Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Immortal Kumbh Mela # 6 - The Conclusion of a Great Journey

A bastion of Allahabad Fort. Constructed in 1583 AD by Emperor Akbar, it was one of the largest forts made during Emperor Akbar's times.. There is a Ashokan Pillar inside the fort as well..

Observe the Indo-Islamic style of architecture 

After witnessing the ancient tradition, of millions of people bathing at the Sangam (Confluence of Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati), during the Purna Kumbha Mela, I decided to head back.. The walk back to my hotel was long (9 kms to be precise).. A haze of dust hung in the air (as there was no breeze) kicked up by innumerable pilgrims who were returning as well, which made breathing difficult.

On my way back I came across quite a few sights which made me glad that i chose the the way i chose to head back.. I came across the Allahabad Fort (Const. in 1583 AD by Emperor Akbar, right next to The Sangam) Bada Hanuman Mandir, the Triveni Bazaar of the Kumbh Mela and the Gaudiya Mutt Temple (known for its bulging shikhars/peaks)..

The Bada Hanuman Temple

This temple, located close to The Sangam, has a huge idol of Lord Hanuman, in a reclining position, 20 ft long and 8 ft wide.. This temple gets submerged when the water level of the River Ganges increases during the monsoons..

The Triveni Bazaar of the Kumbh Mela..
The Triveni Bazaar was a mela, located close to the Sangam, where sherbets, trinkets, necklaces, bangles, religious objects amongst other things were being sold. Pilgrims who were heading back to their hotels or the railway/bus stations were stopping by to have a look at the items being sold.

A Stall selling necklaces made of beads

Triveni Bazaar was pretty rushed with devotees making a pit stop here and checking out the products on sale..

A stall selling religious objects

Another thing which I observed was that how the corporate’s capitalized on the Kumbh Mela’s popularity by putting up hoardings all over, the charge being lead by the Cola companies.

The Gaudiya Mutt Temple

This mutt is well known for the beautiful temple which has shikhars (peak) which bulge in the middle.. A design rarely seen in India..

My trip to the largest congregation of humankind on the planet was an unforgettable one and one which I would cherish forever not only because of the sheer volume of people who turned up but also the variety of people who turned up from all corners of the country, the hardships which they faced and the risks which they took to take a dip in the holy water of the Sangam (Confluence of Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati) in order to cleanse away their sins (and also those of their ancestors) and thus reserve a spot for themselves in heaven. 

An ascetic taking a break from the long walk home..

This ancient tradition which takes place every twelve years had endured when we were not here.. Will endure while we are here.. And would endure even after we have moved on.. The Immortal Kumbh Mela..