Art & Culture Current Affairs - 2019
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The Prayagraj Kumbh Mela 2019 has made into Guinness World Records in the following three sectors:
- Largest traffic and crowd management plan.
- Biggest painting exercise of public sites under paint my city scheme.
- Biggest sanitation and waste disposal mechanism.
Kumbh Mela, the festival of the sacred pitcher is the largest public gathering and collective act of faith, anywhere in the world. This Hindu pilgrimage Kumbh Mela is celebrated four times over a course of 12 years over four locations in India. The site of Kumbh Mela keeps rotating between one of the four pilgrimages on four sacred rivers as listed below:
- Haridwar on the Ganges in Uttarakhand
- Ujjain on the Shipra in Madhya Pradesh
- Nashik on the Godavari in Maharashtra
- Prayagraj at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the mythical Sarasvati in Uttar Pradesh.
The Kumbh Mela has been inscribed on the list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO in 2017.
Mythological Significance of Kumbh Mela
The origin of Kumbh Mela Can be traced to the works of the 8th-century philosopher Shankaracharya. The founding myth of the Kumbh Mela points out to the Puranas which recounts how Gods and demons fought over the sacred pitcher (Kumbh) of Amrit (nectar of immortality).
It is widely believed that Lord Vishnu disguised as the enchantress Mohini whisked the Kumbh out of the grasp of the demons who had tried to claim it. As he took it heavenwards, a few drops of the precious nectar fell on the four sacred sites of Haridwar, Ujjain, Nashik and Prayag.
The flight and the following pursuit is said to have lasted twelve divine days which are equivalent to twelve human years. Therefore the Kumbh Mela is celebrated every twelve years staggered at each of the four sacred sites in this cycle.
Tags: Ganga • Godavari • Haridwar • Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity • Kumbha Mela • Madhya Pradesh • Maharashtra • Nashik • Prayagraj • Prayagraj Kumbh Mela 2019 • Saraswati • Shankaracharya • Shipra • Ujjain • UNESCO • Uttar Pradesh • Uttarakhand • Yamuna
Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani inaugurated the ‘Titanwala Museum’ in Bagru that showcases the Chhipa community’s Bagru hand-block printing.
Acknowledging the effort of Suraj Narayan Titanwala, who took the initiative of setting up the museum, Minister said that the museum is an example that art and culture are not dependent on the government for being nurtured or preserved.
Bagru hand-block printing
Bagru printing is one of the traditional techniques of printing with natural colour followed by the chippas of Rajasthan. The Bagru hand-block printing has a history of over 1000 years.
The fabric is first soaked in Fuller’s earth and then dipped into turmeric water to get a tone of yellow colour. Then the dyed fabric is stamped with the beautiful designs known as blocks.
Block printing is a labour intensive process. It requires a lot of skillfulness, time and tolerance power of artisan. The wooden blocks of teak-wood are used for printing the design which is soaked in oil overnight and then washed before putting in to use.
The cloth to be printed is soaked in the solution of clay and other chemicals to make the fabric soften and then dried before used for printing. Neat stamping is foremost to get the appealing prints. After printing, the cloth is left for drying in sun for final touch-up.