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ABOUT US

We're Martin & Yvonne, a young-ish couple who love travelling the world, visiting new places and trying new things.

This site covers all the events we've been to and would love to go to again plus plenty that we've yet to try - we like to think of it as planning well in advance, with an extremely optimistic bucket list!

 

 

BY MARTIN KERRIGAN > HOME > CURIOUS >

Kumbh Mela 2013

Live Stream, Pilgrimage Dates, Videos, Reviews

Allahabad, India, 14 Jan - 25 Feb

 

Kumbh Mela

When I first conceived this category on the site I wasn't entirely sure what type of events we could include here, and whether it would just end up sitting empty, but as it turns out there are a lot more candidates for inclusion than you might have imagined. For the Kumbh Mela, I hesitated as to whether this was the right place for it, thinking perhaps religious events qualified for a category of their own, but having read a little more about it I think that curious certainly covers it.

I have a confession at this point - I had never previously heard of the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage, which surprised me as I have always had a strange fascination with large scale religious festivals - The Hajj and similar - but then I discovered that this one only takes place every 7 years which helps explain things. Although having said that, looking ahead it seems they are falling more regularly in the years ahead, so it looks like it will be an event that increasingly enters the public consciousness.

So, what is the Kumbh Mela? Well, at the most basic level it's a pilgrimage for those of the Hindu faith - all the major world religions have a tradition of pilgrimage and if you're Hindi then this will be one you are very familiar with. The focal point is the symbolic bathing in the Ganges for the purification of sins, and here the Kumbh Mela is somewhat unusual in that it moves to different locations for each iteration. The location for the celebration is determined by the relative positions of the sun and the planet Jupiter (Bṛhaspati in Hindi) and this year Allahabad has been chosen.

The numbers attending this festival give it a strong claim to being the largest religious gathering anywhere in the world, with an estimated 70 million people attending the last event in 2007, a truly astonishing number, even when spread over the full 55 days the Kumbh Mela takes place on. It is also one of the oldest, with ancient accounts from Chinese travellers dating its origins as far back at the 7th century AD. For more detailed information on the origins and history of this pilgrimage, the Wiki page is excellent as always.

Dates

 

The dates for the Kumbh Mela in 2013 are from the 14th January through to the 25th February. Within this period there are several days where it is deemed especially auspicious to participate in the public bathing - the main ones are as follows:

14 January - Makar Sankranti
27 January - Paush Purnima
6 February 2013 - Ekadashi Snan
10 February 2013 - Mauni Amavasya Snan (This is the Main Bathing Day)
15 February 2013 - Basant Panchami Snan
17 February 2013 - Rath Saptami Snan
21 February 2013 - Bhisma Ekadashi Snan
25 February 2013 - Maghi Purnima Snan

Streaming & Video

 

The main coverage of the Kumbh Mela will obviously be by the local TV stations in India - the main one of these is the IBN channel, which you can watch live online here:

IBN Live

There will also be extensive coverage of the event on Youtube, with user uploaded videos in particular bringing this occasion to a wider global audience in a way that technology has never previously been capable of:

Kumbh Mela on Youtube

If you know of any other online channels providing coverage, then please let us know in the comments box below.

Comments

 

We would love to hear your views on the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage, particularly from anyone who has attended in person in past years - please enter your comments below.

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Similar Events

 

Well there aren't too many similar events to this one to be perfectly honest, but for any events with a quirky or unusual element to them, check out our Curious page.

 
 
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