Mumbai, December 7: There’s not a single person in India who does not know about Kumbh Mela. The name itself instantly evokes an image of divinity, holiness. The power of faith attracts lakhs of pilgrims in one of the largest congregation of the world, Kumbh Mela. Now, UNESCO has inscribed on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Nashik district (Nashik and Trimbak), and Ujjain rotationally host the fair. It is held every three years and one place can host it once in 12 .indus believe that if they join the mela, their previous sins will be washed off. They celebrate it with much passion and fervor. Several holy men from different Hindu sects come to the mela to perform sacred rituals pertaining to their respective groups.
Legend has it that in the mythological times, during a waging war between the demigods and demons for the possession of elixir of eternal life, a few drops of it had fallen on to four places that are today known as Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nasik. It is believed that these drops gave mystical powers to these places. Depending on what position the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter hold in that period in different zodiac signs, the venue for Kumbh Mela is decided.
As it is said before, the fair attracts more than 10 crore people; the committee observed that ´KumbhMela´ is the largest peaceful congregation of pilgrims on the earth. Though primarily this is a Hindu festival, people from all walks of life, without any discrimination participate in the festival with equal fervor. As a religious festival, the tolerance and inclusiveness that Kumbh Mela demonstrates are especially valuable for the contemporary world.
What is Intangible Heritage?
Intangible cultural heritage means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated with them that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as a part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.