Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said the first “Shahi Snan” (royal bathing) on the first day of Kumbh at Prayagraj drew a record crowd of 2.25 devotees.
Adityanath expressed hope that all departments, institutions and organisations will work with the same dedication and loyalty for the remaining part of the religious congregation, touted as biggest such gathering on the earth.
“The UP government has allocated Rs 4,200 crore for 2019 Kumbh Mela. The previous state government had spent around Rs 1,300 crore for the Maha Kumbh, which was held in 2013,” state Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal told PTI.
“Nearly 350 years ago, the name of Prayagraj — considered a prominent centre of Hindu culture and Sanatan Dharma — was changed to Allahabad. However, last year, under the leadership of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, it was decided that Allahabad should be renamed as Prayagraj, as mentioned in ancient Indian texts including the Vedas. It is an avismarniya (unforgettable) Kumbh. This time, the Kumbh Mela is spread over an area of 3,200 hectares as compared to 1,600 hectare area in the previous melas,” said UP Cabinet Minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary.
One of the largest religious gatherings in the world, the Kumbh Mela, begins today and will go on till March 4, 2019. In the run-up to the mega event, 3,200 hectares of land, 1 lakh makeshift toilets, 20,000 construction workers, an equal number of sanitation workers, and 40,000 LED lights are in place for welcoming visitors to the Kumbh Mela. An estimated 12 crore people are expected to attend Kumbh Mela and 33 lakh have already taken a dip.