Ardh Kumbh Mela
The largest religious congregation on earth is back in 2019, this time at the holy city of Allahabad – at the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati Rivers. Kumbh Mela is held in four cities of India, on the banks of the rivers that swing by them; Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain. Each of these cities hosts the sea of humanity periodically. The largest, or Maha, Kumbh happens once in 12 years, but a close second on the scale is the Ardh Kumbh (once in 6 years). The Kumbh Mela promises stupendous views of humanity for photographers and a new cultural insight for travellers. It is during this festival when thousands of Naga babas (Shiva loving naked saints) arrive from different parts of the country, often making on-foot journeys from hundreds of kilometers away.
Expect massive action on both sides of the full-bellied Ganga and Yamuna Rivers. Slung over them at intervals will be makeshift pontoon bridges, which will bob up and down, with the weight of millions who are bound to tread on them. Speaking of makeshift, an entire tented city will come up during the period of 45 days and then be dismantled, leaving behind a spotless sandy riverside. Expect a staggering amount of footfall during the key bathing dates, as Hindus believe that bathing in the river during this period absolves them of all sins.
Best Cities: Allahabad, 2019
Month: January – March
|Bathing Dates of Ardh Kumbh Mela – 2019|
|Makar Sankranti (1st shahi Snan)||14th/15th January 2019|
|Paush Purnima||21st January 2019|
|Mauni Amavasya (Main Royal Bath 2nd Shahi Snan)||04th February 2019|
|Basant Panchami (3rd shahi Snan)||10th February 2019|
|Maghi Poornima||19th February 2019|
|Maha Shivratri||04th March 2019|