One of the greatest annual religious affairs for Hindus is the Magh Mela Festival. Held every year on the banks of Triveni Sangam in Prayag near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, it is considered to be the beginning of the Universe according to Hindu mythology. As per the Gregorian calendar, Magh Mela Festival corresponds to mid January – mid February. Numerous devotees arrive to take a dip in the holy Triveni Sangam to wash away their sins.
However, Magh Mela Festival is not confined only to the month of Magh. In fact, the important bathing dates are spread over a period of 45 days. It wouldn’t be wrong to call the Magh Mela Festival a smaller version of Kumbh Mela. During the mela, from dramatic portrayals from Hindu Epics and Puranas, to Bhajans, music and dance performances and folk theatre, a lot of performances are held. An important ritual which can be observed in the Magh Mela Festival is of sadhus burning dried cow dung cakes in earthen pots overhead in their quest for salvation.
Dates Of Magh Mela Festival 2014
Spread across an area of 1,500 beegha, the Magh Mela would be held from January 14 to February 27 in 2014. It is expected that Kalpwasis and pilgrims would start flocking the holy banks of Ganga from January 10. The Magh Mela commences on the day of Makkar Sankranti in January, which is the first important bathing day according to the religious Hindu calendar.
There would be six main bathing days which are listed below:
• January 14 Makar Sankranti
• January 16 Paush Purnima
• January 30 Mauni Amavasya
• February 4 Basant Panchami
• February 14 Maghi Purnima
Accommodation At Magh Mela Festival
As far as accommodation during Magh Mela Festival is concerned, land is allocated to UP Tourism and different spiritual organizations for this purpose. However, getting UP Tourism’s tent cottages is a difficult task. But there are many religious groups that have taken land from government for setting up their camps which offer accommodation at reasonable rents. These makeshift camps are spread around Triveni and can be easily enquired at. Choosing an accommodation with a religious organization makes much more sense if one wants to get spiritual insights of this festival. Many religious groups also offer free accommodation which are simple tent dormitories with basic facilities.
Climate During Magh Mela Festival
Allahabad, where Magh Mela is held, is located in the southern part of UP, thereby subjecting the city to a humid subtropical climate typical of cities in the plains of North India. Winter lasts from December to February in Allahabad. Though Temperatures rarely drop to freezing point, the city is enveloped in fog and tremendous cold during the winter months. So during the Magh Mela, Allahabad is freezing cold and it is in this chill that devotees take a dip in the holy Triveni Sangam. So, visitors are advised to pack a lot of woolens, if planning to visit Mag Mela Festival in Allahabad.
To get a glimpse into beliefs of karma, death and salvation, do plan a trip to Magh Mela Festival in Allahabad.