SHADES OF KUMBH!

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - K San­deep Ku­mar

The 49-day Kumbh Mela will com­mence with the first of­fi­cial bathing of Makar Sankranti in Prayagraj on Jan­uary 15 and end with the sixth and last bathing of Ma­hashiv­ra­tri on March 4, 2019.

For the mela a sprawl­ing tent city spread across 3,200 hectares and di­vided in 20 sec­tors has been set up and al­most every next day is wit­ness­ing con­se­cra­tion of flags and for­mal en­tries of the one or the other of the 13 Akhadas (monas­tic orders).

Grand en­try of the saints in their di­verse but ap­peal­ing at­trite in the mela area known as ‘Pesh­wai’ is pre­ceded by the rit­ual of ‘Dharam Dh­waja Pu­jan’ wherein the saints of every akhada in­stall and un­furl/con­se­crate flag of their re­spec­tive akhadas in the land al­lot­ted to them in mela area few days be­fore the en­try in mela area.

On main bathing days each Akhada pro­ceeds to bathing ghats in a grand pro­ces­sion in a set or­der of precedence for the bathing--a spect-acle that at­tracts mil­lions.

The ‘Dharam Dh­waja Pu­jan’ of akhadas com­menced with Shri Panch Agni Akhada per­form­ing the rit­ual on De­cem­ber 20, 2018 while the last akhadas to per­form ‘Dharam Dh­waja Pu­jan’ was ‘Pan­chay­ati Akhada Naya Udaseen’ on Jan­uary 9 after “Nir­vani Ani Akhada’, ‘Nir­mohi Ani Akhada’ and ‘Digam­ber Ani Akhada’ on Jan­uary 5.

PIC:SHEERAZ RIZVI/HT

A young devo­tee show­cas­ing his skills dur­ing a pro­ces­sion at the site ahead of Kumbh Mela that be­gins on Jan­uary 15.

PIX: SHEERAZ RIZVI & ANIL KU­MAR MAURYA/HT

An over­view of the mela sight that has been pre­pared for the Kumbh that starts in Prayagraj from Jan­uary 15

EN­TRY WITH DIS­CI­PLES IN TOW A PER­FECT BACK­DROP

Kin­nars danc­ing their way in.

Grand en­try of the Akhadas to their re­spec­tive places at the mela area.

GRAND PRO­CES­SION

WEL­COME GATE

UN­DER GOD’S SHADOW

HERE WE COME!

MAKESHIFT SHEL­TER

GUP-SHUP AT THE BANK

MELA BOUND

ONE FOR THE AL­BUM

LIGHT­ING UP THE SPIR­ITS

FOR­EIGN BHAKTS

BIKE BABA!

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