Kumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela

    • Kumbh Mela is one of the oldest and largest congregation in the world which is attended by millions of people irrespective of all caste, creed, sex and region.
    • The significance of Kumbh Mela has been enhanced at the Global level as the UNESCO has inscribed Kumbh Mela on the list of Intangible Cultural heritage for humanity in 2017.
    • The Kumbha Mela is held four times over the course of 12 years, in rotation between four Hindu pilgrimage places on four sacred rivers:
      • Haridwar (banks of Ganga),
      • Prayagraj/Allahabad (Confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati),
      • Nashik (banks of Godavari)
      • Ujjain (banks of Shipra).
    • Kumbh Mela can be traced back in history through the writings of 7th century Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang who came to India during the rule of Harshavardhan. The festival was also popularised among people by the eighth century saint Shankaracharya.
    • At Prayagraj, Kumbh Mela held at every 6 years and Maha Kumbh at every 12 years. Earlier they were known as Ardh Kumbh and Kumbh. But this year the government has announced the Ardh Kumbh will be known as Kumbh and Kumbh as Maha Kumbh.


      UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage

      • It is a list which is prepared to promote the intangible heritage and contribute to a greater awareness of their importance and was formed after Convention for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage came into effect.
      • Intergovernmental Committee for safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage meets and evaluates the nominations proposed by member states after which the List is published every year.
      • UNESCO brings out two separate lists:
      • Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (ICH) – It is made up of those intangible heritage elements which bring out the diversity of culture.
        • List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of Urgent Safeguarding – It is made up of the intangible heritage elements which require urgent measures. It also helps to mobilize international cooperation.

      The ICH list for India includes-

      • Koodiyattam: Sanskrit Theatre, Kerala
      • Mudiyettu: a ritual theatre of Kerala
      • The Tradition of Vedic Chanting
      • Ramlila: the Traditional Performance of the Ramayana
      • Ramman: religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Himalayas
      • Kalbelia: folk songs and dances of Rajasthan
      • Chhau dance: 3 distinct styles from the regions of Ser



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