Next year’s Kumbh Mela in Allahabad promises to be a very interesting event. Going beyond the religious significance of the gathering, the Kumbh Mela Authority, who will be in charge of the planning, logistics and execution of the fair has incorporated a millennial trend–selfies!
Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage held periodically in the four locations of Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain. Each location hosts the pilgrimage once in 12 years and in 2019, it will be held in Allahabad.
If you plan to attend the pilgrimage, make sure you click beautiful photos–of heritage sites, landscapes, loved ones or even selfies, because you will have the opportunity to convert the photos onto postal stamps!
SK Rai, Director, Postal Services, told The Times of India, “Postal services have also been tasked with the responsibility of catering to Kumbh visitors. In this context, a meeting was held at Dak Bhawan, Department of Post in New Delhi, recently. During the meeting, we discussed how to make our services unique.”
Floating post offices will be set up in the Ganga and Yamuna rivers, under the “My stamp” scheme which will let you personalise your stamps.
And so, your photos will be incorporated on temporary postal stamps, as long as they don’t breach any copyright rules. Explaining how you can click a selfie as a stamp for your next letter, Rai said, “Visitors would be required to fill a form and submit it with their photographs along with Rs 300. The department will scan the photograph and then create a personalised postal stamp of Rs 5 denomination. People would also be able to click photographs on the spot, for the stamps.
According to TOI, you will get 12 photo-stamps per sheet, and you can send in pictures of famous tourist places, historical cities and your pets to be affixed alongside your photos.
This scheme will make the 2019 Allahabad Kumbh Mela a very interesting event.
In light of the Allahabad Kumbh Mela, the Uttar Pradesh State Government has proposed to change the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj.
Prayag (or Allahabad) is said to be the original name of the second oldest city in India (after Varanasi). According to ancient scripture, Prayaga is the location where the Hindu God Brahma attended a ritual sacrifice. It subsequently came to be known as the place for sacrifice.
Prayag is also the confluence of the three major rivers of India, Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati.
In 1575, Mughal Emperor Akbar changed the name of Prayag to Illahabad which later came to be known as Allahabad.
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According to Asian Age, a proposal to officially change Allahabad to Prayagraj will be adopted at a Cabinet meeting. Other formalities for this name will be notified later.
Although there has been scepticism about the need to change the name officially and the costs it will incur, there is still a long way to go before the finalisation of this name change. Even so, we still have the Kumbh Mela to look forward to. Who wouldn’t want the beautiful pictures they click be turned into personalised stamps?
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)