Prime Minister’s office to oversee the preparations for the 2019 Kumbh Mela which will be held in Allahabad from 14th January onward. It is reported that the Uttar Pradesh state government will also do the branding for the Kumbh Mela along with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas which will be hosted in Varanasi between 21-23 January 2019. Plans are in place to organise tours for the people attending Pravasi Bharatiya Divas for the Allahabad Kumbh Mela.
Interestingly, the last time the PMO was involved in overseeing the preparations for the Kumbh Mela was back in 1954 when Jawaharlal Nehru was the PM. With the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad falling in the election year, the BJP and the government does not want to leave any stone unturned to make this Kumbh Mela a huge success.
The last time the PMO was involved in the Kumbh Mela it was also held in Allahabad and it is also believed that Nehru himself visited the place to check up on the preparations. A special committee was also formed to oversee the preparations.
It is believed that Modi may also visit Allahabad to see the preparations.
Kumbh is believed to be a holy gathering of Hindus where pilgrims gather to bathe in the sacred water of the holy rivers. Kumbh Mela is inscribed on the UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Four fairs are periodically every three years, with one venue hosting it after interval of 12 years. The four places are Haridwar, Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha, Ujjain Simhastha and Allahabad, which will host the Mela this year after twelve years. In Allahabad, the festival is held on the confluence (sangam) of the three holy rivers, the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Saraswati.
For the first time in the history of Juna Akhara, a Dalit sanyasi will be designated as ‘Mahamandaleswar’, the presiding position in the akhara which is considered one of India’s oldest and largest order of sanyasis. According to reports, 32-year-old Kanhaiya Kumar Kashyap will be declared Mahamandaleshwar during the 2019 Kumbh.