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Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimages of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred river. It is the world's largest religious gathering. It is held every third year at one of the four places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Nasik and Ujjain. Thus the Kumbh Mela is held at each of these four places every twelfth year. Ardh ("Half") Kumbh Mela is held at only two places, Hardwar and Allahabad, every sixth year. The rivers at these four places are: the Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar, the confluence (Sangam) of the Ganges and the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati at Allahabad, the Godawari at Nasik, and the Shipra at Ujjain.
The Magh (Kumbh) Mela is one of the greatest annual religious affairs for Hindus. Hindu mythology considers the origin of the Magh Mela to be the beginning of the Universe. An important occasion, the Magh (Kumbh) Mela is held every year on the banks of Triveni Sangam (the confluence of the three great rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) in Prayag near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.
In accordance with the traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India, this holy fair is organised every year during the Hindu month of Magh (corresponding to mid January - mid February of the Gregorian calendar); hence the name. The Magh Mela is, however, not confined only to the month of Magh and the important bathing dates are spread over a period of 45 days. The Magh Mela is actually a smaller version of Kumbh Mela. Hence it is also known as mini Kumbh Mela.
Every year, the Magh Mela commences on the day of Makkar Sankranti in January, which is the first important bathing day according to the religious Hindu calendar. It begins with multitudes of pilgrims taking a holy dip at the Sangam on auspicious dates. A large number of people arrive here annually and stay in makeshift houses or tents at the Sangam, spending the entire month of Magh in prayers. This period is known as "Kalpvas". Those who religiously observe the "Kalpvas" are known as "Kalpvasis".
The ancient Hindu Vedas mention a "Kalp" to be the period equal to the total number of years in the four yugas - Satyug, Treta, Dwapar and Kalyug. This adds up to several millions of years. It is said that by piously observing a "Kalpavas", a devotee overcomes the sins in his/her previous birth and escapes the cycle of Janma(birth) and Karma (actions). During each day of the Magh Mela, a Kalpvasi has to take a dip at the Ganges on sunrise praying to the rising sun. Majority of the Kalpvasis partake only a meal a day. After observing 12 Kalpavas, a Kalpavasi has to donate his/her bed and all his belongings (a ritual known as "Shayya Daan").
The Uttar Pradesh government annually makes special arrangements for the devotees during this time. A greater number of buses ply to let the pilgrims have their journey in peace and without any inconvenience. A township of tents specially come up on the banks of the Sangam to provide shelter to the visiting millions who turn up from all over the country. Adequate medical and security arrangements are made to avoid any untoward incidents. "Lost and Found" camps are also set up and manned by the local police to prevent anyone getting missing during the days of the fair.
Every twelfth year, the Magh Mela is transformed into the Kumbha Mela. Uttar Pradesh is flooded with millions of pilgrims who arrive here during this time to attend this grand event.
Kumbh Mela-Nasik (Trimbakeshwar) 2015
The Nasik Kumbhmela celebration is held once every 12 years in Nashik - it is scheduled for 2015. It draws millions of devotees and tourists from all over the country and the world.
Trimbakeshwar is a holy town that houses one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India. It also is the origin of the river Godavari and is situated 38 kms away from Nasik. The Sinhasta Kumbh Mela is held once in 12 years in Nashik and Trimbakeshwar. According to historical records, Nasik is one of four places where the elixir of immortality, the 'amrit', fell to earth from a pitcher as gods and demons were engaged in the tussle to gain the ownership of the jar full of 'amrit'. The Kumbh Mela rotates among the four holy sites every three years. The Kumbh Mela is marked by millions of devotees' plunge into the river Godavari that is believed would cleanse their souls leading to salvation. A ritual bath at a predetermined time and place is the major event of the festival.
Ujjain is an ancient city of Malwa region in central India, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River and is today a part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is regarded as one of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) of the Hindus and is one of the four sites along with Prayag (Allahabad), Hardwar and Nasik that host the Kumbh Mela, and attracts a millions of Hindu pilgrims from around the world. It is also the place where Lord Krishna, along with Balarama and Sudama, received his education from Maharshi Sandipani.
Ujjain is enriched with several religious shrines such as Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir, Mahakaleshwar, Vikram Kirti Temple and many others. The indomitable spirit of Ujjain is best exemplified by the legend of an ancient banyan tree named Siddhwat. The tree is believed to possess extraordinary spiritual vibrations and holy men meditate under it while others worship it.
