Magh Mela is an annual festival that is celebrated in the month of Magh (January and February) according to Panchanga (Hindu Calendar) and it is also referred to as Mini Kumbh Mela. The festival holds great significance for Hindu devotees who arrive at the Triveni Sangam, the holy confluence point of 3 sacred rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. Triveni Sangam is located 7km away from Prayagraj (Allahabad), Uttar Pradesh and it’s also the venue to this festival wherein people gather to perform the rituals and take a dip in the holy waters. It is exciting watching thousands of tents erected close to the river banks where devotees stay for days together. Devotees are taken in boats to the confluence of three rivers to take an immersion. During this fair in magh month, water is shallow near Sangam. As per Hindu traditions, many people get their heads shaved before taking the Holy dip.
Magh Mela usually begins with Makar Sankranti in January and continues for a period of 45 days till Mahashivratri. During this time frame, many important bathing dates are announced well in advance so that people can arrive in the city to make the most of those auspicious timings to perform puja or take a bath. Magh Mela 2021 started from 16th January and culminated after 45 days. The entry to this Mela is free and devotees reach here in large numbers to take a dip into the Holy waters of Sangam.
Every year Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department along with the local government bodies make required arrangements for the devotees arriving from all parts of the country. The site near Triveni Sangam is decked up with tents, medical facilities, water and electricity supply, transportation services, and food stalls. The entire setup feels divine and serene.
Magh Mela is a prominent Hindu religious festival that celebrates the creation of the universe by Lord Brahma who has been granted the title of being The Creator. The festival comprises various yajnas, prayers, and rituals that are aimed at celebrating and praising the source of the creation of the universe. Triveni Sangam in Prayagraj, where the fair is organized, is also known as Tirtha Raj, the king of pilgrimage sites.
The time period of these 45 days of the fair is known as Kalpvas. It is believed that these days are equivalent to the total number of years in 4 yugas: Satyug, Treta, Dwapar, and Kalyug. People who religiously follow Kalpvas are known as Kalpvasis and they can overcome the sins done in one’s previous birth and can also escape the cycle of birth and karma by strictly and religiously following all the rituals.
Magh Mela also finds mention in ancient manuscripts like Mahabharata and various Puranas. The religious belief behind this mela was the firm belief of ardent devotees that a pilgrimage is meant for atonement or prayashchit for the sins committed in past lives. Bathing at Sangam has a salvific value, meaning it helps people to attain moksha from the cycle of rebirth. Makar Sakrianti and Amavasya or the no-moon day are considered as very sacred and these days attract a lot of devotees for holy dip.
Magh Mela has immense religious significance but at the same time it is a perfect time to celebrate community commerce. There is entertainment spectacle, education, daan punya, free meals for saints and monks, selling and buying of products, religious discourses by saints, education, and more. Here are the major attractions of Magh Mela.
People take a dip in the holy waters on the most auspicious days of this 45-day period. Some important days when bathing in the holy waters can bring good fortune in abundance are Makar Sankranti, Purnima, Amavasya, Basant Panchami, Maghi Purnima, and Maha Shivratri.
During Kalpvas people also perform prayers and yajnas for Sun God. A devotee who has observed 12 Kalpvas has to donate his bed along with other belongings under a ceremony named Shayya Daan to be benefitted from the divine energies.
Saints and monks perform yajnas or havan to invite deities and appease them with religious chantings and offerings of samidha, fruits, sweets, flowers, etc.
Every morning, thousands of devotees can be seen giving arghya to Sun God and seeking blessings from the deity. The Sun God prayer is done after taking a holy dip in River Ganga.
Free food is distributed by ardent devotees to other people like saints, monks, poor people, etc.. There is also a ritual of sesame and grain offerings to the poor and needy.
Prayagraj is a holy city located in Uttar Pradesh that holds religious significance and immaculate beauty in abundance. In order to reach Triveni Sangam one may reach Prayagraj in the first place to easily reach the Magh Mela venue. Allahabad is easily accessible through various modes of transport. Here are the details of how you can reach this Holy City to attend Magh Mela.
Allahabad Airport IXD is the nearest airport. Air India and IndiGo run regular flights from all the metro cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru to Allahabad which is now officially known as Prayagraj.
Allahabad Chheoki Junction and Naini Junction are the two nearest railway stations where one may deboard the train to reach Triveni Sangam. From the station, one may take a taxi, auto, or a bus to reach the desired location. Regular trains such as Shiv Ganga Express from Delhi, Mahanagri Express from Mumbai, Kolkata Rajdhani from Kolkata, and Sanghamitra Express from Bengaluru can be taken to reach Prayagraj.
Tourists or devotees arriving by road may opt to travel via state-run or private inter-state tourist buses. Civil Lines Bus Stand in Prayagraj which is 10km away from Triveni Sangam is the nearest. From the bus stand, one may take a taxi or a local public bus to reach the desired location in the city. Tourists arriving from their own vehicle may take Agra-Lucknow Expressway, NH 52, NH 19, and NH 44 to reach here from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru.
To witness the actual confluence point of 3 rivers from the banks of Sangam one may hire a boat from Qila Ghat at a highly affordable price. The fare may vary from boat to boat starting from Rs. 80 to Rs. 400.
Ques 1. What is the significance of Magh Mela?
Ans 1. Magh Mela is an annual fair held at Prayagraj, the holy city in Allahabad. The fair is held in the month of magh or in January and February. Devotees visit this mela to take a holy dip in Sangam, the confluence of three holy rivers- Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. It is believed that taking a holy dip at this confluence of rivers helps in atoning for the sins committed in the past births.
Ques 2. What is the duration of Magh Mela?
Ans 2.Magh Mela begins on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti and continues for 45 days. Some important days when bathing in the holy waters can bring good fortune in abundance are Makar Sankranti, Purnima, Amavasya, Basant Panchami, Maghi Purnima, and Maha Shivratri.
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