Lucknow: This year’s Kumbh Mela has turned out to be the most expensive ever, with the Uttar Pradesh government allocating Rs 4,200 crore for the mega event in Prayagraj. This is over three times the budget of the Maha Kumbh in 2013, said reports on Wednesday.

“The UP government has allocated Rs 4,200 crore for 2019 Kumbh Mela. The previous state government had spent around Rs 1,300 crore for the Maha Kumbh, which was held in 2013,” state Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal was quoted as saying by PTI. He said that some other departments had also allocated funds for the mega event, which was over and above this amount.

The Kumbh Mela area has also been doubled this year. It is spread over an area of 3,200 hectares as compared to 1,600 hectares of the previous melas.

It is the largest public gathering anywhere in the world. Ardh Kumbh is held every six years, while the Maha Kumbh Mela comes after 12 years.

The Yogi Adityanath government has renamed Ardh Kumbh as Kumbh and the Kumbh as Maha Kumbh.

The mela draws tens of millions of pilgrims over the course of about 48 days to bathe at the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati.

In all, there are six auspicious bathing dates in this Kumbh – Makar Sankranti (January 15), Paush Poornima (January 21), Mauni Amawasya (February 4), Basant Panchami (February 10), Maghi Poornima (February 19) and Mahashivratri (March 4).

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for getting Kumbh Mela global recognition. “More than two crore pilgrims on Tuesday took a holy dip at Kumbh,” he said.

“It is due to the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Kumbh Mela has been recognised all over the world and is being organised as never before,” he said.

“I want to congratulate and thank 13 akhadas, akhada parishads, pilgrims , Prayagraj Mela administration, police and all concerned department for a successful Kumbh on Tuesday,” he said.