The grand Hindu religious fair, Kumbh Mela, is held
every four years. But did you know that a smaller version of the Kumbh
Mela is annually organised in Allahabad in North India? Scroll down and
read all about the Magh Mela, the mini Kumbh Mela that is attended by
thousands of pilgrims every year. If you like this article on Magh Mela,
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The Magh Mela is one of the greatest annual religious affairs
for Hindus. Hindu mythology considers the origin of the Magh
Mela to be the beginning of the Universe. An important occasion,
the Magh Mela is held every year on the banks of Triveni Sangam
(the confluence of the three great rivers Ganga, Yamuna and
Saraswati) in Prayag near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.
accordance with the traditional Hindu calendar followed in North
India, this holy fair is organised every year during the Hindu
month of Magh (corresponding to mid January - mid February of
the Gregorian calendar); hence the name. The Magh Mela is,
however, not confined only to the month of Magh and the
important bathing dates are spread over a period of 45 days. The
Magh Mela is actually a smaller version of Kumbh Mela. Hence it
is also known as mini Kumbh Mela.
Every year, the Magh Mela commences on the day of Makkar
Sankranti in January, which is the first important bathing day
according to the religious Hindu calendar. It begins with
multitudes of pilgrims taking a holy dip at the Sangam on
auspicious dates. A large number of people arrive here annually
and stay in makeshift houses or tents at the Sangam, spending
the entire month of Magh in prayers. This period is known as "Kalpvas".
Those who religiously observe the "Kalpvas" are known as "Kalpvasis".
The ancient Hindu Vedas mention a "Kalp" to be the period equal
to the total number of years in the four yugas - Satyug, Treta,
Dwapar and Kalyug. This adds up to several millions of years.
is said that by piously observing a "Kalpavas", a devotee
overcomes the sins in his/her previous birth and escapes the
cycle of Janma(birth) and Karma (actions). During each day of
the Magh Mela, a Kalpvasi has to take a dip at the Ganges on
sunrise praying to the rising sun. Majority of the Kalpvasis
partake only a meal a day. After observing 12 Kalpavas, a
Kalpavasi has to donate his/her bed and all his belongings (a
ritual known as "Shayya Daan").
The Uttar Pradesh government annually makes special arrangements
for the devotees during this time. A greater number of buses ply
to let the pilgrims have their journey in peace and without any
inconvenience. A township of tents specially come up on the
banks of the Sangam to provide shelter to the visiting millions
who turn up from all over the country. Adequate medical and
security arrangements are made to avoid any untoward incidents.
"Lost and Found" camps are also set up and manned by the local
police to prevent anyone getting missing during the days of the
Every twelfth year, the Magh Mela is transformed into the Kumbha
Mela. Uttar Pradesh is flooded with millions of pilgrims who
arrive here during this time to attend this grand event.
In 2009, Magh Mela commenced on January 11 and ended on February