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UP to send invitations to 192 countries for Kumbh Mela: Yogi Adityanath

The nearly two-month-long Kumbh Mela will start from January 15 and end on Mahashivratri on March 4 in 2019.

india Updated: Aug 27, 2018 18:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Yogi Adityanath,Kumbh Mela,UNESCO
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath addresses a press conference in Lucknow.(PTI File Photo)

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said on Monday his government will invite more than 190 countries around the world to the Kumbh Mela next year in Allahabad when millions will take a dip in the sacred waters of the Ganga.

“Kumbh is the biggest congregation of culture and faith on earth. Invitations are being sent to 192 countries for Kumbh Mela. The government is also making arrangements to ensure that at least two people from each of the six lakh villages of the country visit Kumbh,” Yogi said while inaugurating the two-day UP Travel Mart in Lucknow.

The chief minister is also personally extending an invitation to all visiting foreign dignitaries and has already invited the heads of countries he met during his foreign visits.

The state government is also planning to provide an international platform to Kumbh Mela through international tour operators, who have assembled in Lucknow for the fourth UP Travel Mart. Around 53 international tour operators from 23 countries and 19 prominent Indian tour operators are attending the event.

The nearly two-month-long Kumbh Mela will start from January 15 and end on Mahashivratri on March 4 next year. At least 150 million devotees and tourists are expected to attend the Kumbh Mela, which is among the 13 elements from India on UNESCO’s list of “intangible heritage”.

The festival has its origins in Hindu mythology which says Lord Vishnu wrested a golden pot containing the nectar of immortality from demons. Four drops fell on the four locations across India, in the cities of Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik in a 12-day fight for possession. The Kumbh Mela is held at one of these spots every six years, with the festival at Allahabad the holiest of them all.

The Modi government has also directed all Indian ambassadors deputed in foreign countries to promote Kumbh Mela in their respective countries of posting. The Centre is also sending separate invites for Kumbh Mela through foreign ambassadors posted in India.

Commenting on the state’s tourist potential, Adityanath said the northern state would be the best destination for tourism in the country. “Five world heritage sites are in Agra alone,” he added.

The chief minister said there was immense eco-tourism potential in Dudhwa National Park in Lakhimpur Kheri district and Sonbhadra. He also spoke about the Ramayana, Krishna and Buddhist tourist circuits and air connectivity in the state while assuring security and adequate transportation facilities for tourists visiting the state.

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 17:44 IST