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Over 15 km religious rally tradition resumes after 550 years at India’s Kumbh

Published: February 8, 2019

STORY: Seers, devotees, and others took to the streets of India’s northern Prayagraj during Kumbh to resume an over 500 years old tradition of a religious rally known as ‘Panchkosi Parikrama’ (circumambulation of the city), on Thursday (February 07).

The ‘Panchkosi Parikrama’ is a three-day rally to five places around Prayagraj which include Kardmeshwar, Shivpur, Rameshwar, Bhimchandi, and Kapildhara. This Hindu tradition was stopped by Muslim Mughal emperor Akbar.

The seers began the auspicious rally mounted on tractors and other vehicles while some took the toad on feet after worshipping and performing several rituals at the banks of the ‘Sangam’ – the confluence of holy rivers of Ganges, Yamuna, and mythical Saraswati.

There are several places around Prayagraj, which includes the said place of revered sages Durvasa in the East and Bharadwaj in the West. There is Pandeshwar form of Shiva in the North and Sage Parashar’s place in the South. It is said that when someone goes to all these four places with a pure heart, a circumambulation completes absolving one of their sins.

As many as 150 million people are expected to visit Prayagraj for world’s largest humanity gathering to bathe at the confluence of three rivers considered holy in Hinduism – the Ganges, the Yamuna, and a mythological third one, the Saraswati. Hindus believe bathing in the Ganges at the time of the Kumbh, this year from January 15 to March 31, absolves people of sins.

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