Prayagraj Kumbh has attracted people from all folks of life in big numbers. Prayagraj district administration has closed all educational institutions for three days incluy 14,15 and 16 January up to class 12 and has also advised degree colleges to close them to avoid inconvenience to the students in view of great rush on fist bathing festive of Kumbh. Entry of buses into the city has been restricted and makeshift bus stations have been developed at all seven entry points of Prayagraj town.
Large number of saints and Sears, common pilgrims and tourists from across the globe are continuously reaching Prayagraj to take Holi dip on the first bathing festival of Makar Sankranti on January 15 at the Sangam the confluence of rivers Ganga,Yamuna and mythical Saraswati. First Royal Bathing Shahid Snan of Akharas is one of the big attraction to the pilgrims and tourists.
The Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj is held in the month of Magh of Hindu calendar when Jupiter is in Aries and Sun and Moon are in Capricorn or Jupiter is in Taurus and Sun in Capricorn. At Prayagraj Kumbh Mela held at every 6 years and Maha Kumbh at every 12 years. Earlier they were known as Ardh Kumbh and Kumbh. But this year Uttarakhand Pradesh government has announced the Ardh Kumbh will be known as Kumbh and Kumbh as Maha Kumbh. The exact dates of bathing during Kumbh are determined according to Hindu astrology.
This Year Prayagraj Kumbh is spread over in 3200 hectares of land which is about 700 hectares more in the camparision of 2013 Maha Kumbh. It has been devided in 20 sectors while in 2013 only 18 sectors were developed. Most of the sectors have taken their shape and Kalpvasis the devotees who spent one month from Paush Purnima to Maggi Purnima as per Hindu calendar are still reaching. Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation has pressed 6000 buses into service to ferry pilgrims and railways has also introduced special trains from different parts of State and country. Most of the long route trains have been given stoppage at Allahabad junction and other railway stations located in Prayagraj district. UPSRTC has also introduced 500 buses in the town to bring pilgrims to Mela area from makeshift bus stations and railway stations. Different air services have also started air connectivity from different major cities including New Delhi,Kolkata,Nagpur, Bhopal, Dehradun, Indore, Bengaluru, Ahmadabad and Lucknow to Prayagraj. A newly constructed civil airport has been opened for operation very soon to operate newly introduced flights.
Mela administration has set up 87 public accomodations in the Mela area in dormetry shape on economic rates to facelift the out station pilgrims. Other agencies have also developed high quality tent cities with all modern amenities to the tourists in different locations. Special tent colony have been set up in Arail area of the Mela for Non Resident Indians who are scheduled to arrive on January 24. Pilgrims and tourists can book tents as per their needs and budget on line through Kumbh Mela website.
Eight kelometre long bathing that’s have been developed at Sangam for holy dip and similarly several other chats are also developed on the banks of river Ganga in different sectors of the Mela. About 12 crores pilgrims and tourists are expected during the Kumbh. Massive security arrangements are in place for smooth passing of first bathing festival and Shahi Snan.