Indians are known all over the world for celebrating festivals with passion and fervor. While some festivals are celebrated to please the gods in the hope to attain salvation, some are celebrated to express joy and to wish for prosperity. Held every three years, the Kumbh Mela is one such festival, a pilgrimage of faith that allows Hindus to wash their past sins.
The Mela is the largest religious gathering in the world that hosts hundreds of thousands of devotees from India and around the globe.
Here are the interesting facts about Kumbh Mela you should know
The gathering happens every three years and switches between four different locations - Haridwar (Ganga River), Nasik (River Godavari), Ujjain (Kshipra River), and Prayag (Confluence of Yamuna, Ganga, and Saraswati rivers). The Kumbh Mela returns to every location after a span of 12 years.
The word ‘Kumbh’ in the Kumbh Mela means ‘Nectar’ when translated to English. The folklore of the mela goes back to the times when the gods (Devas) used to call Earth their home. The great sage Durvasa cursed the gods and the demons (Asuras) that caused havoc in the world.
Lord Brahma, the god of knowledge, advised the gods (Devas) to churn the nectar of immortality with the help of the demons (Asuras). But, the gods decided to churn out the nectar without the demons, The demons got to know the plan and chased the gods for 12 days. While chasing the gods, the nectar fell at the four locations where Kumbh Mela is held.
Hindu devotees gather to take a dip into the holy rivers on the dates when the water is said to be turned into the nectar of immortality. The exact dates of Kumbh Mela are predicted by the astrologers according to a combination of zodiac positions the Sun, the Moon, and Jupiter.
Hindu devotees all around the world believe that bathing in the sacred waters of the Kumbh Mela provides salvation, washes all their sins away, and those who bathe are eternally blessed by the divine.
Numerous holy sages from different sects of Hinduism grace the auspicious occasion with their presence, such as Nagas (known as men who don’t wear anything), Urdhawavahurs (known to put their bodies through severe austerities), and Kalpwasis (known as men who bathe thrice a day). They attend the Kumbh Mela to perform the sacred rituals relating to their respective groups.
It is believed that the festival is over 2000 years old! The first mention of the Kumbh Mela can be found in the accounts of the Chinese traveler Xuanzang, who came to India during the rule of King Harshavardhana.
The Kumbh Mela creates a vast number of job opportunities for the Indians. In 2013, the mela created nearly 650,000 jobs and estimated to earn around INR 12,000 crores.
There are different time durations hence there are different types of Kumbh Mela, and the Maha Kumbh Mela is held only in Prayagraj every 144 years which is the holiest of all.
The Magh Mela is the oldest version of Kumbh Mela which was held in Prayagraj. This is the version of the mela that Chinese traveler Xuanzang mentioned in his journals.
Now you must have an idea why it is the largest gathering in the world. Follow Adotrip for more such interesting lists. Book the cheapest flight tickets, best hotels, and tour packages. We aim to make your vacation memories unforgettable. With us, nothing is far!