There is also an interesting tale behind the sanctity of the city. Its origin is ascribed to the mythological legend of Sagar Manthan. The story goes that after the nectar was discovered; there was a chase between the gods and the demons to have the nectar first so as to attain immortality. During this chase a drop of nectar spilled and fell on Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik, and this again manifested in the Kumbh Mela being celebrated in Ujjain in every 12 years, thus making the city a sacred place.
Apart from the mythological legends, the city has a long and distinguished history that it has witnessed legendary rulers including the renowned king Chandragupta II, great scholars such as Brahmagupta and Bhaskaracharya, and literary gems like Kalidasa.
On the occasion of Kumbh Mela the divinity and spiritual aroma of Ujjain meets its extreme peak when the millions of devotees take dips and worship sacred River Shipra. Sages and devotees from every nook and corner attend the religious ceremony of Kumbh Mela to attain salvation and libration from the vicious cycle of birth-death-rebirth.
The commemoration of Mela at Ujjain is known as ‘Simhastha Kumbh Mela’, and the major attraction of this festival is ‘Shahi Snan’ (royal bath) which takes place on predetermined dates varying every year. It is believed that those who get a royal bath in holy Shipra River on the occasion of Kumbh Mela can wash their sins of all previous births. The devotees consider it as an opportunity to get them revived from the never ending birth cycle.
‘Simhastha Kumbh Mela’ in Ujjain is the unique combination of divinity and purity, which is experienced when the crowd of ash-dubbed sages, priests, devotees gets fused together with the roaring of elephants and camels. People who witness the spiritual fest feel good fortune by their side and sense positive aroma purifying their souls and thoughts.
The next ‘Simhastha Kumbh Mela’ in Ujjainwill be held from 22nd April 2016 to 21st May 2016. The Bathing Dates are not yet announced. Please be in touch with us for Bathing dates at Ujjain.
Ardh Kumbh Mela-Hardwar-2016
Haridwar (The Gateway to God...) : Hardwar stands as the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttaranchal. Geographically and geological, Hardwar, lying at the feet of Shiva's hills, i.e., Shivaliks, in the Hardwar district of Uttaranchal Pradesh, is a doorway. Suryavanshi prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to the curse of sage Kapila. The penance was answered and the river Ganga trickled forth from Lord Shiva's locks and its bountiful water revived the sixty thousand sons of king Sagara. In the traditional of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here, praying for salvation of their departed elder. It is doorway to the sources of the Ganga and the Yamuna, 3000 to 4500 meters up into the snowy ranges of the central Himalayas. The 'Aarti' worship of the Ganga after sunset and the floating 'dia' (lamp) is a moving ritual.
The observance of Maha Kumbh Mela has achieved international popularity as "The biggest act of faith." Millions of pilgrims come to participate in the holy event of Maha Kumbh with a tremendous faith. They have a "persistent trust in something sublime". The pilgrims come from all walks of life, with a belief that their sins will be washed off in the holy waters of the sacred river Ganges if they take a dip during the Kumbh but the actual and more science based reasons are different. It is actually the position of stars and constellations during the Kumbh that makes it significant to take a dip in the river at that time. Actually Kumbh Mela takes place during an auspicious planetary position that is believed to medicate the Ganges waters with a concentration of certain rays due to their position and turn the river into nectar. Millions of devotees arrive to purify their inner self through holy bathing rituals. (Possibly a lot of skin diseases are cured during that time).
The religious history of Kumbh Yatra (Kumbh Mela) remains associated with numerous legends. There is an interesting legend which relates to the origin of the Kumbh Yatra (Kumbh Mela). Hindus believe that Lord Brahma gave gods a piece of advice to rid them of their weakness, caused during the creation of the earth. Following Lord Brahma's advice, the gods began to churn the ocean to obtain amrit from its waters. As the task was quite tough, the gods sought the assistance of demons. The gods, in return, made a deal with the demons that the latter could have half of the nectar that was too obtained from the ocean. The demons agreed to it. However, after the gods became successful in procuring the nectar, they tried to run away without sharing half of it with the demons, as was promised in the deal, a fight ensued. For twelve days and twelve nights (equivalent to twelve human years) the Devas and Asuras fought in the sky for the pot of amrita. It is believed that during the battle, Lord Vishnu (incarnated as Mohini-Murti) flew away with the Kumbha of elixir spilling drops of amrita at four places: Allahabad (Prayag), Hardwar, Ujjain and Nasik.
Finding a suitable accommodation as per your budget is no tough task in Nasik. Being flocked to hundreds of thousands of tourists and pilgrims from all around, Nasik offers a variety of accommodation options in different picturesque locations. Whether you are looking for a hotel along the Godavari, close to the market, near the railway station or any other strategic location, Nasik always offers you plenty of accommodation options.
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