOMs were given a guided tour of the Kumbh Mela venue in Prayagraj to show the massive arrangements that are being made for the Kumbh.
Moreover, in the spirit of the “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (world is one family), a unique display piece was built at the Kumbh and a joint unfurling of the flags of the different countries took place.
In December 2017, the UNESCO had recognised the Kumbh Mela as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The preparations for the Kumbh Mela continues to be in full swing and here is the list of all that awaits the visitors who are planning to make a trip to Prayagraj.
1. You can enjoy various delicacies at the Kumbh Mela with around 48 milk booths and over 40 food stalls which will be present in the food court in the Kumbh Mela area.
2. In keeping with the mission of Swachh Bharat and the sanctity of Prayagraj where Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati confluence, there are adequate facilities for visitors.
3. The festival is also promoting eco-friendly practices as the use of jute bags and terracotta utensils during the stay in the Mela is being encouraged.
4. In addition, a helpline number has also been set-up. Just dial 1920 and the Prayagraj Mela authority will see to it. The facility will begin on January 01, 2019.
5. In Kumbh 2019, the Prayagraj Mela authority is also taking care to have accessible facilities for the differently-abled pilgrims – from toilets to relaxation houses to volunteer attendants, this time, no one will be left behind.
6. To make sure that the holy river is clean, the Uttar Pradesh Government has ordered the shutdown of tanneries in the cities of Kanpur and Unnao from December 15 to March 15 in order to provide clean water to devotees participating in the upcoming Kumbh festival
7. The Kumbh Mela Authority, Department of Health and Swachh Bharat Mission’s district-level team in Prayagraj are giving specialised training under Swachh Bharat Mission.
8. The authorities are constructing 1,22,000 world-class toilet facilities in the Kumbh Mela.
9. The Prayagraj traffic police are also ready to tackle the traffic situation that may arise due to the big event by using new and improved technologies to plan routes of the Kumbh Mela.
10. More than one lakh cleaning agents (Swachhagrahis) are being deployed to maintain the hygiene and cleanliness at all times.