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Explained: How and why Kumbh Mela 2021 in Haridwar will be different

12th October, 2020 Art & Culture

Context: Religious tourism is the backbone of Uttarakhand's economy. The lockdown imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic has given the hill state's tourism sector a major jolt.

The mythology behind Kumbh

  • Kumbh is one of the most sacred pilgrimages for Hindus.
  • The mela is celebrated every 12 years, at four river-bank pilgrimage sites: the Allahabad (Ganges-Yamuna Sarasvati rivers confluence), Haridwar (Ganges), Nashik (Godavari), and Ujjain (Shipra).
  • The festival is one of the largest peaceful gatherings in the world, and considered as the "world's largest congregation of religious pilgrims".
  • It has been inscribed on the UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
  • The earliest mention of Prayag and the bathing pilgrimage is found in Rigveda Pariśiṣṭa (supplement to the Rigveda).
  • It is also mentioned in the Pali canons of Buddhism, such as in section 1.7 of Majjhima Nikaya,
  • The word Kumbha or its derivatives are found in the Rigveda (1500–1200 BCE), verse 19.16 of the Yajurveda, verse 6.3 of Samaveda, verse 19.53.3 of the Atharvaveda, and other Vedic and post-Vedic ancient Sanskrit literature.

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/kumbh-mela-2021-mythology-preparations-coronavirus-haridwar-6719596/