We have been planning for attending the Maha Kumbh Mela this year. It’s of great religious importance for the Hindus. Tens of millions of people from India and abroad attends this festival. The Maha Kumbh festival is held at Triveni Sangam, in Allahabad. It’s the confluence of three great rivers of India – Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.
Luckily Babai’s 3rd semester finished on 31 January followed by 2-week holidays before commencement of the 4th semester. I also managed to get his 2-week holidays during the same period. I had planned and booked the journey more than 2 months before, in anticipation. It’s needed as there is a huge rush for the mela. To avoid any travail during travel, I booked the tickets via Kolkata. We left Ranchi for Kolkata on 5 February by air and then for Allahabad by Poorva Express on the morning of 6 February 2013.
We were booked in AC First class coach. We arrived at Howrah station in the morning at around 7am. There was quite a rush for people boarding the train. Also, there was a huge queue of people for boarding the general compartments as they did not manage to get the reservation. The train left on schedule. We took our break fasts that we carried with us. Also we ordered some light snacks from Railway pantry car. Poorva Express is one of the prestigious trains in India and is hence well served by pantry car. We were getting regular supply of drinks and foods inside the coach. The train was only stopping at important stations on the way. It was running on schedule. Babai bought a small Ludo game at Howrah railway station. We also played a few Ludo games to pass the time on the train.
In another coach nearby some women were signing kirtans and bhajans. They were also going to Allahabad for Kumbh mela. Jaya also joined them briefly. We were all in holy kumbh mood! The train reached Allahabad station with a small delay. My grandpa and cousin were at the platform to receive us.