Cameras or photography not allowed inside the fort. Yes sector 19 has most of the cultural activities - handicrafts, dramas, nautanki, folk artisans, epics depicted with statues. Five star cottages available for the first time - the The Tent city - costs up to 40K per day - includes food and car with mela pass included. For all die hard photographers if you ever come to mela for photography then make sure you are carrying a recommendation letter form some press or media.
The sector 4 - the Parade ground where the mela area starts too has handicraft stores, the Khadi bhandar where you can find khadi products from all over India. Then the usual Mela entertainment, food from many parts of India also being served in a Food court where around 50 stalls are serving food, also the UP Tourism has put up its camp. A tent city that ranges from 2500 to 5000k per day - the best place to stay in.
Sector 4 where the exhibition and fun is. The entry is from the start of the blue line where NISHADRAJ PARK (Tinkonia) is written. All the above mentioned stuff is on the left side of the blue line - on the first bend the handicraft stalls and on the right side of the road is situated the Media camp. Moving further where a road comes from he left side is the big food court then after that at the corner where the road bends left is the UP Tourism camp. Then after this is a huge huge huge pandal for drama nautnki etc and its seating capacity must be around 1000. going further down comes the Khadi bhandar and then the rides, merry-go-round, small roller-coaster, trains swings etc.
It seems the google map must have been updated in October as they are still constructing the pontoon bridges.
THESE PHOTOS SHOWN BELOW ARE NOT TAKEN BY ME - These are released by the Kumbh Mela official site -- and have been taken by helicopter, drone or satellite. And definitely I could not have taken them. https://kumbh.gov.in/en/gallery
Photo released by ISRO dated 16 jan just before the start of the actual mela Top left side of the photo is the Prayagraj city side, the right side land is the Jhunsi side and the bottom left side land mass is the Naini side the Arail Ghat. The river coming from the top of the photo is the Ganga and the one coming from left is the Yamuna - and they meet at the Triveni Sangam and move towards the bottom of the photo. You can see the light waters of ganga and the dark waters of the yamuna and a clear demarcation of the confluence. In coloured photo its more clear as the colour of yamuna is green and ganga is a bit muddy yellow in colour.
This is the view of Jhunsi side towards Phaphamou as pontoon bridges are seen on the topside of the photo. I cannot pinpoint the image.
This image below is taken from the Prayagraj side towards Jhunsi. On the left side not in view lies the railway bridge, the bridge seen is the Shastri Bridge on GT Road heading towards Varanasi.
This is the Shahi Marg. Mostly barricaded for the babas and processions. As we see the public is on the left side only separated by a space of 20 ft. This is for the first time, during earlier melas the public was separated only by 5-6 feet fence on either side. The two Raised platform for media photographers on either side of the path can bee seen - one near the center with the red and black hording the other is on the left bottom corner just out of view next to the white structure - the white structure is the computerised lost and found center. The white baloon is flying near this L&F center - the baloon is the indicator seen from most of the mela area. Lost people are just shown the baloon and told to reach that place so that they can get their names announced.
This is one of the Akharas and I must be somewhere in the crowd on the right side of the procession
This photo is taken while moving from the Jhunsi side towards the sangam area. The helicopter has just crossed the sangam area. The fort can be seen at the top of the photo and the new hanging Yamuna bridge is also seen at the top of the photo more towards the left side of the center.
These are the babas taking the shahi snan. The yellow floats keep the public from mixing with the babas = a line of photographers can be seen.
This photo was taken on one of the Shahi snan days. The snaking line of the boats from Top Left of the photo towards the center is the actual sangam where you can reach only by boat. As you can see in the photo that no public boats are allowed near the shahi snan area.
Just to the left of the sangam area towards the fort side. See the amount of flowers floating. This is when flowers are not allowed to be sold near the banks. But then indians are indians - both sellers and buyers - you cannot stop them. But what surprises is that the photos suggests that the cleaning staff is throwing the flowers beyond the floats, which was not to be done - the boats there were supposed to collect the petals and then dump it on ground somewhere else.
