Maha Kumbh begins in Prayag
On Makar Sankrnti, Maha Kumbh Mela festival, one of the largest congregations on earth, began in Prayag (Sangam), Allahabad at the confluence of Rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati. The gathering is expected to attract around 100 million visitors throughout the festival. The highest number of pilgrims is expected on Mauni Amavasya which is on February 10, estimated to draw a massive crowd of 4 crore pilgrims.
The 55-day Mela will conclude on March 10 with the Maha Shivratri festival.
About Kumbh Mela:
Kumbh Mela is a Hindu event of pilgrimage in which Hindus congregate at the confluence (Sangam) of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Sarasvati, at Prayag where bathing for purification from sin is considered especially auspicious. It is also considered as the biggest human gathering in the world.
Types of Kumbh:
- The Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela is observed every 6 years at Haridwar and Allahabad.
- The Purna (complete) Kumbh is celebrated every 12 years, at four places Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik.
- Maha Kumbha Mela: Only at Prayag, every 144 year.
The next Kumbh will be held at Ujjain (MP) on the bank of river Kshipra in 2016. The Kumbh at Ujjain is also called "Simhastha".