Location : Allahabad
Time : January And February (After Every Twelve Years)
Duration : Six Weeks
Highlights : Holy Dip at Sangam, Confluence of River Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati
How To reach : Road and Railways up to Allahabad and Airport at Varanasi, 135 km
The Kumbh Mela is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in
Hinduism. The word Kumbh has been derived from the Sanskrit word Kumbh
meaning 'pot' or 'pitcher' and Mela means 'festival' that is why it is
known as "the pitcher festival". The history of Kumbh Mela is
older as the civilization itself , it is believed the gods and demons
fought for the pitcher of nectar, the fight ensued for twelve days and
twelve nights during which four drops spilled from the pitcher on on to
four places of this earth Prayag (now Allahabad), Haridwar, Nasik, and
Ujjain. Kumbh mela occurs four times in twelve years and rotates among
these four places. Each twelve-year cycle includes a Grand Mela called
Maha Kumbh Mela and is held at Allahabad.
In Nasik, Mela is held during the month of Phalgun and Chitra (February, March and April), at Ujjain in Vaishska (May) and at Nasik in Shravana (July). Participation of the devotees from all over the country as well as abroad has made it world's biggest gathering. The highest religious authorities and the astrologist's determine the appropriate date of Maha Kumbh astronomically after studying the positions of the sun, moon, and the Jupiter.
Kumbh Mela is attended by millions of people on a single
day. The most important part of the mela is to a holy dip on the banks of
the rivers to wash away the sins committed in the lifetime and grant an
escape from the cycle of reincarnation. Bathing on the new moon day,
Amavasya is considered as the most auspicious and attaches the highest
spiritual merit. On this day the devotees from all over the country start
thronging the riverbanks as early as three-o clock in morning. But before
any body could go to bath, first of all the force of Naga Babas or Sadhus
of the Snake Sect hit the water at the propitious bathing time or
Kumbhayog. These ferocious looking sadhus armed with the tridents and
swords consider themselves to be the guardians of faith are naked and
cover their body with the ash and wear hair in long deadlocks.
After Naga Babas all the devotees visit the holy ghats to grab the chance of bathing at Sangam (the holy confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers) among the holy chants of 'Jai Ganga Mai Ki". Without caring for the freezing water every one remains ready to jump at his turn to attain the salvation, the utmost gift of the god to its obedient followers.
Naga Sadus Preparing for bath
While most of the people leave the place after the Isnan
(Holy Bath) Sadhus, Saints, Monks and Sages stay back. The government
makes the arrangement for the shelter and food. Most of the people reside
in the tents and pandals and take there food from the government langars.
The holy environment involves every one to be engrossed in the thought of
gods, some are praying with a rosary in their hand, while others are busy
listening to religious discussions and devotional singing.
The devotees with the inspiration to gain the eternal knowledge are given the spiritual advises and the people with confusions are asked to question and clarify there confusions. Tourists who want to pray along t6 the holy men are offered proper help.
A keen watcher can find many surprising things in the Maha Kumbh Mela, a saint who has dumped himself under 10 feet soil, a devotee has an arm lifted from the last 27 years and has come to still similarly one saint has not came out of his one room hut from the long time. These people punish themselves for the sins they have committed in their life and it is believed to increase the faith of the pious devotees.
According to the reports during the last Maha Kumbh Mela in 2001, over the period of six weeks 70 million people visited the holy site and 30 million people on the day of Shahi- isnan (Great bath). The tents where erected on the 18 square miles and 20,000 security persons kept the vigil. The public address system was the largest one used anywhere in the world.
What will be the happiest moment of a true devotee than coming close to the gods he aspire for. Such an opportunity is offered by the Maha Kumbh Mela -Where the followers of the Hinduism are enjoined to make a pilgrimage, at least once in their lifetime. Plan a trip to this holy land with your friends to examine the lifestyle of the people who are committed to there religion and don't do any thing other than preaching the words of there beloved god. The people from all around the world will be in your company and you will experience completely the new thing. The Government makes the arrangements inside the Mela grounds for all necessities including the food and lodging, security and transport. The special buses ply on the roads from the nearer towns, bus stops and railway stations to the Mela grounds. Come and enjoy, I bet it will be a life time experience for you.
Top 5 Highlights of Maha Kumbh Mela
A Holiday With Holy Spirits
Worlds Largest Gathering
Live It Out
Pilgrimage Spiritual Tour
» Splendrous Taj Mahal
Glorious Golden Triangles (I & II)
Delhi : Capital of Hearts
Jaipur : The
Power and Valor of Rajputs
Pradesh : Ecstasy in Hills
Chandigarh : Tradition