On Monday, 13th July 2015, Simhastha Kumbh Mela, the largest congregation of faith in the world, began at Nashik. This year it started with the traditional ceremony of hoisting of flags and thousands of people taking a holy dip in Kushawart and Ramkund in Godavari river at Trimbakeshwar and Nashik respectively.
In Trimbakeshwar, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and state Women and Child Welfare minister Pankaja Munde presided over the ceremony as chief guests while Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis presided at the Nashik ceremony.
It is marked by participation of ‘sadhus’ from different denominations (akhadas), and lakhs of devotees. Kumbh is also known for the religious pomp and colorful processions. The festival will last for 58 days till August 11.
One of the most convincing spiritual gatherings is the Kumbh Mela in India. During the Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013 in Allahabad, presence of around 100 million (10 crore) visitors are recorded. It is measured to be the largest peaceful religious gathering throughout the world. This ancient northern Indian Hindu festival is a congregation of sacred minds.
Kumbh Mela Takes Place in :-
Kumbh Mela takes place rotationally in four most holy Hindu religious seats in India-
- Nashik – on the banks of the river Godavari in Maharashtra
- Ujjain – on the banks of the river Shipra in Madhya Pradesh (also known as Simhastha)
- Haridwar – on the banks of the river Ganga inUttarakhand
- Allahabad/Prayag – at the confluence (Sangam) of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati (legendary) in Uttar Pradesh
Kumbh Mela is Held in:-
Kumbh Mela is held in each place once in every 12 years. Logically, every Kumbh Mela should take place in every 3 years at alternative places. But it actually occurs following astrological and spiritual reckons.
Besides the Kumbh Mela, there is also Maha Kumbh Mela which occurs only once in every 12 years. Meanwhile, Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela takes place in the sixth year. As well, in Allahabad, Maagha Mela is celebrated in the month of Maagha (Hindu Lunar month) at the Sangam. If this Mela takes place in sixth and twelfth years; it is considered Ardh Kumbh Mela and Purn/Maha (Full) Kumbh Mela correspondingly.
Purn Kumbh is considered to be the most propitious Hindu Festival. It always comes about in the Sangam, in Allahabad, as the confluence of the three rivers is considered as the holiest Hindu seat. Ardh Kumbh takes place equally in Allahabad and Haridwar.
Legend behind Kumbh :-
Myth behind Kumbh is that in the legendary times, once Gods lost their power during a war between the Demigods and the Demons for the possession of nectar of perpetual verve. During the war, Garuda, the extraterrestrial bird, flew away with the pitcher (Kumbh) full of nectar. But some drops are supposed to have fallen in the places Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain. Thus these places are believed to be the most holy places for Hindus and the Kumbh Mela is now held.
Upcoming Kumbh Mela
- 2016 Kumbh Mela at Ujjain
- Ardh Kumbh at Haridwar
- 2016 Mahamaham Kumbh at Kumbakonam
- 2019 Ardh Kumbh at Allahabad
- 2022 Kumbh Mela at Haridwar