Essay On Magh Mela In Allahabad

The Magh Mela is one of the greatest annual religious affairs for Hindus. Hindu mythology considers the origin of the Magh Mela to be the beginning of the Universe. An important occasion, the Magh Mela is held every year on the banks of Triveni Sangam (the confluence of the three great rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) in Prayag near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.

In accordance with the traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India, this holy fair is organised every year during the Hindu month of Magh (corresponding to mid January - mid February of the Gregorian calendar); hence the name. The Magh Mela is, however, not confined only to the month of Magh and the important bathing dates are spread over a period of 45 days. The Magh Mela is actually a smaller version of Kumbh Mela. Hence it is also known as mini Kumbh Mela.

Every year, the Magh Mela commences on the day of Makkar Sankranti in January, which is the first important bathing day according to the religious Hindu calendar. It begins with multitudes of pilgrims taking a holy dip at the Sangam on auspicious dates. A large number of people arrive here annually and stay in makeshift houses or tents at the Sangam, spending the entire month of Magh in prayers. This period is known as "Kalpvas". Those who religiously observe the "Kalpvas" are known as "Kalpvasis".

The ancient Hindu Vedas mention a "Kalp" to be the period equal to the total number of years in the four yugas - Satyug, Treta, Dwapar and Kalyug. This adds up to several millions of years. It is said that by piously observing a "Kalpavas", a devotee overcomes the sins in his/her previous birth and escapes the cycle of Janma(birth) and Karma (actions). During each day of the Magh Mela, a Kalpvasi has to take a dip at the Ganges on sunrise praying to the rising sun. Majority of the Kalpvasis partake only a meal a day. After observing 12 Kalpavas, a Kalpavasi has to donate his/her bed and all his belongings (a ritual known as "Shayya Daan").

The Uttar Pradesh government annually makes special arrangements for the devotees during this time. A greater number of buses ply to let the pilgrims have their journey in peace and without any inconvenience. A township of tents specially come up on the banks of the Sangam to provide shelter to the visiting millions who turn up from all over the country. Adequate medical and security arrangements are made to avoid any untoward incidents. "Lost and Found" camps are also set up and manned by the local police to prevent anyone getting missing during the days of the fair.

Every twelfth year, the Magh Mela is transformed into the Kumbha Mela. Uttar Pradesh is flooded with millions of pilgrims who arrive here during this time to attend this grand event.

In 2009, Magh Mela commenced on January 11 and ended on February 23.


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All That You Want to Know About Magh Mela and Kumbh Mela

It is believed that in the month of January when Jupiter is in Aries and Sun is in Capricorn, a holy dip in Sangam is considered to be most auspicious. Sangam is the confluence of 3 great Indian rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. According to Hindu mythology, taking bath here at this occasion wipes away sins and has a great religious significance. On the banks of Triveni in Prayag (Allahabad), a huge fair is organized for the devotees that come from all across the country. Though the fair is organized every year during the month of Magh (January) but it is confined to this date and extends to February as well.

A Brief Description of This Mela :

 

Naga sadhus can be seen in the largest number

Not only in India, the significance of this fair is known world-wide and sees the largest number of devotees that throng there from every corner of the country. During the fair, tents are installed in a huge number on the sandy land near the river bank. Visiting here at this eve means being greeted by a religious city that remains brimming up with life and you will naturally feel the touch spiritualism. The activities like plays, hymns, bhajanas (songs of God’s praise) and other rituals are performed here. Moreover, if you render a helping hand to any camp where devotees are staying you will have plenty to keep you busy for the day.

This auspicious bath is not taken by the common mass alone but elevated mystics, yogis and sages who otherwise prefer to remain disguised also take a holy dip. The whole ambiance is filled with spiritual talks, religious discourses and debates. People coming from the far-flung places stay in the tents or the makeshift homes as the bathing dates extend for over a month. This period of the month is called Kalpvas and those who observe this period are known as ‘Kalpvasis’.

 

History Behind the Holy City :

 

It was in 1584 that Emperor Akbar gave this city its name ‘Allahabad.’  Allahabad literally means city of Allah. But before this, the city was known as Prayaga which means a sacred place where holy rivers meet and where the rituals of sacrifices are performed. It is believed that Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Sita spent their time at Prayaga near Sangam when they stayed at Bhardavaja’s Ashram when Lord Rama was in exile. The five Panadavas also spent their time at Prayaga when they were exiled. It is also believed that about 500 years ago, Lord Nityanada took the holy bath at Pragaya. According to Hindu mythology, Prayaga was an incarnation of God who took the first holy dip at Sangam and every year during the eve he takes the first dip and water is considered to be pious after that.

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What is Sangam ?

 

Holy dip at Sangam

Sangam is that location where the River Ganga and Yamuna meet. Though both of them have the same origin that is Himalayas, Ganges comes from the North and meets the River Yamuna that flows from the West. The water of Ganga is somewhat yellow or white whereas the water of Yamuna has a bluish tinge. The third River called Sarswati which is the part of this confluence has no existence at all.

 

Magh Mela:

 

Holy dip on Magh Mela

Magh Mela is an annual festival that lasts for 41 days where along with the saints millions of pilgrims join together to bathe and to perform spiritual rituals. Thousands of people from all around the country spend the entire month in the religious fervor and feel blessed. They spend about a month in the makeshift arrangements.

Every year during the occasion, UP Government makes massive arrangements for the devotees, which include establishment of temporary township, transport services, electricity, sanitation, water supply, policing and medical facilities. As there is a huge crowd you should be careful with your children and belongings and during Ardh and Maha Kumbh.

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About Kumbh Mela:

 

Beautiful View of Kumbh Mela

It is the power of faith that can be a part of rivers, can move mountains and it is that faith on God and the holy bath at a special occasion called  Kumbh Mela that results in congregation of millions who gather together to get freed from the vicious earthly cycle of birth and rebirth. “An eternal life that gets devoid of sins” is the promise that sees a spectacular crowd at the event of Kumbh Mela. All the arrangements to handle an excessively large gathering have been made by the UP Government. The important event occurs in every 12 years and witnesses a huge crowd. People from all corners of the country and abroad gather at the event.

The Kumbh Mela is organized in every 12 years at four different places Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain depending on the planetary moments. The Ardh (half) Kumbh Melas held in every 6 years at Allahabad or Haridwar after 12 Kumbhs or after 144 years.

 

What the Legends Say?

 

The Hindu Mythology believes that during the war between the demons and the demigods for the possession of ‘amrit’(elixir) of the eternal life, a few drops fallen out at 4 different places which are today known as Prayag, Ujjain, Nasik and Hardiwar. This elixir has given mystical powers to these places and a holy dip at the occasion of Magh, Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh is said to be highly auspicious.

Be a part of this holy dip and wash away the sins that you may have knowingly or unknowingly made.

 

Important Magh Mela Bathing Dates:

The holy dip begins with Paush Purnima and will end in Maha Shivratri.

Paush Purnima : 02nd January, 2018

Makar Sankranti : 14th January, 2018

Mauni Amavasya : 16th January, 2018

Basant Panchami : 22nd January, 2018

Maghi Purnima : 31st January, 2018

Maha Shivratri : 13th February, 2018

 

Ardh Kumbh Mela Bathing Dates

 

Makar Sankranti : 15th January, 2019

Paush Purnima : 21st January, 2019

Mauni Amavasya : 04 February, 2019

Basant Panchami : 10th February, 2019

Magh Poornima : 19th February, 2019

Maha Shivratri : 04th January, 2019

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