Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh on Friday led a delegation of around 200 delegates of more than 185 countries to the Kumbh Mela 2019 in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj.
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has taken the initiative of inviting one foreign representative from each country of the world to witness the world’s largest gathering of humanity, a statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.
The delegates have been nominated by Indian Missions abroad and include senior politicians, social reformers, Yoga practitioners, academicians, artists, senior bureaucrats, medical professionals etc.
The foreign representatives took a holy bath at Sangam and witnessed cultural programmes at Sanskriti Gram.
A special screening of the documentary “Kumbh: Eternal Journey of Civilisation” made by Harshit Jain was also shown to the visitors. They were greeted by a cultural troupe at the Bamrauli airport in Prayagraj.
Union minister VK Singh told reporters that the idea behind the visit was to make “them see that Kumbh is not just confluence of rivers but also of different religions and faiths”.
The arrangements for the visit have been made in collaboration with the Mela Authorities and Government of Uttar Pradesh.
After the visit to the Kumbh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will interact with the representatives on February 23 at the Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra in New Delhi.
This is the third visit of foreign delegates in this Kumbh. On December 15 last year, diplomats from 72 foreign missions had arrived Prayagraj while during Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas in last week of January, a large number of NRIs were also visited Kumbh.
So far, more than 22 crore devotees have visited the Kumbh Mela. The 49-day Kumbh Mela began on Makar Sankranti in January.