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The Prayag Kumbh Mela is a mela held every 12 years at Allahabad (officially known as Prayagraj), India. The exact date is determined according to Hindu astrology: the Mela is held when Jupiter is in Taurus and the sun and the moon are in Capricorn.[1] The fair involves ritual bathing at Triveni Sangam, the meeting points of three rivers: the Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical Sarasvati. The Kumbh Mela in 2013 became the largest religious gathering in the world with almost 120 million visitors. The next one is scheduled for 2025, with an ongoing Ardh Kumbh Mela in 2019.

he Kumbh Mela at Allahabad is held in the month of Magh when Jupiter is in Aries, and Sun and Moon are in Capricorn; or Jupiter is in Taurus, and Sun in Capricorn.[2] However, at times this astrological combiniation (Kumbh Yoga) does not coincide with the month of Magh. In such a case, the mela is still held in Magh. For example, the 1989 Kumbh Mela should have begun in mid-March according to astrological calculations; however, it started in January.

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Kumbh Surya Sharanam

The earliest reference to a Kumbh Mela at Allahabad is from a British report of 1868. In this report, G. H. M. Ricketts (then the Magistrate of Allahabad) discusses the need for sanitation controls at the "Coomb fair" (Kumbh Mela) to be held in 1870. He also mentions that he had witnessed huge crowd at an "Ad Coomb" (Ardh Kumbh) four years earlier. In his report on the 1870 Magh Mela, the Commissioner of Allahabad J. C. Robertson also stated that this year's fair was a "Koombh". This report is also the earliest extant source that mentions a procession of sadhus at Allahabad; this procession occurs only during a Kumbh Mela, and not during a Magh Mela.