Kumbh Mela or we can say Mass Hindu Pilgrimage is a Hindu Festival in which Hindu gather to bath in a sacred or holy river. We can also describe kumbh mela as “Immortal Pot of Nectar” for which Demigods (Devtas) and Devils (Asuras) fought over, according to holy books of Hindus. Kumbh melas are the fairs which held in the month of magh (January).
There is a deep story behind celebrating Kumbh Mela. At the time of Samundra Manthan (churning of the ocean) Demigods and Evils were expecting Amrit (Nector) which will give them power of Immortality. But before amrit they found Visha (Poison) which can destroy erything weather its living or non-living. To get amrit they both have to decide that who will keep Visha.
Then Demigods prayed to Lord Shiva to solve their problem. Shiva decided to keep that Visha in his Kantha (Throat). When he drank amrit, a few drops fell from his hands which were licked by scorpions, snakes, and similar other deadly creatures. As a result he saved the universe from disaster. Then Demigods and Evils started Samundra manthan again and this time they were successful to found Amrit. ThenDhanwantari (First surgeon in the world) came with the Kumbh of immortal nectar in his hands. Now both Demigods and Evils wanted to drink it to become immortal. But only one of the party can get it.
Trideva (Lord Bhrhama, Lord Vishnu, Lord Mahesha) decided to give it to Demigods by trapping Evils. At first instinct they gave Amrit to Evils, Evils get back to Patala (Descent), Lord Vishnu went there as Mohini. Evils got attracted by her beauty and she took advantage of it and stole the pot of nectar. When Demons learned that their part of the agreement was not being kept, they went after the demigods and for 12 days and 12 nights, the chase continued. Demigods tried to save the Pot of Nector, but demons found them wherever they went. It is said by the holy books that during chase, a few drops from the Pot of Nector fell at four places – Prayag Raj, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nasik.
At these four places “sangams” appeared which means a point where three holy rivers (Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) meet to became one. It is believed that these four places are since to have acquired mystical powers. Because 12 days of Swarag are equivalent to 12 years for Earth; the Kumbh Mela is celebrated after every 12 years at each of the four places – in Nasik at banks of river Godavari , in Ujjain at river Kshipra , in Haridwar at river Ganges , and at the Sangam of Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati in Allahabad, where the drops are believed to have fallen. Millions of pilgrimages, come together to take part in holy bathing and ceremonies to cleanse themselves from all sins.
The historians, wrote Hiuen Tsiang, assembled along with their king, his ministers, scholars, philosophers, and sages. He also reports that the king had distributed gold, silver, and jewels in huge quantity as charity for the purpose of earning good Karma and thus he was capable of assuring his place in heaven. In eights century Sage Shankracharya popularized kumbh mela among common people. Shankaracharya announced a special place and importance by associating saintly persons while at Kumbha Mela. Hearings from sadhus and sacred bathes are most important and main focuses of Kumbh Mela.
In 1977, the count of pilgrims attended Kumbha Mela was been risen to 15 million and In 1989, this count was in the range of 29 million which was nearly double that of the previous record. These are the timelines of
The main motive of most pilgrims during the Kumbha Mela is to experience a sacred bath at the sangam. It is said that a bath in any of the sacred sangams has purifying effects, but where the three rivers meet, the purification of bather is increased by one thousand times. Furthermore, it is believed that when a person takes a bath at the sangam during the Kumbha Mela, the person came one thousand times sin free.
This year Kumbh Mela held in Uttar Pradesh , the Uttar Pradesh government organized te world’s largest spiritual gathering – The Ardh Kumbh in Prayag (Allahabad) from January 15 to March 4, 2019. TheChief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath ensured during addressing an audience in Mumbai during the animation video launch of Kumbh 2019. The chief minister also described the state government’s preprations for the mega event.
The number of people are expecting to attend the Kumbh Mela. People are coming from all over the world to take the bath in the holy sangam. The following are the dates when people can take their holy bathes:-
Makar Sankranti (1st Shahi Snan) – 14/15 January 2019
Paush Purnima – 21 January 2019
Mauni Amavasya (Main Royal Bath 2nd Shahi Snan) – 04 February 2019
Basant Panchami (3rd Shahi Snan) – 10 February 2019
Maghi Poornima – 19 February 2019
Maha Shivratri – 04 March 2019
So, this year KumbhMela started from the day of Makra Sankranti and end up with the day of Maha Shivratri. You can took 3 Shahi Snana or you can say Royal bathes in this Kumbh. Shahi Snanas are the very holy days, on these days Sadhus with various Akharas took bathes in sangam along with decendent of Adi Guru Shankracharya. Shadus provide their teachings to normal people during the whole kumbha. They claims that they came to the Kumbh to find Lord Shiva as their companion.
Naga Sadhus are the center of attraction of the Kumbh Mela. They are most magical and mysterious devotees of Lord Shiva. It is a belief that Naga Sadhus are living in the caves of Himalayas and they came in front of normal people during the Kumbha only.
This year on the first royal bath of kumbh after many centuries Kinnar (Centaur) Akharha got their rightful position in the Sadhu world as well as in Kumbha. The city of Praygraj is painted in beautiful colors during a campaign derived by government named as “Paint my City”. The city is telling the whole story about the history of the Kumbhmela with its adorable paintings which are painted throughout the city. All the Four crossing roads of the city are decorated with sculptures of various Gods, each of them are telling a story from the Holy Books of Hindu religion. To connect the city with the county 800 new Trains are started by the government for the pilgrimages along with an airport so that people can arrive through air as well.
” The gods are real crazy when it comes to prayers. They listen to some sometimes and do not listen to some sometimes. But the whole world prays, nonetheless.”
People visited this pilgrimage by a desire to be cleansed of their sins in the river. This freeing is believed to have the power to free you from the cycle of life and death. People are coming from all of the World to take the holy