Envoys of 72 nations visit Kumbh venue

Envoys of 72 nations visit Kumbh venue

Heads of Missions attend the flag-hoisting ceremony during their day-long visit of Kumbh Mela region, in Allahabad, on Saturday. PTI

The Government on Saturday took the envoys of 72 foreign nations to Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh to witness the preparation for the Kumbh Mela, which will take place from January to March next year.

The Ambassadors, High Commissioners and the Chargé D'affaires of the foreign missions based in New Delhi flew to Prayagraj (till recently known as Allahabad) on a special Air India flight early on Saturday. V K Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, also travelled with them on board the special flight.

The Ministry of External Affairs arranged the visit of the foreign envoys to the Kumbh Mela site just a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself is scheduled to visit Prayagraj and perform a “puja” at “Triveni Sangam” - the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognised the Kumbh Mela as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” in December 2017.

“More than 70 Heads of Missions based in Delhi are on board a special flight to Prayagraj to witness Kumbh Mela in the Making – massive preparations underway for UNESCO inscribed “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” festival of peace and harmony,” Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, posted on Twitter on Saturday.

He also tweeted a picture of Singh and the envoys of the foreign countries on board the Air India aircraft.

The envoys of the US, Malaysia, Canada, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, South Korea, Indonesia, Iraq and Nepal were among the top diplomats who travelled to Prayagraj on Saturday.

The Triveni Sangam in Prayagraj is likely to witness a congregation of thousands of ascetics and devotees from across the country from January 15 to March 31.

Since the Kumbh Mela 2019 is going to be the first after the festival got the UNESCO “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” tag, the Ministry of External Affairs is keen to promote it internationally.

The envoys of the foreign nations hoisted their respective national flags at Triveni Sangam. Singh too joined them raising the tricolour of India. The event was planned to put the message of Vasudhaiv Kutumbkom (the world is one family) at the core of the Kumbh 2019 theme. “In a special ceremony, MoS @Gen_VKSingh along with Heads of Missions of over 70 countries participating at #Kumbh2019 collectively hoisted their nations’ flags @PrayagrajKumbh These would be displayed during the entire duration of the mela,” tweeted the MEA spokesperson.

The foreign envoys returned to New Delhi in the evening.