Today I was at leisure the whole day and was following the news channels continuously to get my brain equipped with the ongoing issues like “Pakistans Ceasefire”, “Rapes in India”, “The Hate Monger of Hyderabad” and so on. But what drew my attention was that the majority of the News Channels were flashing news about Maha Kumbh and as a person interested in the History (which comes from my genes) I started watching and gathering all that was shown in those news program about Maha Kumbh. Tomorrow the Maha Kumbh festival is going to be celebrated at Allahabad (India) and I thought this would be the right time for me to write something about it on my blog.
Well, while going through all those news items on Maha Kumbh, I found something very important in the overall concept of this pilgrimage. The Maha Kumbh is huge, infact very huge festival which if seen through the eyes of a Marketer then will find that it comprises of different factors. Before getting into what those factors are, let me speak a little about Maha Kumbh.
Maha Kumbh Mela – as it is rightly called as since ages is a mass pilgrimage followed by people who believe in Hinduism. The Maha Kumbh is celebrated every 12 years at Allahabad (India) where the river Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati meets. This Mela or Festival is billed as the biggest religious gathering in the World. If we go through the facts available on the web we may find that the written scripts about the Maha Kumbh is found in the writings of Hieun Tsang – the great Chinese Philosopher who visited India during Harshavardhanas Era. What does it convey to me as a Marketer? It conveys the Global History of this huge Place/Concept of Pilgrimage which is with a Made in India tag being communicated to the world by a Chinese Traveller. So now we have a Place/Concept (Kumbh Mela Allahabad) and the Marketer (Chinese Philosopher Hieun Tsang). Then this Mela has 3 rivers for which pilgrims come here and these 3 rivers can typically in marketing terms be assumed as the ingredients of this whole concept.
I was surprised to know that out of the huge numbers of pilgrims, who come here, majority are the Saints and Sadhus and these saints are again divided on the basis of the God they believe in. Therefore there are 2 groups – Shaiva and Vaishnava. These groups are termed as Akharas. The group of saints who worship Lord Shiva are the part of the Shaiva Akahara and those who worship Lord Vishnu are referred as Vaishnava Akhara. So now we have two organizations which act as stake holders in this pilgrimage – Shaiva and Vasihnava. These 2 Akharas are again divided into several Akharas. The Shaiva Akhara is divided in to sub Akharas like Mahanirvani Akhara, Atal Akhara, Niranjani Akhara, Bhairav Akhara, Agni Akhara etc. Likewise Vasihnava Akhara is divided into Nirmohi Akhara, Nirvanai Ani Akhara, Udasin AKhara, Nirmal Akhara, Digambari Akhara etc. I visualized these sub Akahars as the distribution channels of their respective belief. When I say distribution channels, I mean it with due respect to those Akharas. Now these Sub Akharas are widely spread across the country and each Akhara has a main office bearer and members of the governing board referred as Mukhya Mahants, Sthaniya Mahant, Sachiv, Adhikari etc. If we try and compare this positions in the Akharas with the modern business organizations then Mukhya Mahant may be compared to a MD, Sthaniya Mahanth to a Branch Manager, Sachiv as the Communication Executive, Adhikari as executive etc. Each of these Akharas has their logo and their dressing sense which varies from each other. These throws some light on Branding attached with this Akharas. If we try and get more information on Maha Kumbh then we may find many untapped Marketing ideas attached with this Oldest Pilgrimage possible on Earth. I am seeking to study more about the same and try to get something out of it to add to my field of Marketing.
The whole concept of the Maha Kumbh sounds very interesting to me. I hope I attend in few years the Ardh Kumbh (Half Kumbh) which happens in every 6 years and get more practical exposure to this concept. The main reason behind writing this blog today was not to talk and show my skills in Marketing Creativity but was to educate the modern youth (friends) about Maha Kumbh with a creative write-up which may attract them to read.