Kumbh mela 2019: World’s largest religious congregation a blend of music, devotion
Devotional songs in Hindi and Bhojpuri greet devotees as they make their way to the Kumbh Mela area in Prayagraj. Some of the music is played over the public address systems. Devotees and visitors, too, try their hand in adding to the musical ambience at the world’s largest religious congregation.
The 2019 Kumbh has also come as a boon for local artistes, whose devotional music for the eight-week-long festival have become instant hits online. Tripti Shakya, Pooja Mishra, Prem Prakash Dubey, Shekhar Allahabadi, and Keshav are among those who have come out with Kumbh-specific songs.
Folk singer Malini Awasthi’s song, ‘Chlao, Chalein, Kumbh Chalein’, has been one of the hits online. It recorded thousands of hits on the video-sharing platform, YouTube, within hours of its release on January 14, 2019. The song covers every minute aspect of Kumbh.
“Indian cities like Kashi, Prayag, Ujjain, and Haridwar, where the Kumbh is held, are not only known for their religious activities but also for their composite culture which includes music... Music lovers can make a special trip to Prayagraj and experience the music and... Sangam [the confluence of three rivers],’’ Awasthi said.
Awasthi said Hinduism advocates all sorts of ways to reach God. “…Music is one of them. It is something which can connect you to the almighty immediately. Through the video of my song, I have highlighted all the important religious things in Prayagraj, like the importance of taking a dip in Sangam during this time, Hanuman idol in resting position, Sangam, sadhus, prayers, even food.”
Shakya echoed Awasthi and added music cannot be separated from Hinduism. “All the great stories have been sung by the saints of yore in the form of bhajans. Whoever enters the Kumbh is greeted by songs on Kumbh. Many of these songs, which are sung by local artistes, are amazing, showcasing the depth of musical talent in the country.”
Shakya called it her duty to tell the world about the importance and purity of the Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. “I released two bhajans on Kumbh in December and two bhajans just a day back [Tuesday]. I am happy that these bhajans are getting a great response on YouTube. My mission to highlight the cultural and religious importance of rivers in Hinduism has been fulfilled.”
Mishra’s ‘Kumbh Ka Mela Hai’ recorded 3.83 lakh hits in just 96 hours since its release on YouTube on January 13, 2019. She said she never expected such a great response. “I feel I have become a local celebrity now, thanks to Kumbh. It has made my songs a big hit.”
Bhojpuri singer, Shekhar Allahabadi, too, has released another big hit for the festival. “Bhojpuri is one of the sweetest languages and my song on Kumbh showcases the cultural diversity of India,” he said.