Kumbh Mela

What is Kumbh Mela Allahabad

 “It is wonderful, the power of a faith like that, that can make multitudes upon multitudes of the old and weak and the young and frail enter without hesitation or complaint upon such incredible journeys and endure the resultant miseries without repining. It is done in love, or it is done in fear; I do not know which it is. No matter what the impulse is, the act born of it is beyond imagination, marvelous to our kind of people, the cold whites.”

Mark Twain, after visiting the Kumbh Mela of 1895

Kumbh Mela

Naga Sadhus at Kumbh Mela

Kumb Mela is one of the largest gatherings of Hindu at the bathing Ghats of a river considered Holy in Hindu Religion and Scriptures. Kumbh Mela is also a rotational affair taking place at four different locations after a certain time interval has elapsed.

The location of the Kumbh Mela are Haridwar (Ganges), Allahabad (Sangam: confluence of Ganges, Yamuna & Saraswati), Nashik (Godawari) and Ujjain (Shipra). Kumbh Mela is held at each of these locations after 12 years break with exception of Allahabad and Haridwar where Kumbh Mela is held every 6 years thus known as Ardh Kumbh.

 Kumbh Mela – Origin of the Name

Kumb Mela is named for Kumbh or the pitcher. According to one of the Hindu mythology Samudra Manthan, the gods and the demons (rakhasas) agreed to churn he sea for amrita (the nectar of immortality and wisdom).

As per the legends, god would not accept that amrita, the divine nectar should never be possessed by demons as that would make them immortal and near indestructible. When the amrita finally emerged from the churning of the sea Lord Vishnu, disguised as Mohini the enchantress, stole the nectar and fled from the fight for nectar between gods and demons. While fleeing, he passed on the Kumbh or the pitcher containing the nectar to his winged companion Garuda (Vulture).

When the demons realized this they chased Garuda and finally got hold and thus a struggle for possession of nectar ensued. It is believed as per Hindu Mythology that in the ensuing struggle for amrita and Garuda’s flight 4 drops of nectar fell at Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik and hence the Kumbh Mela at these 4 locations is celebrated by millions of Hindu.

In the same legend of Sea Churning it was explained that Jayant took 12 days to carry the nectar kalash (Kumbh) to the heaven. One year in human terms was equal to 1 god hour and that is why that in the sequence of stars state the mela is held every 12th year at the places.

 Legend Behind Kumbh Mela

Samudra Manthan: Legend Behind Kumbh Mela

Prayag Kumbh Mela 2013, Allahabad

Kumbh Mela at Allahabad is considered to be the most auspicious of all 4 Kumbh Melas in India. According to the Hindu Mythologies and legends it is here that the sun rises and the origin of the creation took place. According to legend it was here that the Hindu god of creation prajapati Bramha performed Ashwamedh Yagna at the Dashashwamedh Ghat before creating the universe. The mythological Ghat and the Temple still exist in Allahabad.

The current Maha Kumbh Mela began on 14th of Janury in Allahabad or Prayag with an expected turnaround of 100 million people. Mauni Amavasya considered to be one of the auspicious day to take dip in the sangam was attended by 0.3 Million devotees.

The major event of the festival is Shahi Snan (ritual bathing) at the confluence of the river Ganges, Jamuna (Yamuna), and Sarasvati. Other activities include religious discussions, devotional singing, mass feeding of holy men and women and the poor, and religious assemblies where doctrines are debated and standardized.

Maha Kumbh Mela, Allahabad

Kumbh Mela at Prayag, Allahabad

Shahi Snan Dates
Day
Event
14th January
Monday
Makar Sankranti
27th January
Sunday
Paush Purnima
6th February
Wednesday
Ekadashi Snan
10th February
Sunday
Mauni Amavasya Snan (Main Bathing Day)
15th February
Friday
Basant Panchami Snan
17th February
Sunday
Rath Saptami Snan
18th February
Monday
Bhisma Ashtami Snan
25th February
Monday
Maghi Purnima Snan
10th March
Sunday
Shivaratri Snan
Kumbh Mela 2013

United Colors of Kumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela: Dos and Donts

Dos

  • Use only the authorized bathing areas and Ghats which have been listed by mela administration for your own safety and security
  • It’s best to use bathing Ghats which are nearest to your accommodation or the place where you are staying.
  • Inform Police Control room or mela administrators if you spot any suspicious, unidentified or unattended object
  • Always follow the directions and instructions as addressed through the Public Address System by Mela Administrators to avoid any inconvenience.
  • Do not throw litters and garbage, always use dustbin.
  • Always dress for the occasion. Kumbh Mela is a Hindu religious event. Travelers especially foreigners should be properly attired so as not to hurt the cultural sensibilities of the locals.

Donts

  • Do not use plastic bags as its use is prohibited during the Kumbh Mela by the government and Allahabad High Court.
  • Do not wash your clothes at the bathing Ghats.
  • Do not take overcrowded boats for your own safety.
  • Do not encourage beggary at the Kumbh Mela.
  • Do not use soap when taking holy dip at the bathing Ghats.
  • Do not pollute holy river by throwing materials used for rituals in the river should be avoided
  • Use only the authorized bathing areas and Ghats which have been listed by mela administration for your own safety and security
  • It’s best to use bathing Ghats which are nearest to your accommodation or the place where you are staying.
  • Inform Police Control room or mela administrators if you spot any suspicious, unidentified or unattended object
  • Always follow the directions and instructions as addressed through the Public Address System by Mela Administrators to avoid any inconvenience.
  • Do not throw litters and garbage, always use dustbin.
  • Always dress for the occasion. Kumbh Mela is a Hindu religious event. Travelers especially foreigners should be properly attired so as not to hurt the cultural sensibilities of the locals.

If this post has interested you enough and has awakened your curiousity then you may book your tour package for kumbh mela 2013 here:

http://www.indiapilgrimtours.com/packages/maha-kumbh-mela.html

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