Kumbh Mela is celebrated by Hindus in which they gather to bathe in a sacred river. Basically, Kumbh Mela is celebrated in Prayagraj (Formerly Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik in the interval of 3 years. So, Kumbh Mela is held once in 12 years at any given place. The exact date of Kumbh Mela is determined by Vikram Samvat calendar and the principles of Jyotisha.
There are several references to river-side Mela in ancient Indian texts but the exact mention of when Kumbh Mela began is not there. So, we cannot tell for how long Hindus have been celebrating Kumbh Mela.
Kumbh Mela is the biggest gathering of people in any part of the world. If we look at the records, 400,000 pilgrims attended the Kumbh in 1903 while 120 million pilgrims were recorded in the Kumbh Mela held at Prayagraj in 2013. This year at the Ardh Kumbh of 2019, this number is expected to grow.
In 2019, Ardh Kumbha Mela will be held in Prayagraj. It will start on January 15 and will end on 4 March 2019. Uttar Pradesh government is ready to host Hindu Pilgrim for the Mela.
Facts about Kumbh Mela
If you are also curious about that, you should not miss this article. Kumbha Mela is special and it has several interesting facts to know.
1. Kumbh Mela is the biggest mass gathering of people in the world.
2. The Kumbh Mela takes place every three years at source places and date depends on the position of the planets Bṛhaspati (Jupiter) and sun.
Here is how they decide.
- Jupiter is in Aquarius and Sun is in Aries – Haridwar
- Jupiter is in Taurus and Sun in Capricorn – Prayag
- Jupiter and the Sun are both in Leo – Nashik
- Jupiter and the Sun are both in Scorpio – Ujjain
3. There are different kinds of Kumbh: an Ardh Kumbh and A Purna Kumbh. Ardh Kumbh is held in every 6 years at Haridwar and Prayag.
4. The Maha Kumbh Mela is celebrated once every 144 years. The last Maha Kumbh Mela celebrated in the year 2001. Maha Kumbha Mela is held only at Prayag.
5. The origin of Kumbh is related to the fight between gods and demons over the pot of nectar (Amrit) that could give immortality. It is believed that one of the gods spilled drops of nectar near four places where Kumbha Mela is presently held. But several ancient texts, including the various Puranas where Samudra Manthan has been mentioned, have no mention of spilling of the amrita at four places or Kumbh Mela. So, scholars believe that this story was added later to show scriptural authority for it.
The first documented mention of Kumbh Mela was found in the book of Chinese traveler Huan Tsang who visited India in 629 – 645 CE.
6. Hindus believe that submerging themselves in water will wash their sins. Various types of sadhus including Nagas, Urdhwavahurs, Parivajakas, Shirshasinse, and Kalpvasis also bath at Kumbh along with other people.
7. Government provides special facilities for millions who gather to celebrate the Kumbh Mela. Temporary toilets and hospitals are set up and special police personnel to manage the crowds.
When is the Next Kumbh Mela
- 2022 – Kumbh Mela in Haridwar
- 2025 – Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad
- 2027 – Kumbh Mela in Nashik