I am off to the Haridwar Mahakumbh Mela starting January 14. Will be there till January 17. Hope to post some interesting stories and pictures from there. The once in 12 year event will continue till April 28, 2010.
The following is a travel advisory and list if important dates I received from a diplomatic mission in New Delhi. Appending the same should this interest you.
The entire Kumbh Mela region – Haridwar, Rishikesh, parts of Dehradun has been marked as a separate district for the period. Approximately 40-50 million people may travel to Haridwar during that period. Following are the important days on which most of the gathering is expected.
14 January 2010 (Thursday) – Makar Sankranti Snan (dip)
15 January 2010 (Friday) – Mauni Amavasya and Surya Grahan Snan (Solar Eclipse)
20 January 2010 (Wed) – Basant Panchmi Snan
30 January 2010 (Saturday) – Magh Purnima Snan
*12 February 2010 (Friday) – Maha Shivratri – Pratham Shahi Snan *
*15 March 2010 (Monday) – Somvati Amavasya – Dvitya Shahi Snan *
16 March 2010 (Tuesday) – Nav Sanvstar Snan
24 March 2010 (Wednesday) – Ram Navmi Snan
30 March 2010 (Tuesday) – Chaitra Purnima Snan
*14 April 2010 (Wednesday) – Baisakhi – Tritya Shahi Snan*
28 April 2010 (Wednesday) – Shakh Purnima Snan
(Days marked with a * are considered most auspicious and therefore will have the maximum number of people taking a dip in the Holy Gangas)
1. Entire criminal intimidation can be expected because of huge crowd.
2. Spread of swine flu, gastroenteritis etc outbreaks, other respiratory infections etc.
3. Massive Traffic Jams.
Arrangements made by the Government
1. Deployment of 100 companies of forces including police, paramilitary force etc.
2. Vehicle routes have been diverted to avoid traffic jams.
3. Help line has been set up for any kind of emergency -. dial 100
4. Several health camps has been arranged to provide medical facility.
5. Help line for medical emergency has been set up- dial 108.
6. Central control room has been set up.
Following the consultation with the Police authorities External missions to Haridwar and Rishikesh should be suspended for the aforesaid period.
• Travel to Haridwar is not recommended especially on the aforesaid days.
• Travel to Dehradun should preferably by Train/ Air.
• In case of road travel from Delhi route suggested is via Sarahnpur ( Delhi – Roorkee – Saharanpur Rd – Dehradun)