How much do you know about Kumbh Mela world’s biggest human gathering in India? which is the largest peaceful gathering of pilgrims on the planet, is one such event that marks the celebration of Hindu heritage.
Red here few amazing facts that you should know about Kumbh Mela that attracts over millions of devotees from across the world.
1. Where did Kumbh Mela held?
Maha Kumbh Mela – Maha Kumbh Mela which is the largest of all is held once in 12 years at 4 locations on four sacred rivers around the country at Haridwar on the Ganges River, at Ujjain on the Shipra, at Nashik on the Godavari, and at Prayagraj at the confluence of the Ganges, the Jamuna, and the mythical Sarasvati.
Which is determined by the astrological calculations based on planetary movements as per the Hindu calendar.
All towns that have significant temples. The Mela returns to each location every 12 years. The Kumbh Mela will begin from January 15 to March 4, 2019, In 2022 Kumbh Mela will be celebrated in Haridwar.
2. Kumbhmela – Meaning
Kumbh is a Sanskrit word for the pitcher, also referred to as the Kalasha. Kumbh is also a zodiac sign in Indian Astrology for Aquarius. Mela means a gathering or meets or simply a fair. The literal meaning of Kumbh /Ghata is a pitcher, but its elemental meaning is something else. Even as a symbol of the pitcher, Kumbh is synonymous with holy activities as in daily life a pitcher (or Kalash) is an integral part of all sacred activities in Hindu culture, and this pitcher is a symbol of Kumbh.
3. The Story of the Kumbh Mela
Mythological significance of Kumbh revolves around the story of the Samudra Manthan or ocean churning which was done by the gods and demons to obtain the invaluable ratnas or the jewels and Amrita or the nectar. The mountain Mandrachala become churning stick and the Nagraja Vasuki acted as the rope. The Lord Vishnu himself took the form of Kasava or tortoise and provided a base for the mountain Mandrachala with fear that it may get slipped and submerged in the ocean. The first to emerge in this churning was a venomous poison which was consumed by Lord Shiva who upon drinking this poison came to be called as the Nilkantha. The churning continues and emerged Kamdhenu, the Uccaishrava Jayanta, the son of Lord Indra, catching sight of the amrita Kalash or the pot filled with nectar, snatched it from the hands of God Dhanvantari.
Noticing this, Lord Shukracharya, the Guru of demons alerted and demons chased Jayanta. According to the divine counting, one day of Gods is equal to the one year of mortal beings and the Jayanta kept on running for 12 days to avoid Amrit Kalash to fall in the hands of demons. The four places where Jayanta had put down the Amrit Kalash in these twelve years were Haridwar, Prayag, Nashik-Trimbakeshwar and Ujjain, and at these four places at that time the sun, moon, and planets had reached the unique astrological alignment, during which is Kumbh Mela is held at these places. The nectar pot was saved from the demons by God Brihaspati with the help of the Sun, his son Lord Shani and Moon who saved the nectar Kumbh from getting damaged. As mentioned in the Skanda Purana, Kumbh Mela is not just celebrated where the Amrit Kalash was put down, but where the nectar had spilt along with putting down of the Kalash.
4. Kumbh Mela 2019 to generate revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore
The mega Kumbh Mela, which began on January 15 and will continue till March 4, is expected to generate a revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh, says apex industry body Confederation of Indian Industry.
5. Attractions At The Kumbh Mela
The sadhus or saints who come from far and wide and many from the Himalayan monasteries are the main attractions of this fair, people come to witness them and listen to them for spiritual enlightenment.
6. The festival is over 2000 years old!
The first written evidence of the mela can be found in the accounts of the Chinese traveller Xuanzang, who visited India during the reign of King Harshavardhana.
7. Important Dates For Kumbh, 2019
- January 15, 2019: Makar Sankranti (First Shahi Snan).
- January 21, 2019: Poush Purnima.
- February 4, 2019: Mauni Amavasya (Second and Main Shahi Snan).
- February 10, 2019: Vasant Panchami (Third Shahi Snan).
- February 19, 2019: Maghi Poornima (Full moon).
- March 4, 2019: Maha Shivratri (Puja day of Lord Shiva).
8. Hindus believe that people who bathe in the river during the auspicious dates are blessed by the Gods themselves and all their sins would be washed away.
9. Several holy men from different Hindu sects attend the mela, such as the Nagas (who do not wear any clothes), Kalpwasis (who bathe thrice a day) and Urdhawavahurs (who believe in putting the body through severe austerities). They come to the mela to perform sacred rituals pertaining to their respective groups.
10. The Kumbh Mela has been recognized by UNESCO as an ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity’. The UN body inscribed it on the ‘representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity’ at its 12th session in Jeju, South Korea.