Heads heads heads and only heads. Those red and white structures towards the top are the changing rooms for the women.
Sangam nose not on a bathing day.
This is just to the right of the sangam area - the sangam is just beyond the left of the photo. The white area are the sand bags covered area along the bank of ganga starting from near the fort covering right towards the first pontoon bridge. This sand bag has many advantages - it keeps the edge slush free, the water that the bathers bring gets absorbed right back into the river, and beyond the sand bags is a area covered with husk a thick layer of husk that keeps the area relatively dry and mud free.
Early morning on Jhunsi side - this is jhunsi side as many people can be seen at the edge and in the river. As it was not allowed to take bath near the pontoon bridges on the sangam side.
This photo talks a lot about the 16cr that have taken bath during the whole mela time.
Har har Mahadev - and he is ready to head back - only three or four babas allowed to come on horseback rest all have to walk or be carried to the sangam.
He is also ready to head back
The Nishan - the spears are ready
The NAGADHA beater is ready
Both the Lead Naga babas ready too
By 5.50 am the first Akhara had moved out of the sangam area - with all their disciples. The whole area is vacated and all traces of the this akhara is cleaned up - the swatch karamcharis come like a army and clean up the whole area. History says earlier there used to be bloody fight amongst the akhara members and the nagas of different akhara for taking the first dip or even if they crossed each others path. The Holy dip during the Kumbh by the nagas was basically done to cleanse their weapons and themselves during the mughal period when the sadhus, the nagas took up arms to protect the sanatan dharma. They would do penance of one month during the kumbh. To stop the skirmishes for first dip amongst the akharas Shahjahan used to issue the farmans as to which akhara would take the first dip - and thus the shahi snan term was coined and still continues - as per what I have heard and read.
The cleaning up gets done in about an hour and the sand along the path is also brushed with brooms so as to remove the foot marks of the earlier akhara.
The sequence of akhara taking the snan is Mahanirvani Atal akhara at 5.15 am, Niranjani Anand akhra at 6.05 am, Juna Avahan shripanch Agni akhara at 7 am, Nirvani Agni akhara at 9.40 am, Digambar Agni akhara at 10.40 am, Nirmohi Agni akhara at 11.40 am, Naya Udaseen akhara at 12.15 pm, Bada Udaseen akhara at 1.15pm and finally Nirmal akhara at 2.40 pm
By the time second akhara comes the day light breaks - carrying the nishan of the akhara though these are a bit smaller
cool and composed he keeps his rhythm
Har har maha dev is the only cry
Daylight and I am still at high ISO - in the rush to take photos I missed to lower the ISO
The babas posing for the photographs - the one with the gada did hit me with the gada and though it was not very hard but yes it was a good push while I was trying to take photo of another baba.
Superlike, most valuable information Rambo, i m trying my best to be there on the 28th, atleast i ll get to see the last day of the book fair in sector 1 parade ground, and try to make it to
sectors 4 and 19. If time and strength permits i shall try to visit Veni Madhav Temple and Bharadwajmuni ashram, before going to civil lines and heading back to the station for the night return train.
WIih mother Ganag is blessfull enough.
Last time i remember going to Balua Ghat and ISKCON temple, surprisingly there were many cows there and also lots of vegetable vendors with the excellent quality of vegetables, never seen anything like that in Delhi.
Hope 28th is not too late as today many of the shopkeepers were already packing up and many will be leaving tomorrow. Going to sector 19 may turn out to be futile as the mela is winding up very fast. Will enquire tomorrow from the person who has put up the lights in the kalagram camp. Would advice you to first go to the sector 9 and then visit the other areas near the city side, just in case you get stuck in some traffic jam you will not miss your train.
Yes we are very lucky to get absolute fresh vegetables - the vegetables are plucked at 4 am at jaunpur and Kachwa area and it reaches prayaraj around 7-8 am and the late pickers send vegetable in the evening market.