India is a country of fairs and festivals and people have firm faith in Gods, Goddesses and other local deities. One of such famous holy festivals is Kumbh Mela, which is a mass festival of Hindus and attract a large number of devotees from all over the places to the holy site of this holy festival.
Celebration of Kumbh Mela
This festival is celebrated every after four years period on rotation basis at four places. The famous four places of Kumb Mela in India are Allahabad (Prayag), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. Hence, a particular place gets a chance of celebrating the Kumb Mela after a period of 12 years. Ardh Kumbh Mela is celebrated every after six years in Allahabad and Haridwar. Around 4 million devotees take part in the celebrations of Kumb Mela every time.
Kumbh Mela is celebrated Jupiter Planet (Brihaspati) moves into Aquarius or Kumbh (zodiac sign). Celebration dated of Kumbh Festival are pre-decided holi festival according to the position of planets and zodiac signs. Purna Kumbh Mela is celebrated in a period of 12 years when Jupiter and Sun enters into Leo and Aries.
Rituals of Kumbh Mela
One of the main rituals of this festival is the holy bath on the banks of rivers, Ganga and Yamuna in Allahabad, Kshipra in Ujjain and Godavari in Nashik. Apart from taking holy bath various other activities are conducted like singing of devotional songs, bhajans, mass feeding of devotees, religious assemblies and discussions and offering prayers in various temples.
A large number of Sadhus and saints from various parts of India visit these holy sites during this holy festival. One can see these Sadhus dabbed with ash and Chandan (sandalwood powder) on their bodies. There are some Sadhus, who are known as ‘Naga Sadhus’ of ‘ Digambars’ , who roam naked without wearing clothes.
History of Kumbh Mela
According to a famous legend, in the Vedic period thousands and years ago, an agreement was made between Gods and demons for working together to obtain immortal nectar (amrit) from milky ocean and to share it in equal proportion. But as soon as the ‘Kumbha’ pot filled with nectar or immortality appeared, demons ran away carrying the pot. There was big battle between Gods and demons for the possession of the pot for a period of 12 days and nights (considered equivalent to 12 human years). It is believed that in the process of their battle, drops of nectar fell at these four places, Prayag, haridwar, Nashik and Ujjain. These places later became holy and the venue of organising this Mela.
There is also a famous belief among Hindus that the festival sites at Allahabad, Ujjain, Haridwar and Nashik are holy places for spending the last moments of their life. It is believed that taking bath at these holy sites of Kumbh Mela washes away sins of lifetime and it opens the doors for their journey to heaven.