The Kumbh ka Mela is the largest religious gathering in the world. The event is expected to host 15 crore pilgrims this year. This requires huge infrastructure and security efforts especially with politicians around.
A disaster struck the Mela in 1954 when a huge mass stampede took place during the morning bathing sessions. More than 1000 people were killed and over 2000 were reportedly injured. The barrier keeping the normal pilgrims away from the sadhus, nagas and the aghoris broke and the huge numbers of people rushing through resulted in a mass stampede. Thus, 1952 is marked as a tragic day in the history of Kumbh, but other than that, it has been a festival enjoyed by the masses especially the Hindus and gone on smoothly with massive government support for the event. Its sheer size makes it a lucrative marketing event where commercial brands can participate at the local level using regional content, languages and symbolism to promote their brands. Politicians love the Kumbh as it provides a huge platform to share their views, achievements, policies and the future course of their part with the masses, religious communities and akhadas at close quarter.
Being a religious mass movement of sorts, which is so ancient, Kumbh has its own taste and flavour that can only be seen and enjoyed when you visit Prayag. So come, take a dip in the Ganga, and wash away your sins and your pains. Come to Kumbh starting 15th January 2019.