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Magh Mela Dates 2020 : 10 January - 21 February

Magh Mela, Allahabad Overview

Organised every year in the pristine city of Allahabad, Magh Mela is the mini version of the famous Kumbh Mela. Taking place at the confluence of the three great Indian rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati at Prayag near Allahabad, the mela is held in the Hindu month of Magh (January/February) every year and is a much-awaited event amongst the pilgrims.

The Magh Mela attracts a large number of tourists and pilgrims every year, looking forward to washing their sins off in the holy river at the time of the mela, which is spread over a period of 45 days. The Mela gets its name from its occurrence in the Hindu month of “Magh” or the month of February in the Gregorian calendar. Numerous arrangements are made all over to accommodate the massive crowd the mela observes, thus making it one of the must visit the religious festival in the country.

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Dates of Magh Mela in Allahabad

Being such a grand event, the Magh Mela is looked forward by every pilgrim. Every twelfth year, the Magh mela becomes the Kumbh Mela, attracting even a larger crowd looking for peace and spirituality in one place, thus calling for better facilities and better provision of basic amenities. The Mela has been known since ages to help pilgrims wash off their sins, and is still widely believed to be one of the most important Hindu events in the country. 

History of Magh Mela

Allahabad, also known as the central city of Prayag, is the site chosen for the auspicious Magh Mela. It all started with Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, performing “Sacred Yajna” at this religious site, the confluence of three holy rivers. The place was thus referred to as the “Tirtha Raj” or the king of pilgrimage sites. A magnificent fort was then constructed at the banks of the holy river Sangam, which is now the site for this auspicious pilgrimage fair. The pilgrims believe the mela to be a reminder of the creation of the universe by the lord, and a celebration for the same.

Rituals during Magh Mela

The mela is carried out in the Hindi Magh month, with the bathing rituals of the festivals being spread over 45 days altogether in the Gregorian calendar month of January and February every year. The celebration of Makar Sankranti marks the commencement of this auspicious fair, with it being one of the most important bathing days. People in large number come down to take a dip in the holy river Sangam to wash their sins off and immerse in the prayers of the Almighty.

Small tents, camps, and Dharamshalas located nearby the river are flooded with the pilgrims, who are involved in the worship for the stretch of a whole one month of Magh. The period is referred to as “Kalpvas”, and the pilgrims are known as “Kalpavis”. The Kalpvas is the total number of years in the four Yugas, namely the Satyug, Dwaparyug, Tretayug and Kalyug, which in turns accounts to be millions of years. Observing the Kalpvas is said to free the person from the cycle of birth and death and eliminate the bad karma from his previous birth, washing him of his sins.

Every day of the Kalpvas includes taking a dip in the holy water, offering the salutation to the sun god, and thus worshipping the god. After observing 12 Kalpvas, a person as opposed to donating their pleasures, namely their bed for a daan known as “Shayya Daan” to complete the cycle of worship and sacrifice. The pilgrims believe in the power of the Magh mela and thus have seen religiously offering their time and sacrifice I the light of escaping the cycle of death and birth.

Facilities

Being a momentous occasion, there’s a lot of effort which has been put in by the government every year to organise the mela and make it easier for pilgrims to attend the event without much hassle. Transportation arrangements with numerous buses to make the commuting more accessible for the pilgrims; proper provision of security amongst the place of worship; setting up of camps and tents along with the provision of all essential amenities like clean washrooms, food, and water and the provision of necessary medical and security facilities; everything is taken care of by the government to make sure the pilgrims don’t face any problem in the mela and thus can carry out their spiritual journey smoothly.

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