Kumbh Mela

Uttar Pradesh in India is famous all over the world for the renowned Kumbh Mela. It has gained international fame as 'world's largest and most massive act of faith'. The Kumbh Mela plays an important role in the spirituality of India. All the devotees visiting the sacred holy place of Sangam in Allahabad believe that just by bathing in the holy water all the sins and bad deeds are washed away. By doing this the people believe that they are liberated from the cycle of birth and death.

Kumbh Mela is a Hindu religious fair that is held four times every 12 years, which rotates among the four locations of Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. A Maha Kumbh Mela is held once in 12 years at Allahabad where millions of devotees and tourists visit the place. Bathing in this sacred place is the major event in the Maha Kumbh Mela. The other activities comprise devotional singing, religious discussions, mass feeding of holy persons and religious assemblies where doctrines are debated and standardized. It tends to attract many of the foreign travelers and western attention, as it is contrast to the social mindset in their countries.

To attend this massive gathering pilgrims from all walks of life travel to this place. The confluence of the three rivers namely the Ganga, Yamuna and the Saraswati is called the Sangam, better known as Triveni Sangam. The river Saraswati is however a mythical river which is not visible to the human eyes. It is said that the water of river Saraswati flows from beneath the earth and finally meets the other two rivers at their base. The holiest period to have a bath at this scared junction is during the Kumbh Mela.

Kumbh Mela holds mythological importance; it is supposed that the drops of nectar for immortality, better known as 'amrita', fell from the hands of the Gods during their struggle with the Demons to have the sole possession of this nectar. The drops of nectar fell in the four places of Ujjain, Haridwar, Nashik and Allahabad; hence, the Kumbh Mela takes place at these four places. Many astrologers are present at the holy site to tell the exact time to have a dip in the water along with the schedule to perform other rituals and rites. Usually the Kumbh Mela starts on the day of the Makra Sankranti or when the planet Jupiter enters Aquarius and Sun enters Aries.

Kumbh Mela is also known as the festival of ascetics and sadhus. The reasons to attend Kumbh Mela differ from person to person. By and far people come to the scared place to have a bath in the holy Sangam. Others come for just touring the place and being a part of the huge gathering. Thus, Kumbh Mela is one of the holiest rituals to attend for the Hindu devotees.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/16

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