The second Mahakumbh of this century at Prayag concluded with a magnificent ritual bathing on the occasion of Mahashivratri on March 10, 2013. The Kumbh, the largest gathering of humanity on any occasion on the earth, had started with a ritual bathing on Makar Sankranti day, January 14, and in the 55 days of its duration, nearly 12 crore pilgrims and visitors from all over India and many corners of the world took a dip at the Sangam – the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.
The Kumbh at Prayag is not merely a religious or cultural event, but it is a kaleidoscope of India’s cultural ethos. For the millions of pilgrims and visitors, taking a dip in the Sangam is more than a mere bath, but an expression of one’s faith in the great divine power. This year’s Kumbh started on January 14 and the major bathing days were Paush Purnima (January 27), Mauni Amavasya (February 10), Basant Panchami (February 15), Maghi Purnima (February 25) and Maha Shivratri (March 10).
Besides on other days also, lakhs of people visited the Sangam and had a holy dip. This Kumbh was held at Prayag after a gap of 12 years, the last having been held in 2001. During the entire Mela, the sadhus, especially Naga sadhus, various Akhadas, religious and other rituals attracted the attention of visitors from around the globe. There were many congregations and campaigns during the Kumbh, including those to save our rivers, save the girl child and our scriptures. All the employees and officials of the Kumbh Mela Administration of the Uttar Pradesh Government left no stone unturned to make this grand event a success and as convenient as possible for all visitors.