A faint glow at the horizon, marking the start of the sunrise. Cool breeze that usually makes you wish to stay indoors. Dark waters of the same hue as the sky, being illuminated by the reflection of lights, high up on poles, scattered around the sand. These lights are of the special time of the Magh Mela, representing the uncountable tents set up on the mela ground.

In the still waters, it would be the picture perfect moment to show the sky, land and waters merging in one.

But with the cry of ‘Har har Gangey ‘  devotees take their first dip in the river Ganges, on Makar Sankranti, marking the start of another, of the many, many Magh Melas (mini Kumbha Mela ).

Happening every year (when we don’t have the Kumbha and Ardha Kumbha ) it has become a part of the Allahabadi folks. People are forced to take bath early that day and most of them must have heard their mothers not accepting the tested and sometimes successful excuses for ‘no bath’ during winters . I remember my mom saying that the day of Makar Sankranti marks the end of winters and I must bath every single day from then on.

According to the age old Scriptures of the Hindu religion, going a really long way back, as far as when Universe was being formed, the Devas and the Asuras did the ‘Samudra manthan’.  Out came a pot (Kumbha ) of elixir from the waters. With the two groups fighting for it, a mediator was needed and that’s when the beautiful Mohini moved about with the Kumbha of elixir.  The places where four drops of it  fell down on mortal world, is where we celebrate the Kumbha Mela.

Of all these four, it’s Allahabad were, during the Magha mahina, i.e., 14-15 Jan till Mid Feb,  we have the Magha Mela.

Allahabad bustles with extra activity during this time, specially all the areas that neighbour the hub of it all. Visitors can be spotted carrying their luggage and trying to make their way through the crowded roads, usually in large groups. Extra people, extra security, extra all of it decorates the city for these few days and makes, for those who can dare to see it, for very interesting views, sights and experiences of most kinds.

Article By : Nidhi Singh (Sangamwasi)

I am a teacher of Psychology by day and a writer by night. I was born in Allahabad, and have lived here ever since. This city has nurtured me, groomed me, loved me and infuriated me at times as well. I owe much to her. I am a passionate writer, poet and learner of a few other modes of expression like photography and would like, some day, to be known by these. I want to live it all.

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