UNESCO recognises India's Kumbh Mela as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Dec 8, 2017 10:26 IST
UNESCO recognises India's Kumbh Mela as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO on 7 December 2017 inscribed ´Kumbh Mela´ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its 12th session at South Korea from 4-9 December 2017.

The inscription of ´Kumbh Mela´ was recommended by the expert committee that examines the nominations submitted by Member States. The Committee observed that ´Kumbh Mela´ is the largest peaceful congregation of pilgrims on earth.

This inscription of India's culture is the third in two years following the inscriptions of ´Yoga´ and ´Nouroz´ by UNESCO on 1 December 2016.

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About Kumbh Mela
• Known as the festival of the sacred Pitcher, Kumbh Mela is held in Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik in every four years by rotation and is attended by millions of people irrespective of caste, creed or gender.
• The tale of Kumbh Mela includes the battle between Gods and Demons over a pot of Amrit (Nectar of immortality). In the battle between Devas and Asuras, a few drops of this Amrit fell in Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Nasik and since then Kumbh Mela is organised in these places.
• During the festival, devotees bath or take a dip in a sacred river.
• Followers believe that by bathing in the river, one is freed from sins and is liberated from the cycle of birth and death.
• As a religious festival, Kumbh Mela demonstrates tolerance and inclusiveness which are especially valuable for the contemporary world.
• The knowledge and skills related to Kumbh Mela are transmitted through the Guru-Shishyaparampara (teacher-student relationship) by way of teachings by saints and sadhus to their disciples.
• The festival summarizes the science of astronomy, astrology, spirituality, ritualistic traditions, social and cultural customs, making it extremely rich in knowledge.

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