Heads of missions visit Prayagraj to witness Kumbh Mela preparations

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 15, 2018, 09.36 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

Prayagraj Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019 will take place at Triveni Sangam in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh from 15th January to March 2019. Photograph:( Twitter )

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Prayagraj Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019 will take place at Triveni Sangam in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh from 15th January to March 2019. Minister of State, External Affairs General V K Singh led the delegation of diplomats.

The Ministry of External Affairs and Uttar Pradesh government hosted 72 heads of mission, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, on Saturday in Prayagraj. The visit was to showcase the preparedness for grand Kumbha Mela that is to be organised in the city in January. 

Prayagraj Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019 will take place at Triveni Sangam in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh from 15th January to March 2019. Minister of State, External Affairs General V K Singh led the delegation of diplomats.

Speaking to WION, Dean of Diplomatic Corps Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, said, "The visit was extremely well prepared and organised by the UP government as well as the MEA. Kudos to the chief of protocol, MEA MOS General VK Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for having the vision for this group visit by the head of mission to go to Kumbh Mela and personally experience what so many of our citizens come to India to experience."

Dean of the diplomatic corps is the representative of the diplomatic missions, a person who deals with the government on behalf of the diplomatic community of a country. Dean of the diplomatic corps is an ambassador of a particular country. Frank Hans Dannenberg Castellanos is the Ambassador of Dominican Republic to India.

He said all heads of mission were satisfied and "staff of MEA went above and beyond the call of duty in making this visit a successful one." He added that the visit will "bring more confidence in travellers from our country when they visit here (Kumbh Mela). When they ask our embassy for an opinion if they should go to Kumbh. UP govt is working with central govt to better develop the facility, to better develop the area."

Castellanos thanked Prime Minister Modi and said that "it was a personal decision of him to make sure that we as heads of mission posted in India have this experience."

The Kumbh Mela was inscribed on the list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO in 2017.

Meanwhile, Minister of State, External Affairs VK Singh, speaking to reporters after the visit, said the reaction of the ambassadors and high commissioners was a "positive one" and the ministry was able to "clarify all concerns on safety and security." The basic purpose of the visit, he said, was to "showcase the preparations that go into Kumbh Mela preparations."