Republished from the Kumbha Mela Times
The Himalayan International Institute campus is located in an area called Jhunsi, which lies across the Ganga on the opposite side of the main city of Allahabad. The ancient name for Jhunsi is Pratishtanpur. For thousands of years Pratishtanpur was the capital city of the kings belonging to the Lunar Dynasty. There are not enough words in the English language to fully describe the sacredness of this part of the Prayaga Raj.
In the beginning of creation, according to the scriptures, this is where the sages performed the first and grandest ashvamedha yajna (horse sacrafice – sacrificing personal desires for the welfare of all) in the presence of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Three of the five altars of that yajna were located in modern Jhunsi — one at the Brahma Kupa, another at Nageshwar, and the third at the confluence itself (the remaining two were at Nagavasuki and Akshaya Vata).
For ages Jhunsi has been known as the place to do spiritual practice, and because of this many saints and sages have built their ashrams here. Over the millennia noble kings and saints and sages have continued the tradition of sponsoring grand spiritual practices here, lasting for years, or even decades. So, we consider ourselves very blessed to have been able to build our campus on this auspicious ground, and to be able to have such easy access to the Sangam and the main Mela site.
When the first group of residents arrived, it took close to an hour to walk along the sandy beach to reach the bridge that connects Jhunsi to Allahabad. But now that the Kumbha Mela has started, sheets of metal have been stretched along the sandy banks allowing trucks and other vehicles (including camels heavily laden with straw bundles) to make their way to the bridge, reducing walking time to a brisk 40-minutes.
Also in preparation for the Mela, additional pontoon bridges have temporally constructed across the Ganga to make it easier for pilgrims to cross over to Allahabad from Jhunsi.