New Delhi: The health ministry on Monday said that it will initiate a study to find out if the water of the Ganga river has medicinal properties to destroy various kinds of bacteria and microbes.
This would be the first of its kind research that will also check if the water of the Ganga river, considered sacred, can be used for holistic health purpose.
“In a world where new and powerful bacteria have gained resistance against powerful drugs, such a study, which would explore and examine the unique properties of water of the Ganga, which is believed to not only cleanse itself by destroying germs and microbes present in it, but also purifies the water, is worth conducting,” Health Minister J.P. Nadda said, addressing a workshop on the agenda of the research at AIIMS.
Water Resource Minister Uma Bharti was also present on the occasion.
“It is the mandate of the government not only to clean the river but to also rejuvenate it,” Nadda said.
He said the “valuable scientific evidence generated as a result of this research and in-depth study will help to understand the medicinal properties of the Ganga water”.
Bharti highlighted that despite crores of people taking a dip in the river during numerous religious occasions very year, the river has not led to any pandemic or epidemic.
“This had to be the consequence of some self-purifying power of the river water which prevented its deterioration,” she stated.
She added that the study will help in using the Ganga water with this unique property for a larger welfare and health of mankind.
Besides the government extending financial help, the ministry has said, several researchers from premier institutions like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), IITs Kanpur and Roorkee, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and National Botanical Research Institute will be participating in this detailed study.
Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred or holy river
As per historic belief, bathing in holy rivers is thought to cleanse a person of all sins
The Kumbh Mela is held once in 12 years
“It is wonderful, the power of a faith like that, that can make multitudes upon multitudes of the old and weak and the young and frail enter without hesitation or complaint upon such incredible journeys and endure the resultant miseries without repining. It is done in love, or it is done in fear; I do not know which it is. No matter what the impulse is, the act born of it is beyond imagination, marvellous to our kind of people, the cold whites.”
These were the words from Mark Twain, after visiting the Kumbh Mela in 1895.
Kumbh Mela or Kumbha Mela is recognized by the UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred or holy river. Traditionally, four Melas are widely considered as the Kumbh Melas and are held in Haridwar, Nashik, Allahabad and Ujjain.
These fairs are organized periodically at one of the following places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik district, and Ujjain. The main festival site is located on the banks of a river: the Ganga at Haridwar. It is the junction where the Ganga, the Yamuna, the invisible Sarasvati at Allahabad, the Godavari at Nashik and the Shipra at Ujjain meets. As per historic belief, bathing in these rivers is thought to cleanse a person of all sins.
Heritage of India
First written evidence of the Kumbha Mela can be found in the accounts of the Chinese traveller, Hiuen Tsang or Xuanzang (602 – 664 A.D.) who visited India in 629 -645 CE, during the reign of King Harshavardhana. Kumbh Mela is a glorious heritage of India.
There are various sadhus or saints visit the Mela. The list includes Nagas, who do not believe in wearing clothes; Urdhwavahurs, who believe in putting the body through severe austerities; Parivrajakas, who have taken a pledge of silence; Shirshasins, who stand 24 hours and meditate for hours standing on their heads; Kalpvasis, who take bath thrice a day.
The Kumbh Mela is held once in 12 years. Between the Kumbh Melas at Haridwar and Nashik, there is a difference of around 3 years, whereas the fairs at Nashik and Ujjain are celebrated in the same year or one year apart.
The belief that originates from mythological times is, during a waging war between the demigods and demons for the possession of elixir of eternal life, a few drops of it had fallen on to four places that are today known as Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nasik. the venue for Kumbh Mela is decided depends upon what position the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter hold in that period in different zodiac signs.
Magh Mela – Allahabad 2018 (Mini Kumbh)
The Magh Mela is also known as the Mini Kumbh. The Magh Mela is one of the greatest annual religious fairs for Hindus. Hindu mythology believes it to be the origin of the Magh Mela the beginning of the Universe. As a vital occasion for Hindus, the Magh Mela is held every year on the banks of Triveni Sangam in Prayag near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.
The Magh Mela is actually the other of Kumbh Mela. Hence, it is also known as mini Kumbh Mela.
Ardh Kumbh Mela- Allahabad 2019
After every six years, Ardh Kumbh Mela is celebrated in the month of January-February when Jupiter is in Aries or Taurus and Sun and Moon are in Capricorn during the Hindu month of Magha. In the year 2019, beginning from 15th January to 04th March; all this will once again be the centre of attraction.
Facts related to Kumbh Mela have been compiled so that one can get a better understanding of this mega event.
During the Kumbh Mela, the gathering of Bhakts by the banks of our sacred Indian rivers and is the greatest celebration in Hindu culture. Millions of pilgrims visit the four holy locations of the Kumbh Mela in order to bathe in the holy rivers and perform significant rituals.
The place of Kumbh Mela changes in every three years between the four pilgrimage sites, which are – Allahabad, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain. All these towns have significant temples. The Mela returns to each location every 12 years.
The origin of the Kumbh Mela dates back to the age when Gods used to reside on earth. It is said that the curse of Durvasa Muni had weakened the gods and they began to lose their powers. The Asuras ran amok through the three worlds and there was chaos everywhere.
It is widely believed that those who take holy dips at the sacred locations during Kumbh Mela are eternally blessed by the power of the Gods. The sacred bath provides spiritual and material happiness and moves them towards the path of salvation.
The festival is billed as the “biggest gathering on Earth”; in 2001 more than 40 million gathered on the busiest of its 55 days. The 2001 Kumbh Mela was remarkably conspicuous due to the planetary positions at the time, a pattern that repeats only once every 144 years.67.
The Maha Kumbh Mela 2013, which occurs in 144 years, recorded an estimated pilgrim’s strength of 100 million devotees. The festival was acclaimed as the “biggest gathering on Earth”. The Guinness Book of World Records recognised the event as one of “The Best Managed” events of all times.
An estimated amount of business earnings in Kumbh Mela is 12,000 crore rupees. Employment opportunities created during Kumbh Mela is approximately 65,000.