I just returned from what was thought to be the largest human meeting in the world, The Kumbh Mela on Prayagraj. I mean, how crazy is that! Estimates mention the number of around 45 million people for the days I attended, and my mind exploded. We walked around 20 kilometers around the festival and saw only a few slices.
Before leaving for a giant event like that I had several reservations, and one of them was about my camera equipment. I usually take pictures with the Canon EOS 5D which is not only expensive, but also very large and with so many people around it, and with a focused and personal event, I am worried that large DSLRs will not always be ideal. However, the Canon UK reaches out and gives me a new camera that focuses on travel, the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS.
All images in this blog post, and video clips taken on this new camera, and you can find a brief review of the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS at the end of the post. But for now, let me tell you twenty facts about this extraordinary festival, The Prayagraj Kumbh Mela.
1. This is the largest gathering of humans on the planet
The amount for Kumbh Mela is very surprising, during the 49 days the event took place in Prayagraj, more than 100 million people will attend, with more than 40 million on the most profitable days!
2. This festival lasts for 49 days
2019 Prayagraj Kumbh Mela runs between January 15 and March 4, bringing the total festival day to 49. Some pilgrims and holy leaders will stay during the entire program, while others will visit on certain days.
3. Pre-planning and preparation are the keys to Kumbh’s success
Given the large number of people involved in Kumbh Mela, pre-planning is the key to the visit. With roads and bridges closed on certain days and times, to ensure that you attend the procession and the main event, you must plan your stay in advance to small details.
4. There are four types of Kumbh
The Kumbh Mela occurs every six years, while full Kumbh occurs every 12 years. Every three years there will be a kind of Kumbh, while Mahakumbh will take place every 144 years. The Kumbh Mela was actually half the show, but the crowd to 2019 was half full last.
5. Kumbh occurs in four different cities every three years
I had previously visited Haridwar which is one of Kumb’s locations. Together with Haridwar and Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, Kumbhs also took place in Ujjain and Nashik. Prayagraj Kumb is the oldest and therefore the most special of all.
6. Prayagraj City is taken over by tents
Because of the large number of people present, the Prayagraj municipality whose population is usually under 2 million, tent cities were established everywhere. From city luxury tents to tourists or those carrying their own tents, wherever you look, you will see temporary accommodation. Surprising WiFi is available throughout the tent area!
7. Sadhus is one of the main reasons for visiting
Sadhus is one of the holiest people in Hinduism, and for many, the opportunity to meet and be blessed by Sadhu is a special moment at Kumbh Mela. The Sadhus dragon was the luckiest of Sadhus, and one of the main events was the most important bathing day procession left by Sadhus before dawn. Sadhus had surrendered all their worldly possessions, including clothing, and hence was naked apart from their sacred jewels, their accessories and layers of ash which gave the appearance of white skin.
8. Prayagraj used to be called Allahabad
If you have never heard of Prayagraj before, maybe because until 2018 the city was known as Allahabad. The name was changed, and the first part means offering, a title that is far more appropriate for one of the holiest cities in India.
9. This festival is more than 2000 years old
Prayagraj Kumbh Mela is the oldest of the four Kumb sites, and has existed since 2000 years ago. A Chinese traveler made the first written details of the festival.
10. Kumbh Mela date is related to planets
Kumbh dates and timings are not random results and are calculated based on the location and combination of zodiac positions of the Moon, Sun and Jupiters, and this also determines the critical shower date.
11. Swimming in the Ganges is swimming in holy water
The holy water of the Ganges River is believed to erase all your sins and make you blessed forever, which is why so many people bathe on important dates. Water and bathing will take you to the path of salvation, and many people will bring holy water bottles home with them.
12. It is this meeting of the rivers that makes Prayagraj so special
As the meeting point of three rivers, known as Triveni Sangam. Ganga and Yamuna meet here, as you will see on the map, where the third mythical river called Saraswati completes all three. Where the two rivers meet, you can see the two colors of the body of water colliding.
13. More than 6000 religious and cultural groups are present
In addition to pilgrims who visit alone, there is a land allocation given to many different religious and cultural groups and organizations to accommodate their guests. It is believed that in Kumbh more than 6000.
14. The cost of organizing this festival is more than £ 300 million
To hold a celebration of this size, a large investment is needed. With funds of more than £ 300 million to run a 49-day program, this is an extraordinary amount of money for a cultural and spiritual event.
15. Religious camps provide free or receding food for many pilgrims
Bringing your own supplies is very important for many pilgrims, especially those who have taken a long journey to attend. You will see at the festival free food, or highly subsidized food, distributed to saints like Sadhus and pilgrims.
16. The festival also has many other entertainment
Amusement parks, book fairs, yoga programs, and laser shows are just a few of the other attractions that run side by side with more spiritual and holy events and activities.
17. The Kumbh Mela is an event registered with UNESCO
That is the importance of the event, in the list of “Cultural heritage of humanity, UNESCO,” you will find Kumbh Mela registered.
18. More than 120,000 toilets were established by Kumbh Mela
To eliminate open defecation needs, and to keep the Kumbh site clean, more than 120,000 toilets and detailed sanitation and sanitation aircraft were placed in 2019 Prayagraj Kumbh Mela.
19. Security, safety and sanitation are very large operations
For visitors, pilgrims, and tourists, safety and security in controlling such a broad event is very important. City controls are set with eyes on the entire city, and the Mela area so that small incidents can be quickly processed thanks to the security bait that goes to the control center. Police, water police, firefighters, ambulances and medical professionals are always on site, and more than 20,000 temporary jobs are created in the cleaning, sorting and processing sectors of waste, safety and security.
20. The 2019 Kumbh Mela is trying 3 world Guinness records – transportation, sanitation and city painting
The Uttar Pradesh government is pursuing three Guinness world records with Kumbh Mela 2019 thanks to the improvements and infrastructure they have made to manage the event. Three notes focus on transportation, sanitation and new street art and city paintings that occur before and during, the event.
Review of the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS
Overall I was very impressed with the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS, and I’m sure you can see from the photos that I did well on such a big event. Shared edited videos in Final Cut Pro and photos are processed in Adobe Lightroom.