Chefs preparing satvik food, yoga teachers training guests to exercise and meditate, boat rides into the river and some wellness therapies too — these might sound like a usual luxury stay at any five-star hotel but is not generally something one can associate with their stay in Prayagraj during Kumbh. But Prayagraj has all this and more to offer this Kumbh season, starting on January 15.
Luxury tents are the new attraction at Kumbh. For instance, The Ultimate Travelling Camp (TUTC), that offers luxury camping in India, will be setting up Sangam Nivas in Prayagraj between January 10 and March 6. Guests can enjoy the grandeur of the Kumbh Mela — chiming bells, incense and flower fragrance, smoke from the havan kunds (fire places), vedic hymns, mantras, drum beats, the blare of conchs and everything that is part of this holy festival — but in luxury tents.
But what is Sangam Nivas all about? At Prayagraj’s Sangam Nivas, the camp is directly in line with the Sangam (the confluence of the three rivers) which is the main bathing area and overlooks the Akharas of the sadhus, religious communities and the crowds. Thus, one can enjoy the entire Kumbh experience from a distance alongside using the luxuries of the camp.
Sangam Nivas is, however, not an isolated example. There is more. Kumbh Cottages on Arail Road,barely 200 meters from the Sangam, is setting up makeshift Swiss cottage tents. Targeted mostly towards the elderly, Kumbh Cottages is selling their proximity to the Sangam as their USP.
What sets these facilities apart from any other normal accommodation facility? Mostly the services.
“The TUTC camp has weaved in exclusive activities specially curated to enhance the Kumbh Mela experience. Guests can opt for yoga and meditation classes or enjoy the Kumbh Mela on an early morning boat cruise and watch devotees by the river banks offering prayers. Guests will also be given options to ask for one-on-one interactions with sadhus and seers,” said Dhun Cordo, co-founder at TUTC.
““We are concentrating on services, and hence have kept the number of tents at 50 only so that we can give individual attention to our guests. Each guest party will get a personal attendant and the elderly will be taken around in a wheelchair,” said Ragini Chandel, owner at Kumbh Cottages.
It goes without saying that bespoke services always come at a premium.
At Sangam Nivas, there are two categories of tents — luxury tents and super luxury deluxe tents. Alongside the personalised services, the tents have everything in terms of furniture to amenities that are there in any boutique accommodation. On the auspicious bathing dates of the Kumbh Mela, these tents come for Rs 35,000 and Rs 48,000 and on non-bathing days, the tents come at a tariff of Rs 24,500 and Rs 41,500 respectively.
The Kumbh Cottages, on the other hand, are in three categories — deluxe, luxury and maharaja — and come at tariffs between Rs 8,000 and Rs 25,000 for a night.