By Krishna N. Das PRAYAGRAJ, India (Reuters) - At the world's biggest religious festival, the Hindu Kumbh Mela in northern India's Uttar Pradesh state, the spiritual message for the faithful is deep and profound. The political message for voters isn't far behind. As many as 150 million people are expected to come to the festival city of Prayagraj to bathe at the confluence of three rivers considered holy in Hinduism - the Ganges, the Yamuna, and a mythological third one, the Saraswati. Hindus believe bathing in the Ganges at the time of the Kumbh, this year from Jan. 15 to March 31, absolves people of sins. The federal and Uttar Pradesh state governments - both controlled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - are spending nearly $600 million on the giant event, according to the state government. Some Hindu religious and political figures say they expect a return on their efforts, not only from the gods, but from voters when Modi … [Read more...] about As India election looms, politics infiltrates the world’s biggest religious festival
By Alasdair Pal PRAYAGRAJ, India (Reuters) - Pilgrims from across the world are gathering in India for the Kumbh Mela, a heady mix of spirituality, politics and tourism that begins on Tuesday, garnering extra attention ahead of a general election in the Hindu-majority country this year. During the eight-week festival at Prayagraj in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, authorities expect up to 150 million people, including a million foreign visitors, to bathe at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and a mythical third river, the Saraswati. Devout Hindus believe that bathing in the waters of the Ganges absolves people of sins and bathing at the time of the Kumbh Mela, or the "festival of the pot", brings salvation from the cycle of life and death. "Kumbh is a conglomeration of spiritual consciousness and cultural heritage," Mahesh Sharma, who heads the culture ministry, said in a statement. "We are also showcasing here India’s rich traditions, as visualised by Prime Minister … [Read more...] about Indian city gears up for world’s largest religious festival
THE moon has a vital role to play in the holy month - which won't begin until a new crescent is sighted. This means millions of Muslims will be keeping an eye out on the all-important lunar change. Here's the low-down. What is Ramadan? Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is celebrated by Muslims worldwide. Muslims observe Ramadan by a month of fasting and religious devotion, which commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. Fasting is obligatory for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, are elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, chronically ill or menstruating. Instead, meals include an early morning suhur, between 2.30am and 3am, and an evening iftar is enjoyed around 9pm-9.30pm. Muslims also read as much of the Koran as they can during the holy month, and are encouraged to observe five prayers every day. Often, people will donate large sums of money to charity during Ramadan … [Read more...] about How is Ramadan 2019 announced and why is the religious festival dependent on the moon?
By Alasdair PalNEW DELHI (Reuters) - Spirituality, politics and tourism: welcome to the Kumbh Mela, the world's largest gathering of humanity, that begins next month in India. gi During the Kumbh Mela, to be held in Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, millions of pilgrims including naked, ash-smeared ascetics, will bathe at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and a mythical third river, the Saraswati. Devout Hindus believe that bathing in the waters of the Ganges absolves people of sins and bathing at the time of the Kumbh brings salvation from the cycle of life and death.The government says about 100 million to 150 million people, including one million foreign tourists, are expected to attend over the eight-week festival period beginning on January 15, and the scale of the efforts to feed and house the pilgrims is immense. Organisers are erecting temporary bridges, 600 mass kitchens, more than 100,000 portable toilets, and vast tents, each sleeping thousands of pilgrims at a time, in a … [Read more...] about Sacred and political: world’s largest religious festival to kick off in India
Share Tweet Plus One Pin It Email Print By: nitish kashyap December 19, 2018 10:56 am Change Font Size The Bombay High Court has issued landmark directions to Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) for ensuring that the river Godavari remains pollution-free. The Godavari, the second largest river in India, is also known as Dakshin Ganga (the Ganges of the South) is the main source of water supply to Nashik. A division bench of Justice AS Oka and Justice AK Menon passed several directions while hearing petitions filed by residents of Nashik seeking directions to the NMC and others for cleaning the polluted river. The bench quoted India’s first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru who said about river Ganga and said- What Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once said about Ganges equally applies to Godavari. He said thus: “The Ganga, especially, is the river of India, beloved of her people, round which are intertwined her memories, her hopes and fears, her songs of triumph, … [Read more...] about Ensure No Pollution Is Caused Due To Immersion Of Idols And Religious Festivals, Duty Of Every Citizen To Keep Rivers Pollution-Free: Bombay HC [Read Judgment]