Kumbh Mela 2019: In 19th century, ‘sarais’ were built to protect Kumbh pilgrims from dacoits
Prayagraj, Jan 16: The Kumbh Mela of 2019 which kicked off on Monday, January 15, is a grand affair. It has seen touches of technology and corporatisation. The connectivity to the world's largest congregation is as easy as cakewalk today. However, more than 100 years ago, reaching the Kumbh Mela was not an easy thing for the pilgrims and visitors.
In the distant past, pilgrims heading for Kumbh had to risk their lives to reach the sacred event. Owing to problems in connectivity, people had to earlier walk or take bullock carts to reach Kumbh and according to historical sources, often the hapless pilgrims got looted and even killed by dacoits on their way to Kumbh. To protect those common people, special inns or "sarai"s were built on roads that led to today's Prayagraj or formerly Allahabad. Special measurements were taken to ensure that such inns were immune from any kind of security threat.
History also says that in those days (late 19th century), Prayagraj was divided into three zones while making for the arrangements for the Kumbh Mela and the sarais were set up in each of those zones. The zones were near the Ganga bank, the Yamuna bank and the area between the two rivers, A Navbharat Times report said.
It was also said that in 1880, a warning was issued for the people to stay safe during the Kumbh that year and the warning was issued in Urdu language which was later translated into Hindi, the report added.