Kumbha Mela

Kumbha Mela is the largest religious gathering in the world, during which, Lakhs of people gather to have holy baths, especially on certain auspicious days.

Updated: October 1, 2018

Kumbha Mela is the largest religious gathering in the world, during which, Lakhs of people gather to have holy baths, especially on certain auspicious days. They took bath in the holy water of the river by the side of which this Mela is held. Apart from having holy bath, people gather to have Darshan of the Sadhus who come down to the Mela from Himalayas as well as from other parts of India.
The Kumbha Mela is held at four different locations by turn and continues for about a month. The time and place for holding this unique Mela is decided, based on not only on the position of the Sun in a Rashi division but also that of the planet Jupiter, also known as Brihaspati.
Traditionally, four fairs are widely recognized as the Kumbh Melas. These are the Haridwar Kumbh Mela, the Allahabad Kumbh Mela, the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha, and Ujjain Simhastha. These four fairs are held periodically at one of the places by rotation. The places are Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayaga), Nashik district (Nashik and Trimbak), and Ujjain. The main festival site is located on the banks of a river. The rivers could be the Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar, the confluence (Sangam) of the Ganges and the Yamuna and the invisible Sarasvati at Allahabad, the Godavari at Nashik and the Shipra at Ujjain. Bathing in these rivers is thought to cleanse a person of all their sins.
The rules of holding Kumbha Mela are as follow:
  • Sun entering Mesha Rashi when Jupiter is in Kumbha Rashi, around mid of April, Purna Kumbha happens on the bank of river Ganga in Haridwar.
  • Sun entering Makara Rashi when Jupiter is in Vrishabha Rashi, around mid of January, Purna Kumbha happens on the bank of river Ganga in Allahabad (Prayag).
  • Sun entering Makara Rashi when Jupiter is in Vrishchika Rashi, around mid of January, Ardha Kumbha happens on the bank of river Ganga in Allahabad (Prayag).
  • Sun entering Mesha Rashi when Jupiter is in Simha Rashi, around mid of April, Kumbha happens on the bank of river Shipra in Ujjain.
  • Sun entering Simha Rashi when Jupiter is in Simha Rashi, around mid of July, Simhastha Kumbha happens on the bank of river Godavari in Nasik.
  • Sun entering Mesha Rashi when Jupiter is in Simha Rashi, around mid of April, Ardha Kumbha happens on the bank of river Ganga in Haridwar.               
When Kumbha Mela is held at Ujjain, at the same time an Ardha Kumbha Yoga is considered to happen at Haridwar. But this Kumbha is given less importance compared to the other Kumbha as Kumbha Mela is happening at Ujjain at the same time and that at Nasik only at difference of few months.
Kumbha Mela is happening at all four places every 3 years.
  • Ardha Kumbha Mela held at Haridwar and Allahabad every 6 years where as Purna Kumbha Mela held only at Allahabad every 12 years.
  • Maha Kumbha Mela held only at Allahabad every 144 years.
Auspicious bathing days, except the one on Vaisakhi day at Haridwar, are normally determined on the basis of lunar days like Purnima and Amavasya.

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