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Eco-Friendly Green Initiative Kumbh Mela


Kumbh Mela is one the most ancient, and yet still living, traditions of India’s glorious past. The festival dates back to the pre-Vedic period, as even in the Vedas Kumbha Mela is described as a tradition that was already well established. The popularity of Kumbha Mela has only increased over the millennia, gathering millions together every twelve years at each of the four holy places in which the auspicious event occurs and making it the world’s largest gathering of people on Earth for one common purpose. It is said that even those saints and sages who live in divine isolation, high in the Himalayas, engaged only in meditation and austerities, emerge from the mountains to attend the Kumbha. Kumbha is a world-renowned trademark of India’s proud antiquity, and is a matchlessly divine occasion.

Kumbha Mela is a microcosm of the beauty and rich diversity of India. Amidst all the pomp and liveliness, one can drink in the nectar of India’s ancient spiritual traditions. No matter where you go within the Mela, there will be people sitting in satsang with India’s saints and sages, bathing in the sacred rivers, meditating at the banks, engaging in yogic practices and attending yoga classes, chanting mantras and singing bhajans. Even the 330 million gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon are said to attend the Mela on the inner planes. Every corner of the Mela is permeated with ancient tradition and spirituality.

This Kumbh Mela, under the divine inspiration and leadership of Pujya Swamiji, efforts were made to make this the first-ever, “Green Initative” Kumbh Mela, in partnership with Allahabad’s NGOs, schools, institutions and ministry. This was the first of its kind of program, aimed at not only beautifying the grounds and waters of the Kumbh area, but also to massively spread awareness and education about the importance of restoring and protecting Mother Ganga and the environment, thus informing and motivating festivals-goers from all over the world to become stewards of the environment around them as well as spreading technologies like ecofriendly toilets, efficient water filtration systems, and more.

In addition to the numerous meetings GAP had during Kumbh with all the leaders, activists, government officials and others who camp to the GAP camp, some of the many projects and activities GAP took up while at Kumbh Mela included:


Kumbh-2Instead of giving away items made of plastic or wood as prasad (blessings), which contributes to pollution, the Ganga Action Parivar gave tree saplings to all who visited, whether they be top politicians, great saints, Bollywood celebrities or simple pilgrims.

Eco-Friendly Toilets

Kumbh-3GAP held numerous conferences and meetings with top political leaders from states within the Ganga River Basin, outlining for them how they can bring proper sanitation to their states and make their states clean and green. In addition, GAP released a short film on the sanitation issues and solutions, and in the future will be building a bio-digester toilet block in Allahabad.  Special bhoomi pujas were held to bless the bricks which will go towards these toilets.

Conducting Numerous Clean-Ups of Sangam's Banks

Kumbh-4With the idea that perform we would take our own traditional Kumbh sacred baths in the Sangam (where Ganga and Yamuna join), we would first give a bath to the sacred Sangam, which had become choked with plastic, polythene and other waste.  Thus, on all main bathing days as well as days in between, hundreds of volunteers came together to pick up trash along Sangam’s banks and in Sangam’s waters, as well as properly bury human waste into the ground.

Public Awareness Programs

Kumbh-5On a daily basis Ganga Action Parivar held events, rallies, conferences, parades and clean-up program along the banks of the Sangam to raise awareness about the plight of our rivers and our environment, and to inspire all to take up this important cause and help make India and the world clean and green.

Uniting All for Ganga

Kumbh-6Ganga Action Parivar brought together people from all walks of life, whether they be spiritual leaders from all different spiritual traditions – Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist – Bollywood celebrities, local boatmen communities, politicians, devotees and pilgrims, local business owners, media persons, or from many other places, to walk and work together to protect and restore Mother Ganga, Mother Yamuna and Mother Earth.

Sangam Aarti

Kumbh-7With the belief that no one will pollute what they hold sacred and what they view as a temple, just as we do not pollute our local temples or holy places, grand Sangam Aartis were held with great interfaith spiritual leaders to inspire awe and reverence for our sacred rivers.