A Forgotten Kumbhasnan Resumes After 703 Years in Triveni, West Bengal.

As a remarkable holy event, a Kumbhasnan (holy bath in the confluence of sacred rivers) was restarted again in Triveni in 2022 (12 -13 Feb), the holy shrine of Bengali in the district of Hoogly under Banshberia Municipality under the aegis of Tribeni Kumbha Porichalana Samity.

Tribeni in West Bengal is a very important and sacred place for Bengali Hindus on social and religious grounds. The importance of this small town in the spiritual sphere is highly acknowledged as visited by many saints, sages, and monks year after year. In ancient times, sages used to come to Tribeni for spiritual practices and the attainment of liberation. After 703 years, Kumbhasnan is held again at Tribeni Sangam, the confluence of two other tributaries of Ganges, river Jamuna and Saraswati (Kunti). 703 years ago, Jafar Khan Ghazi converted the Vishnu temple at Tribeni into a mosque. From that time Kumbhasnan and Mela were closed due to Islamic attacks. After 1319 AD, a miniature Kumbhasnan was held again in 2022 in Tribeni very enthusiastically. It is pertinent to mention that Tribeni is ‘Mukta Beni’ (free flow) and Prayag is ‘Gupta Beni’ (secret flow).

According to the organizers, research papers from Oxford University and other historians have shown that the Aquarius bath in Tribeni has been discontinued since the beginning of the Islamic rule in the later days of the Sen kings in the advent of the attacks of Jafar Khan Gazi. To bring back the lost glory of Bengal, the organizers of Tribeni Kumbha are determined to revive the cultural heritage of Tribeni. With that resolution, a struggle for Dharmik renaissance in Bengal started two years ago among the like-minded socio-cultural and Dharmik  Organisations in Bengal and the Bengali diaspora in the USA.

The mention of Tribeni Kumbha in West Bengal’s Hoogly district was hinted in many scriptures as well in the Oxford research papers of Alan Morinis, a Canadian anthropologist, writer and film maker of repute.

This year the Kumbha programme was officially announced at the Tribeni confluence site on the 1st January 2023, through a Bhoomi-pujan at the Mela site under the auspicious presence and lead by Mahanirvani Akhada’s Mahamandaleshwar Swami Paramatmananda Ji and other senior Seers and Monks of Bengal. Mr. Aditya Neogy, Chairman of Banshberia Municipality also participated in the programme and assured all possible co-operations from the local administrations and associations.  

This is the second time when the 3 days Kumbh Mahasnan and Mela will be held from Feb 12 to Feb 14, 2023 as the first Tribeni Kumbha was held last year after 703 years as the traditional Kumbh at Tribeni was stopped due to attacks of the Islamic invaders and rulers at that time in Bengal. Almost all the religious organizations (Ashrams, Maths and Akhadas) of the Sanatan faith will participate in this mega event as expected by the organizers this year. 

The Tribeni Kumbha Porichalana Samiti (TKPS) took upon itself the responsibility to restore and regenerate the tradition of Kumbha in Bengal for the revival of Sanatan Hindu tradition and culture in Bengal with the help of the present generation and its stakeholders from every section of the social, political and economic sphere without any discrimination.

Over 5 lakh pilgrims are expected to attend this year’s Tribeni Kumbha as told by TKPS. Various cultural segments of Bengal traditions including Kirtan, Baul, Gaudiya Nritya, Shri-Khol, Chou-Nach, etc will be highlighted in the evening programs during the three days of Tribeni Kubha 2023. The Kumbha would also have several stalls and pavilions for food, religious books and magazines, Bengal handicrafts, Yoga and health awareness, and exhibition of eminent Bengali Kings and warriors of the past including the history of Tribeni, etc. in the Mela ground and surroundings to showcase the heritage of Bengal. 

With the help of this regeneration of Tribeni Kumbha, the organizers of this event also plan to make “Tribeni a Heritage City of Bengal”, restoring the socio-cultural legacy of this historical town.

The writer can be reached at: upananda.br@gmail.com